Croatia’s Culinary Pioneers
Istria was the culinary pioneer of incipient Croatia. Here the benefits Nature had bestowed upon the peninsula were skifully guided to maturity: the wine and truffles have become brand names, being shown to advantage in splendid gastronomies. Some of the top personalities amongst Croatian chefs are at home here. Great restaurants are thick on the ground, but unfortunately not always conveniently located for yachting tourism. Usually one has to moor in one of the big marinas, and/or journey a short distance by car. Reservations are obligatory – the effort tough is always worth it. Due to its proximity to Italy and Austria, Istria, in contrast with southern Croatia, represents an all-year round destination.
In Croatia’s northenmost harbour, one also finds an ACI Marina with around 500 moorings. The natural harbour is protected by a bow-shaped pier, while out of the old city peninsula one can also tie up to the northern jetty. In the harbour bay, buoys have also been set out.
Novigrad, the little townlet set on a peninsula in the south of the bay of the same name, has a true fishing harbour. There is no room, though, for guest boats. One has to anchor in the bay or tie up to the buoys. In the new Marina Nautica, moorings can be rented by the day.
Mooring is possible at the quay in front of the old city, otherwise there are berths a the rather small marina’s 120 moorings, or one heads for one of the mooring buoys between the island and old city. There are fees for anchoring in this area which in high summer is quite crowded.
The fishing village, situated at a height with a good view of the bay before it and the marina, has retained its original character. The municipal harbour is also administered in part by the marina. Vrsar lies at the mouth of the ”Lim Channel” estuary.
The sea thrusts somewhat more than five sea miles into the geologically very old, fluvial valley of the Pazinčica which is erroneously also called the Limski Fjord, even although no glacier was involved in its formation. According to officialdom, it can only be sailed with a permit.
The visual ensemble that is the old city of Rovinj is one of Istria’s most popular destinations. A visit to the tower of the Sveta Eufemija curch, at Rovinj’s highest point, is a must, the characteristic church tower being inspired by Venice’s Campanile. Like most towns in Istria, land based tourism is pre-dominant. The ACI Marina is situated opposite the old city begin somewhat more than a kilometer away from it on foot.
Pula – ACI Pula
The headquarters of the 21 Croatian ACI marinas lies directly on the marina, in front of the old city of Pulas and near the amphitheatre. On the marina piers there is a room for almost 200 boats, also for mega yachts up to 25m. the bistro Torta in the round marina building, inspired by the amphitheatre, is the only marina restaurant run by the ACI marina group.
South of Pula there lies the deeply incised bay with the Marina Veruda on the west bank. There is a room here for more than 600 yachts. It is one of the most favoured places to start a charter trip. From here to the centre of Pula with its old city it is approximately 4km.
Upon sighting this bay to the west of Veli Brijun, yachting opinions are divided. It is proudly unspoiled thanks to the National Park status of the islands of Pula. But one would still like to anchor here. Anchoring at the one time Summer island residence of Marshal Tito is, though, only possible in Veli Brijun harbour, and it is not exactly cheap. On the island there are hotels and sub-tropical park.
The island with its main town of the same name is a popular starting point for sailing tours
The largest of Croatian islands profits from its more than 1km long bridge, which connects it with the mainland. Thus the yacht owner or charterer can drive far into the Kvarner Bay by car, unhindered by the ferry transport. The Marina Punat in the South counts amongst the largest in Croatia, and is used by many as a starting point for sailing trips to the South. The international airport Rijeka/Kvarner is also situated in the North of the island. Krk is regarded as one of the historical centers of Croatian culture. In Baška there is a stone tablet with glagolitic writings from the 11th century, one of Croatia’s most important historical inscriptions. The history of the eponymous main town of the island reaches back far to antiquity. Because of its natural riches, Krk was named by the Romans the ”Golden Island”.
Since 2012, the pier at Njivice has been extended, now there is a room for more yachts. The moorings are listed among the best alternatives the Northern Kvarner. Njivice has it own beach, which is only 200m from the pier.
Vrbnik lies imposingly on cliffs overlooking the sea. Mooring in the small harbour is hardly possible due to the narrowness, with a Bura it can even be dangerous. An alternative is an excursion to here from Punat to try out the numerous wine tasting possibilities.
At 3.5km long and several 100 meters wide, the cultivation area of Žlahtina near the town of Vrbnik runs like a runway towards the north-west. This autochthonous variety of grape is only cultivated here – and it is an island wine par excellence. While on the mainland opposite at Crikvenica, one may also find Žlahtina vines, Vrbnik is though the stronghold where this wine is pressed in appreciable quantities. The Žlahtina is said to have a kinship with Austria’s Gruner Veltliner; fresh and fruity, with its fine play of acidity.
The locality and the Marina of the same name, which counts amongst the largest in Croatia, lie in an extensive bay with an island monastery. Nautical tourism has its own very long tradition. The marina has its own pier for one-day stopovers.
Mala & Vela Luka
Both bays at the southeast point of Krk are very popular in Summer and only empty when the Bura is blowing. Here Krk shows itself from its harsher side, rugged and sparse – but no less fascinating because of that.
On one of the most forested islands there are plenty of beaches to be found
Rab, as one of the Croatian islands with the most forest, displays its green side on the west coast. The side facing the mainland’s Velebit mountain range is barren and rugged. Kamenjak peak, however, in protecting the western half of the island from the Bura, is accordingly mild and rich in vegetation, so the island plains are fertile. Rab is known for its many sandy beaches. In particular, the one located in the northeast peninsula at Lopar is blessed by being an attraction for many land-based tourists. Thus the tourist season begins earlier here than on other islands, the first wave reaching Rab at Easter. Two ACI marinas are located on Rab, one in the north in Supetarska Draga, and one directly opposite the old town of Rab, which is idyllically situated on the tip of a peninsula.
