If you love sailing, sunshine, crystalline waters and adventures, Dalmatia is a destination that should definitely be included on your list. There are countless beautiful landscapes along the coast that will be amazed about. In this article, we are going to provide you with a few week-long circular sailing itinerarys from Kastela around the central Dalmatian islands, as well as several boat mooring options where you can safely anchor your vessel. Soak up the sunshine, colorful coastlines, secluded coves and buzzing Mediterranean flair!
If you would like to combine a visit to small and quiet villages on the islands with some night life destinations – consider this route. Small villages on the islands like Pučišća, Šćedro, Lovište are an oasis of tranquility surrounded by pristine nature. Pakleni islands are ideal if you want to have a great party day in combination with a visit to town Hvar. From Pakleni islands you can take a speed boat to transfer you to the Hvar town.
Starting point – Kastela / Split / Trogir
Your journey is starting in Marina Kastela – one of the best marina options around Split. It is a modern and comfortable harbor where you can find all the amenities you might require in order to rest and prepare your boat and yourself for the rest of the trip. Split area itself is a great starting point for cruising the region of Dalmatia and its islands. It is famous for its beaches and the fortress-like complex at its center, Diocletian’s Palace. Split is a modern and lively Mediterranean pearl, a perfect place to visit at the start of your vacation.
For the first day of your sailing holiday from Split, visit Sutivan – the beautiful little village on the northwest end of the limestone island of Brač. Picturesque, quiet, and charming. There are few tourists around and no big hotels, though there is a lot to see.
Brač, with its many remarkable karst formations and maquis shrubland, as well as its vineyards and olive trees, still bears witness to its ancient inhabitants. The famous Brač white stone was used in the construction of the Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Brač is also famed for its cheese, lamb and fish, so be sure to taste them while on the island. Drink to a successful cruise with an excellent Brač wine or rakia!
Pučišća village is one of the prettiest villages in the region. It is famous for its white limestone and unique architecture.
Stonemason’s school in Pučišća is the only one in Croatia and one of the few in Europe. Pučišća is also famous for its quality olive oil, and excellent wine from Pučišće vineyards.
Before docking your yachts in Pučišća, stop by in a beautiful sandy bay Lovrečina, on the halfway between Sutivan and Pučišća. Lovrečina is a wide, sandy beach, suitable for swimming stop when sailing with children.
Sailing around the east coast of the island of Brac towards the central north coast of Hvar along a narrow and curving fjord, surrounded by thick pine forrest, you will discover a small but one of the most beautiful town on Hvar island – Vrboska. With an average of 7.7 sunshine hours per day, Hvar is the most sunny island on the Croatian coast and that’s how it earned its nickname „the island of the sun“.
Although Vrboska is a small town, it has the large marina – ACI Marina Vrboska. It’s location is at the bottom of the long bay, makes it a perfect harbor protected from all winds. You can take a short trip to the nearby villages, Svirče, Pitve, Vrisnik, Vrbanj. Consider to rent a bicycle, there are cycling trails, along with the Starigrad Fields, stretching from Vrboska to Starigrad.
Lovište is a small town known located in a cove near the western tip of the Pelješac peninsula, known as a wine region with some of the best red wines in the whole Croatia.
The area of Loviste bay includes about 4 km of coastline with natural beaches and bays good for anchoring. Lovište is one of the favorite sailing destinations in the South Adriatic due to its natural beauties, unique feeling of tranquility and special gastronomic offers.
Šćedro, a small island south of the island of Hvar is a protected nature park. It’s untouched beauty with indented coast, numerous bays, provides an intimate experience to every visitor, – a quiet clean sea, hidden coves and delicious fresh fish in restaurants. In addition you will find here the ruins of a Dominican monastery, a Roman villa, ship wracks in the sea. There are only a few houses on the island, only inhabited in summer. On the northern coast of the island is the bay of Lovišće where there are good docking facilities, and you can swim or dine at one of the lovely restaurants.
Then sail to the Pakleni Islands and drop anchor in one of beautiful coves or buoy fields near Marina Palmižana, ( Vinogradišće, Soline, Taršće ) relax on the boat or at one of the bars and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Rent a water taxi to revisit Hvar or dine in a restaurant where carpaccio is the specialty.
Before checking in Kastela, make sure to take some time to wander around Trogir or Split, for example visit Diocletian’s Palace. You might also like to get a coffee on the palm tree-lined Riva. The boardwalk offers a splendid view of the sea and nearby old town and marina.
