Croatian Island Hopping
Explore the Croatian islands on a great island-hopping swimming holiday in the Adriatic sea. Croatia's Dalmatian coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty and boasts some of the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean. We are based on the small car-free island of Krapanj, a unique setting in the Sibenik archipelago. The island has one of the lowest populations in the Adriatic sea and it offers an excellent venue for a relaxing weekly retreat! The famous Kornati and Krka National Parks are nearby, providing a fantastic location for our sea swimming adventures.
- Duration: 7 Days (6 Nights)
- Tour Type: Island Hopping and Coastal Sea Swimming
- Average Daily Swim: 4-5 km
- Accommodation: 4* Hotel on the Island
- Escort: One Large Boat, Two Dinghies, Kayaks
- Extra: Kayaks available for Non Swimmers or Partners
- Award winning trip running since year 2011
This trip has something for everyone. We hop from island to island, swim along the coasts of uninhabited islands, explore historical sites and experience the relaxed island lifestyle of Dalmatia!
This tour is suitable for all levels of swimmer, with three separate escorts for the safety and enjoyment of all guests. It is expected that you can swim 2+ kms per each swim per our itinerary. Non-swimmers can use our kayaks or SUP (Stand up paddle board) and follow their friends or partners while they swim.
– Swim around uninhabited islands and enjoy the laid back environment
– Explore the islands of the Sibenik archipelago and the surrounding beautiful turquoise sea
– Visit and walk on Zlarin, Kaprije, Krapanj, Prvic islands
– Spend a week on a car-free Krapanj island
– Experience the Dalmatian Croatian cuisine and local specialities
– Kayak alongside swimmers if you wish and discover the Dalmatian islands
– Stay at a high-quaility 4-star Hotel Spongiola
– Krapanj island is featured amongst 10 best islands in Croatia
Included in the price
Fully guided tour with comprehensive safety escort (3 boats, 2 swimming guides, 1 local boat pilot), swim coaching, technique & stroke analysis, 6 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, and four lunches. Each guest receives a silicone swim hat and swimming towel. A limited number of fins and wetsuits and other swimming gear (including kayak and Sup) will be available to use free of charge.
Travel to and from the start of the tour, evening meals, one lunch, and drinks. Single room supplement: from £100 Gbp.
Local Operational Policy
All our trips ensure that in the team of guides, there is at least one team member who has in-depth experience and knowledge of the local waters, the main swimming routes and the alternatives as well as a fluent local language speaker.
PDF: Trip Notes – Swimming Holiday Croatian Islands
KAYAK and SUP board are available on our swimming trips to use
Video clips from our past trips:
We also operate a 5-day short swimming holiday in Southern Dalmatia on Korcula Island.
Hotel Spongiola is a beautiful, award-winning 4-star property located right on the beach on Krapanj island in Northern Dalmatia (near the town of Sibenik, Croatia). Spongiola rooms have air-conditioning and free internet access while most have a view of the sea. The hotel boasts an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub, as well as a fitness centre for those guests who still have the energy to spare at the end of the day! The hotel also has its own diving centre with high-quality diving equipment available. Hotel Spongiola was ranked amongst the top 10 boutique hotels in Croatia. Strel Swimming has been working with Hotel Spongiola since 2010.
Hotel Spongiola, Krapanj Island, Croatia
Trip Advisor Reviews, Hotel Spongiola, Croatia
High-quality rooms are twin-share or double with en-suite facilities. Double rooms for Single use are available. The hotel also has limited suites available and this can be booked extra with the hotel directly. Please specify your preferences (including any other guests you would like to share with) at the time of booking.
Hotel Spongiola Photos:
The picturesque island of Krapanj has the lowest number of inhabitants of any island in the Adriatic Sea. It lies only 400 m from the mainland (5 min boat ride) and is completely car-traffic free. Traditionally its inhabitants were fishermen and sponge harvesters, which is how the hotel got its name. The island´s location provides a perfect spot for guests to relax and unwind, and its proximity to the mainland is ideal for those who wish to explore further afield in the evenings.