CRES & LOŠINJ
From sparse grey to succulent green
From North to South, the two islands stretch for over 45 sea miles. Cres is the largest Adriatic island, and in the north it is somewhat barren. On the west side lie the towns of Cres, Valun and Martinišćica, each with a marina or small pier. The further south one goes, the greener it becomes. This is particularly true for the island of Lošinj, only reachable by road bridge from Cres. A narrow channel divides the two islands at Osor. Although small, the old town is a good place to spend some time. Here one can see the statue of the weasel commemorating the time when weasel furs were used as currency. The City of Osor bought its freedom from Venice in this way. Weasel, or marten, is called ”Kuna” in Croatian, and since then, Osor has been identified as the birthplace of Croatia’s currency. If you are coming from the north, heading for the lagoon Mali Lošinj, you should sail along the west side, avoiding the channel.
The island of Cres main town, also called Cres, is situated on a well protected bay, in which the ACI Marina is also to be found. In front of the Old City are several moorings, the marina being about 1.5km distance from the town. Long ago, the Venetians took the city, fortifying and ruling it for 500 years. Only two town gates and a tower remain to tell the tale.
The channel between Cres and Lošinj was already in frequent use by the Romans and was probably dug by them. The moveable car bridge is opened twice daily 09:00 and 17:00, to allow boats to pass, those from the south having right of way. When the bridge is closed there is only 1.5m overhead clearance.
Once a proud port with its own large sailing fleet, the place dedicated itself early on to tourism being prized as a spa town during the Habsburg monarchy. In the high season, the swimming piers in the harbour bay are full. Excursion boats tie up at the eastern quay.
Potential visitors to Unije should best tie up to a buoy in Maračol Bay, east of the island. From there is ca. 1.2km across the island on foot to the little town. At its quay at the ferry pier, only 2 or 3 yachts have room to moor. When west and northwest winds blow, it can quickly get uncomfortable, there also being no shelter from the Adria’s swell.
Susak is an exception amongst the Adriatic Islands because it consists entirely of sandy clay, which rests upon a limestone shelf. The island is correspondingly green, and wine used to be cultivated on a large scale here, something which is being revived in recent years. The harbour of the only town on the island is only suitable for smaller yachts and there are only few moorings. The entry is made more difficult by underwater remains of the old pier.
ILOVIK, OLIB, PREMUDA, SILBA
Where the Kvarner ends and Dalmatia begins, you will find a delightful island world
The flair of the islands is always unmistakable. But there seems to be a critical mass, obviously dependent on an island’s accessibility. When a certain size is reached, a network of roads built, and there are towns, then that typical flair is not so easly flet. The islands which lie south of Cres, bordering on Dalmatia, have all the pre-requisites for creating a true island atmosphere – little or no traffic mostly only one settlement, their size making them easily explored on foot. And although they lie fairly close together, each of these islands has its own unmistakable flair. One is a little bit Caribbean, the other is somewhat mondain, while the next has unspoiled nature, and is fairly unpopulated. You will hardly find more variety within the space of a few miles.
In the channel of about 1 nautical mile, between Ilovik and the monastery island Sv.Petar facing it, there are ca.90 buoys, some quite close to each other. At Ilovik pier, there is hardly any room, since excursion boats from Lošinj dock there. Anchoring is possible south of the town.
The pier at Olib has several mooring places with electricity and water. Caution is advised regarding the Nevera, hurricane-like westerly storms if brief duration occurring during the summer months. The tranquil little town is characterized by new or newly renovated holiday homes. Olib has hardly more than 100 inhabitants, a number multiplied in the summer months. The island landmark is the 400 year old watchtower which was built to protect it from pirates.
Silba is fashionable, and even Hollywood names dock here from time to time. There is a open air gallery. Bicycling is forbidden on Silba. In the east harbour, the rescue service Emergensea has a boat stationed. With his active tug, the owner of the harbour restaurant is the island’s guardian angel. In the harbour he often helps out when boats are tying up. Because the Silba waters do have their rocky shoals his input in often required in the summer months. Here it is experience that counts. With able associates he can carry out smaller repairs on the island. So, on Silba there are no bicycles, but instead there are helping hands.
The harbour of Premuda, Krijal, and the neighbouring field of buoys, enjoys the natural protection of the long outlier to the west. In the harbour itself there are hardly any possibilities for mooring. The town Premuda lies at a height in the middle of the island, about 1 km away. The island has the aura of a nautical outpost, and has a unique atmosphere. From the harbour you can enjoy sunsets in the open Adriatic, which is not possible in many islands harbours.
IST & MOLAT
Two of the last islands where yacht tourism is predominant
Both islands are topographically similar, since their bays open in a V-shape towards the southeast, at whose point, in each case, a townlet is situated. Both bays are well-liked by yachties, too, on one hand because there is a lot of room there, with many buoys laid out, and on the other hand because the ferry only comes once daily, hardly briging any tourists for the day. Together with the many smaller islets they from an archipelago with a plethora of bays and anchorages, and a bit of Caribbean atmosphere. For an island of its size, the larger Molat has a notable number of anchorages offering shelter in every kind of weather.
