Did you know?
- Croatia has as many as 1,244 islands, islets, rocks and reefs, of which only 48 are inhabited;
- out of a total of 48 inhabited islands, you can find campsites on 17 of them.
Why is that so? The indentedness of the Croatian coast has led to the fact that some islands are very near and others quite remote and far from the mainland, which makes some very easy to reach while others are a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, camping on the Croatian islands is very popular.
Which island to choose?
Thanks to the excellent transport links, some Croatian islands are home to great campsites. Perfectly suited to the specific microclimate of the islands, in the shared symbiosis of the campsite and the island, some beautiful places have been created that, with their enchanting beauty, attract all those who desire the crystal clear sea, the unbelievably beautiful beaches, the scent of medicinal herbs, but also the dose of adventure and departure from daily routine.
No matter which island you choose for your next camping vacation, you will be rewarded with a unique and unforgettable experience on each one of them. On the Kvarner and North Dalmatian islands you can enjoy in larger and better equipped camps located mainly near major tourist destinations, while on the islands in central and southern Dalmatia you will find mostly smaller campsites, often isolated from civilization, situated right next to natural and cultural sites that will leave you breathless.
There are plentiful of campsites on Croatian islands. Whilst camping on islands often involves ferry crossing, this delay in journey can be worthwhile. Check here how to get to your favorite island destination.
Island of Brač
The island of Brač is situated in the Dalmatia-Split region and it can be reached by car ferry from Split (to Supetar) or from Makarska (to Sumartin). It is the third-largest Croatian island, best known for its Zlatni Rat beach (near the town of Bol) that often prominently features in Croatian holiday brochures. Brač offers accommodation in the following campsites:
Island of Čiovo
The island of Čiovo lies in the heart of Dalmatia, in the region of Dalmatia- Split and it is located only 3 km from the UNESCO protected medieval town of Trogir. Čiovo is connected to the mainland by two bridges. It is an ideal camping destination for visitors that want a combination of culture, sun and sea. The following campsites can be found on Čiovo:
Island of Cres
The island of Cres is situated in Kvarner Bay and along with the nearby island of Krk, which has the same surface, is the largest Croatian island. Cres is known for its rich nature and wildlife - Eurasian Griffon Vultures, birds with a wing span of 2,5 metres nest on the island. Cres can be reached by either driving from the mainland and across the island of Krk and then taking the car ferry from Valbiska to Merag or by taking the car ferry from Brestova in Istria to Porozina. Camping on Cres brings its visitors even closer to Cres' great nature. The following campsites are located on Cres:
Dugi otok (Long Island)
Dugi otok (Long Island) is located in the County of Zadar and justifies its name by the length of about 45 km and width between 1 and 4 km, with its highest peak, Vela Straža (338 m). It is an island of great diversity and contrast, and the largest of the North Dalmatian islands. It is known for its scenic park of nature Telašćica and the beautiful sandy beach Sakarun. There are 1500 inhabitants on the island living in twelve villages connected by the main road which offers a great view of the surrounding islands. It is well connected to the mainland by car ferries and fast passenger ships. The campsites on Dugi otok are:
Island of Hvar
Located in the Dalmatia-Split region, between the islands of Brač and Korčula, Hvar is known as the sunniest island in Croatia. It is popular among the jet-set and many yachts stop over in its port. Hvar can be reached by ferry from Split towards Stari Grad, or from Drvenik to Sućuraj (eastern part of the island). Campsites on Hvar are as follows:
Mini-camping Lili (Jelsa)
Mini-camping Mala Milna (Hvar Town)
Camping Mlaska (Sućuraj)
Island of Korčula
