10 Most Affordable Croatian Islands To Visit This Year

Islands that are connected to the mainland by a bridge might seem like they’d be cheaper because it’s easier to get things there, but that’s not always how it works. 

Croatia has some surprisingly cheap islands, even if they’re not connected by a bridge.

I’m going to show you where you can have a great island experience without costing you an arm and a leg. So, if you’re planning a trip to Croatia and want to save some money, this is the info you need.


Korcula is the most affordable Croatian island, but it won’t be for long as it has received a significant tourist boost after the construction of the Peljesac Bridge. That said, hurry up if you want to take a vacation on a budget on this island.

Often referred to as “Little Dubrovnik”, Korcula is known for being one of the greenest islands in the region, with dense pine forests that captivated the Ancient Greeks, leading them to name it Melaina Korkyra (Black Corfu). The island’s north-facing slopes are dotted with vineyards and olive groves, continuing a tradition of agricultural livelihood. Notably, Korčula is famous for producing two popular Croatian white wines, Posip and Grk.

The main towns on the island are Korčula, Blato, and Vela Luka, with several coastal villages like Brna, Racisce, and Lumbarda. Korcula town, often compared to a mini Dubrovnik, is known for its medieval fortified walls and towers.

It’s also the rumored birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo, and you can visit what is believed to be his house of birth. The island has a reputation for its unique cultural experiences, such as the Moreška Sword Dance, a traditional folk drama/dance, performed only in Korčula.

For those who love exploring nature, the island offers numerous secluded pebble beaches and bays, and the opportunity to explore a small uninhabited archipelago of sixteen islets by boat, water taxi, or kayak. The coastline is rocky and indented, providing breathtaking hilltop views.

Getting to Korcula is easy, with ferries connecting the town of Korcula with Orebic on the Peljesac peninsula, and another line connecting Vela Luka with Split and the island of Lastovo. There are also fast passenger catamarans connecting these ports with Split, Dubrovnik, and the islands of Hvar, Lastovo, and Mljet. Once on the island, the best way to get around is by walking, cycling, or using public transport.


As a kid, I always dreamed of visiting Vis Island. On the map, it looked so remote, so small, disconnected from everything, and it was ‘forbidden.’ It was a military base with caves for military ships, something every kid would like to see. Today, it is a tourist island just like any other, and while most people in my circle have visited it and were astonished by how affordable it was, I still haven’t. It’s a shame, but I’m planning to change that this summer.

There are many great beaches on the island, and Stiniva Beach is often cited as one of the best in Croatia and even Europe. However, accessing Stiniva Beach involves a challenging hike, so it’s not recommended for those with mobility issues. 

There are alternatives like boat tours that allow you to dock near the beach and swim to shore. Other notable beaches include Grandovac Beach, known for its clear blue waters and pebbly shore, and Srebna Beach, which is more isolated but stunningly beautiful.

As I said, Vis also has a unique military history. It was used as a military base and was closed to outsiders until 1991. Today, you can explore this past through guided tours of the military tunnels, which provide insight into the island’s strategic significance during various historical periods. The submarine tunnel, part of the military bases around the island, is a famous spot where sailboats often venture for novelty.

For those interested in natural beauty, Budikovac Island, known as the Blue Lagoon of Croatia, is a great spot for swimming and taking drone shots. For the best sunset views, head to Hum Mountain, the highest point on the island to see the panoramic view of the town of Komiža.


Have you ever been to a place where cars are completely banned? That’s exactly what you’ll experience on Silba Island, near Zadar. This unique destination is known for its car-free environment, making it a peaceful retreat for visitors. 

Here, you can stroll along quiet paths, enjoy the local art and homemade products, and unwind on lovely beaches without the typical sounds of vehicles. It’s a rare chance to experience a slower pace of life, where walking and biking are the main ways to get around.

If you’re looking for a quiet getaway and a day trip from Zadar, Silba Island is worth considering.


Pag Island is probably the cheapest island in the Zadar region. One of the most memorable experiences on Pag is crossing the bridge from the mainland, especially when there’s a strong wind blowing from the Velebit mountains. This wind, known as ‘bura,’ can be so powerful that the bridge is often closed for safety reasons.

