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Sailing the Dalmatian Coast, Southern Croatia

The mainland and larger islands off the Dalmatian coast have attractive towns and villages, the relics of several civilisations, and some dramatic national parks. The scenery ranges from the rugged barrenness of the Kornati Islands, still partly affected by the occasional bora, to the lush green of Mljet and its nearby islands. Mountains form a backdrop to most places, those behind Split being particularly striking. The water is crystal clear - an advantage of having no sandy beaches. There are hundreds of anchorages, some fields of moorings in the more popular anchorages, plenty of (rather expensive) marinas, good yacht support, and plenty of winter layup choices. From mid-July to the end of August the area is hectic with yachts visiting from Italy. Charter turn-rounds crowd many marinas on Fridays and Saturdays - good days to visit some of the popular attractions with nearby anchorages.

Croatia rules and regulations


For brief notes on some of the hundreds of anchorages available, see this Google map. There are also mooring concessions granted (they can be surprisingly expensive) listed through the links provided in the "moorings" paragraph of our Croatia rules and regulations page.  Anchoring is not permitted close to most franchises, so if you still use paper charts, you may wish to mark them up.


Below is just a small selection of the many places worth visiting in the area:

Zadar vibrant peninsula town of 80,000.  Roman ruins, café-crowded alleyways. Major ferry port for ferries to Islands and Italy. Layup ashore or afloat at  marina Dalmacija (5nm South). Zadar town marina busy on Fridays and Saturdays with charter boats. International airport nearby.

Telascica Nature Park in a large bay at the south of Dugi Otok. Buoys are laid in a number of places, including near Mir (large cliff-top salt lake). A per person per day charge is made to enter the park, collected by wardens (60 kuna, 2009).

Kornati Islands National Park – over a hundred islands and islets, a barren hilly “moonscape” criss-crossed with dry-stone walls. Yachts are only permitted to stay overnight in designated marinas and anchorages. Fees listed through the links quoted above, paying before entry is cheaper. Guide - 250 Kuna for 12m yacht 2009 (400 if paid on the spot).

Murter Island, just 5nm west of the entrance to the Skradin falls, has two marinas on the north of the island, good for layup ashore or afloat.

Skradin Waterfalls – on the Krka river, another National Park! Spectacular waterfalls in stunning scenery. You can moor at the marina in Skradin and must take a water taxi to the falls

Trogir – a walled town with many old houses in cobbled streets. The marina is closed to visiting yachts on Fridays, when the charter yachts are in, and only has limited space on Saturdays.

Split – largest city in Dalmatia, the waterfront dominated by Diocletian’s massive palace (good visit, even when crowded). If there is no space in the busy ACI marina (layup ashore and afloat - book ahead!) and you do not want to risk the lack of security on the busy quay, you can easily visit from Marina Kastela North of Split. Split is a major ferry port to the islands and elsewhere and it has an international airport.

Hvar Town – an historic town with Gothic and Renaissance palaces, other historic buildings and lively nightlife. There are few berths on the quay and the anchorage gets incredibly crowded, so many visit by ferry from Palmizana marina on the neighbouring Pakleni islands or by bus from the quieter town of Stari Grad.

Vis – Tito’s stronghold and the base of British forces in WWII, Vis has only been open to visitors since 1989. Berth at the long town quay at Vis town, with its fine houses and bustling shops, bars and restaurants, or at the quay in quieter Komiza. Both ports of entry; some limited space for anchoring.

Korcula – a small walled town, a mini Dubrovnik, with an ACI marina.

Dubrovnik – the mediaeval walled city of Dubrovnik is a “must see!” The ACI marina (layup ashore or afloat) is located up the Rijeka Dubrovacka, North of the city, as is Gruz, the commercial port for Dubrovnik, also a major ferry port. Dubrovnik has an international airport, which is close to:

Cavtat, the southermost port of entry (only open in season). If coming from the south, you should check in here in season (sorry, don't know dates).


  • Unique attractions: Beautifully restored old cities, hundreds of free anchorages
  • Snags: Busy with yachts, mediocre food and service, paperwork for entering and leaving Croatia
  • Ports of Entry: See chart, plus Cavtat, south of Dubrovnik, only in season
  • Layup or Wintering: Zadar, Murter, Split, Dubrovnic and many more
  • Transport Links: Airports at Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik
  • Boat Charter: Big charter bases at Trogir, Split


Reviewed Mar 2015


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