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Plavnik Island

The island of Plavnik - an uninhabited islet between Krk and Cres

Plavnik is a small uninhabited island in the Bay of Kvarner, in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, southwest of the island of Krk and east of the island of Cres.

Island Plavnik 

The island of Plavnik is part of the Kvarner Islands and is administratively connected to the island of Krk, although it is only 1 km away from the island of Cres.

Then why does Plavnik belong to Krk? On the one hand, there are no larger towns on the neighbouring east coast of the island of Cres and on the other hand, throughout history, the owners of Plavnik mostly came from the island of Krk.

The area of ​​Plavnik is 8.64 km2, and its highest peak reaches a height of 194 m.

 Plavnik Island lighthouse

Plavnik is recognizable by its two lighthouses, one at the westernmost point at Cape Veli Pin and the other at the northernmost point of Plavnik, at Cape Mali Pin.

The northern shores of Plavnik Island are characterized by steep terrain and limited accessibility. In contrast, the southern shores offer flat, rolling landscapes, easy access and numerous coves on both the east and west sides.

The pristine nature of the uninhabited island of Plavnik

The natural beauty of Plavnik offers rare sights of animals and plants that attract many nature lovers.

The coastal landscape is characterized by karst formations and is covered with typical karst vegetation, including holm oaks, holm junipers and machia.

Plavnik has no water sources, only some karst ponds that are very important for the animals that live there.

The most famous animals on the island of Plavnik are the griffon vultures. The Plavnik griffon vulture colony numbers about 14 pairs.


The griffon vultures are attracted to the breathtakingly steep Plavnik north coast because it provides them with the perfect launch pad for their majestic flights.

These remarkable birds soar gracefully over the island, navigating the rugged terrain with ease in search of food.

The griffon vulture (lat. Gyps fulvus) is one of the largest bird species in the world and the largest in Croatia, with a wingspan of 240 to 280 cm and a height of up to 110 cm.

If you take a trip to Plavnik, you will most likely see the griffon vultures. Boats slow down as they pass Plavnik's high banks, keeping a reasonable distance to avoid disturbing the vultures.

The island of Plavnik is home to a remarkable variety of bird species. In total, 31 different bird species have been counted on Plavnik.

The sea area between Plavnik and Cres is a natural habitat for dolphins. With a bit of luck, you can often see lots of playful dolphins there, especially near the fish farm near Plavnik.

Krušija Bay - the main bay of the island of Plavnik

​The main bay of the island of Plavnik is called Krušija, just like the channel between Plavnik and Cres, known as the Krušija Channel.

The Krušija Canal is very deep! At -113 meters, it is the deepest point in the entire Kvarner Bay. The Adriatic Depth Trophy, an international apnea diving competition, takes place at this location.

Krušija Bay is the most popular bay on the island of Plavnik, attracting tourists, swimmers and sailors. This bay has a small pier and offers good protection from the Jugo and Bura winds.

Krušija Bay on Plavnik 

In Krušija Bay, you will find wooden tables and benches under the magnificent treetops, ideal for resting or having a picnic.

The road also leads from the bay to the centre of the island.

Take the opportunity to discover the island's interior with a leisurely 15-minute walk along the stone path through the centuries-old oak forest.

There, at the end of the world, in the middle of loneliness, stand a pair of abandoned stone houses that once served as temporary accommodation for shepherds from the island of Krk during sheep grazing periods.

The abandoned Holy Spirit Chapel ruins add a magical touch to the already breathtaking sight.

Some buildings have been renovated and are used by both hunters and shepherds. The hunters brought the fallow deer to Plavnik and created a game farm.

Plavnik cave

Plavnik Cave
The Plavnik Cave, also known as the Blue Cave or Love Cave, is very close to Krušija Bay.

This beautiful limestone cave got its name from the many shades of blue created by the natural light reflecting off the sea's surface.

Prepare to be amazed as you swim through a narrow passageway into the enchanting Blue Cave, where a symphony of breathtaking blue hues awaits you. In addition to the many shades of blue, another unique feature of this cave is its open vault.

Highlights of the east coast of the island of Plavnik

Krnjacol, Island Plavnik
On the east coast of the island of Plavnik lies the small peninsula of Krnjacol, which is connected to Plavnik by a narrow isthmus. The Krnjacol peninsula and the isthmus are a popular photo opportunity on the island Plavnik.

The islet of Mali Plavnik opposite the picturesque east coast of the island of Plavnik is also very interesting. The two islands are only about 300 m apart.

Opposite Mali Plavnik lies a beautiful beach on the island of Plavnik, which is very popular with bathers looking for a quiet and secluded beach.


Mali Plavnik islet and lost pirate treasure

Mali Plavnik
The islet of Mali Plavnik is only 0.055 km² in size, and its highest point is 23 meters high.

In the rocky crevices of the steep and difficult-to-reach shores of Mali Plavnik, you can find the endemic and very picturesque Istrian bluebells.

The sea around Plavnik is known for its exceptional cleanliness and transparency.

This is also practical because people still look for the lost pirate treasure here.

In 1524, pirates robbed a rich trading galley near the uninhabited island of Plavnik. The princely guard in Krk saw the smoke from the burning ship, intercepted the pirate ship and sank it. Only one pirate survived the sinking. The surviving pirate buried the most valuable treasures from the merchant galley on the island of Plavnik and then disappeared.

A few years later, a stranger came to the town of Krk and asked for a boat trip to Plavnik. When the prince's guard in the town of Krk discovered this, they became suspicious that it might be the fugitive pirate and went looking for him.

However, the pirate managed to escape again. In haste, he accidentally left behind a mysterious map showing the way to the treasure on the island of Plavnik.

Plavnik's pirate treasure has yet to be discovered. You can do this on a pirate treasure hunt on a wooden sailing ship.

Plavnik Island is a diving paradise

The Plavnik and Mali Plavnik Islands are a diver's paradise with countless popular dive sites waiting to be explored!

On the island of Mali Plavnik, there are numerous underwater caves and vertical underwater walls known as stone curtains that fall up to 45 m deep and are decorated with red gorgonians.

The Plavnik Canonns, an 18th-century cannon wreck, is located just north of Mali Plavnik.

The Indian Rock on the west coast of Plavnik is a popular diving site known for its 40-meter-high cliff and numerous caves.

The Mafia Wreck, a cliff with a small smuggler boat wreck, is also a well-known diving site on the west coast of Plavnik.

Islands of Kormati with seagull colony

Southeast of Plavnik, in the area of Kvarnerić, there are two small elongated islands Kormati, with a larger colony of seagulls.

Seagulls colony on Kormati islands

When visiting the area, the seagulls are often fed and congregate around the ship, creating great photo opportunities.

Visit Plavnik Island

Plavnik is a special island that is definitely worth a visit.

If you are on the island of Krk, take the opportunity to visit this unique islet. You can reach the island of Plavnik by boat from Krk or Punat.

Embark on an exciting adventure and discover the hidden natural beauties of the island of Plavnik!

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