Your Guide To Choosing A Sailing Route In Croatia

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Your Guide To Choosing A Sailing Route In Croatia

Planning to Sail Croatia? One of the first steps in planning your sailing Croatia holiday, is choosing the route that is right for you.

It’s been long known that Croatia is a cruising paradise, perfect for sailing. Croatia boasts 5835 kilometers of spectacular coastline, which includes over 1000 islands, making it hard to decide where to go. This guide to sailing Croatia will help you decide the best charter area for you.

Beginning in the North-East of Croatia,  close to Rovinj or in Croatia’s ‘Pearl of the Adriatic‘ also known as Dubrovnik you’re blessed with a big range of choice as to where to sail in Croatia, and where to stop along the way.

Popular Sailing Routes In Croatia

3 of the biggest destinations for those on sailing charters in Croatia, are the areas surrounding Kornati, Split & Dubrovnik, each offering you something different.

Sailing Kornati Islands

This part of the Adriatic Coast of Croatia has the biggest concentration of marinas to choose from. It’s a favourite choice for those wishing to sail Croatia, thanks to the particularly indented coastline, the many islands & perfect wind conditions. Along the Kornati islands sailing route, you can make a number of stops taking in the rich history of Croatia.

Islands

Pašman, Pag UgljanDugi OtokIstMurter to name a few

National Parks

Kornati Islands National park and Plitvice Lakes National Park

Closest Towns

  • Zadar, has a history dating back 3000 years, with a huge open Roman forum.
  • Šibenik, a historical  town, listed on UNESCO World Heritage List. Known for its cathedral and an excellent location next to the Kornati Islands.
  • Long and bare island Pag, known for its tasty sheeps cheese & Hotel Boskinac, which was visited by Anthony Bourain. As well as history of lace making and incredible beaches, including Zrce.

Sailing Split

Tourists flock to Split each year, as it offers many hidden bays &  islands. Must-see destination are:

Islands

Islands to consider in the area of Split, are HvarVis and Brač. Each offers a range of beach types,  water sports & summer festivals.

UNESCO Sites

A short bus ride from Split is Trogir, which is protected by UNESCO.

Split plays a vital role in the region, as the second biggest city (after Zagreb), Split evolved from the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The Palace remains are protected by UNESCO, described as being one of the best preserved Roman architectural structures in the world

Choosing a sailing route Sail Croatia Hvar - Chasing the Donkey #Croatia
Hvar UNESCO Site – Photo Murray

Sailing Dubvrovnik

Well known as one of Croatia’s most popular destinations is Dubrovnik. Its located in the South of Dalmatia and is sure to capture your heart. Things to see

Islands

Elafiti Islands, a group of mostly uninhabited islands in front of Dubrovnik, particularly attractive for yachting and excursions
The town of Korčula, on the island of the same name, is known for its regularly shaped layout, historical architecture and the knight’s game of Moreška

UNESCO

Dubrovnik, a Mediterranean pearl where liberty and democracy had always been highly appreciated. Today, Dubrovnik town core is protected by UNESCO, and the town is an elegant and mandatory stopping point for everyone visiting Mediterranean

Food and Culture

Pelješac, a long and narrow peninsula, particularly diverse because of its shape; some of the finest Croatian wines come from the Pelješac Peninsular.
Mali Ston, a gastronome centre of the region and the town with the longest town walls in Europe; Veliki Ston, famous for salt production

National Parks

National Park island Mljet, and Nature Park Lastovo archipelago

 

Charter Bases And Marinas In Croatia

Croatia has 50 marinas on the coast  with over thirteen thousand moorings in the sea & many thousand more on the mainland. These are available all year, however only a select number of marinas are charter bases. You can start and end your Croatian sailing adventure in, Pula, Rovinj, Losinj, Zadar, Sukosan, Biograd, Sibenik, Primosten, Trogir, Kastela, Split, or Dubrovnik. All of these Marinas have good road & airport access.