Pag is a long, narrow island with a somewhat barren, almost lunar landscape, lacking in typical island vegetation. This unique topography makes it an attractive spot for film locations, with productions like Ridley Scott’s “The Terror” and the Netflix comedy “DJ Ibiza” having been filmed here.

The island has a deep connection with salt production, which has been central to its economy since ancient times. The Pag saltworks are an important part of the island’s history and continue to be an important Croatian salt producer. 

Insider tip: today all salt as a raw material is imported from Egypt and only processed here.

Another highlight of Pag is its culinary culture, particularly the famous Paški sir cheese. Made from the milk of sheep that graze on the island’s salty pastures, this cheese is renowned for its distinct flavor and has been listed as one of the top cheese destinations in Europe. The island’s lace-making tradition is also notable. Originating in the 15th century, Pag lace is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The town of Pag, the largest settlement on the island, is a must-visit. It’s a typical medieval town with a rich history, dating back to its founding in the 15th century. Here, you can explore historical landmarks, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique culture.


Famous for the Zlatni Rat beach, Brac is a beautiful and budget-friendly island. Known for its striking white building stone, which has been used in structures as far-reaching as Diocletian’s Palace in Split.

Brac Island is the longest and most elevated island in central Dalmatia. Despite its proximity to Split, it is less touristed compared to the islands of Hvar and Korcula. This allows for a more authentic glimpse into island life, especially in its interior regions. The island is relatively dry, with lovely spots along its rocky shores, making it great for scuba diving, particularly from Lucice Bay.

The island’s highest peak, Vidova Gora, offers stunning views and is the highest peak on the Adriatic islands. The south side of the island is more tourist-oriented, with more hotels and facilities, and gentler beaches. In contrast, the north side has a more local feel, with family-run B&Bs and apartment rentals, reflecting its history in industries like stone masonry and fishing.

Bol, the largest tourist center on the island located on the south side, is home to the famous Zlatni Rat beach, known as one of the most beautiful and photographed beaches in Croatia. The beach is unique because its shape and length vary depending on the tide, current, and wind. 

Other notable towns and villages on Brac include Supetar, the main entry point and administrative center of the island; Sumartin, a quiet fishing village, Povlja, Pucisca, famous for its stone masonry school; Postira, a fishing village with quality local seafood; and Milna.

Brac is also known for its olive oil, derived from a rare variety of olive called buhavica, with over half a million trees on the island. Olive cultivation on Brac dates back to the Venetian years. 


A short ferry ride from Split, Solta is another budget-friendly island to visit. This small, hilly island is known for its steep shores, especially on the southern side, and deep bays. With its proximity to Split, Solta is often considered a suburb of this Adriatic metropolis. Despite its small size, the island is rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it a charming destination for visitors.

Solta’s history dates back to ancient times. It was known to the Greeks as Olyntha and was a popular summer getaway for Roman citizens, with even the Roman Emperor Diocletian having a residence near Necujam village. Today, Solta’s small native population is augmented by Split locals who have built second homes on the island.

The island is particularly famous for its honey production, thanks to the abundance of macchia, herbs, and shrubs ideal for beekeeping. Besides honey, Solta is also known for its olive oil and red wine, especially the Dobricic variety.

Tourism in Solta is developing but remains less visited compared to Croatia’s main islands.

Major villages on Solta include Rogac, the dock for all ferries from Split; Grohote, a charming stone village and the largest settlement on the island; Necujam, popular for its wide bay and beach; and Maslinica, which has a fisherman’s village vibe, great beaches, and the island’s best hotel.

For accommodations, in Solta you will find a range of options, from luxurious villas to cozy guesthouses and hotels. One standout is the Heritage Hotel Martinis Marchi in Maslinica, housed in a beautifully restored 18th-century castle.

There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding.


The largest island in the Adriatic Sea is located near Rijeka in the Bay of Kvarner, Krk is easily accessible as it is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and Rijeka International Airport is located on the island.

The town of Krk, often referred to as the island’s capital, is located on the southwest coast and has a population of about 6,000. Malinska, on the northwestern part of the island, is a popular tourist town with around 3,000 inhabitants. 