Krapanj island is featured amongst 10 best islands in Croatia
Extended stay on Krapanj island
If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the tour, all Strel Swimming guests receive a discounted rate. Please book directly with the hotel, quoting Strel Swimming. Hotel contact info: www.spongiola.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +385 22 348 900
The hotel has a secure car park for those arriving by car or motorcycle. It is free of charge for hotel guests. Please contact the hotel on your arrival and they will show you where to leave your car.
Ferry to the island
A free ferry boat from Brodarica (mainland) to Krapanj island is provided by the hotel. Please call the hotel reception at +385 22 348 900 on your arrival to send their boat across.
Accommodation in transit
If you require accommodation before or after our trip, we suggest using booking.com or Airbnb for your stay.
Primosten (40 km from Split airport and 20 km from Krapanj island):
www.restaurant-kamenar.com/en, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +385(0)22 570 889, +385 (0)98 336 246
Zadar: Hotel Mediteran: www.hotelmediteran-zd.hr,
email@example.com, Ph: +385 23 337 500
Zadar: Hotel Kolovare: www.hotel-kolovare.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Ph: +385 23 211 017
Day 1: 18.30 hotel lobby meeting for tour briefing.
Day 2: Morning and afternoon swim around Zlarin island. Afternoon filming for stroke analysis.
Day 3: Morning swim along Tijat, afternoon swim along Prvic island.
Day 4: Morning crossing between islands (Drvenik-Oblik), hike to the Bedem wall and afternoon swim along Ostrica peninsula. Evening out to Sibenik town.
Day 5: Morning Krbela island loop swim. Afternoon swim from Sepurine village.
Day 6: Morning swim along Zmajan (Dragon) island. Explore Kaprije island followed by the afternoon swim around on Kaprije.
Day 7: Swim around Krapanj island. The trip finishes around 10 am.
Meet at Krapanj island at 18.30 for the pre-trip briefing. You will meet your guides and other guests on the trip.
Following breakfast at the hotel, we depart by boat for a day of swimming and exploring. Our first swim begins on the western side of Zlarin island and we swim for about 2km heading northwards. We drive to Zlarin harbour for lunch and a little break off the boat. Zlarin is the island of corals and is well known for its tradition of coral diving. You have a chance to visit a coral museum or walk around and explore the scenic port and village.
The early afternoon is dedicated to stroke improvement, where we will film your stroke before we do the afternoon swim along the eastern side of Zlarin going southwards. Boat ride back to our base at Krapanj island. Before dinner, our swim guides will analyse the video footage of your stroke (if you want!) and offer you tips on how to improve your technique.
Today we travel to Tijat and Prvic islands. Our morning swim starts at Tijascica bay and we swim for about 2.5 km along the eastern side of Tijat. Boat ride to Prvic for a lunch break. Prvic offers a great stop for a little stroll around many beautiful stone houses. There is also the Memorial Centre of Faust Vrančić who was one of the famous and important Croatian inventors. He is mostly associated with the invention and use of the first parachute. Our afternoon swim takes us along the other side of Prvic from Sepurine towards Zlarin. This area is shallower and you can often spot several colourful sea urchins, clams, shells, starfish and other beautiful creatures on the sea bottom. Drive back to Krapanj.
Today is our real island hopping day. We start the morning 2.5 km crossing swim between islands Drvenik – Rakitan – Oblik. On this swim you will experience how to sight properly to reach a finish point. We swim in groups and you can see others around. We base ourselves for lunch in the Grebastica bay which is a good spot for our afternoon hike along the ruins of the 15th century Wall of Ostrica. The Turks started raiding this area as early as a late 15th century and the people of Grebastica could afford a construction of an impressive wall that would protect them from the Turks. It is about 10 metres (about 30 ft) high and about 1 metre (about 2 ft) wide running across the entire narrow neck of Ostrica peninsula. Great views await us at the top.
