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Boats, beaches and beautiful bays on the secret island that hides in plain sight – Čiovo and Okrug.
- Things not to miss
- Where to stay?
- Where to eat?
- Top day trips from Čiovo
- Čiovo Island Weather
- Where is Island Čiovo and Okrug
- How to get to Čiovo and get around
For an island that experiences so much guaranteed sunshine, you could easily believe Čiovo to lie within a shadow. Of course, not a real one, but a metaphorical one. Well, when you’re surrounded by world-famous, UNESCO-heralded places like Trogir, Split and nearby Šibenik, it’s perhaps difficult to make your voice heard. But, those who know about Čiovo and Okrug, know this to be one of Croatia’s most underrated islands. Little wonder that the City of Split and the City of Trogir each make a land grab for northerly sections of the island. By comparison, Čiovo’s southwest belongs to the općina (municipality) of Okrug. All around the island you’ll find brilliant beaches, bays and things to do. As we’ll show here…
Beaches of Čiovo and Okrug
For an island of less than 30km2, Čiovo is blessed with many, many brilliant beaches. Almost all of the best ones are in the southern part of the island – Okrug. Although, there are a couple of notable exceptions.
Shade under pines or enjoy perfect water at this small pebble beach. Maybe take lunch a a local tavern?
Rudej (Stari Porat)
One of the two small boat mooring spots in Okrug Donji, Rudej has quite a rocky entrance to the sea. But, there’s lots of places to shade here and quite spots to find.
A lovely stretch of quiet, clear blue on the northern shore of Okrug Gornji. Here you face views of the low hills and beachside properties on the mainland opposite.
The most westerly beach on the island, here small pebbles aid your smooth walk into the sea.
A small, quiet and colourful beach, sitting at the apex of a long, deep cove. Find Tatinja on the island’s southern shore, immediately below Okrug Gornji.
The most easterly beach of Okrug and, alongside Orlice, the last section of Čiovo’s southern shore suitable as a beach. Gravel and small pebbles make up the surface and visitors here. Generally, folks who come here appreciate there’s a beach bar servicing this spot.
Krčića and Slatine
Two epic beaches on the northeast side of the island. With plenty of space, shade and accommodating shore, Krčića in Arbanija has lots of sections. If you’re visiting Trogir and looking for the nearest, best place to cool off in the sea, then this is it. By comparison, Slatine, a little further east, is actually part of Split’s beach portfolio. Again, this beach has several long, separate sections and coves.
If you’d like to read more about Čiovo beaches, then look here.
Bays of Čiovo and Okrug
Generally, sailors, walkers and beach fans love exploring the Čiovo topography. The beaches and shoreline are made that much more exciting by multiple bays and coves. Not only do they grant shelter from any breeze, but also they are incredibly picturesque.
Exploring Čiovo bays by boat is one of the best things you can do with a single-day boat hire in this region. Specifically, around Trogir and Split there are few better places to come and discover. Got longer than a day? Čiovo is an incredible stop off for those with larger, luxury yachts. You’ll find great restaurants to visit, beaches and blue waters that it’s tough to better. Just look at some of these…
The two largest bays on the southwest of the island are neighbours Duga and Duboka. Not only are the waters super clean, but also each has a great beach. Furthermore, you’ll find several taverns (konoba) overlooking the waters. Subsequently, these bays are popular stop-off points for some very nice boats, their passengers looking for lunch. If you’re holidaying on the island and want to spend a few hours spotting some nice yachts, then try here.
Sports and recreation activities
Čiovo and Okrug are among the best places for sailing within this part of Croatia. Not only is the island itself great to discover by boat, but also it’s the perfect base for exploring the wider region. Just a short distance away, the grand city of Split – a great day trip by boat. To the south, the famous islands of Šolta and Brač, each worth getting to know.
To the northwest of Čiovo and Okrug, some of the most spectacular waters to sail in Croatia. Firstly, you can sail past the extraordinary natural topography of Rogoznica. Secondly, the beautiful village of Primošten – the old settlement sitting on an islet, almst detached from the mainland. Thirdly, the UNESCO-rich city of Šibenik, with its forts, full event calendar and great summer vibe. Beyond Šibenik, the spectacular archipelago of islands known as Kornati, part of which is a protected National Park.