At the end of the south eastern bay that is ca. 1 nautical mile long, lies the main borough Ist on an isthmus joining the two parts of the island. The harbour pier has room for only a few yachts, mainly because the ferry also docks at the head of the pier. Numerous buoys are set out at the eastern bank and in summer the bay is sought out by many yachts. The north bay is less frequented because it is not as well-sheltered from the predominant summer winds.
There are many buoys between the island and little Brgulje on the east bank of the bay, which cuts in for almost 2 nautical miles. In the island’s eponymous main town, situated in the south, with its harbour Lučina, yachts can tie up alongside on the extended pier. The bay offers good shelter under all conditions.
Many people compare the island to a monoscope
The north and east coastal sections are characterised by a bizarre barrenness. In spite of this, enough food grows here for the sheep, which provide milk for one of Croatia’s culinary and cultural emblems, cheese form Pag. But other specialities are cultivated here, too. The west coast and the plain around Novalja produce olive oil and wine, notably the autochthonous grape variety Gegić. The main town of Pag lies somewhat apart from the sailing routes, at the entry to a delighful, lagoon-like bay, which though can get uncomfortable during the Bura. In the northern end, lies one of Europe’s partys beaches, Zrče, not far from Novalja on the west coast. In the many club here, the night becomes the day. On the West coast, the ACI Marina Šimun offer the most secure mooring.
Nightlife and culture guaranteed
Located in peninsula, the historical old town of Zadar has in recent years turned into a cultural metropolis, famed for its nightlife. Its 2000 years of history is all packed into half a square kilometre. The Greeks, Romans, Venetians, French, Italians and Austrians have all left their mark on the former capital of Dalmatia. It also offers bars with live music, galleries and modern venues such as the Arsenal, where everything from fashion shows to a wine shop can be found. There are almost 500 berths available for yachts in the Marina Borik and Marina Zadar, but berths in the private Marina Vitrenjak are in short supply for guests.
Located next to Sukošan, the D-Marin Dalmacija is the largest marina in Croatia and can accomodate more than 1200 yachts. The proximity to the airport at Zadar (10km) makes it the ideal base for many charter firms. The Kornati National Park is a good two hour trip from here.
The yacht harbour of Biograd has two marinas. The Marina Kornati is situated in northern part of the bay and the Marina Šangulin in the southern part. The adjacent old town makes this the perfect place for many charter guests to start their cruise.
Should you wish to visit Zadar but prefer not to walk long distances, then you can moor in the Olive Island Marina on the island of Ugljan. From here speedboat taxis are available to take you at the 2.5 sea miles to Zadar, advance booking is essential.
Pašman Bays: Lanđin, Žinčena & Soline
Coming from Zadar, Sukošan or Biograd, these three bays are one the first anchoring possibilities. There are also buoys in Lanđin and Soline. Although Soline is sheltered from all winds, both the other bays are south-facing. To the left lies Soline, where some small restaurants are to be found, and to right, Lanđin.
The wonders of the ”Long Island” stretch from north to south
The first cars appeared on Dugi Otok in 1985. The pace of life is accordingly slower on the island, which separates the Zadar archipelago from the Adriatic Sea like a fortress and sailing tourism is dominant here. In particular, Telašćica Nature Park, which lies at the southern end of the island, receives a lot of visitors in the summer. Its popularity is also due to its proximity to the Kornati National Park. The main settlement of Sali is a well frequented stop on the way in or out of the National Park. The further north you sail the more tranquil it becomes, also on the water. The island’s only marina, able to accomodate 100 yachts, lies at the northern tip of the island in Veli Rat. Water is only available in the mornings and evenings, as Dugi Otok doesn’t have any natural water resources of its own.
Veli Rat & Čuna
Passing through the narrow waters at Veli Rat, with its marina, you arrive at Čuna Bay. On the way you sail through the much larger Pantera Bay with its sandbank. There are numerous mooring buoys in both bays.
Telašćica nature Park: the lake paradise of the Adriatic Sea
The nature park located on the south side of Dugi Otok is named after bay, which is probably derived from the Latin word for three lakes ‘tre lagus’. The Romans were indeed fascinated by this verdant landscape dominated by lakes, the most remarkable of which is the saltwater lake Mir. It is however filled with tourists during high season and is only accessible on foot. In the height of summer, the temperature can climb to 35 degrees making the lake’s saltwater unpleasant to bathe in. All other areas are navigable by boat, but thousands of years ago they were separate karst lakes. There is a nature park fee of 60km per person per day, but the buoys in the bays are free of charger.
The island, which belongs to the Kornati archipelago, but not to the national park, was settled by the inhabitants of Murter and placed under their administration. This differentiates it from most of the Kornati islands – olives and fruit thrive here. 113 yachts can moor at the long jetty at the ACI Marina, where only essential shopping goods and sanitary facilities are available. This should be all you need during the summer months. Water and electricity are only available mornings and evenings on an hourly basis at the Marina.
At the begining of the time the Kornati islands and Dugi Otok were not separated, but were rather one landmass. However, the Croatian mainland is slowly sinking into the Adriatic Sea, by just over a meter every thousand years. Thus the passages Mala Proversa and Vela Proversa, which lie north and south of the island of Katina, are navigable nowadays. In the case of Mala Proversa a bit of human assistance was needed, with the canal being deepened from 1m to 4m in the 1980s. It was also widened to 15m and illuminated with light buoys. Since than it has attracted a high volume of shipping traffic.
