Sailing Croatia: 5 Destinations to add to your Central Dalmatia Itinerary

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It’s February 1st, 2018 and already we are looking ahead to the summer months… From January onwards bookings for summer sailing holidays only increase, so let’s fire your imagination with some ideas for destinations. Here are 5 destinations we believe you should add to your central Dalmatia sailing itinerary

There is a lot you can do and see in a 7-day sailing itinerary, there is also a lot you can miss. Considering Croatia has over 1,000 islands, you will be excused for not visiting them all or knowing their names (some have quite hilarious names, check out this brilliant list here). However, let’s focus on Central Dalmatia – if you are sailing from Split to Dubrovnik, the options for sailing stops may seem quite obvious, but just remember, along with every island, comes its many beautiful towns, villages and bays.

1. Šolta

Only 9 nautical miles from Split, Šolta is a perfect option for your first sailing stop from Split. Considering Šolta is only 19 km long and 4.5 km wide, it holds an abundance of quaint villages and stunning bays to anchor in (read more about the island here in our 25 things to know series). If you fancy walking around, then Maslinica is a must, you can dock or anchor just out of the harbour, stroll around the charming coastal town and then have dinner at one of the most gorgeous restaurants along the coast – Martinis Marchi, the beautifully restored heritage hotel which has an incredible sunset view out of over the harbour.

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Or, if you are after a unique experience, visiting the fish farm in Sešula bay, right next to Maslinica could be for you. It is not a restaurant per se but they are open to bookings from private groups, where you can catch, clean and cook your own lunch! We visited in September and it was quite an experience.  Šolta is often overlooked for her more well-known neighbours but we promise it will be worth adding it to your itinerary.


Credit: Solta TZ

2. Brač, Pučišća and Smrka Bay

Ok, here you are going to get a 2-for-1 because it works for a sailing itinerary and I adore these two destinations but you won’t find information about either in too many places on the internet.

Pučišća was once in the top 10 most beautiful villages in Europe, which is quite a feat when you think that Europe has a plethora of tiny villages, rich in history and old-world charm. I first visited Pučišća almost 6 years ago and was instantly taken by this unassuming beauty. Brač is famous for its stone (rumoured to be in the White House) and Pučišća is basically the poster child for this. A tiny coastal village, dotted around a harbour with lovely stone buildings everywhere the eye can sea; there is even a Stone Mason School which was founded in 1909, helping to keep the skill alive. If it’s tranquillity and something unique you are after on your sailing holiday, Pučišća is where you want to find yourself.


Credit: Pucisca TZ

Like I said, for a sailing itinerary, these two could be plotted on your route quite easily, a night spent in Pučišća, followed by sailing to Smrka bay on the south side of Brač. After sailing the Adriatic for 5 years, I had somehow never stopped here (remember I said, these are easy to miss). Thankfully, in September 2017, I joined Brač Excursions for a tour of islands Šolta and Brač to get a new perspective and Smrka bay was a real surprise. As we pulled into the bay we sailed past an old abandoned Yugoslav military tunnel

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Credit: Tash Pericic, Military tunnel in Smrka bay

and could see a solitary house in the middle of the bay, standing guardian. The house belongs to Andrea and Ivo Tomas who run their own Safari tours around Brač, we joined them for (our second) lunch and enjoyed their homemade produce, wine and hearing their stories of growing up on island Brač. A truly authentic experience in the warmest, hospitable company (read more about our day here). For the active, you can also hike to the 16th Century Blaca Monastery which gives incredible views and houses a fantastic museum.

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Credit: Tash Pericic, Smrka bay at sunset


Credit: Adriatic DMC, Blaca Monastery

3. Hvar, Vrboska

Every year, Croatia tops the ranks of sailing destinations in the world and while nautical tourism has indeed seen a boom, along with the highlight destinations, there are still some treasures which are yet to be ‘discovered’ by the masses; Vrboska, is undoubtedly one of them.

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Copyright: Romulic and Stojcic

When heading to the island Hvar, by now, most people know about Hvar town and Stari Grad (rightly so) but if you are wanting to escape the crowds a little, Vrboska is where you want to set your heading to – and having one of the biggest marinas on the island should help.

