Andy's EPIC Island Hopping in Europe Croatia
Island Hopping Croatia
Mali Losinj - Cres- Kornati – Vis – Hvar – Brac – Kočula – Mljet – Sipan – Lopud
Starting Point: Venice Or Pula
Length: 6 to 9 days
Leg 1: Northern Part: Venice – Rovinj – Mali Losinj – ZadarThis link is only suitable for travel during July and August, as there is no onward journey from Rovinj outside of these months. You also have to keep in mind that the ferry from Rovinj to Mali Losinj only operates on Fridays. You therefore ought to leave Venice on a Thursday at the latest in order to arrive in Zadar on a Saturday. This would allow you to proceed with the second leg of the journey from Split to Dubrovnik. On Sunday, you could take a bus from Zadar to Split, in time to catch the Monday ferry to Vis (which would then allow you to take the once-a-week Tuesday ferry from Vis to Hvar). • Any day of the week but Thursday the latest: Venice to Rovinj, just under 3 hours 17.00: Ferry Operator Adriatic (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or 17.15: Ferry Operator Venezia (every day)• Fri: Rovinj to Mali Losinj, 2 hours10.40 am. Ferry Operator: Trieste Lines• Sat: Mali Losinj to Zadar, just under 3 hours 10.30 am. Ferry Operator Catamaran Line 16.30. Ferry Operator Jadrolinija• Sun: Bus to Split
Leg 1: Northern Part: Venice – Pula – Mali Losinj – Zadar.There is a very regular service on this route throughout these four months. Between Venice and Pula, we have 5 services a week in June (2 times on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). In July and August the frequency increases to 7 times per week (2 times on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In September it is down to four times a week (2 times on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). Between Pula and Mali Losinj, a 3 ½ hour crossing by Catamaran is offered twice a week in June and September (on Wednesdays and Saturdays). July and August give you 6 options (two on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Between Mali Losinj and Zadar, you can take a quick Catamaran (just under 3 hours. Ferry Operator Catamaran Line). In June and September the ferry leaves on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In July and August, it is every day except Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is also a much slower (just under 7 hours) regular ferry operated by Jadrolinija. In June and September, the service operates on Mondays and Fridays. In July and August it operates every day. Once again, if you are planning on tackling Leg 2 from Split to Dubrovnik, you have to leave Split on a Monday, so make sure to arrive in Zadar on a Saturday at the latest to allow for the ‘overland’ bus transfer between Zadar and Split. Hence, maybe the following would work:
From Mali Losinj: The charming Venetian town of Cres (on the island bearing the same name) is only a relatively short hop from Mali Losinj. There is a year-round service departing at 6.00 am (Sundays adds a merciful departure at 10.00 am or at 12.00 in July and August). The trip takes 2 hours and is offered by Jadrolinija. You can return to Mali Losinj on the same day (15.55 in low season; 17.25 on Sundays. 18.30 between June and August).
From Zadar: Before continuing your journey to Split, you could do worse than spending some time in the Kornati islands (a maritime national park). Several tour operators, all located near the ferry terminal are offering daily excursions. For a proper Robinson Crusoe experience, you can also book a week-long stay on your own private island. Check out www.touristagency-lori.hr/en
On Hvar: Hvar was voted as the No.1 island in Europe by readers of Condé Nast in 2019, so expect some crowds. Hvar Town is undoubtedly beautiful, and stunningly so, but you might want to check out the more low-key towns of Stari Grad, Jelsa and above all Vrboska. Public buses can take you to these places, with the bus station in Hvar Town located just next to the cathedral Sveti Stjepana. From Jelsa, there is also a daily ferry to Bol on the nearby island of Brač. Unfortunately, the ferry departs at 6.00 am (7.00 am on Saturdays), but the schedulers at Jadrolinjia showed mercy and are offering a Sunday service which leaves Jelsa at 13.00 and returns at 17.10. This should be enough time to walk through Bol and on to nearby Slatni Rat; the brochure-famous, heart-shaped beach. But don’t expect too much: you will not be alone, and it only looks sandy in glossy magazines. All of these services operate year-round, so are a wonderful option to extend your trip when travelling during the off-season. You can also travel onward from Bol to Split (on the same boat that took you to the island from Jelsa, so you need an overnight stay), in case you do not wish to return to the island of Hvar.
From Dubrovnik: As mentioned before, Dubrovnik can get stiflingly crowded, so you might be well served to stay in nearby Cavtat, at the foot of Dubrovnik airport (whilst taking a dip in the sea, the planes will be coming in over your head). From Cavtat you can take a regular ferry service (at least 4 times a day, up to 14 times in high season; ferry operator Adriana). The trip just takes 30 minutes. And if you still do not have enough, from Dubrovnik you can explore the car-free island of Lopud; a short 1-hour hop (around 3 – 4 daily ferries year-round; ferry operator Jadrolinija), where for once you can enjoy truly sandy beaches.