How to plan the perfect Croatian Island hopping holiday

Croatian Island Hopping

Incorporating a stay on Korcula during a Croatian Island hopping holiday is a popular choice among travellers. Discovering one of Croatia’s hottest regions is not always as easy as it sounds though. You may be faced with constraining transport links or difficulty obtaining up to date information online.

Below we share some tips to help you plan your island-hopping holiday on the Dalmatian coast.

Fly into Split or Dubrovnik & depart from the other

To plan the perfect Croatian Island hopping trip, the key is to think first about where to start and where to finish.

We would suggest that you fly into either Split or Dubrovnik. Then end your trip in the other destination and fly from there. This will make a smoother island hopping experience and allow you to explore a number of places on the Dalmatian coast without having to back-track at all. Many low-cost airlines, such as EasyJet, fly in and out of both airports. This avoids tedious or unnecessary travelling back on yourself and many of the transport schedules favour this travel plan.

You can check your flight options HERE.

How to plan your Croatian Island Hopping holiday

How to island-hop in Croatia

The easiest way to navigate the Dalmatian islands is without a car and to use the regular passenger catamarans. There are two main companies which operate the routes – Jadrolinija and Krilo Jet. There are also bus connections serving the individual islands, as well as an incredibly scenic ride between Dubrovnik and Korcula.

If is possible to travel by car. However the options are not always direct or you may need to back track a little. So you may just need to do some additional planning.

See more information about how to travel between Korcula and nearby destinations.

How to plan a Croatian Island hopping trip

Pick a few Croatian Island destinations

Our next piece of advice is don’t spread yourself out too thin by trying to visit too many places. You’ll end up spending a lot of time travelling and packing/unpacking and less time doing the things you should be doing on your holiday – relaxing and having fun.

Say if you plan to travel from Split to Dubrovnik and stop at several of the islands in between. You can easily lose up to half a day travelling between any two destinations. If you want to squeeze in 5 or 6 stops, this can add up to the best part of two days.

The beauty of travelling is experiencing the culture of the area you are visiting. However, if you’re too caught up with having to catch the next boat, you could miss this. Decide on a couple of base locations. You can always incorporate a couple of day trips to other nearby locations. We would suggest you aim to spend a minimum of 2 nights at each destination.

Remember as well, if you spend a longer time at any one destination you can explore the real island and not just the so-called “must-see” places.

One of the most common comments from previous guests is that they wished they have stayed longer on Korcula. Remember you can always come back another time & explore more!

Planning your Croatian Island Hopping

Demystifying the ferry timetables

Croatian Island hopping is lots of fun, but the duration to travel between the islands and the timing of the transport options are not always that accommodating or easy to understand!.

We regularly receive emails from people confused by the ferry timetables and we can assure you that you’re not alone! You can see all the transport routes to/from Korcula to many of the nearby destinations here. You can also find comprehensive ferry advice from the Croatia Ferry website or can pay to download the ferry guide by Jeanne Oliver on her Croatia Travellers website.

First, check the ferry timetables to see if it works better for you to work your way up or down the coastline. The majority of ferries depart in the morning or late afternoon/evening. Keep in mind there may only be one transport link between destinations which might not fit your initial schedule. This is particularly relevant if you are planning on visiting during a quieter time of year as the ferry service is reduced.

Try to avoid arriving at a destination in the evening only having to leave early the following morning. We personally don’t see the point in just spending one night somewhere. Either extend your stay there or just skip the destination all together for this Croatian Island hopping trip.

Understanding the Croatian ferry timetables

Accommodation minimum night policy

Another factor you need to consider is if the accommodation you wish to stay at has a minimum night policy. This is not such an issue at hotels, but if you prefer to stay in a private apartment or room, some owners will only accept a minimum of 3 or 4 nights during the summer months or they may charge a surcharge for 1 or 2 night stays.

One way to avoid this is to think about when is the best time to travel. The minimum night policy is quite often not applied outside of the main summer season. However, we would urge you also to consider the work and the environmental impact with each check-in/check-out. Think about all the cleaning and washing involved just for 1 night.

Choosing accommodation on a Croatian Island Hopping holiday

Croatian Island hopping routes

Here are a couple of suggestions of Croatian Island hopping routes you could enjoy on your holiday:

“The Classic” Route: Dubrovnik – Korcula – Hvar – Brac – Split (or back in the other direction)

“The More Remote” Route: Dubrovnik – Mljet – Lastovo (via Korcula Island) – Split – Vis – then you must return to Split (or back in the other direction)

“The Mainland” Route – This isn’t actually island hopping, but travelling up the coast is a great way to explore Croatia. Pick up a rental car from Dubrovnik Airport and drop it back in Split. Then choose a few stops along the route, for example, Cavtat – Slano – Makarska – Omis – Split.

Remember as well, if you spend a longer time at any destination you can explore the real island and not just the so-called “must-see” places.

Tour Croatia with us on a food & drink tour

Are you planning a Croatian Island hop? Where do you plan on visiting? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Information

Korcula Travel FAQs
Day Trips from Korcula
When’s the best time to visit Korcula?

Do you think you will do some island hopping during your holiday to Croatia? Pin this to your vacation board.

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