This picturesque town, dubbed the ‘Little Venice’ (or little Padova) thanks to its canal and beautiful stone bridges, is a breath of fresh air and has somehow managed to retain its charm. Unbeknown to many, it also has a rich historical and cultural heritage: UNESCO heritage site, 16th Century Fortress Church of St Mary, shipbuilding (the traditional Lantina sailing boats which can be seen at various times and for events in the harbour), wine, gastronomy…

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Credit: Romulic and Stojcic

There is plenty here for the curious traveller, in particular, look out for the Wine nights which take place on a weekly basis during the season and gives everyone an opportunity to sample local wine in a lively ambiance – see the video below for a ‘taste’.

4. Vis, Komiža

I have such a soft-spot in general for the island of Vis, it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, in my eyes, it remains one of the more authentic islands in Central Dalmatia. During World War II, Vis was a military base for the Yugoslav army and remained closed to the public until the 1990’s; I am not sure if this is the reason but whether I have visited in May, August or October, Vis always feels far-removed from the madness of tourism. Hopefully, the recent filming of Mamma Mia 2 doesn’t change this…

Like all the islands, Vis has numerous bays which are perfect for anchoring and enjoying, it even has some stunning sandy beaches – which is a rarity in Croatia. So, if you are a family, you may want to consider stopping at Stončica or Smokova bay so the kids can run around on the sand.

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Credit: Tash Pericic, Smokova bay

In regards to towns, when sailing from Hvar, Vis town is the natural option but if you sail a little further to the south side of the island, you will find yourself in a darling little town called Komiža. Now, I am not recommending Komiža because of its close proximity to the Blue Cave (however wondrous I just cannot personally recommend visiting the blue cave in peak season)… No, Komiža is a destination in and of itself, a charming fisherman’s village with a distinctly local feel. Unlike many destinations along the Croatian coast, when you walk around Komiža, you are still more likely to hear the lively and animated banter of locals compared to foreign voices.

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Copyright: Romulic and Stojcic, Komiza

Komiža is more about a feeling than ‘must-see’ attractions; though it still has history, a 17th Century Palace and the Church of St. Nicholas which offers incredible views over the town and towards Biševo. There is also some fabulous gastronomy here, when visiting Vis, first of all, you need to try Viška Pogača or Komižkia Pogača – a traditional local pie (truth be told, there are two versions, one made from Vis town, the other from Komiža and there is a longstanding rivalry between the two in regards to whose is better, so try both!)

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Credit: Croatia National Tourist Board

And, if you are interested in dining out, there is a wonderful restaurant called Jastožera which was built in 1902 for the purpose of storing and breeding lobsters, today it follows in a similar fashion as the restaurant has live lobsters kept in cages in the sea, so guests can handpick their dinner.


Credit: Trip advisor, Jastozera Restaurant

5. Šćedro

Along the south side of island Hvar, there is a small (almost) uninhabited island called Šćedro, which is always one of my favourite destinations on a 7-day sailing itinerary for very different reasons. Šćedro has no electricity or running water and is almost uninhabited – besides a few small dwellings and a restaurant.

En route to Korčula, Šćedro was always one of our afternoon stops, we would anchor in any of the small gorgeous bays and spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing before continuing on to Korčula. Or, for the guests who simply wanted to relax and be away from everyone and everything, this is where we spent several days, anchored alone in a tranquil bay with only the sounds of nature surrounding us.

There are sandy beaches, hiking trails and there is even a restaurant in Veli Porat bay called Kod Ive, where guests can enjoy fresh local cuisine – with a focus on seafood and lobsters. More and more, we are finding that our guests just want to ‘switch off’ and be away from the crowds; if this is the case, then Šćedro will be on the itinerary.

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Copyright: Romulic and Stojcic

There you have it, 5 (actually 6) destinations to add to your Central Dalmatia sailing itinerary; in truth, this list could go on and on… so, keep tuned for similar articles.

If you liked this or have any questions about sailing in Croatia, feel free to drop us a message on our Facebook page or email: [email protected].


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