Istria region: ACI Rovinj – ACI Umag – ACI Pula – ACI Pomer

Kvarner regionACI Opatija – ACI Cres – ACI Supetarska Draga – ACI Rab – ACI Šimuni

Northern Dalmatia: ACI Žut – ACI Piškera – ACI Jezera – ACI Vodice – ACI Skradin

Central Dalmatia:  ACI Trogir – ACI Split – ACI Milna Brač island – ACI Vrboska Hvar island – ACI Palmižana

Southern Dalmatia: ACI Korčula – ACI Slano – ACI Dubrovnik

Sailing Croatia Itinerray Option 1: Split To Dubrovnik:

Discover the Southern Adriatic in 7 days

The Croatian coast offers a full package for travelers, known for its Mediterranean tradition, well-indented coastline, and a trove of biological, cultural and culinary delights. Southern Dalmatia has well-established Adriatic holiday hotspots, like the UNESCO-listed city of Dubrovnik, but one of the charms of sailing Croatia is that you have the opportunity to explore more than just one famous city. Use the opportunity, while sailing, to visit some the lesser-known spots on offer in the Southern Adriatic. Set sail this year from Split to Dubrovnik and discover a route with some really intriguing locations.

Split – Drvenik Veli – Šolta

Drvenik Veli is perfect for the start of your trip. A small island northwest from Šolta, it is well indented with numerous inlets and anchorages with enchanting sand and pebble beaches for you to enjoy. In addition to this natural wealth, you can also explore the traditional stone architecture of the island. These stone buildings of Drvenik are protected as a cultural monument, and they often attract architecture enthusiasts.

On your way south you can find a safe harbor in Maslinica and explore the impressive offer of Šolta. Brimming with wildlife, Šolta is well known for its rich variety of bird species. Šolta offers religious architecture and art from various time periods, some as early as 6th century.

Šolta – Pakleni Islands

Sailing further along the southern Adriatic make a stop at Pakleni Islands. Named after pine resin, these islands are one of the best spots for soaking up the Adriatic suns rays while be shaded by fragrant Mediterranean pines. Pakleni Islands have many beautiful beaches, some of them are naturalist (nudist) resorts so make sure to pick an anchorage you’re comfortable with. You can berth in Palmižana, a touristic favorite in the area and grab a bite in one of the charming and cozy seaside restaurants.

Pakleni Islands – Korčula

On your way to Korčula, consider dropping anchor near the island of Šćedro for a while. This little island in the southern Adriatic is located right next to Hvar prides itself with an unusually favorable climate and scented lavender fields. For three centuries, it was a home to Dominican monks and is known as one of the most idyllic Mediterranean islands. Humans are not the only ones seeking relaxation here; Šćedro is also a common sighting spot for one of the most elusive tenants of the Adriatic, the bottlenose dolphin.

Korčula Island abounds with beautiful anchorages, and if you want to safely nestle in a harbor, Korčula Town has a marina providing 159 berths and all the necessary facilities. Make sure to explore the place that many Croatian’s believe to be the hometown of Marko Polo and enjoy the scenic cobblestone ambiance. 

Korčula – Mljet

Mljet can truly be called the Emerald of the Adriatic. Recognized as one of the most forested islands of the area, this gem is also one of Croatia’s eight national parks, this one known for mud, and salt lakes. Even though the island itself is a true natural paradise, the waters around it hide dark secrets of ancient shipwrecks.

Drop your anchor in the bay Prožura (approach it from the west side of Planjak to avoid the dangerous shoals on the east) where you can find an undisturbed village that formed through the 15th century around a Benedictine church and monastery. Find out what charm drew Dubrovnik’s aristocracy to make this location a preferred 17th century holiday spot and appreciate the exquisite architecture they left behind.

