Dalmatia is the most popular tourist destination in Croatia due to its crystal clear waters, splendid white-sand beaches and a wide variety of islands. With its archipelago of 1208 islands of all sizes, it is also the largest tourist area of the country. But travellers do not only find coasts and islands in Dalmatia. Its fascinating historical towns attract more and more fans of nautical tourism.
In this article you can read about:
- Sailing in Dalmatia: Information about the region
- Discovering the Dalmatian archipelago
- Ports in Dalmatia
- Sail in Dalmatia! Dalmatian coast sailing itineraries
- Sailing in Dalmatia: Discover the islands of Dalmatia
- 7 days Central Dalmatia sailing itinerary
- South Dalmatia yachting: 14 days sailing tour
Sailing in Dalmatia: Information about the region
Dalmatia is divided into different areas. The region is so large that it is no wonder that tourists sailing along its coastline see an ever-changing coastline. When you set off to explore the Dalmatian islands you will find that the northern area offers you an archipelago of small islands with romantic bays, while in the south you can choose from a variety of bigger islands and holiday resorts. In bigger towns (and others of similar size) have well-equipped marinas with plenty of room for those enjoying nautical tourism along the coasts and islands in Croatia.
Dalmatia has a typical Mediterranean climate due to which you can expect pleasant weather during the whole sailing season. In the south, the temperature of the see often reaches 28 C with a 30 C average daily temperature of the air. The northwesterly mistral can bring in some fresh air. Check the sailing conditions and wind rose diagram of Dalmatia
Discovering the Dalmatian archipelago
Islands in Northern Dalmatia
There are about 50 smaller and bigger islands, almost all of which can be easily reached from the well-known marina D-Marin Dalmacija. Most of these islands are quiet and safe places, offering lovely and relaxing beaches. A typical feature among these islands and coasts are the clear, bright blue Lagunas.
The Kornati Islands
Kornati National Park is one of the most beautiful sights to visit near Zadar. Its 150 islets, shallow waters and teal lagunas will give you an unforgettable experience. In this National Park, you will find plenty of beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
Donji Kornati means Lower Kornati and this part of the archipelago offers a unique experience. Here is to be found the probably most awe-inspiring natural phenomenon of the area: the so-called Klifovi cliffs. These huge cliffs stand side by side, facing the open sea, creating a natural gate for who arrives on the boat. Their height is impressive, 82 meters above sea level. Undersea level divers can follow them downwards even 100 meters.
Mala Proversa is a narrow strait between the islands of Dugi Otok and Katine, where you can marvel at the remains of the Roman building complex. The complex is approximately 90 metres long and in the Roman times, it was situated beyond sea level. To add to its incredible diversity, the area counts an additional four National Parks covering the Paklenica karst river canyon, the Plitvice Lakes, the Krka River and the Velebit mountain range.
Central Dalmatia archipelago
Juxtaposed to North Dalmatia, this region is characterised by the dominance of bigger islands such as Brac and Hvar. The area stretches from Trogir Island all the way to the Makarska Riviera.
The island is situated in one of Croatia’s opulent areas in the eastern part of the Split bay. Its northern neighbour is the island of Brac, whereas in the south it’s bordered with Korcula Island and the open sea. With its 300 square kilometres of territory, Hvar Island is the fourth-largest island in Croatia. Its lands are flecked with light blue bays, olive groves and lavender fields. The most beautiful city of the island is the one with an identical name to that of the island: the city of Hvar. A picturesque bay and innumerable Venetian style buildings and palaces all add to the enchanting beauty of the place. Watching from the sea, one can wonder at the fortress of Fortica majestically looming above the city of Hvar.
Situated 60 kilometres away from the coast, Vis is one of the Croatian islands furthest away from the mainland. The island is virtually unspoilt, dotted with bays with pristine waters, the most popular of which is the so-called Stiniva bay. Vis is almost entirely covered in woodland thus gaining the title of the „greenest island of the Adriatic”. Travellers also have the chance to sail across to the adjacent islands: Sveti Andrija and Bisevo Island, the latter of which is famous for its Baluni bay where the enigmatic Blue Cave–Modra Spilja- is located.
