Split is the second largest city in Croatia and largest nautical center on the Adriatic coast.
There are a few reasons why that is a case. The International airport is well connected with all main European cities. Islands in the region are full of life, history, architecture, gastronomy and what is most important, specific moderate climate provides the excellent weather conditions which allow you to explore it in an easy way. In shortest, the Split region is a great place to spend a sailing holiday in Croatia.
Because of its vicinity to the Dalmatian islands, Split offers great sailing routes.
Standard route is:
Split - Solta/Brac – Hvar – Vis (Vis island), Komiza (Vis island) – Palmizana (Pakleni islands) – Stari Grad (Hvar island) – Brac/Solta – Split.
This route is an excellent choice if your main goal is to see the best architectural, cultural or historical sites in the Split region. During the peak of the summer, there can be a quite a lot of crowd on this route. If you would rather avoid the crowd and see more than just mainstream sights, we suggest the following route:
Split, Brac/Solta – Hvar/Vis – Starigrad – Vrbovska – Pucisca (Island of Brac) – Supetar (Island of Brac) – Split
In case you are a sailing enthusiast you should check out the route below:
Split – Hvar – Vis – Lastovo – Mljet – Korcula – Hvar – Brac/Solta – Split
Here is a list of the locations in the Split region that you should visit while you are sailing along the Adriatic.
Brac is the biggest island in the group of islands belonging to central Dalmatia region. Vidova Gora is the tallest mountain on the island and the highest peak of all islands in Croatia. The island’s southern side (from Farska to Bol) and the northern side (from Sutivan to Supetar) is low with sandy beaches, while the limestone part of Brac is rather steep and rocky.
The landscape is typical Mediterranean like, with steep cliffs, pine forests, and clear blue waters. Two main centers exist on the island, Bol, and Supetar. For sailors, it is important to mention few other places where is possible to moor a boat (Pucisca, Milna, Bobovista other small bays). Island’s quarries are famous since they are the source of stone used in the production of decorative stonework. These high-quality stones Romans used to build their cities, temples, palaces, and graves.
Except being famous for its radiant white stone, Brac is famous for Zlatni Rat, the long pebbly beach in Bol. Zlatni Rat isn’t the only beach on the island. Southern side has even more beautiful pebbly beaches. The pebbles are small, soft and rounded. Because these beaches are less crowded, they are the perfect choice for an intimate atmosphere.
Wine production has always been an important part of island’s life and economy. The slopes on the south side of the island have the conditions (terrain and orientation) similar to Dingac. Plavac Mali is an indigenous sort in Croatia, typical for this area. These grapes Romans brought to Brac in the ancient times. Now, people are planting bigger quantities of this sort together with Posip, Vugava, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
You will remember your sailing holidays by rich historic and cultural heritage, exquisite gastronomy, beautiful beaches and the warm hospitality of the locals.
Hvar is the sunniest islands in Croatia with 2724 sunny hours every year.
Town of Hvar is full of posh hotels, restaurants and a general understanding is that the island is a place to go to if you want to be seen. This is a central spot on the Croatian coast where swanky yachties go to have fun dancing on the tables in the town’s famous beach bars.
Two other towns, Stari Grad and Jelsa, are more low-key and calm.
The mild Mediterranean climate with warm winters and pleasant summers are the main reasons why Hvar receives more and more tourists each year. The dense Mediterranean nature, rich architecture, tradition and of course the nightlife, leaves everybody speechless. Where wine and olives flow, there is for sure a good food. In any “konoba” anybody can get a taste of real home-made wine and hear the old island songs.
The island offers a variety of available activities, ranging from dynamic nightlife in the cosmopolitan town of Hvar, boat excursions to Pakleni Islands, or sandy beaches close to Jelsa, ambient in Vrboska (aka "little Venice"), uplifting atmosphere of cliffs in Ivan Dolac, Sveta Nedjelja or Milna, beautiful beaches in Zavala where you can rest in the thick shade of pine trees, drive through lavender fields close to Gdinj, Bogomolje or Zatrazisce… and this is just a few of the things you can explore here.
The beautiful beaches, turquoise blue sea, rich cultural and historical heritage that can still be seen in the architecture of the island and last but not the least the warm hospitality of the residents is something that will make you come back year after year.
The remoteness of the island can be a positive or a negative thing. The thin line between these two opposites is clear in the case of the island of Vis.
The furthest from the coast than any Central Dalmatian island, Vis served as a military base for the Yugoslav army during and after the WWII. Because of this, the island was closed for public from the 1950s until 1989. The isolation made sure that the island is preserved from residential development.
After Croatia gained its independence, Vis began to open slowly to the outside world. Its unique traditions, culture, natural beauties, and history became available to the public.
Smaller islands and islets surrounding the island are Budikovac, Bisevo, Svetac, Jabuka, Brusnik, and Ravnik. Nearest island is Korcula (the greenest island in Croatia) and although they are neighboring islands, there is no direct ferry (or catamaran) connection between them.
On the west side of the island lies Komiza Bay and to the north is the Harbour of Vis. These two are the largest settlements and urban centers. Komiza town is considered as the fishing cradle of the Adriatic.
Along the coast of the island, there are many small bays and coves perfect for an intermezzo during your sailing holiday. There you can drop your anchor and enjoy the untouched nature surrounding you.
The island has the distinct sort of grapes called Vugava. It is a white varietal cultivated here for centuries.
Solta is a medium-sized island that belongs to the archipelago of islands in the central Dalmatia. The island is close to two main coastal towns and famous tourist spots — Split and Trogir.
The vicinity of the mainland and two large cities make Solta a popular sailing destination. This is because the beauty of the island, many coves, pebble beaches, authenticity and untouched nature attract yachting lovers.