The island of Korčula is situated in the Dalmatia-Dubrovnik region, west of the Pelješac peninsula and south of Hvar island. It is one of the most popular Croatian islands and it has a lot to offer: a lovely old town with preserved old fortress walls, some stunning quiet bays and the sandy Lumbarda beach. Korčula can be reached by car ferry from Split (to Vela Luka) and Orebić (to the town of Korčula), or from Dubrovnik (to the town of Korčula) with a high-speed passenger boat. The following are the campsites on Korčula:
Camping Port 9
Mini-camping Potirna (Blato)
Mini-camping Jurjević (Lumbarda)
Mini-camping Mala Glavica (Lumbarda)
Mini-camping Mindel (Vela Luka)
Mini-camping Oskorušica (Oskorušica)
Mini-camping Palma (Žrnovo)
Mini-camping Uvala Račišće (Lumbarda)
Mini-camping Tri žala (Žrnovo)
Mini-camping Vela Postrana (Lumbarda)
Mini-camping Vrbovica (Žrnovo)
Mini-camping Mala Grščica (Blato)
Mini-camping Ravno (Blato)
Island of Krk
The island of Krk is situated in Kvarner Bay and it is connected with the mainland by a two-arch concrete bridge that is over 1km long. When the bridge was built (1980) it was the largest concrete arch bridge in the world. Known as the largest Croatian island, only recently it was discovered that the neighboring Cres island has exactly the same surface. Popular holiday spots include the ancient walled City of Krk, the town of Baška with its 1,8km long pebble beach, and the small towns of Malinska, Punat, Vrbnik and Njivice. Krk offers accommodation in the following campsites:
Island of Lastovo
Lastovo island is located in the Dalmatia-Dubrovnik region, further away from the mainland and almost a quarter of the way into the Adriatic sea towards Italy. There are 46 islets and cliffs that surround Lastovo while its archipelago was also declared a Nature Park in 2006. The island is noted for its 15th- and 16th-century architecture and untouched nature. Lastovo can be reached by car ferry from Split that goes via Vela Luka (Korčula) to Ubli (Lastovo) or from Dubrovnik with a high-speed passenger boat. The car ferry journey lasts over 4 hours. The campsites on Lastovo are the following:
Mini-camping Skriveni (Lastovo)
Island of Lošinj
The island of Lošinj is located in the Kvarner Bay, south of Cres island, with whom it is connected by a small bridge in the town of Osor. Lošinj is known as the island of vitality because of its exceptional climate characteristics that heal respiratory problems and alergies. Lošinj can be reached by taking a car ferry to Cres island and then driving to the southern part of Cres over the bridge to Lošinj. Car ferries to Cres depart from either Krk Island (Valbiska-Merag) or Istria (Brestova-Porozina). Campsites on Lošinj are the following:
Island of Mljet
Situated in Dalmatia-Dubrovnik region, Mljet is the most south-easterly of all larger Croatian islands. It is also the most wooded - the island is covered with a thick forest and the western part of the island has been proclaimed a National Park in 1960. Mljet's port of Sobra can be reached by car ferry from Prapratno (45 min) while the towns of Pomena, Polače and Sobra are connected to the mainland with high-speed passenger boats. Campsites on Mljet are the following:
Mini-camping Marina (Babino Polje)
Camping Mungos (Babino Polje)
Mini-camping Lovor (Babino Polje)
Island of Murter
The island of Murter is located just north of Šibenik. Murter is another Croatian island that is connected to the mainland with a bridge - the distance is only 20 metres, making the island extremely easy to reach. It is worth noting that the draw-bridge opens at a certain time of the day to let boats pass, therefore it is wise to enquire on the draw-bridge opening schedule. Murter is well known for its beautiful sandy and pebble beaches. Campsites on Murter are the following:
Island of Obonjan
Located in the Šibenik archipelago, in Dalmatia, about 20 minutes by speedboat from the mainland, the island of Obonjan is unique in many ways. This uninhabited island with an area of 136 hectares is surrounded by beaches, and thanks to the non-existent traffic of motor vehicles, peace and quiet prevail on the island, which additionally makes it an oasis for a perfect vacation. The underwater area around the island is very attractive for diving, and since there are no inhabited places nearby, this location is perfect for stargazing. There is a glamping resort on the island with all the accompanying facilities.