Islands in Southern Dalmatia
South Dalmatia is the region of bewitching natural beauty. It has everything one might need for a pleasant holiday. The area is widely renowned for its exotic beaches, tiny fishing villages, historic towns and their atmospheric old towns.
It’s located in South Dalmatia and with its territory of 276 square kilometres, it’s the sixth-largest Croatian island, whereas its population of 17, 000 residents makes Korcula the most densely populated island of the country. Its name dates back to ancient times and stems from the dark Brunswick green shade the Aleppo pines and parasol pines gave it. The world-famous globetrotter and sailor, Marco Polo, was also born on the island, his house is located in Korcula city.
Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most popular and most beautiful cities. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and is rich in castles, towers and culture, all encircled by the 1940 metres long city walls. Those who wish to relax in a more active way will indeed be spoilt for choice in Dubrovnik. Visitors can try themselves climbing the Croatian peaks of the Dinaric Alps for instance. Diving and water sports opportunities are plentiful, for which the Lopud Island is meant to be a superb spot.
Ports in Dalmatia
Ports in Northern Dalmatia
You will find the town’s port in the central part of the shores of the Adriatic, in the centre of Zadar. They have 200 berths and 100 on-land facilities. They offer access to water, electricity, and they have shower cabins, laundry service, groceries and restaurants as well. The port – which has a Blue Flag certificate – also has a fuel station. Read about Zadar sailing
Marina Preko (Ugljan)
This marina, accommodating 95 boats, can also be found on the island of Ugljan, only 4.8 kilometres from Zadar. Only yachts with a maximum length of 20 metres are allowed. The depth of water is 2 metres. You can find a laundry, restaurants as well as a fuel station here.
D-Marin Dalmacija (Sukošan)
Croatia’s largest marina has 1200 sea berths and 300 land berths for ships. The marina can accommodate ships up to 40 m in length, and superyachts in transit up to 80 m. D-Marin Dalmacija is one of the best-equipped marinas in the Adriatic. There is a café, a bar, restaurants, a beach club, a maintenance and repair shop, and a grocery store on site. Also, there is a fuel station available. Information about sailing in Sukosan, or yachtcharter Sukosan
Marina Kornati (Biograd na Moru)
The marina of Biograd, which also has a Blue Flag certificate, can accommodate 705 boats with a length of up to 23 metres. The entrance is 40 metres wide, and the maximum depth is 6.5 metres. They have a 24-hour security service, boat maintenance and a fuel station. There is also a restaurant with a capacity of 370 guests.
Marina Veli Rat (Dugi Otok)
The idyllic marina is located in Panthera Bay, in the northern part of Dugi Otok. They can accommodate 200 boats, and they provide protection against the wind and flows. You can acquire services such as currency exchange, there is a small shop, and you can also rent a car or a bicycle.
ACI Marina Žut (Kornati)
The marina, located in the northeastern part of the Kornati archipelago, offers 120 berths for boats up to 40 metres long. They are open between April 1st and October 31st. In case the Bora is strong, it is recommended to anchor in the northern dock or use the mooring buoys. If the other strong wind, the Jugo is present, it is much more pleasant to anchor on the southern dock.
D-Marin Mandalina (Šibenik)
One of the biggest advantages of this beautiful marina is its convenient location. It is only a few km away from the historic centre of Šibenik. Moreover, it is protected against winds and waves. D-Marin Mandalina is awarded five Golden Anchors and a Blue Flag Certification. It has 429 seas and 50 land berths. Of these, 79 are designed specifically for superyachts. This is the only port in Croatia that can accommodate superyachts up to 140 m. The depth of the seabed is 5, 5 m. Refuelling is among the quality services of the port.
