When people think ofCroatia, you can guarantee that their first thought is almost always one of the terracotta houses of Dubrovnik. But there is a whole lot more to this stunning country than that, and sailing can be one of the very best ways to discover all of the places that you never knew existed!
Although the town of Split and surrounding areas are well known to sailors we have some great tips for you to avoid crowds or mooring costs and get the most out of a charter in this stunning region. Located almost smack bang in the middle of the western coast, between Dubrovnik in the south and Pula and Istria in the north it really is the perfect gateway to explore some of the lesser known islands and villages that Croatia has to offer. To help you plan a unique sailing experience, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite locations and insider info for building the perfect itinerary for asailing holiday in Split.
Split gets its name from a local shrub indigenous to the area called the ‘Spiny Broom’!
Sail north from the bases in Split and visit the glorious islet of Primošten. With beautiful sandy beaches and postcard ready azure seas, this is a stop you must make when on a sailing holiday from Split. For a bit of local history, visit the ‘Lady of Loretto’ monument andSt. George’s Bell Tower, before heading back to your yacht to watch the sunset from one of the most gorgeous vantage points in the world.
Top tip for Primošten – anchor in the vast stretch of water off of the coast of the town and jump on a dinghy to one of the restaurants and bars on the shore. As the water is fairly open, make sure you check the weather and put plenty of chain out so the boat can swing.
During an invasion by the Turks in 1542, Primošten was an islet protected by walls and towers and only connected to the mainland of Croatia by a drawbridge. Once the Turks retreated, the bridge was replaced with a causeway and the islet officially named ‘Primošten’, which, in Croatian, means ‘to bridge’.
North of Primošten and affectionately known as the Fortress City, pay a visit to Šibenik, famous for being the gateway to the wonderful Kornati Islands. The waters in the bay are perfect for swimming and make an ideal place to enjoy a spot of paddle boarding or kayaking. Inland, pay a visit to the 15th century UNESCO World HeritageCathedral of St. James, which is decorated with 71 sculpted faces and for local history, head to theŠibenik City Museum, home to prehistoric artefacts and located in a beautiful setting inside the 14th century Prince’s Palace.
Top tip for Šibenik – head north towards Skradin and sail alongside oyster and mussel markets where you can pick up the freshest seafood as you go from sellers along the pontoons.
Šibenik was the first place in the world to have street lights.
Located around 100km from Split and at the entrance to theKrka National Park, one of Croatia’s most popular locations, Skradin is a small town with heaps of charm. Sail your way along the narrow inland stretches of the Adriatic that run up to the Krka River, passing charming villages and beautiful flora and fauna, and maybe stop off atLake Prokljan along the way. Once you reach Skradin, you’ll find a whole host of bars and restaurants to dine in and a walk around the labyrinthine lanes is a must.
Top tip for Skradin – You can moor in the marina or anchor just outside it for free setting up a stern line to shore to keep you still if the winds turn overnight. Once ashore, hire some bikes in Skradin town and ride up to Krka National Park where we recommend swimming in the famous Krka waterfalls.
The main attraction of the Krka National Park is it magnificent waterfalls, the largest of which is namedSkradinski Buk, after Skradin.
Sail 9nm south from Split and head to Šolta, a small island in the middle of the Adriatic and home to just 1,700 people. On your approach, stop off at the Krknjaši Blue Lagoon on Drvenik Veli island, where you’ll be rewarded with glistening seas that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling and home to spectacular views. As you sail further south towards Šolta itself, stop off at Santa Stefano, a delightful little island where you can relax on the quiet beaches and swim in the glorious sea.
Top tip for Šolta – While on Šolta, visit the village of Maslinica on the north west coast of the island, a tiny fishing village which is only subjected to north westerly winds, making it the perfect sailing ground for smaller boats.
Šolta is one of the biggest olive oil manufacturers in northern Europe.
Sail south from Split and head towards the island of Hvar, where we recommend visiting the town of Stari Grad on the north of the island. One of the oldest settlements in Europe, Stari Grad is home to a magnificent area of agricultural land that was established by the ancient Greeks for the production of wine and crops and is still in use to this day. While in Stari Grad, visit the Renaissance styleTvrdalj Castle, the focal point during the invasion of the Turks in the 16th Century and take a dip inBrizenica Bay, home to a stunning stretch of water perfect for swimming.
Top tip for Stari Grad – avoid mooring fees in Stari Grad by sailing slightly north to Kornoba where there are four mooring balls and no fees. Once moored, dinghy around to the main island in just ten minutes and spend your saved mooring fee on an ice cold beer!
Stari Grad has approximately 2,718 hours of sunlight a year!
Sail north west from Stari Grad, then head south as you reach the western most tip of the island of Hvar, and pay a visit to Palmižana, an uninhabited village on the island of Sveti Klement. While there is not a great deal to do in the village itself, it does provide a fabulous setting for a day’s R&R, where you can relax on the quiet beaches, swim in the crystal clear sea and visit some of the quaint restaurants and bars that line the shore, including theLaganini bar with its chilled out atmosphere and tasty cocktails.
Top tip for Palmižana– pay a visit toZori restaurant where there are loads of buoys to moor alongside. If you can’t find one, you can anchor on the edge of the mooring field and you will still be protected.
There are no cars in Palmižana and part of the beach is specifically for naturists!
Sail south west from Hvar to Vis, one of the smaller islands situated in the Adriatic and full of beautiful beaches, magical sea caves and medieval ruins. Our favourite location on the island is the town ofKomitza, located on the west coast. Spend a few hours relaxing on Kamenica Beach, one of our favourites in Croatia and for some local history, head toRibarski Muzej, a fisherman’s museum full of trade secrets and age-old gadgets. One of the highlights of Komitza is theKonoba Bako, a wonderful Mediterranean restaurant placed majestically on Pod Kalafota beach. The eatery is the perfect place to spend an evening watching the sun go down as you sip wine and enjoy a delicious local meal, where choices include cuttlefish risotto and octopus salad.
Top tip for Vis – on the western side of the island, choose from one of two mooring choices. Head to Komitza or duck into one of the little protected bays where you can drop anchor and swim in the clear azure sea.
Vis was home to the oldest regatta in history, held in 1593, where 74 wooden fishing boats raced from Komitza to the islet of Palagruža.
Flying to Split
Flights to Split are available from most London and regional airports withBritish Airways and many low cost airlines. Transfers from the airport to the marina are bookable in advance. Speak to us if you would like help arranging your transfer.
Get in touch
If you want to know more aboutsailing in Croatia, speak to one of our experts who will be happy to share their knowledge with you. Use our price comparison tool to search for charters by date or destination, request a quote or contact our team on 01227 479 900.
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