KORNATI NATIONAL PARK
On water, land or from the air – it’s always an amazing experience
The current appearance of this unique group of islands has been largely influenced by Man. This is not disadvantageous for tourism in the National Park, as nowhere else in the Mediterranean is there such a multitude of bewitchingly bleak islands as in the Kornati archipelago, named after the largest island of Kornat. At first sight the underwater world of the Kornati is exactly the same as the world above water – a barren landscape interpresed with sea grass beds, as one would expect from the Adriatic Sea. On anchor manoeuvre can destroy hundreds of square meters of sea grass bed. The underwater world of the Kornati islands was almost unknown for a long time; once below 25m, it can now be compared to the Red Sea.
The main settlement of the Kornati islands compries 40 houses and cisterns. Moorings are available at the taverns. The bay contains numerous buoys, which are in great demand in the high season and whose use is included in the national park fee. The visitor center covering the north western area of the national park is also located here.
The Byzantine fortress dates from the 8th century. Romains of Illyrian settlements are much older and burial mounds have been found nearby. It is believed that this used to be the main settlement of the island of Kornat. A small medieval church stands at the foot of the fortress hill. An annual mass is celebrated here on the first Sunday in July and this religious event is visited by many mainland inhabitants who come by fishing boat.
The setting is magnificent, but the film made on Mana was not quite as impressive. In 1959 the small island was the location for ”Rages of the Sea”, based on a book. The German production starred Cameron Mitchell and Maria Schell, who is called ”’Mana” in the film. The story deals with dynamite fishing in Greece. It is a popular place for a short stop due to its spectacular cliffs and also as parts of a village were built on the island for the film.
Panitula is the name of the small island, where the small ACI Marina is open from Easter to October and which can accomodate 120 yachts. It is located opposite the large island of Piškera, which is the 3rd largest of the Kornati archipelago. The north passage between the islands in not navigable by sailing boats.
From the air you can clearly see the outline of a sunken Roman salt works in the bay of the island Lavsa. Settlement remains can also be seen there. The Romans used the salt to preserve fish. This is a popular destination due to the availability of buoys and the number of small Konobas. Anchoring can be awkward as the bay does not offer any protection when the Bura wind is blowing. Many an anchor has also become entangled in the underwater chains linking the buoys.
The Opat is one the culinary highlights of the Kornati Islands; only restaurant guests may moor there. The restaurant is in the upper area of the terrace-like hillside. There is a caffe bar directly on the waterfront underneath. A small market is open from 9-13 hours. The family business offers culinary diversity, which one wouldn’t expect in a remote bay: maarinated prawns with orange and rucola, John Dory carpaccio with truffles, tuna carpaccio, oysters from the Kornati islands. Manestra (pasta) with calamari, fish fillets in a salt bed. On offer for dessert is chocolate souffle or baked pancakes in vanilla sauce. Open from Easter – 01.10. No national park fee at the jetty, where there is space for 25 boats with moorings (depth 2.5m).
Famous for its boat building, traditional regatta and cuisine
At first glance you hardly notice that Murter is an island – only the bridge at Tisno connects it with the mainland. The 3 marinas make an ideal stepping stone for the nearby National Park: Jezera to the south, and in the north, Hramina in Murter and Betina. The island has just 800 moorings for pleasure craft, and 5000 inhabitans. The islanders were always attuned to the culinary demands of the Yachties: that is how Murter developed into a culinary stronghold. The island has the best pre-requisites for this – even during the Habsburg monarchy, olive oil from Murter was delivered to the Emperor’s court in Vienna.
The charming old part of Tribunj lies on a 150m long island, on the south side of which there are more than 20 moorings for yachts. This is an attractive place to moor, especially in the first week of August, when the townsmen hold their traditional donkey race. Directly opposite the island lies the Marina Tribunj which can accomodate up to 240 yachts.
Land tourism dominates here and the nightlife of the bathing resort is correspondingly diverse. However, it is also a very popular starting point for charter cruises. The name Vodice is dervied from the Croatian for water, referring to the springs that used to supply the whole region with water in medieval times.
Šibenik was founded by the Croats as s bastion against Byzantine Dalmatia. The Venetians later reinforced the town by building many fortresses as defence against Turks. The largest of these fortresses, Sv.Mihovil, towers above the town and a smaller fortress can be found at the entrance into the Sv.Ante Channel.
In the Marina, which belongs to the D-Marin Group, there is a room for 429 yachts to moor. Integral to it is Croatia’s first Super Yacht Marina completed in 2012. Here, there are moorings for yachts up to 140m. The well-protected Marina is situated on the peninsula of the same name in the Bay of Šibenik.
Up close and personal with the waterfalls of the Krka National Park
A natural wonder can be seen a short distance from Skradin, where the River Krka falls 50m over cascades at Skradinski buk. There is an ACI Marina in Skradin, situated 8 sea miles upriver from Šibenilk. The small medieval town of Skradin, whose roots lie in Illyrian times, is a very popular destination due to its unique location. The mairna has 150 berths. Although is theory it is forbidden to anchor in front of Skradin, it is usually accepted in the high season.
Until the 19th century the town, founded on an island, whose name roughly means ‘next to the bridge’, was only connected to the mainland by a drawbridge. It was also protected by fortified towers which were built in the 17th century as defence from the Turks. Nowadays, photos of Primošten are often used to advertise the area to tourists.
The Marina Frapa dominates Rogoznica Bay, where the sophisticated marina has 500 berths. Buoys are available for day guests in the summer. You can also moor at the town quay on the opposite island of Rogoznica, where the beacon stands right in front of the numerous restaurants. Mooring are also provided here.
There are convenient finger pontoons in the Marina which can accomodate 400 yachts, but no fuel is available. If you cannot find a safe berth in Primošten, Kremik, located 3km away, is an excellent alternative as there is a bus connection between the two. It is also a popular charter base.
