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Croatia islands – best 5 Dalmatian islands to visit

I’m pretty sure that you’ve already heard how stunning and beautiful Croatia is. One of the most famous places in Croatia is certainly Dubrovnik , but Croatia has a lot more to offer. This country is home to many beautiful islands, which are very easy to reach. So, Croatia islands are a perfect option for a holiday or island hopping.

With spectacular Adriatic coast and many islands, blue seas and beautiful beaches, Croatia will make you fall in love and it will leave you speechless. There is so much to offer – gastronomic experiences, parties and stunning nature.

I’ve visited Croatia a lot of times already and I can tell you that I fall in love with this country over and over again. My favourite part is Dalmatian Coast – Split and its surrounding islands.

Islands line the entire coast of Croatia, beginning in Istria and running all the way to Dubrovnik. Yes, I know, there are so many islands in Croatia and you might not have any idea where to start. That’s why I’ve wrote this blog post to help you find the perfect one.

BRAČ

Supertar, Brac

Brač is a large island and is very easy to reach from Split, so you can decide to make a day trip even if you’re staying in Split or somewhere near Split. The most famous place on Brač is Bol, especially beach Zlatni rat, which is found on many postcards and travel magazines. Zlatni rat is a little bit overrated, if you ask me, but it’s still worth the visit.
If you’re asking yourself why I’m saying this, let me explain. The beach is absolutely beautiful and unique, but most people make one mistake – they expect the sandy beach, but in reality this is a pebble beach.
However, there is so much to discover on Brač.

There are several towns on Brač island – the most popular and biggest places are Bol and Supetar.

Other small, but charming towns are Milna, Sumartin, Postira and Sutivan. The most common way to get there is by ferry (from Split and from Makarska), but you can also hop on catamaran from Split and get off in Milna.

Brač is famous for its picturesque bays and beaches, which offer the perfect conditions for an amazing experience by the sea.

There are countless possibilities of activities, such as hiking, biking, windsurfing and exploring the island. Did you know that this island is also known for the Brač marble? Some well known buildings are made out of this stone – for example Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the Hofburg in Vienna and also the White House in Washington.

The highest peak on the island is Vidova Gora Mountain – it is offering you stunning views.

HVAR

Hvar is one the most popular islands in Croatia and it is also known for being the main party island – mostly in Hvar town. But don’t worry, this island is also ideal for a family vacation as the rest of island is traditional and laid back.
The Stari Grad Plain near the town of Stari Grad is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The beauty of the island really blew me away. Well, not just the beauty – it was the whole Island that blew me away. Historic cobbled streets, crystal clear blue waters, stunning beaches, stylish restaurants serving delicious food and the photogenic hills make this island so charming.

The streets of town Hvar


If you think that Hvar is all about the glamour, you’re wrong, because it’s so much more than this. St. Stephen’s Square is for sure one of the prettiest squares, surrounded by Venetian and Renaissance architecture, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen, the cathedral bell tower, the Arsenal and Hvarska pijaca. It is the centre of social and public life in Hvar.

You also shouldn’t miss the towns of Jelsa and Vrboska. They are less known, but they are so worth the visit too.
Did you know that Jelsa has such a cute nickname? It is known as Hvar’s Little Venice. I absolutely recommend Vrboska, if you want to escape the crowds.

My tips

Hire a boat and explore and enjoy the Pakleni Islands.

If you’re in town of Hvar, you really shouldn’t miss the Spanjola Fortress views. Get on the top and enjoy in the amazing view of Pakleni Islans and Adriatic sea.

Hands down, this is the most picturesque view of Hvar and I guarantee you, that you’ll remember this view even after a long time.

The Spanjola Fortress is called Fortica and is easy to get to – just follow the signs (or ask a friendly local) up the stairs (many stairs, but it’s not that hard). After the stairs there is a relaxed walk through the pine forest.

The view of Pakleni Islands
Spanjola Fortress

KORČULA

Korčula island (pronounced Kor-chu-la) is located in southern Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik. This island is one of the most favourite among travelers and I can understand why is it like this – it is a place of culture, history and charm, surrounded by stunning Adriatic sea and the weather is excellent. When I came to Korcula I was really surprised that the island is so green.

The main town is also called Korčula. Another great town is Vela Luka and this is also where you get the ferry. If you want to go directly to town of Korčula, you can hop on catamaran from Split. The catamaran makes a stop in Milna, Hvar, Korcula and it goes to Mljet National Park and Dubrovnik.

Vela Luka is the largest town with a deep sheltered bay with tiny and tranquil islets and inlets. Vela Luka has the warmest temperatures on the Mediterranean. Even higher than Nice, and Naples.

The enire Korčula Island is gorgeous, without any doubt. The prettiest in my opinion is the town of Korčula. Most people enter the old town through the Korcula Town Gate and I suggest you do the same. Check out the Marco Polo house – the locals will tell you that Korčula is the birthplace of Marco Polo. You should also visit the Cathedral of Saint Mark as it offers stunning views from the top of the tower.