Other notable towns include Njivice, a small tourist settlement; Omisalj, near the mainland; Vrbnik, known for its spectacular view from the sea; Punat, a well-known nautical center with a large marina; and Baska, probably the most well-known tourist destination on the island, situated at the south end.

For those interested in active holidays, Krk provides a range of sports activities. Visitors can enjoy tennis, beach volleyball, mini-golf, water skiing, jet skiing, parachuting, and more. There are also bike and scooter rentals, numerous hiking trails, diving schools, and beautiful diving locations on the island. 

Also, there are various excursions available, including visits to the Biserujke cave, bathing in healing mud in Soline, and trips to smaller nearby islands.


As part of a nature park, Lastovo is a haven for nature lovers with reasonably priced accommodation.

​​The island is one of Croatia’s most forested places, and it’s not as crowded with tourists as other islands.

Only about 800 people live in Lastovo, and the biggest village is also named Lastovo. This village is special because it’s built inland, not by the sea, and it’s known for its old buildings. Other places on the island include Pasadur, where you can find the only hotel on the island, and Zaklopatica, which has a great view of the nearby island of Korcula.

If you like being outdoors, Lastovo is great for hiking, cycling, and diving. The island doesn’t have any dangerous animals, so it’s safe to explore. Plus, it’s said that Lastovo has some of the best night skies for stargazing in Europe.

For staying on the island, besides the hotel in Pasadur, you can find places to rent, like apartments. The food here is mostly fresh seafood, and there are a few places to eat.

Getting to Lastovo takes a bit of time. You have to take a ferry or catamaran from Split, and it can take 3 to 5 hours to get there. But this long trip means the island has kept its peaceful and natural feel.


Back in the day, my friend used to spend his summers in Murter, and now I get why – it’s dirt-cheap. This island near Šibenik is easy to reach since it’s connected to the mainland by a bridge. 

Murter has a lot of character with its small, charming villages. Betina, for instance, is famous for building traditional wooden boats, and Jezera is well-known for being a top fishing spot.

The island is just a short boat ride away from the Kornati National Park, so it’s a great base if you want to explore those islands. On Murter itself, there are plenty of beaches like Slanica and Podvrske, which are great for a swim or just relaxing by the water.

When it comes to staying there, you’ve got lots of choices, from hotels to apartments, many with great views of the sea. The food is typically what you’d find in the Dalmatian region – lots of fresh seafood.

There’s more to do than just hang out at the beach. You can go hiking, biking, or try out some water sports. In the summer, the island has a lively atmosphere with bars and events where you can hang out with the locals.


A part of Croatia’s Kvarner Bay region holds the title of being the longest island in the Croatian Adriatic Sea. The island has a diverse landscape; the northern part is rocky and hilly, while the southern area, closer to the island of Losinj, is lower and covered with pine and Mediterranean vegetation, giving it a wild feel.

Cres Town, the administrative center and main port of the island is surrounded by olive groves. The town’s 2,000-year-old history is evident in its architecture, with narrow streets lined with cafes and old buildings, including the Church of Our Lady of Snow and the Venetian Tower.

Other notable places on Cres include Martinšćica, a family-friendly tourist town; Valun, known for the 11th-century Valun Tablet that marks the coexistence of Roman and Croatian families; and Lubenice, perched on a cliff 382 meters above sea level. Beli, one of the oldest villages, is home to a griffon vulture sanctuary, and Osor, situated in the south, is rich in historical remnants.

Accommodation options on Cres are varied, with a mix of hotels and private apartments available. Notable hotels include the 3-star Hotel Kimen in Cres Town and the 3-star Hotel Zlatni Lav in Martinšćica.

Cres Island is also a great place for nature lovers. It has colonies of the Eurasian Griffon Vulture near Beli, to the north of the island, and the island’s conservation efforts for these birds are notable. The island’s natural beauty is complemented by its beaches, many of which are pebbly and hidden, perfect for a secluded and peaceful experience.

To reach Cres, you can take a car ferry from Brestova on the Istria peninsula to Porozina on Cres, or from Valbiska on the island of Krk to Merag on Cres. There’s also a catamaran line that connects Cres with Rijeka, Martinscica, Unije, Susak, Ilovik, and Mali Losinj.