The old town of Trogir is amongst UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and is like an open air museum. It was built by the Greeks on an artificial island and names Tragurion (Goat Island). Under Venetian rule, it reached its architectural heyday.
ŠOLTA & DRVENIK
On these tranquil islands the roads are even quieter than the surrounding waters
For the inhabitants of Šolta and Drvenik land tourism is of little importance as it is only at the weekends that tourists make the crossing from Split. However the islands hold more interest for yachtsmen, as their wilderness exudes a tranquillity that is not found on other islands. The main interests here are still fishing, good quality olive oil, red wine made from native grapes, herbs and honey, all of which are grown and produced on the fertile islands.
Maslinica – Martinis Marchi
The newly constructed quay of this private marina with breakwater can accomodate up to 50 yachts. Marina is open all year round and offers its guest’s modern facilities and now even a selected but limited number of berths for private sale. The luxury hotel’s stylish restaurant with terrace provides the perfect setting for an unforagettable culinary experience. Combining both Medtiterranean and local cuisine, the menu includes octopus carpaccio, octopus with leek and pickled baby onion or lavish fish menus. On offer for dessert is cake with lemon and wild orange from Šolta. The restaurant’s wine cellar offers a stunning selection of regional and international wines.
Located on a hillside, the restaurant has 6 buoys and 4 moorings (12m deep). Wait for assistance as more than one boat can be moored to each buoy. Phone reservation necessary. Run by young German speakers, this location with cocktail bar and a good choice of jazz music also offers a different menu. During high season skewered lamb is served daily, apart from Fridays. Also on offer is smoked swordfish, octopus salad, anchovies, pork medallions, filet of veal and naturally peka. Fish caught fresh that day can be chosen from a tray. Wine is only served by the bottle.
On the south coast of Šoltas one finds several bays to anchor it. These bays, though, can only be visited in calm weather. It can also be considered as an alternative mooring, in case the moorings opposite on the island of Brač or the marina in Milna are full. The bay can also be reached overland.
Krknjaši / Drvenik Veli
The circumstances could not be better: Dragica comes from a family of farmers while Ivica is an experienced fisherman. Both love cooking and their restaurant, including a small plantation, lies in beautiful surroundings. One finds Olive, almond, lemon and orange trees as well as vegetables, herbs, potatoes, home-produced wine and, of course, the freshest sea food.
The cultural, economic and sports center of Dalmatia: easily accessible by boat
The old town of Split is irresistible. It is here that the Roman emperor Diocletian, born in nearby Salona, built his imposing retirement palace at the turn of the fourth century AD. Even today the outer walls of the palace still form the heart of the old town. Over the centuries the Byzantine Empire, the Venetian Republic and the Habsburg Monarchy have also left their mark on the architecture of this continually inhabited, busy old town, transforming it into a living amalgamation of the centuries. This can best be experienced by taking a walk along the Riva, Split’s seafront promenade, on a warm summer evening. From the center of the old town, it is barely a kilometre’s walk along the waterfront to the ACI Marina. Nowdays Split is, in many ways, the center of Dalmatia. There are also numerous museums in the town centre – Split is a quite simply a cultural hotspot.
The Squares of Split
Sometimes a brave skipper is rewarded with a mooring directly on the Riva, even if only for a couple of hours. One can then reach the squares of the old town in minutes, which is an impressive experience, particularly in the evening, and might remind you of Venice. Otherwise, the recommendation is to moor in the nearby ACI Marina, about 1km from the pleasures of this UNESCO-protected old town.
The largest island in Dalmatia hides a wealth of treasures – from the Golden Horn to the marble quarries
The ferry connection between the mainland – from Split – and Supetar, the island’s main settlement, has numerous sailings during the high season. The ferry port in Supetar is therefore very busy and its mole lies in front of the entrance to the town’s small harbour. There are only few berths available for guests. Although Brač is a very diverse island, it is usually only visited briefly on the way south. However, ther are many places full of character on the north coast, where the pace of life is much slower. Brač lamb deserves a mention: it can be found on menus throughout Dalmatia.
The famous stone quarries lie at the entrance of Pučišća Bay. Marble-like, white limestone is quarried here and is exported around the world. In the settlement of Pučišća, located at the end of the fjord-like incision, there are many buildings dating from numerous ears, all built out of excellent material from the stone quarries. The Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the White House in Washington and the Reichstag building in Berlin were also built using this white stone. Europe’s only stone-cutting school is located here. It is interesting to note that boats are moored an angle to the quay in Pučišća. In the case of sudden gusts of wind, this will facilitate a quick departure in the right direction.
In the well protected Luke Bay, in the north east of Brač, lies this well maintained establishment. The high concerte mole has moorings fro up to 15 yachts, for a fee. Water and sanitary facilities are inclusive. Electricity is solar powered. The nearby buoys also belong to the restaurant. Traditional dishes sre served such as skewered lamb, lamb peka, lobster, seafood pasta, octopus peka and wood grilled fish. There is a beautiful beach area with a children’s playground directly in front of the restaurant.
The sides of the triangular promontory Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) are 400m long. It just out into the water not far from Bol and its appearance changes daily. The shape of the beach shifts with the changes in current, making the tip point in different directions. During the high season countless sun loungers lie on the fine shingle and there is also a nudist area. It is easy to reach the beach from a yacht; many people stop here to swimm, even if it is not an optimal anchorage ground. This horn has turned the tourism of Bol into gold.
