Sailing itinerary on Dalmatian Coast

Author: Mate I.

Published: September 1, 2018

Reading Time: 7 minutes read

The Dalmatian islands are scattered around the Adriatic Sea in between Split and Togir northwards and Dubrovnik to the south.

If you want to see the best of the Mediterranean in your Croatian trip, there is no better way than to go sailing in the Dalmatian coast.

There will be stops in interesting places along the way and maybe stay overnight in your town of choice.

Sailing Croatia - Sailing Dalmatian Coast
Kornati sailing itinerary

It’s a great way to experience the vibrant island life, see beautiful historical sites, and enjoy fishing in the harbors.

Of course, just like all other destinations in Croatia, you will get to witness the true beauty of nature.

The Dalmatian coast abounds in scenic little bays, pebbled and sandy beaches, ports and marinas so it’s a haven for sailors.

This is what sailing Croatia is all about. What better way to travel in style than to bask in the warm sun on your face while sipping a cocktail in a yacht as the refreshing sea water sprays in the air.

From coastal town to coastal town, you will traverse the Adriatic and take stops to have a relaxing swim in the crystalline blue waters, snorkel, or just chill and bathe in the sun on the beaches.

Croatian island sailing
Croatian island sailing – Mljet archipelago

Each island offers their own rich history, visible through the age-old structures and remains that tell stories about the locals and how they lived through the ages.

Of course, it is a must that you try out the local cuisine and sample some of their local wines as most of the towns in this region cultivate grapevines.

Sailing Croatia is quite a popular holiday in Europe and there are so many ways to do it.

If you think that a yacht is much too glamorous and want something more raw and authentic, you can take a sailboat or even a catamaran ferry.

Practically any water vehicle will allow you to enjoy this beautiful natural paradise.

Dalmatian Coast – Mediterranean as it was

The Dalmatian coast features the comforting warm Mediterranean weather, the azure crystal seas, and breathtaking landscapes.

There are so many reasons why this part of Croatia is one of the most attractive sailing destinations.

But there are so many sites, plenty of towns and islands to explore, and countless beaches.

How do choose which sailing Croatia tour to take? The key is for your tour to have a special focus in a couple of cities.

This will give your sailing Croatia tour a definitive theme and make it more organized.

Then again, the Dalmatian coast boasts of variety so you should try to enjoy the best of all that it has to offer.

It is a region that is bursting with culture and history and one of the best ways to explore it is by sailing its waters.

Sailing itinerary on Dalmatian coast

To better appreciate your sailing Croatia tour in the Dalmatian coast, it’s good to know a little bit about the story behind Dalmatia, Croatia.

It is one of the 4 historical regions in the country along with Slavonia and Istria.

Dalmatia is located east of the Adriatic Sea. It got its name from an Illyrian tribe known before as the Dalmatae who has settled there since classical antiquity.

It eventually became a Roman province and naturally, they have acquired a bit of the Romance culture.

And just like many regions in Croatia, it later came under the Venetian rule.

The largest city in the Dalmatian coast is Split, followed by Zadar.

It is today only considered as a historical region. Its inhabitants are divided into to cultural groups, the urban families called the Fetivi and the islanders known as the Boduli which was historically a derogatory name.

The two groups used to include both Venetian and Italian speakers but they decreased significantly during the 19th to the 20th century.

But to today, there still is a strong cultural influence among the natives though they identify as Croats today.

The Dalmatian coast was a strategic region during the first World War. This is why it was of interest to both Italy and Serbia.

Today, you will see many fortified structures in the different Dalmatian islands that will tell you of this rich history.

Sailing routes on Croatian Coast

Sailing Croatia in the Dalmatian coast is one of the most breathtaking tours you will take.

There are plenty of island destinations that make for exciting stops and day tours. It is one of the most memorable sailing itineraries in Europe.

Mljet island sailing itinerary
Mljet archipelago – sailing itinerary Croatia

You have the option to choose how you want to sail whether it’s in a luxurious yacht or a humble sailboat.

There is a wide variety of styles for this exciting cruise.

Routes vary depending on the tour organizers but the most popular ones start from Split and finishes in the famous city of Dubrovnik which has been named the pearl of the Adriatic.

When you have chosen your boat of choice, you can either spend the night in the harbor or begin the cruise.

It is recommended to stay in the harbor for a night so you get to experience that town before you explore the seas and the other islands.

If you are starting your cruise from Split, you should take advantage of the opportunity to explore the city before sailing out.

There are several places of interest to explore in Split.

You should definitely visit the Diocletian Palace that has been there since 305 AD. It was built by the Romans and is now a UNESCO heritage site meaning it’s a protected site because of its cultural and historical value.

Your sailing tour on the Dalmatian coast will most likely bring you next to Brac island. It is a bewitching port town which the Europeans call the isle of stone and sea because its beautiful stony beaches.

It is the tallest isle in the Adriatic with incredible features like its limestone massif.

The waters in this island are also a great spot for windsurfing.

Though it’s not a fancy destination like the more famous Dubrovnik, it is definitely a place where you can enjoy nature in peace.

Sailing on Brač island
Brač island Bay Lovrenština

Another likely destination when you go sailing Croatia on the Dalmatian coast is Hvar.

It is a prominent Croatian island resort that offers lots of cultural and historical sites. Some of the structures you will see here are from the prehistoric era so it is truly worth a visit.

Of course, its highlights include its natural beauty as well as its sandy beaches and delicious food.

The town is naturally landscaped with lavender and olive groves. The locals are also known for cultivating vineyards so you may want to sample their local homemade wine.

Sailing on Hvar Island
Dalmatian coast sailing itinerary – Hvar Island

If your cruise heads southwest, you will get to stop by the island of Vis.

It is quite an uninhabited region and it was only open to visitors in 1989.

It’s a great place to experience the beauty of untouched nature. Here, you should taste some of the local delicacies which are a contender for the best seafood in the Adriatic.

The the west of Vis island, there is the village of Komiza where you will find the only Fishermen’s Museum in Croatia.

There are a variety of attractions in this town including historical sites like monasteries and fortresses.

There are also other churches and a unique blue cave in the nearby island of Bisevo.

You might also go to Korcula which is famous for seafaring, ship building and stone masonry.

This was where the explorer Maco Polo was born. This town is also where you will find some secluded beaches so it’s great for those who want to enjoy the clear blue waters of the Adriatic without the crowds.

Old town Korčula
Korčula island old town, Croatia

Depending on the sailing Croatia tour that you choose, you might spend your last few days headed toward Dubrovnik to Šipan island.

There is much to explore here and you will get to see more of Croatian culture and history.

You will see some architectural monuments that have been built in the Middle Ages such as the ruins of the church of St. Peter as well as a Romantic Gothic tower.

Your cruise may well conclude in the famed city of Dubrovnik which is known for being the filming location of Game of Thrones for several of its fictional places.

This is where you will see the raw landscape of the fictional King’s Landing among others.

It is the perfect ending for your journey in the Dalmatian coast and truly a memory that will last a lifetime.

But that is not all, there are so much more historical sites and magnificent structures in this city like fortresses and palaces, and the medieval walled city.

It is up to you if you want to focus on just a particular region in Dalmatia or if you want to explore much more.

Central Dalmatia will bring you to Brac, Hvar, and Brela among others while South Dalmatia will allow you to explore the river Neretva and further south is Dubrovnik.

To the north, you will see Primošten which is the most popular sailing ground in these parts.