Croatia Island Hopper

Trip Length 8 Days
Group Size 4–10
Activity level
Starting from
$4,199 for REI Members
$4,699 for non-members
Departures May 2021-Sep 2021

Explore the coastline of Croatia over eight days, enjoying beautiful beaches, islands and fishing villages on the sun-drenched Dalmatian Coast.

Adorned with sapphire waters and seaside cafes, Croatia is an ideal place for an adventure. The famously crystal-clear waters are a main attraction; perfect for swimming, stand up paddle boarding and island-hopping by catamaran. There’s plenty of time for leisure, too—lay in the sun, splash in the water and wander down narrow walkways that lead to charming outdoor cafés.

Beginning in historic Dubrovnik, take a guided tour of fascinating Old Town. Spend the following days exploring the idyllic Elaphiti Islands by catamaran. Take a short hike to the Placet Cliffs in Koločep, and visit car-free Lopud, well-known for its sandy beaches. In Šipan, enjoy one of the best family-owned restaurants in Croatia. Cycle the gentle pathways of the park in Mljet, then drink wine over stories about Homer’s hero Odysseus. Explore the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle in Korčula. In Hvar, 13th-century walls surround Gothic palaces and marble streets. As each day fades to night, glorious Adriatic sunsets provide a quiet moment to reflect on time well spent with fellow adventurers in magical Croatia.

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Trip Highlights

  • Discover medieval Dubrovnik—a UNESCO-listed seaside city
  • Explore islands on the Dalmatian Coast—Koločep, Lopud, Šipan, Korčula and Hvar
  • Swim, hike, kayak, stand up paddle board and bike at a leisurely pace
  • Island hop for three days by catamaran, sailing as the winds permit
  • Enjoy glorious Adriatic sunsets and authentic Croatian food and wines


This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. Hikes range from 2–3 miles over uneven terrain. Cycling ranges from 7–11 miles over flat to rolling terrain. Paddling (kayaking and/or SUP) ranges from 2–2.5 hours on routes that are suitable for beginners; however, participants should be comfortable in water and able to swim.

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle Boarding

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations as noted above; meals as noted in the itinerary; skilled bilingual guides; one group pick up at Dubrovnik airport and hotel on Day 1; Mljet Island National park entrance fee; all activity gear as necessary including sea kayaks, SUPs, and bikes; island ferries; guided tour of Old Town Dubrovnik; Korcula wine tasting.


Hotels, 7 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Dubrovnik and transfer to peaceful Zaton Bay.

Our trip begins in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Arrive at the Dubrovnik airport by 4pm transfer to our first night's lodging in Zaton Bay. Settle in and enjoy the seaside village of Zaton Bay before our group orientation at 6pm. Zaton is a picturesque village set on a deep bay that offers access to the bustle of Dubrovnik, while providing a quiet and traditional setting. We walk to dinner tonight at a local restaurant. Dinner included.

Day 2

Kayak in Zaton Bay and explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

We head out in our kayaks to explore the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic and swim in the warm sea. We kayak to a beachside restaurant for lunch before returning to Zaton Bay. Later this afternoon we depart for Dubrovnik, arriving in the late afternoon to allow time for a guided tour of its fascinating Old Town. One of the world's most beautiful and iconic fortified cities, Dubrovnik is a medieval port consisting of bastions, fortresses, bell towers, drawbridges, cathedrals and an endless, interesting maze of terracotta-roofed houses and shops. Our guide will share the rich history of the city while opening up some its hidden back doors. Dinner is on our own in Old Town. Breakfast and lunch included.

Kayaking: 2–2.5 hours (depending on the weather and water conditions)

Day 3

Sail to the Elaphiti Islands—hike, swim, and explore the islands.