If you want to charter a boat on Čiovo, then try any of the multiple options found on the island’s north coast, around Trogir Marina. Or, look along the beachfront of Okrug Gornji, around Okrug Gornji Marina and to its immediate north.
Diving and snorkeling
Within the coves, bays and around the islets of Čiovo, you’ll find some of the clearest waters in the Adriatic. Indeed, in many places, the sea floor is very near the water surface. Subsequently, this is a brilliant place for snorkeling. Both solo exploring and organised snorkeling tours are great for discovering Čiovo’s waters.
If you prefer a longer spell of discovering the depths, then sign up for an excursion with Trogir Diving Center. Both beginners and experienced divers are catered for. If you’ve never been diving before, then chose between their shoreline or boat Discovery dives. The team has more than 30 years of experience in teaching divers, so you’ll soon learn all you need to know. Also, teaching courses are available in English, German and Croatia and they also organise snorkeling excursions. If you want to sign up or learn more, then contact them here.
Generally, Čiovo’s shoreline slips gently into the sea. But, the island’s interior is hilly. Although, at a height of just 209 metres, the highest point Rudine gives a good indication of just how hilly. In truth, the gradients aren’t so steep. Indeed, the hills of Čiovo offer much greater views than they do a serious challenge. And, the best way to find your favourite view is on a bike.
Not only will cycling Čiovo give you the best views, but also help you find the best beach. Cycle routes through the island visit – or look down on – every stretch of shoreline. You’ll pass through each of the island’s settlements – Arbanija and Slatina on the northeastern coast, Žedno in the interior and Okrug Gornji and Donji on the west coast.
Also, you’ll see traces of ancient life, the monastery of St. Cross on the northeastern coast, the monastery of St. Anthony, church of Our Lady of Prizidnica on the south. Depending on which route you take, you can also see neighbouring islands like Šolta, Vis, Hvar and Brač. In total, you can choose between 70 kilometres of bike trails. If you want to hire a bicycle, then ask at your accommodation, at the tourist board office, or speak with Uriel, who also rent E-bikes and E-scooters too.
A popular summer pastime for 10 years, Quad Adventures Trogir takes a trail from the island’s interior to the beach. Starting near Žedno, you’ll pass through a typical Mediterranean landscape of pines, olive trees and vines. Afterwards, you’ll emerge on a coastal route and travel to near Slatine. In total, the quad tour – there and back – takes around two hours.
Islands and islets
Although connected to the mainland, Čiovo definitely has that unmistakable feel of an island. Also, it has several of its own significant islets, just off the south shore. In fact, between Duga bay in Okrug and Vinišće on the mainland, directly west of Čiovo, you’ll find no less than 11 islets.
In truth, it is these islets that make Čiovo and Okrug such a great place to enjoy the sea. They are perfect for exploring by boat or yacht. Drop anchor and snorkel around – you’ll see lots of life around them. If you don’t have a boat, then the nearest is within swimming distance. Or, you can reach it by dingy, canoe or kayak.
Hotels on the north
Apartments and rooms
For accommodation in Okrug, or for general rooms and apartments all over Čiovo, look here.
Some of the best gastro experiences you’ll have on the island are fresh fish and seafood. Also, look out for other Dalmatian specialties. Namely, roast lamb, food cooked ‘under the bell’ (ispod peka) and rich, fruity but lean beef dish called pašticada. Often, you’ll find the best of these served not in the fanciest of restaurants, but in a slightly more informal tavern (Croatian: ‘konoba’). You’ll find tavern and pizza options in all Čiovo’s three north shore settlements. Namely, Trogir, Slatine and Arbanija. If you want to see a complete list of restaurants in the Okrug part of the island, then look here.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city of Trogir sits on an island. Both the mainland and Čiovo connect to Trogir by bridge. In fact, the modern-day settlement of Trogir actually spills across the bridge to occupy part of Čiovo’s north. Trogir is a charming town, notable for its architecture and stonework. If you want to learn more about it, then read our guide.
