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Island hopping

We wanted to spend about 4 days on 3-4 islands in September. We were thinking about staying on one of the islands (Korcula) as a home base and taking day trips to Hvar and Mljet. I am uncertain as to whether this will work though. Would we be able to find a ferry (or private transport) in the morning to these islands from Korcula, returning at the end of the day? I am also wondering about the ability to travel around Korcula without a car if we rent a house in the Lumbarda area. The other option is to use Split or Dubrovnik as a home base. Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

Posted by
6872 posts

I went to Croatia around that time and unfortunately the ferry schedule was not such that I could take day trips from one island to another and expect to come back the same day. I would pick Split as a home base. The 3-4 islands in 4 days may be rather aggressive considering the ferry schedules - I don't know about private transport since I only took the regular ferries.

Posted by
5558 posts

To travel around any of the islands in this part of the world, you really need a car or a scooter, as public transport is fairly limited.

There are limited ferry/catamaran services between the islands. Check out krilo.hr and Jadrolinija.hr for the two companies that provide this service. Korcula and Mljet are best served from Dubrovnik and Hvar from Split. Private transfers run into the hundreds of euros.

The islands don't differ that much and you are in danger of spending more time travelling there than being there. The joy of the islands is that they allow you to relax and take time to explore. Explore just one island for a better experience of Croatia, otherwise you are in danger of just being able to tick a box that you have been there without experiencing it properly.

Posted by
6872 posts

To travel around any of the islands in this part of the world, you really need a car or a scooter, as public transport is fairly limited.

That's partly true, but the ferries do drop you off in a central location on the island. For example, I went to Brac from Split. The ferry dropped me off at Supetar, where I stayed overnight for a few days. I had no issue catching a public bus to get to another part of the island I wanted to go to (Bol). I could have rented a car or scooter easily but chose just to stick with the bus since it was really inexpensive and went everywhere. I went to Korcula on a day trip (tour through Viator) which was a whole day excursion from Dubrovnik. Korcula was very small and pedestrian only - I don't recall seeing cars on it at all because they were parked outside the gate.

Posted by
5558 posts

Agnes seems to be getting confused between Korcula the island and its main town of Korcula. The town is compact and practically car free, but to see something of the island itself, you need to find some wheels if you are staying there, be this the infrequent bus service, car or scooter. As she points out, if you visit another island, you will only have time to see that particular port and not the rest of the island.

Posted by
6872 posts

Yes, Jennifer is right. I was only speaking of the old town part of the island - there are other villages/towns etc. on the island (e.g. Vela Luka). If you have 4 days and want the island experience, why not just spend it entirely in Korcula and use that time to explore the entire island? I previously said Split because it's an easier hub to island hop from (island hopping from an island is just too inefficient with a non-peak ferry schedule - it may not get you back there in the same day).

Why don't you inquire from the house rental place about the bus service on the island, including its frequency? You may be able to pull it off if you are flexible. Otherwise, it shouldn't be stressful at all to drive there (perhaps a little pricey though).

Posted by
2646 posts

Island day trips are tricky--for one thing, there is distance. Even a scenic boat ride can eat more time out of your day than you may desire. Second, there is schedule--the arrival and departure times of the boats just may not work for a day trip.
These are the three boat operators:
http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/ferry-croatia
http://www.krilo.hr/en/
http://www.gv-line.hr/raspored.php?linija=3&lang=E

The alternative is to pay for a tour--check at any tourist office.

Whether to stay in Lumbarda is a separate but related issue, as without a car you are going to have to get yourself to the ferry port.
To me, there is nothing finer than parking myself on one island for multiple days. I have rented bicycles and scooters to get around. You may want to at least do a day car rental to explore the island.
I like to stay at least 3 days on an island--any chance you could get another night so you could do two island stays--one for three days and the other for two?