Your first destination from Kastela is the island of Brač, which is about 10 nautical miles south-east from the mainland. Brač is a tranquil and beautiful island that has built a great reputation among tourists for its fine sandy beaches and romantic coves. In Brač you can spend the night in the Bay of Bobovišća ( buoys in Bobovisca Bay or in the small local harbour, where there is a lovely restaurant ) or in the marina of Milna – unique fishing village known for its characteristic stone houses. In the peaceful Bay of Bobovišća you will find buoy fields as well as a village with a small pier. The bay is also well sheltered from almost all wind directions. Excellent bathing and diving conditions can also be found here
You could also make an online reservation in ACI Marina Milna, which represents a great alternative to book a berth. Equally well-furnished, Yacht Club Milna is famous for its beautiful setting and will warmly welcome you after you’ve completed the first day of your sailing. On Your way from Brač, try not to miss Zlatni Rat – one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. When here, don’t forget to try the local red wine, Bolský plavac.
On your second day, you can try the splendid route from Brač to Paklinski Otoci,- a gorgeous group of small islands of unspoiled natural beauty. You should also visit island Hvar, located only 2.4 nautical miles away. This island is surrounded by crystal-clear water, just the perfect location for a long and relaxing swimming session. The old town of Hvar is also nice to see as it perfectly portrays the traditional atmosphere of a quiet seaside location. With beautiful cafés and restaurants on the promenade, souvenir shops and fresh fish dishes, this charming town will be a place to remember. As for the destination – Paklinski Otoci, let’s just say that this will be the highlight of your second day.
For a mooring location, we recommend making an instant booking on ACI Marina Palmizana – a vast port that can accommodate up to 200 vessels, but make sure you check their availability beforehand. As an alternative, drop anchor in one of near -by beautiful coves or buoy fields (Vinogradišće, Soline, Taršće) relax on the boat or at one of the bars and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
Once you reach the island of Vis, you will feel that you have traveled back in time. This utterly quiet and sunny island is perfect for a romantic getaway. The island’s main settlements are the small towns Vis and Komiza, located in a picturesque bays. No matter where you go on the island, peace and nature will surround you. There are plenty secluded beaches where you can enjoy crystalline waters and, since this island used to be a fishing village you will find that the cooking traditions have been well preserved over the years.
When you’ll need a marina berth for rent, go to Viska Luka Marina a safe and comfortable mooring option ready to accommodate up to 70 boats with a length of maximum 20 meters. As an alternative, look for city piers or buoy fields near Vis and Komiza.
The distance to travel on your 4th day is 36 nautical miles – this route will take you to Lastovo,- an island with long and rich history, dating back to the era of the ancient Romans. The splendid rolling hills that surround the island and the calm water of the Mediterranean Sea will help you relax even more.
For a mooring, we can help you with an online reservation to Porto Rosso Marina this small and welcoming marina can accommodate up to 30 vessels, it will satisfy all your basic necessities and ensure a pleasant stay.
The island of Korčula has a lovely town also called Korčula. The whole island is a perfect place for swimming or sunbathing, but you can also sail to one of the nearby bays on surrounding islets to admire the beautiful surrounding landscape. The old town Korčula is also a must-see, a traditional Croatian town to admire local architecture, shop in souvenir boutiques or taste the exquisite local wines and fish dishes, – don’t miss out!
Our mooring recommendation is ACI Marina Korcula or Lumbarda Marina.
Our journey is getting closer to the end, but there are still plenty wonders ahead. A distance of 26 nautical miles connects Korčula to Stari Grad. You could also change your route to visit the Makarska Riviera (recommended marinas: Marina Ramova, Baska Voda Marina)
Stari Grad is situated in a beautiful bay on the island of Hvar, a place where you can truly indulge in nature and admire both the sea and the land. Stari Grad itself is a hidden treasure. This old settlement has maintained its medieval aspect over the centuries is a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage. The ancient Greek ruins are one of the major attractions of Stari Grad, together with its narrow streets and traditional tavernas.
For marina boat slips seekers, we recommend ACI Marina Vrboska, carefully sheltered by the wind, it is an ideal mooring option all year round.
Our sailing route finishes with a trip from Stari Grad to Kastela. During your last day, we recommend you take it slowly and admire the landscape and enjoy the sea before you finally arrive back to base marina.