Bobovišća na moru
Broad beans are called ”Bob” in Croatian and Bobovišća means ”bean field”. The peaceful harbour there offers some berths with mooring lines for yachts. The Konobas serve bean dishes with seafood. The scorched areas on the surrounding hills are from the forest fire of summer 2011. The village was evacuated and worse demage was prevented – a reminder of the dangers of barbecues and cigarettes.
At the end of the fjord-like incision next to the passage between Šolta and Brač lies a popular place of Milna with its ACI Marina is to be found. There is also mooring at the town quay, directly in front of the curch. Milna is completely dedicated to boat tourism.
In the middle of Lučice Bay lie the restaurant’s 16 buoys. This restaurant, run by the family of a professional fisherman, has fine-tuned its offer to a sailor’s needs – anything you order in the evening is delivered to your boat the following morning. Also, on offer is a grilled fish, pork or veal loin. Skewered lamb can be prepared for larger crews if required. Pasta with lobster is also served on the terrace. Dessert is cake cooked under the peka.
A mild, sunny climate makes for wonderful wine-growing conditions on Hvar and so much more
The Greeks founded this polis in the 4th century BC. It was called Faros at the time is in fact the oldest town in Europe. The name of the island Hvar is derived from the name Faros. Thus Stari Grad was also the main settlement on the island for a long time. Lying to the south of the long, narrow harbour basin, the beautifully preserved mediaeval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ferry port, the main connection to the mainland and Italy, lies somewhat at a distance and hardly affects this idyllic little town. There are buoys available or moorings, electricity and water are provided at the south quay.
The settlement’s ACI Marina has more than 110 berths. However, there are also moorings, electricity and water at the south west quay, situated slightly further down the narrow channel. Vrboska is known for its unique medieval fortfied curch, built after a destructive Ottoman attack.
There are many wineries in Jelsa, but not too many yachts in the harbour basin. Jelsa is a more leisurely alternative to the bustling harbour in Hvar Town and the local establishments cater for connoisseurs of good food and wine rather than mass tourism. Moorings, electricity and water are available at the north mole of the harbour.
The nightlife of Hvar Town, on the island of Hvar, is legendary
Hvar’s Riva is very popular on all sites, from the luxury yachts to the strolling tourist. Hvar Town undoubtedly boasts one of the most fashionable harbours in the Adriatic Sea. There is a real nightlife here, more than on many other Croatian islands. It is always worth the climb up to the citadel, built by the Venetians, from which you can look out over the wonderfully preserved old town. In the high season you need to allow enough time to get a buoy or even a place at the quay. The town, along with the natural paradise of the Pakleni Islands situated opposite, is a unique destination for yachts – taxi boats leave from ACI Marina Palmižana on the island of Sv.Klement to Hvar Town.
Sv.Klement & Pakleni Islands
The Pakleni Islands, a 10km long group of 16 islands, add to the attraction of Hvar Town, being situated opposite it. The bays of the islands of Sv.Klement, Marinkvoac and Sv.Jerolim are spacious, with room for luxury yachts to unroll their oversized yacht slides, something which would be more difficult in the narrow harbour basin of Hvar Town. There are some idyllic restaurants located here too. The largest of islands, Sv.Klement, also houses the settlement of Palmižana including the ACI Marina with 160 berths, compensating for to the limited availability at the town of harbour at Hvar, located 2.5 sea miles away. There is a taxi boat connecting them in the summer. Pakleni is incorrectly transleted in ”hellish” as the Croatian word for it is rather similar. The more correct definition is from the old term for pitch, which has been extracted from pine resin here since ancient times.
Winemaker Plenković and his family’s talents do not solely consist of creating top class wines, as their restaurant proves. Just go downstairs to their wine cellar beneath sea level and choose fresh fish from their sea water pool. Then have it grilled and served on the shady terrace, where lobster, mussels and meat dishes are also available. You are sure to find the perfect wine to complement your meal; their favourably priced wines can be tasted and bought in the stylish stone building. Electricity and water are provided at the berths (5m deep) and sanitary facilities are also available.
The island of Šćedro lies just over 1.5 sea miles south of Hvar. Its name means ”delightful” in old Slavonic. It was the island’s appeal that prompted the Dominicans to found a monastery here at Mostir Bay. However, following pirate attacks and an earthquake, it has lain abandoned since the 18th century. The largest Lovišće Bay, also situated on the north side of the island, is a very popular anchorage ground. Due to its extreme proximity to Hvar island strong thermal winds are sometimes experienced t night and the seabed is also not optimal for anchoring. A shortline should always be used.
Sought after for Millennia
What may have been a bitter fact of life for the islands inhabitants over decades allows individual ansd yacht tourism to prosper today. Through its declaration as a millitary exclusion zone (only lifted in 1989), the island has remained unspoilt thus making it a very desirable destination. We recommend a trip into the center of the island, to get a taste of what it has to offer. The first port of call is usually the main settlement Vis with its ferry port, the Dominican monastery and Kut, a part of Vis situated at the east end of the bay (which is free of cars). Further recommendations are a trip around the island to Komiža, a visit to the nearby island Biševo with its Blue Grotto and a possible dive to one of the wrecks.
Growing in sandy, mineral soils, a rare plant thrives on the island; the wine, Vugava. It is pressed to produce the wine of the same name, also called ”Bugava” by the islanders. Aged also in barrique, this highly storable wine is characterized by its balanced acidity, high school content and fruitiness (peach/apricot). For connoisseurs it is one of the highlights of Croatian islands viticulture.