Just to the east of Čiovo and Okrug is Croatia’s second city, Split. If you’re making the journey by car, it’s around half an hour’s drive time. Although, the distance between the city and island is barely a couple of kilometres by boat. However you make your way, definitely, it’s a journey worth undertaking. Certainly, everyone should walk around the city’s Diocletian’s Palace once in their life. In fact, Split is the perfect big city for a one-day trip. Because there’s so much to do and see, yet you’ll definitely catch a big chunk of it in 24 hours. If you want to find out more, then read our guide to the city of Split.
Sinj, Knin + Drniš
Certainly, it’s tough to tear yourself away from the beaches and bays of Čiovo and Okrug. But, if you’re hankering after some authentic, traditional culture, head inland. In Drniš, you can see works by Croatia’s preeminent sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. Or, try Croatia’s most distinct prosciutto. By comparison, Knin is a former royal city of Croatia and has one of Europe’s largest historic fortresses. Also, you’ll there discover seven rivers and their epic waterfalls. In nearby Sinj, you’ll find Roman ruins, the Kamičak Fort, wonderful statues, fountains and architecture. Also, you can learn about distinct cultural heritage – the Cetinska krajina – or catch famous equestrian event Sinjska alka. If you want to know more, read about Drniš here and Knin here.
Did you know there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites less than 50km to your north? Both of them, four impressive fortresses, a full, vibrant event calendar and a Michelin-starred restaurant you’ll find in Šibenik. If you want to learn more, then read everything about Šibenik here.
The climate in Čiovo and Okrug is warm and temperate, typical of the Mediterranean. You can expect very pleasant warm and sunny conditions on the island from May through to late October. July and August are the warmest months. If you want to check out the weather today or the weather forecast for the next few days, then look below.
Čiovo is an island in central Dalmatia, Croatia. It is located less than two kilometres by sea from the city of Split. Čiovo is connected twice to the Croatian mainland. Firstly, via the Old City of Trogir, which sits between Čiovo and the mainland shore. Secondly, via the Čiovo bridge. Specifically, Čiovo and Okrug both lie within Split-Dalmatia County. The northern shore of Čiovo island and the village of Žedno in the interior lie within the administrative jurisdiction of Trogir. Although, the northeastern shore and Slatine lie within the jurisdiction of City of Split. The southwestern section of the island constitutes the općina (municipality) of Okrug.
Flights, nearest airport to Čiovo and Okrug
At a distance of just over 5 kilometres, Split airport is the nearest airport to Čiovo and Okrug. The drive time between Split airport and Čiovo bridge is less than 10 minutes. You’ll find regular bus services between Trogir and Split airport. If you want to learn more about flying into Split airport, then read here.
Road, by car
Without question, the most popular way to travel within Croatia is by car. You’ll find the Croatia A1 motorway the best way to reach Čiovo and Okrug from most parts of the country. If you’re arriving to Čiovo and Okrug by car, then you have two best possible routes of arrival.
- A1 Highway (named Dalmatina). If you’re travelling to Čiovo from anywhere north of Vodice or south of Omiš, then take the A1 Highway. Exit at Prgomet, 20 km from Čiovo and Okrug and follow signs for Trogir.
- The Adriatic Highway. If you’re travelling to Čiovo from Split or somewhere south of Šibenik, then take the D8 (Jadranska Magistrala). But, if you’re driving from Šibenik, be sure to take the D58 instead.
Travelling intercity by bus in Croatia is a fast, popular and reliable option. Indeed, you can easily reach Čiovo and Okrug by bus from anywhere in Croatia. Furthermore, Trogir is on a busy intercity bus route. In fact, almost all intercity buses travelling between Split and Šibenik make a stop in Trogir. Learn more about travelling through the country by bus here.
Bus line No. 37 – Trogir – Split airport – Split
If you’re travelling between Split or Split airport and Čiovo and Okrug by bus, then intercity buses should be your last resort. In fact, your first choice should be the local bus line No. 37 – Trogir – Split airport – Split. Both fast and inexpensive, it’s the most reliable bus option of travelling between these places.
The Bura Line ferry runs between Split – Slatine, Čiovo – Trogir a minimum of 4 times each day during summer months. The journey time is just 30 minutes and the ticket price is between 25 and 35 kuna. If you want to see the full timetable and ticket price list, then look here.
Okrug Tourist Board
If you want to follow the latest news from Dalmatia and Croatia, then check out Total Croatia News.