When you are done with exploring the town, go for a drink or for a quick bite in one of the many restaurants near the city walls, but be prepared that you will end up paying a lot, because they are overpriced. But that’s something that you can expect. There are also budget friendly options, ofcourse, but you won’t get such a stunning view of the Pelješac and the Adriatic sea.

If you want to watch a stunning sunset, go to Massimo Cocktail Bar in Korcula town – the bar is at the top of the medieval tower. Massimo is accessible by stairs, then ladder – ladies, don’t wear a short skirt if you’re going.

Visit the Badija island

Badija is a little island that belongs to Korcula. You can reach it in just a couple minutes by taxi boat, since it is really close to the Korčula Island. The main reason why Badija is popular is the Franciscan monastery from 14th century. It is a beautiful place, and it’s definitely worth it to go inside.

MLJET

Island of Mljet is extremely beautiful and quiet island, so you will not find mass tourism here. Currently, the Island of Mljet has only one hotel. The rest of accommodation in Mljet are private rooms, B&B’s and apartments.

The island is hilly and there are many unpaved roads, so it can be challenging to pass by car.

There are several stunning beaches on the island and it is definitely worth to spend the day there. The best thing is that the beaches are not too crowded. If you’re lucky, you don’t have to share a hidden bay with anyone.

All places on the island are worth visiting, but there is more going on on the western part of island (also, catamaran from Split makes a stop in Pomena on the western part of island). From here, you can go on a trip to Dubrovnik.

One of the most visited tourist attractions on Mljet is definitely the Odisejeva špilja cave, located near Babino polje. If possible, visit this place in the middle of the day, when the sunlight shines into the cave and creates a turquoise blue spectrum of colors (similar to Blue Cave in Biševo Island). Talking about Biševo Island – it is also 100% worth the visit.

VIS

You shouldn’t miss the Vis island and I mean it. Vis is the most distant island off the Croatian mainland, but still it is easily reachable by ferry from Split – you will reach Vis in about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

As soon as the Jadrolinija ferry pulled into the harbour, we were surrounded by palm trees and stone building and I was left speechless. I think that this was the love at the first sight.

We didn’t really had a plan, just exploring this beautiful island and cooling off in the clear waters of Adriatic sea. But be careful, there are many sea urchins in the water and you can step on one of them.

There is so much to see on Vis. Also, buses run multiple times a day to the town of Komiža on the opposite end of the island. You can also rent a car or scooter to get around the island, but note that the roads are steep and full of turns.

As previous mentioned, one of the main Vis attractions is the Blue Cave on the island of Biševo. But is it really worth it? I don’t really think so. Yeah, it looks beautiful, but Croatian tourism is blooming and this place is absolutely overcrowded. The whole trip inside the cave is not longer than 5 minutes, so think if it is really worth it.

STINIVA BAY

Another famous attraction on Vis island is Stiniva Bay. There are two ways on how you can reach Stiniva bay – you can do it on the seaside (with boat and then with kayak, swimming,…) or by coast. This option requires a scooter or taxi ride and a half hour climb down a steep and rocky hillside. Stiniva beach was announced the most beautiful beach in 2016. But Vis is full of other beautiful beaches, so you won’t be disappointed.

The nature of Vis island remained almost untouched by mass tourism typical to more known and closer to the coast islands like Brač, Hvar and Korčula.

What do you think of Croatia? Have you visited yet? I am open to your suggestions about beautiful destinations in Croatia. Feel free to contact me.

12 Comments

  • Charu Goyal

    August 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM

    Each one of these five islands is more beautiful than the previous. I knew about some of these already but a couple are completely new to me. Thank you for opening my eyes to them!

    Reply
  • Anja

    August 8, 2021 at 12:17 PM

    This looks wonderful! I am heading to Croatia in autumn and although I wanted to stay further north, I might now change my plans. Its very handy you shared ferry travel times and information on public transport, too. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Jasmina

      August 8, 2021 at 1:27 PM

      Thank you. I am sure that you’re gonna love the northern part of Croatia too – it is really beautiful. I wish you a great time!

      Reply
  • Nina

    August 8, 2021 at 5:03 PM

    Croatia is one of the European countries that I still need to get to! I really love the idea of exploring these smaller islands. I really need to plan a trip. When would you say is the best time to go? I imagine August is crazy with all the tourists although perhaps the entire summer is.

    Reply
    • Jasmina

      August 10, 2021 at 6:33 PM

      Yeah, it’s beautiful country with lots to do and amazing people. I would say that the best time to visit Croatia is the last two weeks in August and first two weeks in September – the weather is still great and there are less crowds.

      Reply
  • Nina

    August 9, 2021 at 8:58 PM

    Hvar was my second favourite island in Croatia but you missed my favourite: Lokrum. It’s a secret little paradise off the coast of Dubrovnik!

    Reply
    • Jasmina

      August 10, 2021 at 6:38 PM

      I was there when I was in Dubrovnik and I have mentioned it in post about Dubrovnik – it’s totally worth the visit, couldn’t agree more!

      Reply

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