Dalmatian Islands Sailing
The Dalmatian coastline of Croatia, with its clear seas, gentle summer climate, quaint villages, historic towns and mountainous backdrop is a magnificent sailing area. It’s easy to see why this has become one of Europe’s leading sailing destinations.
More islands than you can visit
It is not possible to visit all the major islands of the Dalmatian coast in two weeks, let alone one, but you can give it a good try! And that’s not even counting the hundreds of smaller islets just begging to be explored. With so many options you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Sailing round these islands provides a fantastic mixture of history, nightlife and stunning scenery. We have suggested routes for one or two weeks, sailing from either Split, Trogir, or Dubrovnik. This area offers something for everyone, with some stops having great bars and others being the perfect secluded anchorage, for those of you wanting a night under the stars.
What’s the weather like?
The weather is a great pull for Croatia, with low 20’s in May and October and a lovely 30 degrees plus in peak summer. The prevailing wind in Croatia is a north westerly, with an average of a force 4 to 6. A wind to keep an eye out for is, the ‘Bora’ which is a north easterly that can be a surprise for those who’ve not checked their forecasts.
Please do be aware that you will be required to pay marina and port fees. These fluctuate depending on the size of the yacht and location, but can be anywhere from £20 to £80 per night. The facilities in Croatia are generally very good though, with showers and shore power widely available.
Days 1 – 2, Arriving at Split & Trogir
Upon arrival at your respective base, you’ll be shown to your yacht where you have a briefing to familiarise you with the yacht. After the paperwork is complete it’s time to relax!
We usually recommend people spend their first night at the starting base since you don’t get on board until the afternoon. This is a great time to stock up on provisions and have a relaxing first evening exploring all the sights and culture Split or Trogir have to offer. There’s plenty to see with nightlife and historical sights in equal measure.
On your first full day we suggest heading down to the island of Brac. This is a great first stop, with a short sail to ease you in. Milna on Brac is the most sheltered harbour on the island and is also picturesque with its old village perched atop the nearby hill.
Days 3 – 4, Exploring Hvar & the Pakleni Archipelago
Hvar offers the perfect follow on from Brac. Choose from Stari Grad, Jelsa or Hvar Town to use as your base for this beautiful island. The island has a great history but if it’s nightlife you want then we’d say Hvar Town is the one for you. With numerous music festivals hosted here over the summer, there is plenty to do if you want to let your hair down and dance the night away, overlooking beaches and seascapes.
Another great stop for lunch is the Pakleni Archipelago, or Devil’s Islands as they are sometimes called. There are 7 larger islands and lots of tiny ones. Sveti Klement is one of our favourites boasting sandy coves and pine backed beaches. As a rule these low islands offer shelter from one direction or the other in long, narrow bays with warm and generally shallow water, a great swim stop!
Days 5 – 7, Sail up to Solta
Once you’ve explored the Pakleni Islands head north up to the island of Solta. Here you could stop for one or a few nights, with Stomorska, Rogac and Maslinica all being safe harbours.
Solta is great for the foodies, with Stomorska having a great selection of restaurants lining its marina and Maslinica being renowned for three things, wine, honey and schnapps, we wouldn’t complain!
And if you’re feeling really adventurous and have a day left why not head to the very north of the Dalmatian Islands sailing area up to Primosten. This is around a 15-20 mile sail from Maslinica and this islet is one not to missed if you fancy some wine tasting, since the area is known for its expansive and scenic vineyards.
Days 7 – 8, Returning to the base
It’s time to head back to base, you’ll usually be required to be back in the base between 4-6pm on your last night, but this doesn’t mean the holiday is over. You’ve got one last night to enjoy all that Croatia has to offer.
Since you were only there for one night, at the start of your holiday, you can’t have seen all that Split or Trogir have to offer. Trogir and Split are only a 15 minute taxi ride apart, so why not take the opportunity to explore the base that you didn’t start from, and go for a stroll through the streets soaking up the unbeatable ambience.
Days 1 – 2, Arriving at Split or Trogir
After a short transfer from Split airport you will complete a quick check-in once you arrive at base. Then you will have a briefing on all your boat’s bells and whistles, before you relax and unwind for your first night!
Split & Trogir both have an inredible amount to see and do. On your first days sailing a great route to ease you in, is heading over to Milna on the island of Brac. This is a very sheltered bay to moor up in with two different marinas to take your pick from! There are also numerous bays and lovely beaches if you prefer to steer clear of marinas and their associated fees.
