It’s impossible to rank any islands when you love islands as much as we do but after two weeks sailing around Croatia, we have our top 5 favorite Croatian Islands with a list of the best things to do on each! If you get the chance to sail and see more than one, don’t miss the opportunity! If you have to choose a day trip from a main city, hopefully this helps you narrow down your options.
Hvar, one of the most popular and well known on this list is best known for the beautiful harbor view. Head up from Hvar Town’s main square, passing through the Porta di Datallo, you can ascend the steep stairway to this Venetian fortress from the 1500s. The views are stunning and the fortress is actually in pretty great shape still. Popular sights aside, my favorite experiences on Hvar were the sunsets at Hula Hula, brunch at The Adriana (a hotel right at the dock with incredible views), and gelato from Aroma Gelato Experience. Additionally, take the ferry to Carpe Diem for an amazing party experience and check out the tiniest bar ever, Kiva, for the famous “helmet shot.”
If you’re staying in Vis town (you definitely should) you don’t need a car. It takes about 20 minutes to walk around the harbour to Kut, the oldest and prettiest part, where most people stay. The island of Vis is a lot sleepier than Hvar. While Vis has 3,000 beds, Hvar has over 30,000. A lot of people are hoping it will stay at this number, as it’s such a special place right now. There’s so much to see and explore, you can rent a buggy and head all the way from the dock to the other side of the island and enjoy the tucked away beaches along the coast. The BEST experience in Vis is Ft. George. Have dinner at sunset and party the night away in the fort. It’s one of the most epic times we’ve ever had.
Next up is Bol, with the famous Golden Horn Beach. This is another small island that is a perfect size for renting a buggy and cruising around. Be sure and download a map in advance though because the back roads don’t have signs and it’s easy to get lost. Take a water taxi from the main center for around 5 kuna and enjoy a day of fun in the sun! Sit at the bar and enjoy drinks, explore the food truck park that has pretty much any type of food you can dream of, or get a massage right on the beach! Later in the night, take the train to 585 for a night club you’ll never forget.
The island of Mljet IS a National Park in itself, and a very beautiful one at that. As tickets cost 125 kuna for a park pass and are valid for a week, I highly recommend to spend at least two full days if you can. We only had one day to explore but there were many different options. You can bike around the lake, take a boat to the isle of Saint Mary, swim off of many private beaches, or just float in the currents of two channels (Mali Most and Veliki Most). Don’t miss eating at a local restaurant. The food is SO fresh and the locals are SO friendly. I never wanted to leave!
Last but definitely not least is Korcula, which has recently received the name “Little Dubrovnik.” Built on a small peninsula jutting into the Peljesac Channel, the medieval walled Old Town boasts the same picturesque Ventian-style buildings with red rooftops. Wind surfing, cycling, and other water sports are some of the more popular things to do but we’d also recommend a visit to Marco Polo’s home. Besides eating and drinking the delicious local food and wine, we absolutely suggest you check out Korcula’s traditional sword dance and drama known as Moreska. It’s performed on an open-air stage near Old Town on Monday and Thursday evenings in the summer months.
Honestly, every island we visited was so special in it’s own way. We definitely have a soft spot for Croatia. If you have any questions or are looking to plan a trip here, reach out to [email protected]