Want to experience the best of Šibenik’s islands? Then I reckon an island hopping trip from Šibenik is just the thing for you.
Whether you’ve only got a couple of days or a couple of weeks, it’s well worth taking the time to explore a few islands and discover the unique character of each.
The main island group which is best suited for touring from Sibenik include Prvic, Kaprije, Zirje, Obonjan, Zlarin and Krapanj. The archipelago consists of about 200 plus islands and islets stretching over the area of about 160 square kilometres. Just a few of them are inhabited and are also interconnected by local ferry boats.
Here are some itinerary suggestions for local island hopping by car or as foot passenger – check out some nice destinations which you could visit as part of your holiday:
Itineraries With Car:
From Sibenik, there is only one car ferry that serves the nearby islands, connecting Sibenik with Zlarin, Kaprije and Zirje. Out of the season, this ferry operates just once a day while in the high season it runs several times a day. The islands that you can visit by car are just two: Kaprije and Zirje. Other local islands are car-free zones. On the below map you can see all ferry lines that are connecting these islands.
Note: If you are arriving by car in Sibenik, the good option is to safely park your car there and island hop as a foot passenger. Sibenik parking map and info is here.
Itineraries Without Car (Foot passengers only)
From Šibenik and Vodice, as a foot passenger, you can get to Zlarin, Kaprije, Zirje and Prvic islands all year round by local ferry boats that are interconnecting all of these islands. The boats are sailing several times a day so you can choose to either visit the islands for a day trip or stay on any of them for a day or two. The journey times are between 30 minutes and 1 1/2 hour, depending on which island you choose to visit.
To visit Krapanj, take a 20 minutes bus ride from Sibenik to Brodarica (in operation about 12 times a day, see timetables here ) and get into a small boat that runs to Krapanj island. The boat is in operation all day long, the journey lasts just 10 minutes and the fare is 6 kuna (about 0.8 Euro per person). Alternatively, take a water taxi from any point along the coast to visit this island – see a video of Brodarica to Krapanj water taxi here.
To extend your island hopping experience further North, you can choose to get a bus from Vodice to Pakostane and follow the ferry boat routes from there via Vrgada island, Biograd. Pasman and Ugljan island all to way to Zadar and beyond (see below map) and check this article. Likewise, taking a bus or driving to Trogir, you can join ferry routes from there to Split (check the guide to Split) and further south all the way from Split to Hvar or Dubrovnik. You can also do some short island hopping as a part of your day trip from Split.
For all boats and ferry timetables check croatiaferries.com site here
Sibenik Island Hopping Map – Car ferries and Foot passenger ferry routes:
On the above map of Sibenik Archipelago, you can see three main public transport routes – Brodarica to Krapanj, Sibenik to Zlarin, Kaprije and Zirje and Sibenik to Prvic, Vodice, Kaprije and Zirje island. Click to map to see the large version, which you can download for private use if you wish.
Things to do and see on the islands
- Zlarin Island – known for its tradition of coral harvesting, pines trees, nice beaches and strong fishermen community. A car-free island, great for any watersport in peace and quiet.
- Kaprije Island – isolation and beautiful, untouched nature. If you are visiting Kaprije, make sure to visit also the islet of Baljenac located along the northern coast of Kaprije, that is dominated by the kilometres of drystone walls. Baljenac features over 23 kilometres of drywall that are dividing vineyards, olive and figs growes. This unique stone lace, web or maze is a truly attractive thing to see and shouldn’t be missed if you are in the area. ( Note – tourist call this island “Fingerprint Island” due to its resemblance of a fingerprint’s ridges and grooves.)
- Krapanj Island – well known for its centuries-old industry of sea sponge harvesting. It is the lowest and smallest inhabited island in the archipelago with an altitude of just about 1,25 meter above the sea level. Another car-free paradise.
- Prvic Island – another car-free island (see video) with a lovely old village, church and waterfront pier featuring numerous boats and sailing boats dotted along the small harbour. A couple of relaxed cafe/restaurants facing the sea offering the place to sit and watch the slow world go by.
- Zirje Island – the remotest of all inhabited islands in the archipelago, situated on 90 minutes ferry sail from Sibenik. Well known for its fishing tradition and therefore ideal for someone who would like to indulge in a fish menu. Good choice for scuba diving and snorkeling too.
Where to stay
Here is some suggestion for nice places to stay on the islands:
- Zirje apartment in Koromašna bay on Žirje island, the unique location right on the beach.
- Kaprije beach House – a comfortable cottage in the heart of Kaprije island.
- Zlarin Cottage – an old cottage in the very centre of Zlarin village