We do an afternoon 2km swim along the northern side of Ostrica peninsula which is usually sheltered from any outside wind. The smell of pine trees and sounds of local birds make it even more interesting along the way. Return back to our base. On this day we usually go out for an evening meal to Sibenik town. We explore the impressive old town architecture followed by a dinner.
Today we start with a beautiful swim on Krbela, a quiet and peaceful island near to our base. We like to swim around, giving us a big loop to take in all angles of this island gem. Following the swim, we will drive to Sepurine and enjoy the peacefulness of this part of the island. We have lunch and then take a short walk across the island to Sepurine town to enjoy different scenery and perhaps visit one of the small cafes for coffee and ice cream. The afternoon swim will be in beautiful turquoise waters from Sepurine down towards the end of the island.
Today we return to the open sea and take a longer boat ride out towards the edge of the archipelago. For our morning swim we visit Zmajan (Dragon) island and swim in and out of a large, beautiful bay. We continue with our boat to Kaprije island for lunch and a little hike over the stunning village of Kaprije. The views on top of the hill back on Sibenik archipelago are impressive. For those who like a great coffee or ice cream, Kaprije offers a great choice!
On the way back in the afternoon we swim along Kaprije and enjoy the crystal clear water in shallow bays. Boat trip back to Krapanj island. This evening, we usually get together for a farewell dinner at the hotel.
We conclude this amazing Croatian islands adventure by swimming around our Krapanj island base. The entire swim is 3.4 km, but you can skip part of it if you wish. It is a wonderful swim to finish the trip! The trip finishes around 10am.
Please note that our itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and sea conditions. Our guides and boat captain will check the daily weather forecasts and will change the swims around to ensure that you have the best swimming conditions available.
Google Map of the Area with Swimming and Hiking Routes
|Zlarin South West||2.3 km|
|Zlarin North East||2.4 km|
|Tijat East||2.5 km|
|Sepurine – Prvic||2.2 km|
|Drvenik – Oblik Crossing||2.6 km|
|Grebastica peninsula||2.4 km|
|Krbela island||2.2 km|
|Zlarin South Bays||2.5 km|
|Kaprije South East||2.5 km|
|Zmajan South West||2.4 km|
|Around Krapanj Island||3.4 km|
|Month||Water Temp.(°C/F)||Air Temp.(°C/F)|
|June||23 / 73||24 / 75|
|July||25 / 75||29 / 84|
|August||26 / 77-78||32 / 90|
|September||24 / 75||28 / 82|
|October||21 / 70||24 / 75|
Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims you want and relax on the boat.
In addition to normal items, we recommend the following:
at least 2 swimming costumes, at least 2 pairs of swimming goggles (one clear and one tinted recommended), sweater/fleece, towel, sun hat, small daypack, waterproof sun cream and jacket, walking shoes and sandals or aqua shoes. We provide swim hats for all guests.
We have a range of swimming equipment including wetsuits, fins and rash vests available on each location. We cannot guarantee all sizes, so please bear this in mind and bring your own item if your swimming depends on this.
The walking on the trip is easy. In order to enjoy the walks please bring comfortable walking shoes and suitable clothes, for summer temperatures.
Up to a maximum of 15 swimmers on our normal trip.
Please get in touch with us if your group is larger than 15 members. We can organise a bigger capacity if requested.
Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. In the event of adverse weather conditions at any of our swimming locations, we may need to adapt our itinerary. Our team always includes local guides who know the safest and most picturesque places to swim, so rest assured you won’t be missing out!
Swimming in the open sea, amongst natural wildlife is a unique experience, but you may come across certain marine life such as jellyfish, coral and sea urchins from time to time. There are very few jellyfish along the coast and so the risk of any unfortunate encounters with them is low, and we will always show you the safest areas to swim. If you are stung by a jellyfish and are unable to carry on swimming, you will never be far from an escort boat where one of the guiding team will be able to treat the affected area immediately. If you suffer from anaphylaxis or any other allergic reactions it is important to inform us at the time of booking.