The residents will offer the guests their locally grown and produced foods like olive oil, wine, brandy, fruits, and honey.
Four main settlements exist on the island, Donje Selo, Srednje Selo, Gornje Selo and Grohote. Apart from these settlements, there are four larger villages on the north coast, Necujam, Stomorska, Maslinica, and Rogac. The villages of Stomorska and Maslinica are little fishing villages where you can glimpse into a typical Mediterranean way of life.
In Maslinica (situated on the west part of the island), there is a small marina with 50 berths. It might be small, but since it is a part of a luxury boutique hotel, it is a modern one. Hotel is a part of Martinis-Marchi castle.
To the south lies Sesula, one of many bays you can find on Solta. Others are Zaglav, Tatinja, Stracinska, Travna, Livka, Senska and Poganica.
The idea of spending your sailing holidays surrounded by untouched nature and blue oasis will make you visit Solta every year.
Lastovo is the farthest island in the Adriatic Sea and its landscape is rather hilly. Lastovo and its archipelago (with 45 surrounding islets and rocks) became a nature park in 2006. The whole area is full of natural beauty of flora and fauna, above and below the sea level.
Since this is a part of a national park, everybody coming with boats or yachts have to pay an entrance fee. Once you enter the area you will immediately notice peacefulness, picturesque villages and many safe anchorages which made Lastovo an attractive yachting destination.
The most popular sailing destinations are Veli Lago and Mali Lago bays located on the west side, Skrivena Luka bay on the south and Zaklopatica bay on the north side of the island.
Lastovnjaci islets are another amazing part of the archipelago. Situated on the NE of the island these islets are a home to lagoons with azure sea water that you should not miss during your sailing trip.
The layout of the Lastovo town is interesting. You can reach it from Zaklopatica by walking uphill some half an hour. In the town, you will notice ancient stone houses, cobbled streets, traditional chimneys the local call fumari and many more attractions that show the atmosphere of life on this Dalmatian island.
You can find a couple of exquisite restaurants in Zaklopatica and Skrivena Luka bays. If you plan to stay overnight you will not have to pay for your mooring spot, but you will be expected to have a meal inside the restaurant. And believe us, the food they serve is marvelous. You can taste fresh seafood and domestic products like olive oil or wine.
Every year in February the island celebrates a historical event when they defeated the pirates. You can be a part of this experience if you visit Lastovo during the carnival called Poklad.
The whole landscape of Mljet with its untouched natural beauty and diversity impresses whoever comes. On the island, exist approx. twenty small villages and most of them are on the northern coast. The most famous are Saplunara, Okuklje, Sobra, Pomena, Polace, and Prozura.
While you are sailing along the island of Mljet do not miss the Mljet National Park with its incredible nature and greenery that has been well preserved even today. One-third of the island is under the National Park area and is mostly situated on the west side. Within the boundaries of the National Park are two lakes connected with the sea by a channel. On the larger lake lies an island with an abandoned 12th-century Benedictine monastery.
Mljet is, for most people, the most beautiful island in the Adriatic Sea. According to the legends, Odysseus came upon it while returning home to Greece. He fell in love with a beautiful nymph Calypso that lived on the island.
If you are sailing with children you should go and visit Saplunara or Limuni, where you will feel like living in the dream. Limuni (Blaca Bay) is a natural phenomenon located 20 min walk from Saplunara. The beach is beautiful and large enough, and the sea is clean and warm. Because the shallowness you will not be able to reach it by boat, so get your walking shoes on.
There are also interesting sites to visit outside of the national park borders. The Cave of Odysseus is a cave whose ceiling collapsed and it is more a pit or a well.
Soline is a fishing village on the coast and even though most of the houses are rented during the summer, this little village still makes its living from the sea. There are taverns where you can enjoy local food and wine. Make sure you try squid and octopus meals.
Korcula or Little Dubrovnik, as they call it also, is a birthplace of explorer Marco Polo. When you set your eyes upon the walls and towers of the Korcula Old Town, you will understand why people associate it with Dubrovnik. The island has a tradition of authentic gastronomy and the culture is rich here, reminding the visitors that every stone can tell a century-long story.
Because of its strategic trade and military position, Korcula often changed hands during its ancient life. Its location, at the mouth of Neretva river, is crucial for access to the interior of the mainland.
The main settlements are Korcula Town, Vela Luka, and Lumbarda but there are also smaller towns and villages for those looking for a secluded holiday.
The most events on the island are taking place in Korcula Town. It might be small, but it compensates this with its quality which is evident in the preservation of the town. Its layout is unusual since it resembles a fish bone.
You can enter the city via two entrances, the Land Gate, and the Sea Gate. Above the Land Gate is the Revelin tower on which you can partly climb and check out some scenic views.
Other settlements that you would not like to miss are Lumbarda, Pupnat, and Vrnik.
Lumbarda is famous for its fine sandy beaches that surround this area. The beaches include Bilin Zal Beach, Vela Przina Beach, Tatinja Beach etc.
Pupnat is the oldest settlement on the island. The island's past is evident in the well-preserved Illyrian architecture. One of the most beautiful pebble beaches on the island, Pupnatska Luka (Pupnat Port), is situated here.
Vrnik is a tiny island in the Korcula Archipelago and it is famous for its deep stone quarries. It is worth visiting Vrnik during the day because of a small and secluded swimming spots where the sea is so translucent you will feel like you are levitating. You can still experience some of the old traditions that date back in history like, age-old religious ceremonies, folk dances, and music (still performed for the tourists).
Wine lovers will enjoy tasting the wines of Korcula. Undoubtedly, the best wines are the ones produced from Posip grapes, grown only here and to some smaller extent on the Peljesac Peninsula. High-quality white wine is produced from the grk grape that is cultivated around Lumbarda.