With its mountainous coastal backdrop, scattering of tawny islands and giddyingly translucent waters, the Croatian Adriatic offers one of the most compelling seascapes in Europe.
Indeed it’s something of an island-hopper’s paradise, with a veritable shoal of ferries providing the opportunity to stride up the gangplank, sprawl on the sun deck and soak up the maritime scenery.
And with a recent increase in the number of sea and air connections, there’s never been a better time to raise anchor.
Where you start largely depends on which airport you fly into. The mid-Dalmatian city of Split receives the largest number of incoming flights and is also the Adriatic Sea’s largest ferry port, serving the ever-popular islands of Šolta, Hvar, Brač, Korčula and Vis.
Dubrovnik is also a useful gateway thanks to its catamaran services to Mljet, Lastovo, Korčula and Hvar.
The two other entry points are the northern city of Rijeka, providing access to a varied group of islands in the Kvarner Gulf; and the north Dalmatian port of Zadar, with its own group of laid-back island getaways.
How to get around
Car ferries run by state company Jadrolinija serve the main islands, providing public transport for the locals as well as sustaining island tourism.
Faster and slightly more expensive than the ferries, passenger-only catamarans run by both Jadrolinija and Krilo Jet whizz across the water to a selection of destinations.
In summer 2015 a fleet of seaplanes run by European Coastal Airlines started flying from Pula, Rijeka and Split to Lošinj, Hvar, Korčula and Lastovo, adding significantly to the number of itineraries on offer.
When to go
It is possible to island-hop all year round, although sailings to particular islands might be limited to one a day in winter. Wait until the summer timetables come into effect (usually June–Sept) to take advantage of the full range of options.
Note that some routes (such as the Veli Lošinj-Zadar ferry or the Split-Hvar-Dubrovnik catamaran) only run in summer.
July and August can be very hot indeed – perfect for splashing around in the Adriatic but potentially exhausting if you are indulging in urban sightseeing, not to mention hiking or cycling….
Read more : roughguides.com