This route starts from marina Kastela, follows the Dalmatian coast’s major tourist attractions, like Zlati Rat and the Blue Lagoon, while taking along your own personal beach to escape the crowds in central Dalmatian islands. Immerse yourself in both sides of the islands of Hvar and Vis to explore the local way of life and make the most of the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. At either end of the trip, take some time to explore the mainland, lose yourself in the narrow winding streets of Split or Trogir.
Before the departure visit Split – a renowned tourist destination with countless things to do and visit. The most common objective recommended by locals and is the Diocletian Palace, one of the best-preserved treasures of the ancient Roman Empire. Other historical highlights include the Cathedral and tower of St. Dominius, Procurativa and Republica Square, Jupiter’s Temple, Peristyle square, as well as the numerous waterfront cafés and restaurants on the Riva.
Atret lunch, sail out to a secluded bay on Šolta for the night, enjoying a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants on the island. For example (unless the sirocco wind is blowing directly from the south) the bay of Tatinja which lies in the middle of the southern coast of Šolta. There are excellent conditions for snorkelling here.
If the weather does not allow for this, there is safer docking 4.5 NM further to the west at the Maslinica marina, slightly more expensive, but lovely marina.
Šolta is a quiet island unspoilt by tourism, with an abundance of picturesque bays and a pleasant Mediterranean atmosphere.
Approx 4hrs sailing*
On the way to Jelsa, stop by at the beautiful bay of Zlatni Rat on Brač. Relax on a beach or stay on the boat and jump into the turquoise waters. This is one of the iconic beaches in Croatia, and a very popular spot. Therefore, one of the best ways to see it is from the back of your private yacht. After an afternoon of swimming and relaxing, head to the port of Jelsa, taking dinner in town.
Approx 3hrs sailing*
Sail to Hvar, the capital of Hvar island. You can either moor up at Hvar harbour pier, or head to the nearby Marina Palmižana (when stronger bora winds blow, be careful of the waves) which is just a short water taxi ride from the main town.
Explore the beauty of the old town, climb up to the fortress for a stunning sunset view of the city and the surrounding islands. Finish the day in one of the restaurants or join the night-life in one of the glorious party spots. The port of Hvar is one of the most charming in the region and is definitely worth a visit. The town has a number of noteworthy historical sights and the many restaurants and cosy patisseries offer ample opportunity for refreshment. Take a deep breath while you’re there – the sun and the briny air with its notes of pine oil have famously medicinal effects. Also highly recommended are the local lavender oil, lavender honey, and various typical liqueurs.
After a night out in Hvar stop for a morning swim in one of the nearby Pakleni Islands to regain your balance. Your next destination is Vis, the emerald isle that is furthest from the mainland. There is a choice between mooring in Vis Town, in front of the old town hall, or (if the bora blows) a little further round the bay / pier in Kut which is quieter. The walk round from Kut to the main town is a lovely meander through delightful streets. Make sure you stop for a drink at Bistro Frutarija, midway between the two, the Hendricks Spritz definitely hits the spot as you laze on the terrace overlooking the bay!
You could rent a VW beetle, scooter or bike and explore the beauty of the whole island. Alternatively, take a military tour to investigate the outposts left from WWII. Long, narrow tunnels, which once hid submarines and naval ships, now lie abandoned, home only to fish and seagulls. The curious and easily accessible tunnel is situated in Rogacac Bay, 2 NM west of the port of Vis, is also a good spot for anchoring.
In the evening, take your pick from a handful of excellent restaurants, Pojoda, Lola and Rokis these all are fantastic.
Sail around the island towards Komiža and stop at the Green Cave. This cave is equally worth a visit, whether for diving, jumping from cliffs or simply anchor to experience it from the comfort of your boat. The rays of the sun penetrate the cracks in the roof, resulting in extraordinary emerald-green light effects on the wall. The best time to marvel at these effects is around noon. Visiting the cave is not advised when the sirocco winds are blowing.
Komiža, a wonderful little town nestled in the middle of the Adriatic sea is situated at the base of Mount Hum (587m). There is a great view from the top, where you can visit a small church and watch the sunset. There is a short path leading from the nearby road to the top (a stop here is also part of the military tour if you choose to do that). If you don’t like walking, take a taxi up. In the evening, enjoy the regional food, ( lobster is a local specialty )
On the southern coast of Vis, you’ll find beautiful bays with ideal conditions for diving or snorkelling – including Ruda Bay and Travna Bay. The Bay of Stiniva is a long fjord which extends to a marvellous pebble beach, home to a small fishing hut during high season. We recommend a visit during the morning or early evening, when there are fewer tourists around.