The brothers Linčir run their tavern at the picturesque end of the deeply incised bay, whose mouth is easily recognisable by its lighthouse. The shallow and area of the bay is roped off to provide safety for swimmers, the restaurant lying directly on the sandy beach, only separated from the water by high reeds. The anchoring grounds are sandy, 20 buoys are placed in the bay. You sit in the open air under the canopy, enjoying the brother’s refined dishes – always fresh from their own farm, or their own catch, with lamb, goat or octopus as a Peka, or grilled.
Mostly the island is mentioned in connection with the Blue Grotto on its eastern coast. You cannot anchor right in front of the cave but it can be negotiated by dinghy. In the immediate vicinity lies the Mezupoart Quay, where yachts can tie up. An entry price is charged for the grotto. The best cave light effects are to be seen before mid-day. Whoever prefers a sandy beach should head for the Biševska luka bay, and anchor there. Konobas are to be found here too.
Over the centuries tuna and anchovy fishing have left their mark on Komiža. There used to be 7 fish factories in this settlement with a current population of 1600; none remain today. Nowadays, more people from Komiža live abroad than in the settlement itself. This migration is s result of the political developments of the previous century and the absence of fish. It is worth visiting the fishing museum which bears witness to a very traditional past. What remains today is a picturesque fishing settlement, where gastronomy and agrotourism are very highly valued.
From Pirate’s Den to Nature Park
Just like the island of Vis, Lastovo was a millitary exclusion zone until 1989, nowdays seen as a stroke of luck for both islands, which are very popular with tourists. Lastovo is verdant island and has always been a little different, perhaps due to its inhabitants pirating history. It really does feel like a treasure island. Mooring is available at Sv.Mihajlo. it may seem odd that the main town is not on the coast and also faces away from it. The remaining islanders rebuilt the settlement inland, supposedly forced to by the Venetians so they could no longer look for passing ships. During the high season there’s a lot of shipping traffic, using Lastovo as the Port of Entry into the Adriatic. There’s a petrol station next to the ferry port in Ubli and a small private marina at the concrete quay in Pasadur.
Being in Zaklopatica is like being in a sheltered harbour basin. Anchor in 15m of water or moor at one of the restaurant jetties. It’s about two and a half km to the main settlement, Lastovo. Scooters or bicycles can be rented from a guest house and in the height of summer a diving school is based here.
Skrivena Luka is Croatian for ”hidden harbour” – the bay can only be recognized from far out at sea by using the lighthouse Struga. This part of Lastovo is very rocky, in contrast to the rest of the island – which is dominated by forest.
Experience the Middle Ages in Korčula Town
Sharing the same name as the island Korčula, the main settlement juts out into the Peljeski Channel like a magnet, attracting yachts. The western cruise pier is situated in front of the town’s walls and is rather exposed to the prevailing summer winds. To the east of the town lies the ACI Marina with 150 berths. The town of Korčula is amongst the best preserved mediaeval towns on the Adriatic Coast, with a unique atmosphere particularly in the evening. To the east of the town and on the island’s southern coast there are numerous anchoring bays that are hardly ever full. The interesting agrotourism businesses of those bays give a glimpse into the island’s remarkable wine industry.
The house of the winemaker Krajančić stands directly in the Zitna Bay where one can anchor – right next to the settlement of Zavalatica. Here he accompanies guests on a trip to the island’s delights, which, in his case, nearly always involves the grape variety of Pošip. Also a poet, he wants to share his artistic impressions of the island with his guests. The wine tasting is accompanied by fish dishes – it is essential to book in advance. There is a very little space to accomodate yachts in Zavalatica.
Gradina Bay is popular anchoring spot, due to its light, sandy seabed. The restaurant set directly on the shore has a concrete pier for dinghies only, and 7 buoys in the bay.
Enthusiasts for good wine and oysters should plot a course for this peninsula
The 70km long peninsula is only connected to the mainland by a 1.3km broad strip of land. The essence and characteristics of this quasi-island are difficult to discern from a boat. Only at both ends, at Ston and Lovište, are there any anchorages or bays worthy of mention. Between them lie Orebić, Trstenik and Žuljana on the southern coast. The best access to the peninsula is found via its wine. It is home to Croatia’s red wines of world repute, such as Dingač, the Grand Cru of the Plavac mali grape, or Postup. Together with the oysters and the salt from the saltworks of Ston, a culinary purist can already find the three basic foodstuffs that bring us a closer understanding of Pelješac. All that is missing is a hike in the craggy mountains at the middle of peninsula.
Ston & Mali Ston
Some people say that the Stonski Canal is not easy to navigate, since the water level varies up to 1m, while the depth of the narrow channel is only 2.5m. But at its end, things await the seafarer that make all the exactitude in navigation well worth the trouble. Approaching Ston, you can see its fortified wall from afar, the longest of its kind in Europe. The wall meant control of access to the Pelješac peninsula, protecting one of the best sources of income in the Ragusa Republic (today’s Dubrovnik) and protecting it well – the sea salt of Ston. At the other end of the wall, al Mali Ston, oysters are cultivated in the shallow, clean water. In restaurants in both towns these are served in rich variety. Reason enough to set sail for Ston. In the broad part of the canal, at Broce, you can anchor well. From here it is only about 3km by road to Ston.
The completely newly renovated fisherman’s house, lies at the begining of the Pelješki canal, the strait between Pelješac and Korčula. There are 8 buoys in the secluded bay. There is a pergola directly on the pebble beach. The owner recommends calling in advance, so that he can prepare to the full. The son of the owner of Barsa in Lovište can draw upon the gastronomic experience of his family. Home-grown organic products are on offer and a new fish and seafood menu is drawn up daily.
