Croatian Island Hopping

Explore the Croatian islands on a great swimming holiday in the Adriatic. 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 island of Krapanj, a unique setting in the Sibenik archipelago. The island has one of the lowest populations in the Adriatic Sea and is a relaxing retreat! The famous Kornati and Krka National Parks are nearby, providing a fantastic position for our sea swimming adventures.

Trip details:
  • 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
  • Package: All inclusive except 3 dinners

This trip has something for everyone. We hop from island to island, swim along the coasts of uninhabited islands, explore historical sites and swim in the Krka river.

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 and follow their friends or partners while they swim.

Tour Highlights:
– Swim around uninhabited islands and enjoy the laid back environment
– Explore the islands of the Sibenik archipelago and the surrounding beautiful turquoise sea
– Swim through Hitler’s Eye submarine tunnel and in the Krka River
– Enjoy the relaxed lifestyle on Krapanj island
– Experience the Dalmatian Croatian cuisine and local specialities

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, all lunches and 3 hotel dinners (welcome, mid-week, farewell). Each guest receives a swim hat and towel. A limited number of wetsuits, fins, rash vests and other swimming gear will be available to use free of charge.

Additional cost
Travel to and from the start of the tour, 3 evening meals, drinks.  Single room supplement: from 120 EUR.

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

Video clips from the past trips


Hotel Spongiola is a beautiful, new four-star property located right on the beach. 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, Krapanj Island, Croatia
Hotel Spongiola, Krapanj Island, Croatia
Trip Advisor Reviews, Hotel Spongiola, Croatia
Trip Advisor Reviews, Hotel Spongiola, Croatia

Rooms are twin-share or double with en-suite facilities. Double rooms for solo 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.

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 and is completely 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.

Extended stay
If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the tour, all Strel Swimming Adventures guests receive a discounted rate. Please book directly with the hotel, quoting Strel Swimming. Hotel contact info: www.spongiola.com, info@spongiola.com, +385 22 348 900

Car Park
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 have partnered a few great local hotels/apartments to offer you discounted rates. All Strel Swimming guests receive discounted rates at the following places:

Apartments in Trogir (7 km from Split airport):
www.apartments-parcina.com, miropa19@gmail.com, +385 91 921 0536
www.trogirapartment.com, ante.bilic.k@gmail.com, +385 91 885 9735

Hotel in Primosten (40 km from Split airport and 20 km from Krapanj island):
www.restaurant-kamenar.com/en, info@restaurant-kamenar.com, tomislav.jurin@si.t-com.hr, +385(0)22 570 889, +385 (0)98 336 246

ZadarHotel Mediteranwww.hotelmediteran-zd.hr,
info@hotelmediteran-zd.hr, Ph: +385 23  337 500
Zadar: Hotel Kolovare: www.hotel-kolovare.com,
info@hotel-kolovare.com, Ph: +385 23 211 017

Please quote Strel Swimming at the time of booking.


Day 1: 6.30pm hotel lobby meeting for tour briefing and welcome dinner.
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: Krka estuary swim with Hitler´s Eye submarine tunnel, afternoon swim along south Zlarin.
Day 6: Morning crossing from Little/Big Sister to Obonjan island. Explore Kaprije island followed by the afternoon swim around Zmajan (Dragon) island.
Day 7: Swim around Krapanj island. The trip finishes around 11am.

Full itinerary:

Day 1
Meet at Krapanj island at 6.30pm for the pre-trip briefing, followed by a welcome dinner.


Day 2
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.

Day 3
Today we travel to Tijat and Prvic islands. Our morning swim starts at Tijascica bay and we swim for about 2.5km along the eastern side of Tijat. Boat ride to Prvic for a lunch break. Prvic island, with it’s two settlements, Sepurine and Prvic Luka, 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.

Day 4
Today is our real island hopping day. We start the morning 2.5km 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.


Day 5
Today we leave the sea behind and travel inland by boat up the estuary of mighty Krka River in Sibenik. Our first swim starts right at the Hitler´s Eye submarine tunnel. U-Boat shaped tunnel from WW2 is about 250m long and it takes about only a few minutes to get through. There are no lights inside and this makes our adventure even more exciting! We continue the 2.3km swim down towards the St. Nicholas fortress where we stop for lunch. After our lunch, we explore the fort. St. Nicholas fortress was built in the mid-16th century at the entrance to Sibenik- Krka canal for defence against attacks from the sea. It is entirely surrounded by sea and only a very narrow path links it with the mainland.

On the way back we do an afternoon swim either along Drvenik or south Zlarin island.
Note: In case of bad weather or difficult sea (wind, etc.) we may occasionally go all the way up the river to Krka National Park. Upon arrival at Skradin village, we hike 4.5km along the river to visit the waterfalls. On this day we only do one afternoon swim down the Krka river from Skradin. In High Season we prefer not to go to Krka National Park because it becomes extremely busy and crowded.


Day 6
Today we return to the open sea for more island hopping swimming. Our morning crossing is from the Big Sister to Little Sister and further to Obonjan (The island of Youth), a distance of 3km. 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 either swim along Kaprije or we go to Zmajan (Dragon) island and enjoy the crystal clear water in shallow bays. Boat trip back to Krapanj island. This evening, we get together for a goodbye dinner at the hotel.

Day 7
We conclude this amazing Croatian islands adventure by swimming around our Krapanj island base. The entire swim is 3.4km, but you can skip part of it if you want. It is a wonderful swim to finish the trip! The trip finishes around 11am.

Itinerary changes
Please note that our itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and sea conditions. Our guides and boat captain will check the weekly and daily weather forecasts and will change the swims around to ensure that you have the best swimming conditions day to day.

Swimming info

Swimming Info

Google Map of the Area with Swimming and Hiking Routes

Swimming distances

Swim Distance
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
Krka river-St. Nicholas Fort 2.3 km
Zlarin South Bays 2.5 km
Big Sister – Obonjan 3.2 km
Kaprije South East 2.5 km
Hitler´s Eye Submarine Tunnel 0.2 km
Around Krapanj Island 3.4 km



Month Water Temp.(°C/F) Air Temp.(°C/F)
June 22 / 72 24 / 75
July 24 / 75 28 / 82
August 25 / 77 32 / 90
September 24 / 75 29 / 84
October 21 / 70 24 / 75


Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims you want and relax on the boat.

Essential Equipment
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.

Equipment Availability
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.

Walking Conditions
The walking on the trip is easy. In order to enjoy the walks please bring comfortable walking shoes and suitable clothes, for summer temperatures.

Swimming awareness
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.

Travel info

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

Getting There
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
Easyjet www.easyjet.com
Ryanair www.ryanair.com
Wizz Air www.wizzair.com
Jet2 www.jet2.com
Monarch www.monarch.co.uk

Croatian buses:
www.Getbybus.com(you can book your ticket online)
National Buses
Bus from Split Airport – Trogir 
Croatia trains:  http://www.hznet.hr

Ferry Lines in Croatia (also from Italy), www.jadrolinija.hr

Detailed Travel
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) 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 us directly at info@strelswimming.com for a fixed rate 65 Eur/one person plus 5 Eur extra for each additional person. Paid in cash. You could of course share this cost with other tour members.

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) 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 us directly at info@strelswimming.com for a fixed rate 70 Eur/one person plus 5 Eur extra for each additional person. Paid in cash. 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.

2b) Bus option:
Once outside the terminal, the bus stop is immediately on your right. Bus timetables match up with flight arrival times. Buses have a sign ´Zadar´ and the fare is 25 Kuna (3 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 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 (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.

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.


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

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