From Rukavac Bay, it is 9 NM to the island of Biševo in a westerly direction. On the eastern coast of Biševo lies Balun Bay, where you’ll find located MODRA ŠPILJA – the truly astonishing blue cave, into which daylight enters only through an underwater tunnel. As a result, the light is an exquisite blue. After emerging from the water, the light plays on the walls, creating a spectacle of intense and ever-changing shades of blue.
To sail into the cave, it will cost about 50 to 70 Croatian kuna per person. The best time of the day to enjoy the lighting effects is between 10 and 11 am, but this is also when it is busiest.
It is not possible to anchor in front of the cave; once you reach the entrance to the cave, you must wait for staff who do the tours of the cave.
If the sirocco wind is blowing, you will probably be all alone in the cave, even around noon when it is usually busy. The staff will not be attending the entrance and very few sailors will risk the trip during these conditions. You will have to be very careful when manoeuvring in front of the cave. Entrance is only possible during weaker sirocco winds, though even then there are risks attached to taking your boat into the cave. In strong sirocco winds, do not attempt to enter the cave.
Then sail to Pakleni Islands, where clear waters, hidden beaches, deserted lagoons and gorgeous chain of wooded isles stretch out immediately in front of the town Hvar.
There are several bays great for anchoring as well as buoy fields, Vinogradišće, Soline, Taršće, and ACI marina Palmižana. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants on the island, take your pick from Meneghello, Zori or Laganini, all these are great options.
On the way back to the marina, stop at multiple lagoons, take a swim, finish your lunch and make the most of your last sailing day. Depending on your starting point, finish your week with a night in the old town of Split or Trogir. Buy local fruit and vegetables for your trip at the nearby Pazar Market. Make sure you also visit the unique 120-year-old fish market, Peškarija. The spirit of ancient fishing traditions lives on in Veli Varoš, one of the city’s oldest districts. Have a beer at the Matejuška harbour and soak up the magical atmosphere.
Have an unforgettable evening near Diocletian’s Palace (UNESCO World Heritage Site) or lose yourself on the tiny streets of Trogir – town that thrills its visitors with so many cultural-historic monuments and narrow alleys, art collections and numerous masterpieces.
Maslinica is the only settlement on the island of Šolta’s western coast. Its many exquisitely wind-shielded coves and inlets, and its mini-archipelago of seven isles, make Maslinica an extraordinary nautical, diving, and underwater fishing destination. The beauty of the surrounding nature is in harmony with the historical, architectural and environmental values of the old castle and picturesque stone houses. Alternatively, visit the nearby Šešula Bay, it’s geographical position and deeply – indented coastline make it a safe mooring site. There you can try local specialties for a unique gastronomic experience.
Skradin is a city with a 6000 years long history, owing to its unique location in the central Adriatic, at mouth of Krka river. Since the time of the ancient Liburnians, the Greeks and Romans, and the Croatian princes of old, Skradin area was vital to the road and maritime routes passing through here from all four directions.
The town is the gateway to Krka National Park, one of Croatia’s top scenic attractions. Travelers typically take a 25-minute ferry ride upstream from Skradin or rent a bicycle to access a stunningly beautiful cluster of waterfalls in Krka National Park.
In summertime, the section of road from the marina to the bus stop is lined with stalls selling food and local goods such as honey, wine, fruits, nuts, figs, olive oil, ice cream, etc.
Today’s Skradin Marina continues to serve sailors, in a tradition that goes back, even beyond the time of the origins of the city itself.
The history of the town of Vodice goes back to ancient times, with archaeological evidence telling us it has been inhabited before the 4 th century B.C. It was a prominent settlement in the Roman times, the rich local history continued through Medieval times and the Turkish invasions, with Vodice first mentioned by that name in the 15 th century. Today, Vodice is the most renowned tourist center of the Central Adriatic, with gastronomic and cultural offering and range of options for recreation, as wide as you can imagine.
The tiny but beautifully green islands of Prvic and Zlarin are just off this part of the Croatian coast. Prvic has just 400 inhabitants, a quiet island, it would be best visited as a relaxing short trip to try some of the beach options there. Zlarin is a slightly larger island and is well known for its beautiful coral.
Tribunj, a small town nestled on an island connected to the mainland with an attractive stone bridge, is another great alternative to spend an evening. Located few miles northwest of Vodice it is known for its peaceful waterfront cafes, for Regional Donkey Race and for open-air market brimming with fresh fish, langoustines, and other shellfish, which you can prepare on your own.