The village lies about two sea miles from where at Stonski Canal begins, in a bay on the south shore. All the restaurants have a mooring berth. The secluded location is a well-loved place for spending the night, after a short visit to Ston. It only consists of a few houses.
Once an important port that exported wine, today things are more tranquil here. You anchor at 5m adjacent the locality’s pebble beach while at the jetty the depth is 4m. Trstenik is one of those seclusive places which sailors value for their authenticity.
The most southern archipelago in Dalmatia has always been a cool getaway in summer
The three islands (Šipan, Lopud, Koločep) are the largest of the 13 Elaphiti Islands where you will find subtropical vegetation. Despite their proximity to Dubrovnik, whose inhabitants built numerous summer residences on these islands, non of them are overrun. The archipelago’s name is dervied from the Greek word for deer. Anchoring bays and moorings are numerous – it is an ideal area for sailors.
Balance is the therme here, and is varied with every dish. Whatever you think you know, you will learn to appreciate it afresh in this restaurant, e.g. prawns with home-made vinegar or octopus balls (polpetta). The family restaurant, whose renown has spread beyond the borders, is now run by the son, while it was the parents who laid the foundations for the autonomous cuisine. On the terrace there is always a cool breeze. Guests can tie up to the 3 buoys in front of the restaurant and anchoring in the bay is free of charge.
With its park-like garden, the villa was built in the 1930s. It reflects the very best in what rich Dubrovnik business people had always known how to cultivate on the Elaphiti islands: elegant privacy and romanticism – all of it with a cool breeze. The estate, which is at the western end of the bay of Donje Čelo on the island of Koločep, commands a 14m long pier with 4 moorings. 2 buoys, where several boats can tie up, lie in front of it. On the terrace with lounge bar, an elegant mix of international and Dalmatian food is served, from Gazpacho to Octopus Peka.
The greenest of all the Croatian Islands surely fascinated Ulysses himself
Mljet was already mentioned in the Odyssey – as the home of the nymph Calypso with whom Ulysses spent seven years. That is still plausible enough today, considering Nature’s grandiosity upon the island. Even without a nymph, one desires to linger, notwithstanding the claim of other Mediterranean islands to have been the real Calypso. But quite without a the myth, Mljet has much to offer, with its natural park, its saltwater lakes and its Benedictine monastery. The island is almost entirely tree-covered, which differentiates it from the other Croatian islands. Contributing to that was surely a law passed in the year 1400 which forbade the cutting down of trees without of permission, and ordering newly-weds to plant vines, olive and fig trees. In particular, the western part with its National Park is a prime destination for yachts – in the East things are somewhat more tranquil.
The place lies in the National Park area, a fee being charged to all the yachts moored in the bay. From here, you start your sightseeing of the salt lakes and monastery. Bicycles can be rented. The local jetty is shared by the various restaurants.
Veliko & Malo jezero
The area of the two karst lakes is the main attraction of the Natural Park, in particular with the monastery situated on an island in Veliko jezero. The lakes are connected to each other, as well as with the sea. Access for boats via the natural canal is prohibited. In order to visit the nature sanctuary, you should moor in Pomena or Polače.
Saplunara represents the tranquil eastern end of Mljet, a bas for anchoring and bathing with a sandy beach. Opposite, to the north of the isthmus, which the bay cuts into, lies the Podškolj anchorage.
Not even an audience of millions can detract from the city’s grandeur
There are many reasons why the former Republic of Ragusa has lost none of its radiance, today attracting one and a half million tourists per year. One reason might be the inscription to be found upon the Lovrijenac fortress: ”Freedom should never be sold, not far all the gold in the world”. Another might be the fact that slavery was abolished here in the year 1400. Mooring in Dubrovnik has to be well planned. The old city harbour of Gradska luka, east of the city walls is not available to yachts. At best, one can anchor in fron of it. The large cruise ships dock in the city harbour of Gruž, north-west of the Old City, and traffic is very busy. Any berthing possibilities are reserved for big yachts.the customs office is located here. The little marina of the Orsan sailing club is reserved for memebers only. From Gruž to the Old City is about 2.5km, so the only remaining possibility is the ACI Marina at the end of the deeply incised Dubrovačka river valley. The marina has 435 mooring berths. It does not do any harm to aks if berths are free. From here you have about 9km by bus into the Old City. The bay of Zaton, situated 11km from the city, should also be taken into consideration.
The Rector’s Palace
The former government seat of the Republic Ragusa could have been more grandiose, but aggrandizement was not something this aristocrats republic cultivated, neither architecturally nor politically. The Rector, who was voted in for one month at the republic’s Representative, resided here, shielded from the public eye. He was only permitted to leave the palace on official duty, and for this reason was not subject to improper influence. The Rector was a member of the lesser Council, to which judges also belonged. Part of his duties were to open and shut the city gates. Due to the extreme time limitations imposed upon the office, a stop was put to the development of dictatorial elements, something that many republics of today might care to emulate.
Croatia’s southernmost harbour bay and getaway to the fertile Konavle valley
Cavtat forms the southern end of the Croatian coast. The settlement lies partially on a green peninsula and is a peaceful, idylic holiday destination. It is the last chance for safe mooring before the border with Montenegro. The harbour bay is very busy and vessels can be cleared inwards and outwards at the custom quay. There is a fee for anchoring in the harbour bay. In the Tiha bay , which lies more to the east, the waters are not as calm, but there is no fee. Cavtat lies directly in front of Ćilipi, Dubrovnik’s airport and the fertile Konavle valley with its cypresses, also called the garden of Dubrovnik.