If you get hungry, there is a bar, a restaurant, and a grocery store on site. Information about sailing in Sibenik, or yachtcharter Sibenik
The Central Dalmatian ports
Port of Split
The ACI Marina Split offers 348 berths for yachts of a maximum of 90 m. The breakwater provides outstanding protection from the raging sea and the southern winds. The water depth is 8 m. There are restaurants, bars, laundries and a fuelling station. There are restaurants, bars, laundries and a fuelling station. Information about sailing in Split, or rent a boat in Split
Port of Ploče
Ploče is located in Dalmatia, directly next to the delta of the Neretva River. The depth of the water at the port is 10–12 metres. If you dock here, there is a fuel station that you can use. Information about sailing in Ploče, or boat rental in Ploče
The port, located southeast of Makarska, is open all year. It can accept 220 boats with a length of up to 20 metres. The maximum depth of water is 3 metres. They provide drinking water, electricity and a crane. Information about sailing in Podgora, or rent a boat in Podgora
The yacht port can be found directly next to the beach of Slatina. They have 200 berths overall, 50 of which are preserved for visitors, while the other 150 serve local vessels. Marina Tučepi can accept boats with a length of up to 20 metres.
The 225-metre-long breakwater was completed in 2015. It provides protection against winds and waves coming from the southern and southeastern direction. The maximum depth of the water is 4.8 metres. The excellent services provided at the port include fueling.
The port of Ramova is located in the town of Krvavica, which administratively belongs to Baška Voda. They have 195 berths for boats up to 16 metres long. The maximum depth of water is 3 metres. The port offers several good-quality services. They have an excellent restaurant for up to 150 guests.
Marina Baška Voda
The Baška Voda port can accept 180 boats with a length of up to 23 metres. The maximum depth of water is 4 metres. They provide drinking water, electricity and there is a restaurant as well. You can even require medical assistance if necessary. Information about sailing in Baska Voda, or rent a boat in Baška Voda
Ports in Southern Dalmatia
ACI Marina Dubrovnik
This well-equipped marina is 6 km from the old town of Dubrovnik. As you would expect, it is open all year round. It possesses 425 berths in the water and 140 on the land. There are water and electricity supply, exchange offices, restaurants, laundries and shower rooms. It is also a Blue Flag marina. The berths are able to accept a maximum 60 m long yacht. After visiting all sights of Dubrovnik this marina can be an excellent starting-off point to visit the islands nearby.
Port of Dubrovnik
This port is located North-West 3 km from the old town of Dubrovnik near Gruz. There are restaurants, cafés, gift shops, exchange offices and banks nearby. You can even rent a car here. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the size and length of yachts. The maximum depth of diving is 11 m. The water depth for anchoring is 42 m. Information about sailing in Dubrovnik, or rent a boat in Dubrovnik
Koločep ferry port lies 8 km from Dubrovnik. You can drop your anchor here. The water depth is 2-7 m. The water bottom is sandy and full of seaweed.
Port of Polače can be found on the North-West part of the island of Mljet. The island lies near Dubrovnik, Korčula Island and the Pelješac peninsula divided by the Mljet canal. Polače lies in the territory of the Mljet National park; it is, actually, an entrance of the park. You can find here a travel agency, food stores and a lot of diners. For getting ashore go to the North-West part of the bay. The water depth for berths is 3-4 m. Although by the Roman castle ruins it is only 2-3 m.
Mostly local yachts stay in the port of Lopud. The water depth is 1.5-5 m. There are just a few temporary berths for shorter stays with a depth of 6.5 m. The huge traffic of yachts and ferries triggers strong seawater movements so check the tightness of your anchor. Moreover, it is important to keep a distance from the pier by casting an anchor.
The pier is mostly occupied by local yachts. The permanent berths are between the pier and the beach. The depth of the water is 1-3.9 m. Watch out for strong summer winds.
If your yacht is not deeper than 2 m, then you are welcome at the port of Mali Ston; even though locals have totally occupied the western quay of this tiny port. You can drop anchor by the pier beside the fortress. But the water depth is less than 1 metre here. Due to the strong southern wind, the water depth can quickly rise to 2 m. Many restaurants await hungry tourists by the port. The nearest supermarket is in Veli Ston in about 1.5 km.
