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By Conde Nast Traveller

Published on Conde Nast Traveller's website on 30 June 2023. Copy written by Conde Nast, holiday ideas by the Sunvil team.

Croatia is a country designed for island hopping. It has hundreds of them, scattered across the Adriatic, ranging from little more than reefs to ones it would take several days to walk around. Around 50 are inhabited, with ruined forts and monasteries, and histories that weave tales from the Venetian and Ottoman era. There are islands for beach parties and harbourside feasts, and islands for wilderness escapes, their unspoilt horizons protected by national park status. There is diving and snorkelling to be had, kicking into blue caves where legends float beneath the surface, and leg-stretching hikes through thick pine forest, up to hills for crow’s-nest views. The myriad archipelagos of Croatia mainly hug the coast, which makes island-hopping very easy.

This 10-day route takes you from the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most popular destination, around the islands of southern Dalmatia to land in Split, but it can easily be done in reverse. At Sunvil, we can also tailor-make island hopping holidays in Kvarner and along the Istrian coastline as well as offering 7 night Adriatic cruises.

Lopud

So close to Dubrovnik but a world apart. This car-free island is an accessible decompression escape with a tiny harbour lined by artists and artisan shops, leading to an imposing 15th-century monastery. The island’s only sandy beach is a short trek over the other side, past old captain’s houses and along herb-scented pathways.

Top tip: Book ahead for a private tour of the monastery’s art collection; Your Black Horizon is an art installation by Olafur Eliasson in the countryside behind the harbour.

From Sunvil: Whilst we do not offer stays on Lopud itself, the Elafiti islands - of which Lopud is one - can be reached on a day cruise from Dubrovnik. This is a popular excursion for our guests and can be pre-booked as part of our island hopping adventures. In Dubrovnik, why not stay at the Aquarius Hotel, a charming family-run hotel with swimming pool and close to all attractions.

Lopud, Dalmatia, Croatia

Mljet

The wild one. Croatia’s southernmost island is mostly forest and partly a national park so is almost as unspoilt as the time when Odysseus supposedly landed on its shores. For sandy beaches head to the east coast, otherwise rent a bike and freewheel around the woodland on the northern side.

Top tip: Swim or take a boat across the lake to the Benedictine monastery on the island of St Mary’s in one of the island’s two interconnected lakes.

From Sunvil: Stay at the Hotel Odisej on Mljet which stands on the waterfront in the small village of Pomena - a truly idyllic spot. Ferries from Dubrovnik to the island of Mljet take 2 hours, but it feels a world away.

Hotel Odisej, Island of Mljet, Dalmatia, Croatia

Korcula

Marco Polo may or may not have been born here, but this island’s on the map for its incredible architecture – it’s Dubrovnik in miniature, really, with its tightly packed streets of gothic, baroque and Romanesque buildings – and emerging wine scene. The beach at Pupnatska Luka is the prettiest.

Top tip: Take a boat across to the Moro beach bar on tiny Stupe island for afternoon cocktails; stop by Cukarin in Korcula Town to pick up fresh bread, the excellent local wine and olive oil.

From Sunvil: Stay at the Hotel Korsal, a family-run boutique hotel with spectacular sea views and a few minutes' walk from the centre of Korcula Town. A 40 minute catamaran connects Korcula with Mljet.

Hotel Korsal, Korcula, Dalmatia, Croatia  Korcula, Dalmatia, Croatia

Hvar

The island that launched a thousand yachts, this is the Croatian riviera at its glitziest. In Hvar Town, time-polished cobbles lead to restaurants, bars and wide-awake clubs. But the wild interior, scented by lavender and oregano, is peaceful, and hiking trails lead to secret coves – while some cast off for the nearby Pakleni Islands.

Top tip: Walk the promenade of the Riva in the evening for people-watching and superyacht spotting.

From Sunvil: Stay at the Hotel Antica, a dreamy property - both in terms of the realisation of the owner's vision, and also in terms of the experience and ambiance. There is a lot of scope here for further exploration and even private boat tours. It is a 75 minute catamaran journey from Korcula to Hvar.

Hotel Antica, Hvar, Dalmatia, Croatia Hvar, Dalmatia, Croatia

Vis

Croatia’s most remote island, and off limits during most of the 20th century; though that didn’t stop it having a starring role in Mamma Mia 2. Kut is the loveliest part of Vis Town, built by the Venetians in the 17th century – Mount Hum rises behind, for far-reaching views over the island.

Top tip: Unusually for Croatia, Vis has several sandy beaches, including dozens of micro-beaches known only by locals. Favourites include the ones at Milna, Zaglav and Vela Smokova.

From Sunvil: Whilst we do not offer stays on Vis itself, the island can be reached on a day cruise from Split. This is a popular excursion for our guests and can be pre-booked as part of our island hopping adventures. In Split, why not stay at the Marvie Hotel which combines convenience (close to the historic centre) and space - there is an outdoor swimming pool, indoor swimming pool and plenty of public areas; ideal for longer stays. It is a 90-120 minute journey from Split to Vis.

Vis, Dalmatia, Croatia

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

3rd August 2023



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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