If your sailing tour starts in Zadar, then visiting romantic Kornati islands is a must-do. It's the perfect destination for couples or a honeymoon trip. Natural park Kornati is only reachable by boat, so a catamaran or sailboat trip is the perfect opportunity to explore this natural habitat. With its 152 islands, islets and rocks, the Kornati archipelago is the densest group of islands in the Med.
As soon as you enter the park, you get the feeling like you are on another planet. There are no ferries, no cars in the islands and no resident population. The typical yellow-coloured cone tops await to be conquered by hikers. A million-dollar view over the chains of islands, reefs and infinite blue seas, is truly spectacular. The underwater scenes are a paradise for divers, and snorkelers. There is only one official marina on the western part - ACI Piškera, where you can buy some basic supplies...
I highly recommend to have a nice dinner in family-owned restaurant Piccolo (+385-22-643-688) on island Smokvica before entering the park.
Tip - You can buy much favourable ticket for the park at the restaurant.
Personally, one of my best Sailing destinations in Croatia is the village Kaprije on the same-named island. This little Dalmatian gem is a part of Šibenik-Knin municipal, not so far form the province capital Šibenik. A small community of 150 residents is dependable on a small ferry, that delivers basic supplies twice a day.
Kaprije is the place where time stops. Incredibly popular with sailors, this is the ultimate getaway from the crowds and tourist dense cities. Most of the sailors choose this island just to feel the real heartbeat of Dalmatia. Friendly locals with their easy-going lifestyle contribute large part to this village's authenticity. These hidden Adriatic gems are the reasons for your Croatia sailing trip and discover Croatia as it once was.
You can choose to anchor in the azure cove in front of the town port, or you can take one of the 20 mooring lines to dock on a small pier.
I highly recommend a dinner in a typical restaurant "Kod Kate" app. 50 meters uphill from the main square. The grilled grouper or squid is fantastic.
Discover Primošten - Monte Carlo of Šibenik-Zadar region. This buzzing town is a must-visit on your sailing trip from Zadar. It is one of the most famous tourist centres of Dalmatia, but simultaneously still protecting its innocence being a typical Dalmatian gem.
The old town centre of was actually merged with the mainland a long time ago by the locals because of farming and cultivating. Nowadays, this vivid Adriatic pearl is crisscrossed with cobbled streets and typical Dalmatian architecture.
These charming stone houses are now mainly used as excellent restaurants, cocktail bars, and local taverns (konoba) where you can try locally produced red wine Babic with salted sardines and goat cheese...
...Later, you will have the chance to buy some souvenirs on the bazaar and explore the nightlife options, since there are some famous night clubs around with live music.
A tip - Explore Primošten on a stand-up paddleboard in the early morning.
Northern part of Dugi otok (Long Island) is probably one of the less populated and touristic areas in Dalmatia. Mostly due to its isolation from the municipal capital Zadar. This is why is so popular with the sailors. It's a perfect getaway to charge your batteries and retrat from big city hustle and bustle. This is actually one of the most distant island chains in Croatia, that you need to explore on you sailing trip - there is only Italy more to the west.
It has the most beautiful sandy beaches and emerakd coves in dense area just a few miles one from another. In you need to charge water and yacht's batteries there is a charming marina Veli Rat nearby. You won't regret if you decide to stay on the anchor during the night under the clear sky full of shooting stars. This ia a perfect area for activity sailing holidays in Croatia
...Take a stroll through the pine aromatic forest and visit the highest lighthouse on Adriatic. This stunning scenery will make you want to stay for one more day.
Well, this is the island that tops my personal "best of" list. To visit this charming island, you can hire a Croatia yacht charter in Pula or Zadar. Though it is not on the beaten track for most of the itineraries, this small island with 300 permanent residents deserves your visit. “The Gates of Dalmatia” it is called, for it lays on the border between northern and central Adriatic.
A few centuries ago, Silba used to be the island of captains, sailors and farmers. Nowadays, this small community mainly survives on fishing and tourism. However, it’s still considered an unknown destination for many boaters, is still largely dependable on yachting tourism.
The island is surrounded with secluded sandy beaches, where you can stop for the afternoon swim. I suggest to anchor in pristine coves Prapranica or St. Ante and take a short stroll through the pine forest to the town. All motorised traffic has been banned from the island, except for few agricultural vehicles, so the whole island is a pedestrian zone...
...Drop your anchor in many coves around the island or dock in the town port on eastern part of the island.
Make sure you climb up Silba’s most popular landmark the Tower of love. An impressive octagonal lookout tower with a spiral staircase is a sad reminder on his unfulfilled love. It was built as a memorial by the island captain in the 19th. century As a wow to his fiance before he left at sea.