Start Point: Hotel Spongiola, Krapanj
Start Time: 6.30pm on 1st day
Finish Point: Hotel Spongiola, Krapanj
Finish Time: 11am on 7th day
Hotel Spongiola at Krapanj Island: www.spongiola.com
Map: Google Map Link
To get to Krapanj island, you can fly into either Zadar or Split airport. There are a number of flights to Split (SPU) & Zadar (ZAD) from various International cities. From the UK, Easyjet, Wizz Air and Croatian airlines fly to Split, Ryanair flies to Zadar. For further details, including other international airlines, please visit Split Airport and/or Zadar Airport websites.
Search engine: www.skyscanner.net
Croatian airlines www.croatiaairlines.com
Wizz Air www.wizzair.com
Croatian buses (Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik:
www.Getbybus.com (you can book your ticket online)
Bus from Split Airport – Trogir
Croatia trains: http://www.hznet.hr
Ferry Lines in Croatia (also from Italy), www.jadrolinija.hr
From either airport (Split or Zadar), make your way to Brodarica town (near Sibenik) to the ferry line to Krapanj island. Krapanj is only 500 m away from the mainland, so you will clearly see it from the mainland. Our hotel provides free boat ferry transport from Brodarica to the hotel for all our guests 24 hours/day.
1) From Split airport:
To make your way from Split airport to Brodarica, you have 2 options below:
1a) Taxi/Hotel Transfer:
To book a transfer in advance please contact Hotel Spongiola directly at email@example.com for a fixed rate 65 Eur/one person plus 5 Eur extra for each additional person. It takes about 1 hour and you can pay in cash. There is an ATM machine on Krapanj island. You could of course share this cost with other tour members. We will connect everyone before each trip via emails.
1b) Bus option:
Once outside the terminal, walk about 100 m straight ahead across the car park and wait at the yellow bus shelter on the near side of the main road. Bus no. 37 from here goes to Trogir every 20 minutes (a 10 minute journey, cost is 12 Kuna-1.5 Euro). The bus terminates at the main bus station in Trogir. Long distance buses from Trogir to Brodarica/Sibenik go from the same bus station, usually stand 9. This is the stand nearest the main road (but still part of the bus station), set apart from stands 1 to 8. It´s only about 20 metres from where you get dropped off from the airport bus. Best is to check and tell the bus driver that you want to get off at Brodarica-ferry line for Krapanj island (in Croatian: “otok Krapanj”). Bus fare from Trogir to Sibenik is around 45 Kuna (6 Eur). The journey follows the coast and takes about 1 hour and 5 minutes. If for some reason you forget to get off in Brodarica or the driver does not stop, do not worry, get off in Sibenik main bus station and contact hotel or local taxi to pick you up.
2) From Zadar airport:
To make your way from Zadar airport to Brodarica, you have the 2 below options. When catching a taxi from the airport, the distance/cost to Sibenik is similar as from Split.
2a) Taxi/Hotel Transfer:
To book a transfer in advance please contact Hotel Spongiola directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for a fixed rate 80 Eur/one person plus 5 Eur extra for each additional person. It takes about 1h 15 min. You can pay in cash on location and there is an ATM machine on Krapanj island. This is all the way to the hotel ferry departure point. If you want to travel by taxi from the airport to Zadar town or to the station, the rate is 70-80 Kuna (10 Eur). You could of course share this cost with other tour members. We will connect with everyone before each trip via email.
2b) Bus option:
Once outside the terminal, the bus stop is immediately on your right. Bus timetables match up with flight arrival times. They go every 30 or 60 minutes. Buses have a sign ´Zadar´ and the fare is 35 Kuna (5 Eur). The trip takes about 20 minutes and drops you off at the main bus station in Zadar town. At Zadar bus station, look for lines to Split and Dubrovnik which are on platforms 1 or 2. Long distance buses to Sibenik/Split/Dubrovnik are timed with the buses coming from the airport, so you should not have to wait long; otherwise, they depart every hour throughout the day. All buses to Split stop at Brodarica (the first station after Sibenik). Best is to check and tell the driver that you want to get off at Brodarica-ferry line for Krapanj. The current fare from Zadar to Brodarica is 60 Kuna (8 Eur). The journey mainly follows the coast and takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes. The bus stops at many stations along the way, so watch out for Sibenik which is a bigger central bus station in the city centre – the next station is your departure point.