This morning we board our catamaran, our main transportation for the next three days. We sail for approximately one hour before reaching the island of Koločep. We take a short hike (or swim) to the Placet Cliffs before continuing to the charming village of Donje Čelo where our catamaran will be waiting. The island is covered in thick pine forest which descends all the way to the crystal-clear blue sea. We hop back on our catamaran and make our way to the car-free island of Lopud. We walk along the seaside promenade and stop for an iced coffee or gelato. We continue sailing to Šipan Island and enjoy a walk around the village before dinner in one of the best family-owned restaurants in Croatia. Overnight in the little fishing village of Šipanska Luka. All meals included.

Hiking: 1.5 hours, 3 miles; Transfer time: 4 hours sailing (1 hour to Koločep; 1 hour to Lopud; 2 hours to Šipan). Note: Sailing is dependent on daily wind conditions. Otherwise the boat will move by motor

Day 4

Swimming and stand-up paddle boarding.

Our boat takes us to some of the best hidden spots for stand-up paddle boarding and swimming in the warm Adriatic Sea. After making our way over to the Pelješac Peninsula, we find ourselves in the quaint seaside village of Broce. We hop off our catamaran, have a traditional lunch, then make our way by foot or bike past the saltworks of Ston. Afterward we have time to walk along the walls of Ston and Mali Ston or relax in the medieval town square with a beer or coffee. The 12th-century wall is about 3,000 ft long—​it is the longest defensive wall in Europe and the second longest in the world after The Great Wall of China. Late this afternoon we sail back to Šipan Island. All meals included.

Walking: 1 hour, 2 miles; Optional Biking: 30 mins, 5 miles, flat terrain (e-bikes available upon request at time of booking); Transfer time: 3–4 hours sailing total.

Day 5

Bike in Mljet Island National Park and ferry to Korčula.

Our catamaran heads out early in order to catch a good wind to reach Mljet Island. Mljet is a heavily wooded island known for its wines, olive oil, goat cheeses as well as for stories about Homer's hero Odysseus. We cycle the gentle pathways of the park and visit two saltwater lakes thought to have healing properties, as well as a former Benedictine monastery built in the 12th century. We continue to the fishing village of Soline for a fresh fish barbecue and then return to the dock. We say goodbye to our captain and catamaran and jump on the ferry to Korčula Island. We check into our hotel in Korčula Old Town and walk to dinner. All meals included.

Biking: 1.5 hours; 11 miles, flat to rolling terrain (e-bikes available upon request at time of booking); Transfer time: 3.5 hours sailing (Šipan to Mljet) and 2 hours ferry (Mljet to Korčula)

Day 6

Wine tasting in Lumbarda and explore Old Town on your own.

Considered the "green island" of Dalmatia, Korčula is covered in a dense layer of pine trees. Its medieval Old Town is fascinating with numerous crosshatched alleys emanating outward from the single street that divides the village. Korčula is famous for its white wines, and we visit the small village of Lumbarda for wine tasting and lunch. In the afternoon we have time to relax in Korčula’s Old Town in an outdoor café with the locals. Dinner is on our own tonight; choose from many wonderful options in town. Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 7

Ferry to Hvar Island and explore Croatia's oldest town. Overnight in Trogir.

This morning we board the ferry to the island of Hvar. We visit Hvar town with its waterfront promenade, Gothic palaces and 13th-century walls. We make our way through Hvar's narrow streets, ascending stairs and climbing up to its 16th-century Spanish fortress. It's a magnificent viewpoint over Hvar and the Pakleni Islands. Later we ferry to Split and transfer to our hotel in Trogir. We enjoy time in this beautiful town set within medieval walls on a tiny island removed from the bustle of nearby Split. We walk the maze-like marble streets and enjoy a farewell dinner and a final sunset over the Adriatic.

Hiking: 1 hour; Transfers: 1.5 hours (ferry to Hvar), 1 hour (ferry to Split), and 1 hour (ferry to Trogir)

Day 8

Say farewell to the Dalmatian Coast.

Enjoy breakfast this morning at our hotel before departing to the Split airport on your own. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.