Mljet – Elafiti Islands

Steer towards Šipan the largest in the chain of Elafiti islands. An island with numerous anchorages, unsullied nature, and unavoidable 16th-century villas, it is every Roman emperor’s dream brimming with all kinds of Mediterranean fruits like almonds, citrus fruits, carob, olives, and figs.

Elafiti Islands – Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a true sensation of the Adriatic coast. Under the protection of Saint Blaise and its impressive fortification walls, this city prides itself with an eventful history marked by numerous cultural and historic sites. Thanks to this, however, it is always brimming with crowds of people, so if you’re not a fan of large groups of tourists make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

The sailing boat is a perfect vessel for exploring the rich area of the southern Adriatic allowing you to explore every nook of the coastline. Choose the boat that will allow you to make the most out of your trip and if you have any uncertainties you can let a quality yacht charter agency help you out or book a Sailing trip where all the hard work is done for you.

Keep your eye on the sirocco and savor all the tastes of the Croatian coast. Smooth sailing!

Sailing Croatia Itinerray Option 2: 7-Day Itinerary From Split

We’re looking at sailing Croatia options for this summer. So many route choices.  So little time. When chartering a vessel in Croatia, you are usually required to book the vessel for a week.  Seven glorious days sailing the Adriatic Coast. Bliss. But first, you have to choose where to go. Here is one of the many options that we’ve been considering.

Seven days departing & returning  to Split. Suited to those who want to avoid the partying and clubs and instead enjoy the cultural sites. 

Sailing Croatia Day 1 – Split – šOlta

Maslinica is the only settlement on the island of Šolta’s western coast. Known for it’s mini-archipelago of seven isles, it’s the perfect place to dive and fish.

 

Sailing Croatia Day 2: šOlta – Zlarin

Continue diving and fishing on the mostly uninhabited island of Zlarin, located in the Šibenik archipelago.

Sailing Croatia Day 3: Zlarin – Skradin

Skradin is a city with a historical city located close to the famous Krka National Park, popular for it’s waterfalls.

Sailing Croatia Day 4: Skradin – šIbenik – Tribunj

Head to Šibenik, where you’ll find the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik. The Cathedral is a magnificent example of a blend of architectural heritage from northern Italy, Tuscany, and Dalmatia. The most significant of architectural Renaissance monuments in Croatia, the Cathedral of St. James stands majestically over its many visitors. Tribunj is a town 15km from Šibenik, known for its summer donkey race. Be there as people race stubborn donkeys, and also enjoy the quiet beach near the town of Sovje.

Sailing Croatia Day 5: Tribunj – Primošten

Pull up anchor in one of the 400 berths at the Kremik marina, said to be one of the safest places to anchor in the Adriatic and enjoy the azure sea – and perhaps a few glasses of wine. Primošten is filled with stone houses and would make a great place to spend the day wandering the cobblestone streets.

Sailing Croatia Day 6: PrimošTen – Trogir

Trogir is a city-museum, the castle, and the tower, surrounded by stone walls, contain the old core of Trogir. Home to one of the best structures of medieval architecture in Europe, it boasts the best-preserved Roman-Gothic complex in Central Europe. Enrolled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 due to its unparalleled beauty and cultural value.

Sailing Croatia Day 7: Trogir – Uvala KrknjašI (Veli Drvenik) – Split

Veli Drvenik is an island in the Split Riviera, close to Trogir where you’ll find the Uvala Krknjaši cove. There is a small resort in the bay which offers accommodation and fabulous kayaking options.

How does these sailing Croatia itineraries sound to you? All  you have to do is to decide which Croatian sailing route to choose. What cliffs, beaches, caves & striking bays in Croatia are best suited to you?

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Comments (81)

  1. Hi were going to dubrovnik in august for a week and don’t want to miss out on anything. Has anyone have any suggestions on the best places to visit and the top things to do.

  2. Hi!
    I’m landind In Venice on the 1st august with a friend and We are looking for a sailing 4-5 days trip to croatia
    Do you have any program?