Island Brač, the largest and the highest Dalmatian island is also world-known of a unique white marble. However, the sailors usually tend to visit this island for its stronger winds, sandy beaches and the famous "Golden horn" situated near Bol - the largest town on the southern side of the island. 450-meter long golden pebble beach changes shape with the currents and prevailing winds. Stronger channel (between Hvar and Brač) winds also attract many kitesurfers and windsurfers.
Bol, with population close to 1.500, is a must-visit for the sailors. After your skipper moors your boat, feel free to take a walk along promenade and choose form multitude of bars and restaurants. Despite the tourist hustle and bustle at the shore walk avennue, you can still find quiet in the evenings to observe the sunset from your yacht in best company and a glass of wine...
...If you’re feeling active, climb to Vidova Gora in the morning. It is the highest peak of all Croatian islands. The views from the top at over 780m (2.500ft) are some of the best you’ll see.
Or take a morning stroll to the bazaar and buy some aromatic olive oil, sheep cheese and honey from local producers.
Often called a small Dubrovnik, Korčula is mainly famous of being the birthplace, of the Venetian merchant Marco Polo. According to legend, Korčula was found by Trojan hero Anthenor in the 12th century b.c. On this island you can find more legends, tales and monuments than anywhere else. In this typical Mediterranean town.
Venetian architecture, impressive fortresses and epic defence walls are building the unique character of this Adriatic pearl.This ancient town actually embodies everything you came searching to Croatia.
Here you'll find: colorful streets, monumental history and museums, amazing cultural heritage, authentic cuisine, night bars and clubs, attractive stone houses and relaxed small-town atmosphere embedded in dense green forest and fig trees.
The island's sunny position is actually the main reason that the local community tries to promote their eco-oriented agriculture and traditional production...
...Numerous farms and wineries in the area are tempting enough to unwind and taste amazing local wine and home-grown food tasting.
OK. You really don't want to miss this one out. Even if you are searching for quiet and privacy on your sailing trip, is something about this sun-soaked dazzling Croatian "Monte Carlo" that you need to explore.
It is hard to find a free spot to moor in Hvar town port so I recommend to find a safe berth on lovely Pakleni Islands. It is much easier and cheaper to take a 5-minute water taxi, then search for free moorings among the enormous super yachts
You will soon get a chance to take a stroll along one of the most popular and enchanting Riviera in the world. This jet-set town is known for its buzzing nightlife and vivid streets where various world-known celebrities often come across. A spectacular view from the Splanjola fortress guarding the city is rewarding after a short ascend over the town...
...Just let yourself be embraced by this Dalmatian pearl where old and new meet in perfect harmony. If you are looking for dance clubs and bars, this is the place that will keep you partying until dawn. This is the place to see and to be seen.
If you want to escape from the crowds to a small island village, this is an excellent choice. On the NE part of island Brač, the largest and the highest Dalmatian island, lies the hidden village Pučišča. Charming town at the end of a along bay is well-known of a unique white marble. The gleaming white stone, indigent to the island, makes this village one of a kind. Its white roofs are creating a true ambient atmosphere of a typical Dalmatian town.
There is a well known summer music school. It is not a rare occasion to hear the charismatic locals singing a-capella songs in the streets.
I recommend to dock at the small town harbor at the S side of the basin. There are around 25 berths, equipped with moorings, water and power...
...A stone quarry, stonemason’s school and workshop are definitely worth visiting. Be sure to buy a souvenir carved out of the white marbel. if you have some extra time, rent a bike to visit old shepherds village Gornji Humac and Pražnica about 7 km south of Pučišča, at an altitude of 391m (1.200 f.t)
The misterious island Vis, spread with natural caves, fishing tradition, cultural heretige, impressive military history and unique Mediterranean philosophy is the island to visit on your sailing trip from Split.
With only 2 towns of altogether 5000 inhabitants and no industry miles around, this is the perfect place to go swim or explore the underwater habitat. The island was all through its war history a natural impregnable fortress claimed by Illyrians, Greeks, Venetians, Austro-hungarians, British and French. Due to it's position this impressive island represents the perfect strategic point in Mediterranean. Vis literally rises from the middle of Adriatic sea.
On a fair sunny day, you can see all the way to Italy from the hill top Hum (585m) above Komiža town. Characteristic local fishermen, typical wooden vessels in town port, narrow streets and exhibiting local artists, are completing the charm of this old fishing village...
...For its pristine setting, many movies are lately being filmed on the island. Renting a beetle or a scooter is a great way to discover the inland. Please bear in mind that in the summer months you need to be early to get a free berth in the port. If not, just take one of the buoys. Getting ashore and back with the dinghy is also an adventure.
Well that is my top 10 sailing destinations in Croatia. I hope that my "best of" selection will convince you to decide and take a Croatia sailing trip following my route. Discover this stunning Mediterranean gem with your friends under the sails, you won'r regret it.
Written by James Murphy