Croatia’s islands host many events and festivals all year round, ranging from classical music events, traditional folk performances, art exhibitions, sports, pop concerts, educational workshops and events promoting the natural beauty of these islands. There’s bound to be something amongst the events on the Croatian islands that you will enjoy during your stay!
Some of these events can be quite small and locally organised, so it’s usually best to check with the tourist office in the town or the resort you’re staying in for a full list. Below are details of some of the best events taking place as well.
Events on the Brijuni islands
Co-founded by famous Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija, Kazaliste Ulysses (Ulysses Theatre) on Veliki Brijuni island runs each summer with some wonderful plays – past seasons have seen Hamlet and King Lear. The Theatre opens and holds performances from mid-July to mid-August each year.
Events on Cres
The 4Islands mountain biking event takes place on Krk, Rab, Losinj and Cres from 18th to 22nd April 2023.
The Osor Musical Evenings in Osor on Cres in July and August are a series of classical concerts performed by Croatian and international artists and are held in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Cres is also home to the Crescendo Musical Festival (end of August).
Events on Losinj
Mali Losinj also hosts the Losinj Jazz Festival – in its 19th year – at the end of July/beginning of August. There will be performances from both Croatian and foreign jazz artists in some great open-air locations.
Events on Krk
On the island of Krk, events include numerous culinary celebrations such as the Eco, ethno winefest in May; the Baska Guitar Fest in August; and the popular carnival that takes place every January & February, culminating in a large parade in the middle of the second month of the year. Crna Ovca (black sheep in English) in Baska is a three-day sport (sailing) and entertainment festival in May that also celebrates Baska lamb. The medieval-themed Krk Fair (first held in 1524!) takes place over three days at the beginning of August; it includes music and other fun and games. Homo ni jidra is a sailing regatta that takes place in Malinska in early September. The Baska Outdoor Festival in mid-October offers the opportunity for a few days of energetic fun – hiking, cycling or running on over 90km of routes.
Events on Rab
Rab‘s calendar of events includes “Rab Musical Evenings” every July, and the famous Rabska Fjera, a medieval-style summer festival that also takes place in July. The town of Lopar on the island – home to a number of sandy beaches – hosts a Festival of Sand Sculptures every June.
Events on Pag
Pag‘s events include the International Festival of Lace (an item for which the island is very well known) in June, and the Pag Art Festival in August. There’s also the Pag Outdoor Summer Weekend for the active types; this event brings together a number of activities (windsurfing, cycling, kayaking and more) on consecutive weekends over the summer.
However, Pag is known as being something of a party island! Party central is the town of Novalja; its Zrce Beach features Club Papaya and Club Aquarius, which host top DJs (names that have appeared at these clubs in the past include Fatboy Slim, Sven Vath, Benny Benassi), mini dance festivals and the incredibly popular Hideout Festival (25th to 29th June 2023). The same location will also play host to hip hop extravaganza Fresh Island and the 10th edition of the Sonus Festival (20th to 24th August 2023), some of the many Festivals in Croatia.
Events on Dugi Otok
The village of Sali on the island hosts the “Saljske užance” festival on the first weekend of August every year – there’s food and drink, sports competitions, music and even donkey races! There’s also the Dugi Otok Trail in May.
Events on Murter
Events on Hvar
Hvar normally has a wonderful line-up of events during the year, including the Hvar Theatre Days in May; the Festival of St Prosper (its patron saint) in Hvar Town on 10th May, which will see a number of events including a gastronomic feast; the Hvar Summer Festival from June to October; the Lavender Festival in late June/early July; Fisherman’s Night in Milna in August; the dormouse festival – Puhijada – in Stari Grad in August; and the long-established Festa Vina (the Wine Festival) in Jelsa. You can also find more details of events on the island on the Plan Hvar website.
Carpe Diem on Hvar will also host a number of lively club nights and international DJs this summer.
Events on Brac
The island of Brac will see the Bol Summer Festival (June to October); the visually stunning street art/graffiti event Graffiti na Gradele (August); the Brac Film Festival (August) and the International Summer Carnival (September, in various locations).
Events on Vis
Vis‘s events include the Vis Summer Festival, held each July and August, with numerous traditional and more modern dance and music events. There’s also the wonderful Goulash Disko festival in Komiza in mid-September.
Fort George, just above Vis Town, also hosts an exciting line-up of events each summer as well.
Events on Korcula
Korcula‘s events include a celebration of the times of Marco Polo (who was born on Korcula) at the end of May, when the streets of Korcula Town are decorated to look like a 13th-century town, and the Korkya Baroque Festival in September. Also look out for performances of the Moreska Sword Dance (picture below), which recreates a story of the battle between the Red King and the Black King. A new event for 2023 is the Rat Race (27th April – 2nd May 2023) which is a multisport one-way race made up of hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking and biking from Korcula to Dubrovnik.
Events on Mljet
Mljet holds a flower fair each Easter in Babino Polje. There is also a klapa concert during May, with various klapa groups from around Dalmatia performing (Klapa is a traditional Dalmatian form of group acapella singing); the Mljet Summer Festival each August; and the Mljet Half-Ironman Triathlon in October.
Events on the Elafiti Islands
Ponta Lopud (20th – 24th June 2023) is a new film festival with film screenings and masterclasses.