    Hoping to see you
    Cheers

    Enviado do meu iPhone

  3. Hello,
    I am trying to find a cruise from Opatija for a week from 1st October 2016. Katarina-Line are fully booked. Can you recommend another company?
    Thank you,
    Greta.

  4. Hi guys,

    Great blog,
    I need some advise please- do you have a list of islands/bays with morning facilities- ideally need to be able to accommodate a 24m sail yacht.

    Regards
    Theo

  5. I just returned from two weeks in Croatia (Zagreb, Split, Krka NP, Korcula, Dubrovnik – with a day trip to Montenegro). I LOVED IT. I am already planning to return in a few years to celebrate my 50th birthday. I’m really hoping to charter a skippered yacht, and talk a group of friends into joining me. Any ideas of where to start researching companies? I’d love to sail along the coast from Rovinj down to Dubrovnik, stopping at many of the islands and secluded beaches. I’m so excited to return.

  6. Great post,

    Sailing can be a great way of spending your time with family and friends, also relaxing at the same time.

    One can only enjoy the sailing fully if they are stress free and choosing a right sailing path plays vital role in it.

    So, thanks for such information with us.

  7. My husband (Croat) and I are returning to Croatia in September/October ’16 for some island cruising. Last time we just got the ferry out of Split and visited Hvar, Korcula and Brac, staying a few days at each. This time we are hoping to see some different islands. Can you suggest/recommend a good cruise company that could help? So excited!!

  8. Hi,

    Can I please send you a bit longer and updated list as you missed some of the best spots.
    Btw, I am from Croatia.

    pls let me know through follow-up or via email.

  9. Just stumbled across your site as we start planning our sailing trip out on Zanton (Near Sibernik) June 2016. We have done Whitsundays (Aust) with our three children (6, 10, 12) so looking forward to this experience.

  10. Hi!
    I am a solo female coming via Budapest on my way to Croatia. I would love to do a sailing trip from north to south. I have about 11 days to complete the journey including getting myself to Rome by the end of the11 days. I’d like a comfortable not too crowded boat that includes some meals and stops. Any tips on where to start?
    Thanks so much!
    Darcy

  11. As I was putting together my bucket list for a blog hop today I had to link back to this post as sailing in Croatia (or Turkey) are now on my bucket list. Thanks for making it just that little bit easier to make my fantasy a reality some day.

  12. Great article! Have heard so much about sailing in Croatia! Have several friends that have rented boats there and sailed along the coast for a few weeks.

    We have taken the Competent Crew Course, and have soon finished the Day Skipper Course, so hopefully we will be able to rent a sail boat soon. We are looking for nice places to go sailing, and Croatia seems to be the perfect place!

  13. I visited Croatia a few years ago, but now I’ve learnt to sail I can’t wait to go back and explore some more by yacht… think it’ll be a completely different experience!

    1. Ohhhhh yes, that it will. Can we come with you. I love sailing… and I make a great salad and pour drinks very well.. Whatcha say?

  14. This is such a fantastic post, filled with ideas. Which area would you recommend the most for a first time visitor?

  15. It is interesting, I never considered thinking of traveling to Croatia until about a year ago when a friend of mine who had traveled there told me about how stunning it was. Now I really want to visit!

  16. Wow! How exciting to be traveling and living in Croatia. I had never thought about visiting until reading your blog. The sites look so beautiful.

  17. Fabulous article! I’ve been wondering about all the little islands and coastal towns and this was a great guide!

  18. I’ll be visiting Croatia next year and cannot wait! Though I have no idea how I’ll choose from so many gorgeous spots!

  19. When I was little, my parents bought a boat and went sailing in Croatia. They did it two years later, they loved it soo much. I don’t remember a lot but I would love to go to Croatia!

    1. You should Olga, bring the kids and get a Gutlet. I bet it would be the time of your life!

  20. I have been just once to Croatia and loved the Kornati Islands, I see from your post that there are so many natural beauties there! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Great timing for me. I’m taking my mom to Croatia this summer and I am so happy to see how beautiful this place is. I am not sure if we’re going to do some sailing there, but Trogir will be definitely on our list!