At the same time, all those looking to simply enjoy themselves can sample a number of restaurants and konobas serving different fish delicacies and flavors of the Mediterranean.
Situated in a sheltered bay as well as the smallest settlement on the island, you can expect an extremely relaxed atmosphere and a large portion of coziness in this coastal town.
Settled in a picturesque, well-protected inlet, Jezera received its name (meaning “lakes”) after the natural phenomenon of the island: the fall and winter rains cause the gathering of water into great puddles which begin to resemble actual lakes; these evaporate with the first rays of the spring sun, making the phenomenon even more attractive. Today, Jezera is a prominent fishing center in the Middle Adriatic, – buying freshly caught fish directly from the fishermen, as they set in the port in the evening, is an experience you will not soon forget.
The town is also known for its picturesque harbor ACI Marina Jezera
and for the romantic waterfront promenade, where visitors are treated to culinary delights in regional restaurants. Another highlight and a reason to appreciate Jezera are many fantastic beaches to be discovered around the coast.
Žut is, as are all of Kornati National Park, a site of pristine natural beauty, and a recommended stop in any nautical voyage through the Adriatic. With a surface of 15 km2 and only 2 km in width, it is very well indented and an excellent nautical destination.
There is a modern marina with 100 well-protected berths in the cove of Pod Ražanj, and another one housing 120 berths – ACI Marina situated in the westernmost part of the harbor of Žut, in the northwest part of the Kornati Archipelago, just outside of the borders of the Kornati National Park. In strong bora winds, it is recommended to berth on the marina’s north pier and at buoys, whereas in strong jugo winds it is much more pleasant to berth on the south pier.
Piškera is the oldest seasonal fishing settlement in Croatia, meaning it has been inhabited by fishermen only during main fishing seasons. It blossomed in the 16 th century, due in part to the fresh water sources on the island itself and its neighboring isles. Today, Piškera shares the fate of many other old fishing villages in the Adriatic; it has become a tourist destination, closely focused on nautical tourism. Adjacent to Piškera, on the north coast of the isle of Panitula Vela, the ACI Marina Piškera is located, surrounded by a mosaic of islands and islets, rocks and lighthouses. Be aware that deliveries are limited: water is delivered from 8 am to 10 am, and electricity from 8 am to 12 pm and from 6 pm to 12 am.
One of the most popular tourist destinations, this former fishing village delights with its romantic old town. Strolling along the lively picturesque waterfront, you can enjoy an incomparable ambiance with delicious restaurants, bakeries and colorful shops. Especially during summer, it may occur loud music well into the night.
The Primošten area was inhabited as early as the 7 th century, due to its important strategic location. It is first mentioned under its current name in 1564, by which time it was already a fortified settlement on a small island. After the Turkish threat was over the town has only seen prospering, while preserving its natural and cultural heritage.
The near – by Kremik marina with over 400 berths in one of the safest places to stay in the area. Alternatively, try the port located in the old town, – it extends over a small island that is connected by a dam to the mainland. On the quay, north of the pier, one docks with mooring lines. Electricity, water and WC’s are available. Sometimes it can get a bit tight in the harbor, especially since the local vessels are also moored there. In addition to the pier, since 2012, buoys are anchored back east in the port area.
Trogir is another pearl in Dalmatia, – a city-museum in the true sense is situated upon the coast of the Kaštelanski bay, on an island connected to Čiovo and the mainland by stone bridges. In all of Central Europe it is considered as the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic city. More than 2000 years old, the city enchants visitors from all over the world with its romantic streets, the palm fringed promenade and the warmth of its inhabitants. In 1997, the entire old town was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.
Trogir thrills its visitors with its many cultural-historic monuments and narrow alleys, and its many art collections with numerous masterpieces. In summer there are various festivals and activities that which especially worth visiting Trogir.
The Trogir riviera is marked by rich Mediterranean vegetation, olive orchards as vineyards, numerous islands and inlets, gravelly and sandy beaches. Well indented, pristine coastline is very favorable to sailors.
ACI marina Trogir is located on the north side of Čiovo, between the Trogir bridge and cape Čubrijan, opposite to the city of Trogir. Another marina Baotić is an alternative place to stay – situated in the old fishing village of Seget Donji, close to the town.
Talking about boats and holiday destinations is our biggest passion and we’d love to tell you more about all possible destinations you can visit. So please stay in touch with us and address all your questions to our team.