Once you arrive at Sibenik bus station, you can also pre-book a transfer with Hotel Spongiola to take you to Krapanj island for 100 Kuna.
Zadar airport bus departure times.
We recommend you to have local currency Kuna with you when paying local transportation.
Passports and Visas
You require a full passport to enter Croatia. Please check whether you require a visa. Most nationalities, including EU, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens, do not require a visa to enter Croatia but please check before you travel.
There are no specific vaccinations required for Croatia, but you should ensure that your tetanus and polio vaccinations are up to date.
The local currency is Croatian Kuna. Krapanj island does not have an ATM so it is advisable to draw currency before departing the mainland where there are many ATMs and banks. The hotel will also exchange money up to a limited amount. Bear in mind that the tour takes place in a remote setting and credit cards are not always accepted.
Thank you so much for such a brilliant week in Croatia last week. Hotel Spongiola, Strel team, Valentina and Toby were all absolutely brilliant, the organisation was really well thought out and executed. Guides were very accommodating to all guests of all abilities and adapted where necessary to weather conditions to make it possible for us to all achieve great swimming every day. ~ Louise, UK, August 2019
We had so much fun in Croatia with Laura and George. Very well organized trip, great hotel+location and we could not find anything missing! We are planning to go to Turkey next!
~Laura, California-USA, June 2019
“Set up and organisation of the trips excellent with the support both in and out of the water superb. Caters for a wide range of abilities keeping both ends occupied. Stunning locations that are a photographers dream. Thanks for a great holiday, we’ll be back.”
~ Family from the UK, Sept 2018
“Guides Laura, George, Valentina and boat captain Angelo were magnificent. Not only were they very personable, they worked very hard to take care of everyone’s needs and make it a safe and enjoyable week.”
~ Hannah, USA, September 2018
“Marvellous swimming holiday”
~ Isabella, UK, September 2018
“I just spent the week with Strel holidays on this trip. It is fabulous and I recommend it 100% The swimming is out of this world – clear, warm, blue sea.”
~ Lee, USA, August 2018
“Great company, great hotel and exceptional swim guides!”
~ Mike, Australia, July 2018
I enjoyed the swimming week with you very much. I want to thank you for this lovely time and all those great experiences. I think we were just a perfect team!
~Sonja, Switzerland, June 2018
Thank you for a wonderful experience I had while swimming with you in Croatia
~Patrick, Ireland, June 2018
Best Holiday of my life. Everybody was so helpful and friendly. Will definitely be coming back and will recommend Strel Swimming to all our Water Polo friends. Sincere Thanks to Maja, Tobey and everyone at Spongiola Hotel for a wonderful holiday.
~Group of South African water polo players, Croatian Islands, visited August 2016
I came to Croatia past summer with my two daughters Laura and Katinka, we had such a lovely time, and I am really keen to go swimming with you again this year. I have my eye on the May trip to Turkey.
~Kornelia from the UK, Croatian Islands 2014
I came on the short Croatia trip last summer and loved it and would like to do a similar length trip to Montenegro!
~ Will, (London,UK, Croatia 2013)
A HUGE thank you to Strel Swimming for an amazing unforgettable swimming adventure in Croatia. Look forward to the next swim trip with you.
~ Scott Robinson, Australia (Croatia, August 2012)
The sea was the centerpiece for the reason for coming to Croatia, six days of swimming around the islands of Sibenik with Strel Swimming. It was just awesome. Honestly, this was one of the best things I have done in a long time!
~ Nick from Australia (Croatia, August 2012)
Guest video testimonials – Croatia swimming holidays