Island of Pag
Situated partly in the Dalmatia-Zadar region, between Zadar and the edge of the Kvarner Bay, it is surprising how green Pag's western side is considering the bare rocks that can be seen when looking at Pag from the mainland. Pag Island is known for its Pag (Paški) cheese, Pag lace and more recently, by the 24-hour party beach Zrće - the Croatian version of Ibiza. Pag can be reached by car ferry from Prizna (to Žigljen) or by crossing the Pag bridge when driving north from Zadar. Pag's campsites are the following:
Island of Pašman
The island of Pašman is located in the Dalmatia-Zadar region, just south of Zadar. It is known as the island with the cleanest sea in the Adriatic, owing to constant current changes. The north-eastern coast of the island is gentle and sandy whilst the south is rocky. Pašman is connected by bridge to its northen neighbour, the island of Ugljan. Pašman can be reached by car ferry from either Biograd (to Tkon) or by taking a car ferry from Zadar to Preko on Island of Ugljan, and then driving south over the bridge to Pašman. Campsites on the Island of Pašman are:
Island of Rab
Rab is an island in the Kvarner region of Croatia, located in the south eastern part of Kvarner Bay. It is well known for its sandy beaches and in the area of Lopar there is 22 of them while three are dedicated to naturists. Rab has a long naturist tradition - the very first naturist beach on the Adriatic was opened on the island in 1934 and in August 1936 the English King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson were allowed to take a naked swim in the bay of Kandarola. Rab can be reached by car ferry from Stinica to Mišnjak or by driving from the mainland over the Krk bridge to Krk Island and then taking a car ferry from Valbiska to Lopar. Campsites on the island of Rab are:
Island of Šolta
The island of Šolta is located west of Brač Island, in the Dalmatia-Split region of Croatia. The island is 19km long and 5km wide, while in its interior there is a few typical Dalmatian island villages that are worth exploring. If you desire a quiet and relaxing holiday then Šolta is the perfect choice. The largest town on the island is Stomorska where you can find restaurants and cafes. Šolta Island can be reached by car ferry from Split to Rogač. Campsites on Šolta are:
Mini-camping Mido (Stomorska)
Island of Ugljan
Situated between the city of Zadar on the east and Dugi Otok on the west, the island of Ugljan belongs to the Dalmatia-Zadar region of Croatia. It is often called "the green island" since most of Ugljan is covered by forests and other mediterranean vegetation. Ugljan has an excellent car ferry connections with Zadar from the town of Preko - therefore ideal for visitors wanting to explore the city of Zadar, but still enjoy the peace and quiet of an island holiday. On its south side, Ugljan is connected by a bridge to the island of Pašman, allowing for easy exploration of both islands. The following campsites can be found on the island of Ugljan:
Mini-camping Mekelenić (Ugljan)
Mini-camping Porat (Sušica)
Mini-camping Stipanić (Ugljan)
Mini-camping Tomas (Sušica)
Island of Vir
The Island of Vir belongs to the Dalmatia-Zadar region and it is separated from the mainland by a narrow strip of sea only 3 metres deep. There are some nice beaches on the eastern part of the island, which is also partly covered by pine trees. Vir is the perfect starting point from which to explore the nearby national parks of Velebit/Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Kornati and Krka falls. The city of Zadar is only 26km away while the Island of Vir can be reached across a bridge. The following campsites can be found on the island of Vir:
Mini-camping Luka (Vir)
Camping Matea (Vir)
Mini-camping Vir (Vir)
Camping Sapavac (Vir)
What should you not miss?
Besides enjoying in the campsites, do not miss to visit some of the most beautiful natural and cultural phenomena on the Croatian islands: Mljet National Park, Zlatni rat beach on the island of Brač, Lastovo Nature Park with the highest lighthouse on the Adriatic, Telašćica Nature Park and Sakarun Beach on the island of Dugi otok, the highest island peak in Croatia - Vidova Gora on the island of Brač, the vineyards on the island of Hvar, under UNESCO patronage, Geopark Lopar on the island of Rab, Lunj olive groves on the island of Pag, Griffon Vulture Visitor and Recovery Center in Beli on the island of Cres, Pag saltworks, Old town of Korčula and many more.
How to reach the islands?
Out of the 17 mentioned islands where you can find campsites, 5 of them are connected to the mainland by bridge, while the other 12 islands can be reached by ferry.
Croatian ferry companies will do their best to make your ferry ride nothing less than a superb adventure and a perfect introduction to what lies ahead:
- Jadrolinija is the biggest ferry company in Croatia and, thanks to numerous local lines, it will easily, safely and quickly connect you to some of the many islands and their campsites;
- Rapska plovidba, a ferry company connecting the island of Rab with the mainland, on the Jablanac-Mišnjak ferry line.
You can find a list of all ferry lines, prices and conditions on the official website of Jadrolinija and Rapska plovidba. Tickets for individual lines can also be purchased online!
Depending on your preferences, opportunities and free time, come in search of your island paradise!
Photo: Hrvoje Serdar, CNTB