Island Hopping in Croatia by Car

Travel Question: Island-Hopping in Croatia by Car

Hope this message finds you well. I am contacting you since I am planning to travel to Croatia in July.  Preparing for the trip, I am planning to visit the islands. The idea is to travel from Split to Brac, from there to Hvar, from Hvar to Korcula and follow to Orebic in order to finish in Dubrovnik. 

Island Hopping in Croatia by Car

Looking for the ferry lines I am not sure if travelling by car will be possible, visiting all the islands using ferries between them. 

Could you please help me with this? It will be great to have the ferry line company connections. I see a lot of catamarans but not sure about the car. 

Regarding the option of leaving the car in Split, and then using catamarans for foot passenger transportation, so it is possible for us to do: Split – Brac – Hvar – Korcula – Dubrovnik, using foot passenger catamarans? If yes, that seems a great alternative. 

When visiting the islands, do you know if it is an extended option to hire a motorbike, quad or similar on each island? That will help us to have more mobility. We did something similar in Greece and if yes, that’s everything solved. 

Thanks in advance for your time.

U.

Yes, what you have found is correct – there are very, very few car ferries that travel from island to island, making island hopping in Croatia by car a little tricky. For the region you’re visiting, you can see what car ferries exist on this Jadrolinija map (the car ferries being shown in blue), the company that operates them.

If you were using foot-passenger only catamarans then yes, you would be able to hop SplitBracHvarKorculaDubrovnik.

If you do want to visit the different islands you mention with a car, you will almost always have to return to the mainland after each island e.g. Split to Supetar on Brac, then back to Split; then Split to Stari Grad on Hvar, then either back to Split to go to Vela Luka on Korcula OR drive to eastern Hvar (Sucuraj) to take the ferry to Drvenik and then drive down the coast and up the Peljesac Peninsula to get the car ferry from Orebic to Korcula.

It obviously depends how much time you have for your trip overall as to whether you’d mind this extra travel time (going back to the mainland after each island).

(Note: the above regarding car ferries has been the case for the past few years, it is nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.)

From this year, it is now possible to make a booking for a car ferry for a particular time (before you were not guaranteed a time on the day of travel) for some car ferry routes. However, in peak summer, it is still advisable to get to the port 60 minutes before departure time.

So I would suggest to you to consider how much exploring by car you wish to do on each island – do you really need a car for all of them? Perhaps you could visit some islands on a day (or two) trip from Split / another island by catamaran and leave your car behind? Or not rent a car initially, do some day (or two) trips and then return to Split and rent a car for the second half/part of your trip?

Yes, you can definitely do Split – Brac – Hvar – Korcula – Dubrovnik by catamaran. Jadrolinija basically does this exact line – timetable here.

Alternatively, Kapetan Luka has a catamaran that sails Split – Milna (Brac) – Hvar Town – Korcula Town – Pomena (Mljet) – Dubrovnik, timetable here. Additionally, they also have another catamaran that sails Split – Bol (Brac) – Makarska – Korcula Town – Sobra (Mljet) – Dubrovnik, timetable here.

Best islands in Croatia - Korcula

You can of course use the different catamarans AND utilise others too – for example, Jadrolinija have another Split – Bol catamaran (timetable here) that you may prefer to use for that portion of your journey, maybe it departs at a slightly better time for you. 

There is no “flexi-ticket”, “hop-on/hop-off ticket” for these long-range catamarans or similar – you will need to buy tickets for each leg that you do. So this is why it does not matter if you e.g. do Split to Bol to Hvar with Jadrolinija, then Hvar to Korcula with Kapetan Luka, then Korcula to Dubrovnik with Jadrolinija again.

What I would suggest is that you go on both companies’ websites and look up timetables via their ‘book tickets’ facility and then see what catamarans are the most suitable for you.

Just to confuse matters a bit more 🙂 there is also a company called G&V Line that operates a Korcula – Dubrovnik catamaran in July and August that you could also use. (Timetable here.)

To answer your other questions – yes, you would definitely be able to hire (more likely) a moped, bike or even a small car on each island to explore for a few hours/a day. Some locations would offer a quad bike e.g. this company on Brac.

Enjoy your island adventures in Croatia!