ACI Marina Korčula
The town of Korčula is often called as the small Dubrovnik. The marina lies next to the historical town centre Korčula was, by the way, the birthplace of Marco Polo, the famous explorer and traveller. There is a magnificent view of the town surrounded by a more than a hundred-year-old stone wall.
There are 159 berths in the water and 16 on the land. You can also find exchange offices, diners, coffee shops, gift shops and food stores too. Moreover, you can purchase sailing accessories. You can buy tools for repairing and maintenance or rent the crane up to 10 tons. The petrol station is 500 m from the marina.
ACI Marina „Veljko Barbieri” Slano
The newest port of ACI Marina was named after Veljko Barbieri, the founder of the port network. The history of the town Slano goes back to ancient times. Nowadays owing to its cosy beaches it has become a favourite destination of tourists.
The port possesses 193 berths. There are countless facilities ranging from exchange offices to swimming pools, restaurants or even self-service laundries. You can rent a car or a bicycle too. In case of technical failures do not hesitate to contact the yacht service. Above all, there is a Tesla charging point in the port of Slano. Information about sailing in Slano, or rent a boat in Slano rent a boat in Slano.
Sail in Dalmatia! Dalmatian coast sailing itineraries
Sailing in Dalmatia: Discover the islands of Dalmatia
Taking into consideration its great expansion you can plan a one- or even two-week itinerary to explore the area, and the number of possible combinations is infinite. If you wish to visit more national parks and explore as many ports with a rich history as possible, it’s advised to plan a two-week itinerary that enables you to discover the area in a more relaxed and laid back pace. Below, you will find a one-week itinerary which comprises the main islands and the major coastal towns.
Day 1. Sibenik – Zlarin
6.83 km (4.25 mi)
The archipelago encompasses about 250 islands and reefs, only a few of which are inhabited. These islands are accessible by boat (or alternatively by ferry) and the only ways of transport on them are walking or cycling. Situated closest to Sibenik is the island of Zlarin with a territory of 8 square metres. Characterised by cypress and pinewoods as well as mellow fig and olive groves. Breathtaking, secluded beaches and stretches of coastline are waiting to be discovered. Spend the night in Sibenik or in the port of an inhabited island.
Day 2. Zlarin – Drvenik Veli
43.78 km (27.21 mi)
The island boasts many sandy and pebble beaches. If you are visiting, you must see the parish church dedicated to St. George, with the Baroque interiors and the altar painting of a Venetian painter, Antonio Grapinelli. The Church of St. Michael is also a must-see. It was built as a votive church for fishermen. If you get hungry, check out the Konoba Jere or Krknjasi restaurants.
Day 3. Drvenik Veli – Split
27.04 km (16.80 mi)
The administrative and economic centre of Dalmatia as well as a significant port. The atmospheric historic old town abounds in narrow, labyrinthine, winding alleyways. Its main landmark is the remains of Diocletian’s Palace. Musicians, dancers, and concerts zing up the buzzing vibration of the city. It’s also renowned for its Riviera and splendid beaches, as well as for Marjan hill that provides visitors with an awe-inspiring view over the city. Read more about what to do in Split or Split sailing. Check our boats: boat hire in Split
Day 4. Split – Supetar
16.46 km (10.23 mi)
Supetar, the most visited capital city of Brač, lies on the North of the Brač island. Its name derives from the Saint Peter Basilica situated on a hill. As a matter of fact, he is the town’s patron saint. Regarding its beaches, Vela Luka is the most beloved by families with small children thanks to its crystal-clear water. During your stay in Supetar, the 18th-century old Our Lady of the Annunciation Church and the 6th-century old Roman mosaics are a must. Read more about what to do in Supetar or sailing in Supetar . Check our boats: boat hire in Supetar.