Days 3 – 6, Exploring the Dalmatian Islands
Once you’ve experienced what Brac has to offer, why not spend the next few days heading south, hopping from island to island? We suggest Stari Grad and then onto Hvar Town on Hvar island – where there is plenty to see – from the well-known fort to the infamous nightlife. This is easily followed by a night at Orebic and then Polace on the island of Mljet.
From Milna to Stari Grad is a nice short hop of around 10 miles. The next day is a slightly longer sail, down to the town of Orebic, which has some of Croatia’s most amazing sandy beaches. From here, Mt Ilija on Korchula Island, is only a 2.5km sail away.
The north west end of Mljet is host to wonderfully sheltered bays including two inland salt lakes – Veliko and Malo Jezero, well worth a visit.
Days 7 – 9, Heading down to Dubrovnik
Upon leaving Mljet you can head right down to the southern Dalmatian Islands, stopping off in Slano before reaching iconic Dubrovnik. Slano is a typical Croatian town famed for three things; its olives, vineyards and beaches (our kind of place!).
At Dubrovnik, make sure you take the time on shore to stroll around the city’s old walls which are truly stunning. Any Game of Thrones fans may recognize this historic spot as the main filming location of King’s Landing.
After this its time to turn around and start the sail back to Split. Sipan is a unique looking island, with two limestone crests, making for a stunning backdrop to your sail. Once you’re moored up in Mljet, you should venutre over to Pomena which is just over a 15 minute walk to Malo Jezero (the Small Lake) of Mljet National Park.
Days 10 – 12, Venturing to the island of Vis
Now you’ve been to the Elaphiti Islands, you could head west over to Lastovo. Around a 20 mile sail and a popular one if you’re looking for a quiet anchorage, away from the hustle and bustle of some busier tourist hot spots. The town of Uble is one for the history buffs boasting a basilica that was built between the 5th-6th centuries.
Once you’ve relaxed in peaceful Lastovo, it is just a short hop up to the island of Korcula. The old town here is a medieval walled city facing the channel, certainly a sight to behold. If you happen to be here on a Thursday, you’ll catch the locals performing their traditional sword dance, so watch out!
After Korcula you can sail west to the stunning island of Vis. This sail is around 20 miles. Once there you’ll want to try the fresh seafood and wine the island is famed for.
Days 13 – 14, Returning to the base
On your last night you’ll be required to be back in the base by around 6pm. What better way to round off a great two weeks than by taking a stroll around Trogir or enjoying a scrumptious meal in Split. Whichever base you started at – why not take a taxi and explore the other?
Days 1 – 2, Arriving at Dubrovnik
Once you’ve arrived at the marina and checked-in you will be shown to your yacht by the charter company. A briefing of the boat will be given and then it’s time to unpack, relax and have a drink!
Starting in Dubrovnik, means on your first night, you have the whole city on your doorstep (or stern!). Why not take a stroll around the city walls, a picturesque walk which, when lit at night, is simply stunning.
On your first day why not sail over to Sobra on the island of Mljet. This island is nicknamed as the most ‘enchanting’ island in the entire Adriatic and also happens to be the greenest of all the Dalmatian islands. The national park here has two scenic inland salt lakes – Veliko and Malo Jerezo.
Days 3 – 4, Potter over to the Pelješac Peninsula
Once you’ve seen all that Sobra has to offer then why not head north along the coastline of the Peljesac Peninsula for around 20 miles until you reach Orebic.
Orebic has some of the best beaches in the southern Dalmatian islands and it’s not hard to see why. With sandy beaches surrounded by pine trees and the island of Korcula only 2.5km away, a perfect lunch stop could be at the base of Mt Ilija which, by the way, provides great shelter from the wind.
Days 4 – 6, Laze around Lastovo and beyond
You’ve seen the magnificent Mt Ilija, now it’s time for some relaxation. Head over to the island of Lastovo, a peaceful place where you can sit back and relax away from the hubbub of popular tourist spots.
The basilica in Uble is certainly an eye catching sight and worth visiting. After this, head east for between 15-20 miles and you’ll get to the northern tip of Mljet, but this time stop in Pomena or Polace. Both with fantastic beaches and access to the nearby national park. Furthermore, in Polace you can also try some water sports if you wish.
On your last full day of sailing it’s best to start heading back towards Dubrovnik via Sipan, the largest of the Elaphiti Islands. This island was in the past hugely popular with Dubrovnik’s wealthiest and we can see why!
Days 7 – 8, Returning to the base
On your last day you’ll usually be expected to arrive back at the base between 4-6pm. Once you’re back in the marina and you’ve packed ready for your flight home the next day why not take advantage on your last night to explore Dubrovnik’s winding streets and culinary delights along the shore front.