The islands in the Dalmation Coast of Croatia have always been on my bucketlist for the longest time. We had two trips to Croatia planned in the past in 2020 and 2021, but both were cancelled and I am so ecstatic we finally made it! I am every bit obsessed with the Adriatic waters and the slow Mediterranean island life in these Dalmation islands! We only visited Korcula and Hvar this time around, but I can’t wait to be back again to explore more of the other islands.
Did you know Croatia has over 1000 islands?! It is no surprise why they call Croatia “the Land of a Thousand Islands.” To be precise, the country has 1,246 islands, islets and rocks in the Adriatic Sea. If you are specifically interested in the islands like we were, you would have to either fly into Split or Dubrovnik and take ferries from there.
We spent 9 days across Korčula ( 3 days ), Hvar ( 5 days ) and Split ( 1 day ). But a good 2 week itinerary that would also include the 2 major cities would be – fly into Dubrovnik, then ferry over to Korčula, ferry over to Hvar, ferry to Split and then fly out of Split. You can easily spend 3-4 days per destination as you can also do several day trips to other spots and other small islands from each of these places – Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar and Split. Other islands to consider adding to your itinerary are Vis and Brać.
Just like Greece, the best way to get around between the islands is via ferries. Some of the main companies are – Kapetan Luka (usually only passengers) and Jadrolinija (they have passenger and car ferries too). You can either book it online on their website or purchase them at the marina. Its best to check ferry schedules prior to planning your trip and transfers, since timings vary based on the season.
While the summer months of June – August seems like the most popular times to visit these islands, after browsing several articles and having done the trip myself , I would 100% agree that late spring (May) or early fall (September) are the best times to visit. You would still have amazing weather with way way lesser crowds thus making it a lot more enjoyable! Also prices for accommodation are a lot cheaper in these months than in the peak season.
While choosing islands I had a hard time to narrow it down to just my top 2 faves. Korčula has been voted as one of the most beautiful islands in the world! It has one of the most stunning old towns, gorgeous beaches, lots of little islands to explore close to the main island and a much slower pace and vibe than its popular sister island Hvar. Its also pretty equidistant from both Split and Dubrovnik, so very convenient to add onto your itinerary.
We absolutely loved staying at the Lesic Dimitri palace in Korčula! This Relais and Chateaux property is a set of luxury apartments located in the heart of Old Town Korčula. We stayed at the China residence, and loved how spacious this 2 bed 2 bath apartment was. It would be perfect for a family or group of friends too. LD Palace also has an amazing spa and Michelin star restaurant on property too!
In and around LD Palace
I would recommend getting a car or scooter to explore the island if you are staying here for a couple of days.
Visiting Old Town Korčula is an absolute must! Korcula Old Town is a old well preseved medieval walled town that was built on the tiny peninsula on the northeast coast of Korcula island. The town is also known to be referred to as ‘a little Dubrovnik‘ due to its resemblance to the more popular tourist spot. Explore the charming stone alleys, visit Marco Polo’s house and St Mark’s Church while you are in town.
Scenes around Old Town Korčula
Don’t miss out on some of the stunning beaches of Korčula such as Zitna Bay and Pupnatska Luka, which was my absolute favorite! The water at Pupnatska Luka is absolutely spectacular and its no surprise that its been voted as one of the best beaches in Croatia.
The picture perfect Pupnatska Luka
The tradition of going to «škoje» or full-day trips to nearby islands, especially in the summer months, is the best way to see the archipelago of islands around Korčula. These pine-covered islets, abundant with little beaches, are ideal for a relaxing picnic, sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or just enjoying the boat and the sea!
You can visit the marina and opt to go with one of the tours there. We did a private boat tour with LD Palace and it was one of my favorite activities here! Some of our favorite stops included the island of Badija ( which has a 14th century Franciscan Monastery on it) and the quaint island of Vrnik.
14th century Franciscan Monastery on Badija
Cannot get over this water!
Some of my favorite villages to explore in Korčula aside from the Old Town were Lumbarda and Račišće.
Terrace at LD restaurant
My favorite fine dining 1 Michelin star restaurant in Korčula was LD Restaurant! We did the 3 course tasting menu with wine pairings for lunch. Incredible food with so many interesting flavors and textures, phenomenal attention to detail, and views to die for ! Everything about this meal was so so memorable.
Delicious pizzas along the waterfront! Usually a long wait, but so worth it.
Loved the burgers here!
Thanks for stopping by! xo