    1. How wonderful! If you need any help about planning your trip (or once you’re here) please just ask. Id be happy to help 🙂

  22. I’ve always wanted to sail the islands of Croatia. I’ve been to the “mainland” twice (Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb), but really want to see some of the smaller islands (and Plitvice!) I also want to hunt for truffles 😉

    1. I know, so much to see – so little time huh! I so wanna do that truffle hunting also – we tried last year but left it too last min to organise.

  23. I would love to go sailing in Croatia. I was on a cruise there a few weeks ago and had a day in Split but it wasn’t long enough. I’d love a few weeks cruising around. I’ll have to save this for next summer and hopefully I’ll get round to it!

  24. Great article, perfect timing for me! I was just talking with my friends that this year we should go sailing in Croatia!

    1. Yeah come on over – my site sponosr yachtholidays.com are great. We used the last year and got a great rate and a skipper who my hubby loved (and he is a hard to please)

      1. I’m gonna send you an email about it, would love to use their services, and as we have 2 skippers, one of them is in KL and the other may be too busy so that sounds great!

  25. I would LOVE to sail around Croatia! I’ve visited both Dubrovnik and Split and really loved them both. Definitely want to go back someday!

  26. So tempting. I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for a long time now, in particular Dubrovnik. You are just teasing with me now. 🙂

    1. Really when are where? I am leaving Croatia in June (Italy) but I wonder how far apart we’ll be (did you use Igor)

      1. Ironically, almost certainly in June 🙁 I havent booked anything yet – I am actually reconsidering the whole horse ranch thing bc I had another accident in December, and for the last month I had been trying to get back on a horse (ahem, literally), with dismal results – this morning my mare jumped, kicked and went into frenzied gallop, resulting in my hysterical sobbing (pathetic) and a decision to take a break from riding until I can get the trauma out of my head. So…I am still thinking, weighing, considering… But I am still liking that area up north, near Rivinj.

        1. Ohhh Anna! That sounds like you need a holiday, a kind of relaxing holiday. I am sure Igor can help you find something wonderful. I am off to Istria again next week, it’s so lovely there. I will report back any new finds for you. Until then, rest up please.

  27. There’s an island near Split that you didn’t mention – and that’s fine by me. I won’t name it, either. 😉

      1. It’s not even named on the tourist beach towels on sale in Split. So even though many Spličanki have their “vikendice” there, I’ve called it the “secret island” for years!

  28. One trip we are absolutely dying to do is to “Island Hop” in Croatia! We loved our time in Dubrovnik and Split and can’t wait to return. Great post 🙂

  29. I’d love to go sailing around Croatia! I don’t much about sailing at all except it looks awesome! Great post as usual 🙂

  30. Love this! I love going out on sailboats and cruising around. I bet these sail trips are absolutely beautiful!

  31. Visited many of the places, but never with a sailing boat. Would love to do it as this is really the best place to explore the coast.

  32. Ah, it’s so beautiful and blue and SUNNY! Wish I was there right now (getting fed up of this miserable English weather).

  33. I hadn’t realized how many islands Croatia had and how long its coastline was. They’re all beautiful but I’ve always been attracted to Dubrovnik but now you’ve got me curious about Pag. I love that sunset photo.

  34. I’ve heard wonderful things about sailing adventures and Croatia – I think a few days on the water combined with time on land would be perfect.

    1. If you have just a short time – without a doubt. If you have more time, a week on a yacht is brilliant.

  35. If I’m ever not poor and manage to buy a sailboat, I’m heading out to the Island of Pag. Such a gorgeous photo! Lovely post – makes me want to drop my bag and run to Croatia. Good luck and safe travels!

    1. When you win lotto, Croatia & a super yacht wii be waiting.Until then, you can still come and see the sights on a ferry.

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