Day 5. Supetar – Makarska
39.47 km (24.52 mi)
Makarska is a charming little town with a buzzing nightlife. Explore the palm-lined promenade, the renowned beaches (Baska Voda, Gradac, etc.) and the even more popular Makarska Riviera. The coastline here is fringed with extensive, splendid pebble beaches, boasting crystal clear waters. From the peaks of Biokovo Mountain, you will have the chance to revel in the enthralling scenery and to spot some obscure vegetation. Read more about what to do in Makarska or Makarska sailing. Check our boats: Makarska boat hire.
Day 6. Makarska – Brac island (Port of Bol)
29.52 km (18.35 mi)
Brac is the largest island of Central Dalmatia. Quiet, tranquil island offering a variety of natural beauties and splendid beaches. It’s perfect for families. Dotted with villages, pinewoods and bushes; the landscape undoubtedly has a true romantic Mediterranean feel to it. The houses, dating back to the 19th century give Superat, the little town near the port, a pleasant atmosphere. Apart from its lovely old town, Bol allures tourists with one of its most prominent landmarks: the distinctively shaped beach of Zlatni Rat, expanding far into the sea. The beach has become the most representative showpiece of the area, the Croatian tourist prospects are overflowing with the photos of its stunning scenery. Bol is also the windsurfing hub of Croatia. Information about Bol sailing, or rent a boat in Bol
Day 7. Bol – Rogoznica – Sibenik
95.44 km (59.30 mi)
Rogoznica was originally built on an island, which is connected by a bridge to the mainland. The city has a well-known, well-equipped harbour. Check out the deep, saltwater lake called Dragon’s Eye and the beautiful coasts.
Situated where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea, Sibenik is the third-largest port city in Croatia. Its centre is located around the port, which is sheltered from the wind. Visit the Krka National park or the adjacent Kornati National Park. Sibenik also boasts splendid historic monuments the most famous of which is the St. Jacobs Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
7 days Central Dalmatia sailing itinerary
Day 1. Kastel Gomilica – Rogac 19.48 km (12.10 mi), Day 2. Rogac – Vis 47.02 km (29.22 mi), Day 3. Vis – Vela Luka (Korcula) 44.90 km (27.90 mi), Day 4. Korcula – Trpanj 64.75 km (40.23 mi), Day 5. Trpanj – Ploce 15.05 km (9.35 mi), Day 6. Ploce – Makarska 45.40 km (28.21 mi), Day 7. Makarska – Omis – Kastel Gomilica 64.57 km (40.12 mi)
More Kastel Gomilica sailing itineraries
South Dalmatia yachting: 14 days sailing tour
Day 1. Dubrovnik – Lopud 13.65 km (8.48 mi), Day 2. Lopud – Sobra (Mljet) 28.79 km (17.89 mi), Day 3. Sobra – Vela Luka (Korcula island) 94.69 km (58.84 mi), Day 4. Korcula – Vis (Vis island) 45.80 km (28.46 mi), Day 5. Vis – Rogoznica 58.47 km (36.33 mi), Day 6. Rogoznica – Zirje 31.36 km (19.48 mi), Day 7. Zirje – Murter 23.44 km (14.57 mi), Day 8. Murter – Pirovac 7.87 km (4.89 mi), Day 9. Pirovac – Tribunj 19.25 km (11.96 mi), Day 10. Tribunj – Krka waterfall 28.77 km (17.88 mi), Day 11. Krka – Primošten 36.04 km (22.39 mi), Day 12. Primošten – Stari Grad 72.01 km (44.75 mi), Day 13. Stari Grad – Lastovo 86.28 km (53.61 mi), Day 14. Lastovo – Saplunara (Mljet) – Dubrovnik 107.53 km (66.81 mi),
More Dubrovnik sailing itineraries
More Croatia sailing tours.
To whichever part of the Dalmatian coastline the wind happened to blow you, you are granted to have an unforgettable experience. The alluring coastline and its archipelago stretching for 4000 kilometres are brimming over with sights and will surely captivate your heart as well. Find more Dalmatia sailing destinations or choose another yacht charter in Dalmatia.HELP ME TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT BOAT