Off season Island-hopping in Croatia: more than a challenge

This week we’re sharing with you a guest post from a fellow travel bloggers Corinne and Jim of Reflectionsenroute. Corinne and Jim traveled to Croatia in April 2014, and shared with us her story on visiting the island of Korčula (and misfortunes with Croatian ferries in April). We hope you’ll enjoy their story!

Off-season Island Hopping In Croatia | Croatia Travel Tips
Off-season Island Hopping In Croatia | Croatia Travel Tips

Driving north out of Dubrovnik with three days left in Croatia, we realized we hadn’t been to any of the islands. No problem, we thought. The ferry system has a whole network of ships connecting the islands to the mainland. We should easily be able to do an island or two and then ferry to Split and drive on up to Zadar in time for our flight.

A word of caution, while this may be very doable during the summer months, in April it proved to be more than a challenge. The ferry schedules are hard to pin down with certainty and there was no way to get all of the connections we had hoped for.

Our island excursion, in the end, found us visiting only one island–Korčula. It was an easy choice. We could drive there in the morning, leaving out of Dubrovnik, following the winding road up the finger of land to Orebić where we could catch one of the few ferries across to Korčula.

Ston and Mali Ston met us along the road as we drove out the Peljesac peninsula and made enticing stops along the way. Stone fortresses, salt works, vineyards blooming in a riot of wildflowers all beckoned us along the road or called out their siren song pulling us off the road for “just one more grapevine photo”.

Off season island hopping in Croatia: Vineyards
Off season island hopping in Croatia: lots of vineyards on the way to Korcula

When we finally made it to Orebić we found one or two cars but no sign of the ferry. We were sure we had read the schedule correctly on the website, but when we finally discovered the ferry ticket office we learned the ferry was not due in for another hour. This was plenty of time to purchase the tickets and find a snack in a local café.

Unfortunately, the ticket office was closed up tight and the only waterfront business open on that blustery morning was a dreary bar hosting a small group of bedraggled backpackers seeking shelter from the darkening clouds and occasional sheets of rain.

The ferry arrived amidst a minor squall. The wind was howling and the rain was streaking straight across the channel from Korčula.

The mystery of the ticket booth was solved as the first vehicle off of the boat zipped right on up to the booth and the clerk stepped out and opened for business. This meant a quick dash through the rain for the tickets; but, the business was soon finished and we were back in the car in flash. Undaunted by the growing storm; we drove aboard and endured the (thankfully) short and rocky ride.

Off season island hopping in Croatia: Lovely Korcula
Off season island hopping in Croatia: Lovely Korcula

The rain was stopping as we drove off of the ferry. We soon found a guest house at the edge of the medieval walled town and went out for a countryside drive to take advantage of the incredible sky and returning light.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you can get outside right after a drenching rain storm you’re going to find stunning vistas and a gorgeous rain-washed sky.

Korčula did not let us down. Vineyards, stone houses, ancient olive groves, and more of those lovely bursts of wildflower were our companions again as we meandered down country roads or strolled through seaside villages.

Life on the island of Korčula seems to have faced the onslaught of time and brought it to a standstill. We arrived in town in time to take a quick look around, wandering for an hour and 30 minutes or so before we started hunting for dinner.

Everything here moves at a pace much slower and more peaceful than the mainland. And we all agreed, the next time we come to Croatia we’d spend all of our time hopping amongst these beautiful islands.

Thanks to Corinne and Jim for sharing with us their (mis)adventures while trying to do island-hoping off-season. We hope you enjoyed reading about it. Don’t forget to check the Reflectionsenroute website, and to connect with them through social media. You can find them at: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Corrine and Jim are an American married couple who have had the opportunity to live all over the world thanks to their work. They are both teachers, and currently we’re working in Schweinfurt, Germany. They love traveling, meeting people, and taking photos. 

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