Croatia has one of the most beautiful nature reserves in the world. With over 1000 islands of which only around 50 are inhabited, this unspoilt paradise offers marvellous coastlines with sandy beaches and magnificent wildlife. There are many beautiful bays and stunning areas to explore, making the Croatian islands a truly worthwhile sailing destination.
There are plenty of Croatian islands with their own marinas. Generally, thanks to the greater number of boats available, you can start your journey from a mainland marina and visit the islands during your charter. If you wish to have an optional skipper, he or she can guide you through the area, showing the most beautiful and isolated islands. Alternatively, if you rent a bareboat charter, the local staff at the charter base can recommend you some great itineraries.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Croatian islands and will highlight the best aspects of each one.
How to get to the islands in Croatia?
The only way to reach most of the islands is by using your own boat. It would be best to ask your skipper or the staff at the yacht charter base for a detailed itinerary. Also, don't forget to ask how much time it will take to reach and explore certain islands. It is important to be back at the base in time.
For the largest islands, there are regular ferries for day trips. So, if you have a few days before or after your charter, you can visit some of the islands even without having your own boat. Some of the best-known islands are Krk, Cres or Rab in the Kvarner Bay, Pag, Uglijan or Pasman in Northern Dalmatia or Brac, Hvar and Vis in Central Dalmatia.
For a few islands, there are even bridges connecting them, which means that the island can be reached by car, bicycle or on foot. This is the case in Krk, Pag or Murter, among others.
Our top spots
If you start from Zadar, Sukosan, Biograd or Sibenik, then you should sail to the Kornati archipelago. The Kornati consists of around 140 islands, 89 of which are part of the Kornati National Park. Magazinova Skrila is well worth seeing. It is a huge rock plate that was most likely formed by an earthquake and offers some great viewpoints. Furthermore, on some islands, you will also find ancient Illyrian ruins that you can visit - for example on the islands of Scikat, Tureta or Grba.
In the Kornati National Park, you can do excellent sailing, snorkeling and hiking. Keep in mind that it is best to buy your park tickets online in advance or at the official sales points, which are located in places like Murter or Biograd. You can also purchase your tickets on-site in the park, however, this will be more expensive.
Korcula is a magnificent, green island that is known for its variety of olive trees and thick woods of Aleppo pine, Coastal pine, Black pine and Cypress among others. It is a perfect island to walk around and enjoy nature.
Korcula also has a magnificent Old Town which is full of Venetian Renaissance architecture. Its pretty, winding streets will most definitely transport you back in time. The local legend even says that Marco Polo was born in this town.
The island also has a lot of secluded coves and bays to visit during your yacht charter. The Island has numerous marinas including ACI Marina Korcula while also being easily accessible by ferry which goes from the Orebic town.
This is perhaps one of the most known Dalmatian islands in Croatia. Throughout its history, this island was a strategically important area, so it has plenty of ports and marinas. One of the main attractions of the island is Stari Grad, which is one of the oldest Croatian towns. This historical heart of the island has beautiful architecture and a lot of history for you to discover.
Another famous city worth visiting on the island is Hvar Town. This historical town also has beautiful architecture and offers a wonderful atmosphere by day and by night.
Hvar island has exceptionally beautiful nature such as the beaches under pine trees in Zavala, south cliffs in Ivan Dolac, Sveta Nedjelja or MIlna and lavender fields near Zastrazisce, Gdinj and Bogomolje.
Brac is one of the largest, longest and highest islands in Central Dalmatia. It would be particularly interesting for those who want to experience authentic island life. The main town of the island is Supetar. We recommend you try some of the delicious, local olive oil which is made from the rare variety of olives called Buhavica.
This island is famous for its white stones which are used for the construction of some of the world's most famous monuments. The White House in Washington and the Parliament House in Vienna and Budapest were built from this stone.
This island used to be a military base and was completely closed to civilians until the mid-90s. Since then, it has been opened to the world and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions. This island has some of the most beautiful beaches, delicious seafood restaurants and an irresistible laid-back charm!
Mljet is the greenest Croatian island in the Dalmatia region. Here you can visit Mljet National Park which is located in the northwest part of the Island. The park has two beautiful lakes called Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero (Big Lake and Small Lake). It also has a 12th-century Benedictine monastery which is perched on an island in the middle of Veliko Jezero. The best way to explore the park would be by canoe, kayak or bike which you can rent on-site (approximately 30 to 50 euros per day).
Mljet island is well known for its white and red wine, olives and goat's cheese. Take some time exploring local cuisine by going out for dining or visiting local markets.
To make your experience even better, many charter companies have an option to rent a stand-up paddleboard or even snorkelling equipment. We also recommend you bring sturdy shoes on your yacht charter trip. This way you can go ashore for a day trip to explore the beautiful surroundings.
If you want to sail along the islands, the months from May to September are the best time for a yacht charter in Croatia. To find out more about the prices, locations and availability of the yacht, catamaran or motorboat charters, take a look at our yacht charter in Croatia.
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