Dalmatia is a narrow strip of the eastern coast of the Adriatic. With its hundreds of incredible islands and islets this archipelago offers sailors crystal clear waters, vast green areas with olive trees, fig trees and vineyards, not to mention bays, waterfalls, hidden caves, lakes and historic stone buildings and castles which testify its former glory. The best way to explore the area and visit all these beautiful places is of course by sailing.
With that being said here we present a magnificent itinerary departing from Split for the north Dalmatian coast which focuses on the exploration of island Kaprije, Vodice, Šibenik, islands Kornati, Telašcica Nature Park, Iz, Ugljar, Zadar, Pašman, Murter, Žirje, Rogoznica, Drvenik Veli, Split (Marina Kastela). The best way to get to Split and start your sailing cruise is by airplane, as there is an international airport with regular flights to and from hundreds of destinations around the world.
Day 1, Split (Marina Kastela) – Vodice – Šibenik, 36 miles
From the port of Split, also known as simply Split, we sail towards Vodice, a tourist center very well known for its history and ancient traditions. We begin our sailing itinerary with this location because it has received the “The Tourism Flower Award”, a prestigious recognition for its capacity to welcome visitors. Here there are many natural beauties to see and several very interesting churches, such as that of Karmela and that of the Holy Cross with its bell tower. But Vodice is also a place full of sports activities such as diving, fitness in the sea, cycling and beach volleyball.
Another stop on this first day of cruise is Šibenik, a city known for its tradition and cultural heritage. It is the oldest city in Dalmatia and is an ideal destination during the summer due to the great music and culture festivals that take place here every year. You should also visit its monuments, the ancient walls and the church, which are the most characteristic buildings in the city.
Day 2, Šibenik -Kornati – Telašcica, 33 miles
On the second day of our sailing along the northern Dalmatian coast we enter the Kornati islands, a truly enchanting and limitless destination that has 147 islands and islets of which 89 constitute a Natural Park established in 1980 to preserve the beauty of these places and their surprisingly vast variety of plant and animal species. Here, sailors can take advantage of a number of marinas for mooring, such as the renowned Aci Marina chain, which are modern, well-equipped and so efficient that they are considered to be a nautical model the other marinas in the Mediterranean should look up to.
And, like all of this is not enough, there is more! The authentic landscapes of these islands of karst origin, characterized by rocky coasts with imposing cliffs that plunge into the cobalt blue sea, promontories, caves, splendid beaches often accessible only by boat and then again small seaside villages that hide old lighthouses, churches, military fortresses and Venetian castles. A place that stands out the most is the Telašćica Natural Park where you have the opportunity to see so many sorts of fauna and flora, hidden caves and beautiful waterfalls.
On the third day of the cruise we reach Iž. It is an island devided in two small villages, Veli Iž and Mali Iž. The whole island is surrounded by gardens of olive trees, fig trees and vegetable plantations. Iž is known for its long fishing tradition. What is remarkable about Veli Iž is the art of pottery which flourished and was developed by the townspeople of the village. Another separate island is Ugljan. Half of the island is covered with olive trees, figs, vineyards, thick bushes, pines and the Mediterranean plantations, therefore this part is called the “green part”. The other half is stony and desolate. The island is linked to fishing activity through history. This day we end in Zadar, also known as the Dubrovnik of the North due to its beautiful beaches, colorful sunrises, history and incredible atmosphere that is always full of people. Zadar is home to around 70,000 people and is a joy to explore.
Zadar also offers a very unique landscape: its construction took place in the port area. Some of the city’s steps are made of stones which are immersed in the water and have holes and pipes inside them that, when filled with water, make a sound which reminds you of music. This construction creates a harmonic effect that sounds as if each wave sighs softly. It is called “The Sea Organ” and “Greeting to the Sun”. Zadar also has a very impressive hinterland to explore with three national parks: Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes and Krka.
Day 4, Zara – Pašman- Murter, 24 miles
Pašman is another small paradise in the Zadar archipelago that is worth visiting. It has 12 villages and the mainland is separated by the Pašman channel. What makes Pašman interesting and different from the other islands is that due to the constantly changing the sea current (every 6 hours) its waters are considered to be among the cleanest in the Adriatic. From here Murter is our next stop. It is located in the northwest of the Sibenik archipelago and is part of the homonymous county. Murter is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island of Murter is famous for its sandy and pebble beaches, such as Slanica, Kosirina, Čigrađa, Podvršak, Lovišća. There is also a large number of hidden small bays where stopping at anchor will be a pleasure.
Day 5, Murter – Žirje – Rogoznica, 26 miles
The island of Žirje is the furthest and largest island of the Šibenik archipelago. It is known for its stony beaches such as Stupica and Koromjena (which are popular destinations for boaters), the great fishing area, the many natural beauties and the cobalt blue waters. Žirje is the perfect destination for a quiet and relaxing holiday away from the city noise.
Rogoznica is another city in the area connected to the mainland by an artificial canal. Most of the island is covered with forests and trees. Rogoznica, despite its size, has countless monuments that are worth a visit, such as the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven and especially the salt water lake “Dragon’s Eye” which was created after the last ice age. Also, be sure to attend one of the festivals that take place in almost all Dalmatian towns, which are called “Fishermen’s Night”.
Day 7, Trogir – Šolta – Spalato (Marina Kastela), 20 miles
We could not exclude from our sailing itinerary Trogir which is one of the oldest cities in Dalmatia. It is an ideal and relaxing destination to spend a few moments with the family and get some rest. In summer, although the city is relatively quiet during the day, when night comes, the city is flooded with a mysterious and romantic atmosphere.
Šolta is the final stop on this North Dalmatian cruise where you can relax and enjoy the landscape. It is small and ideal for walking and cycling. The main attractions are the half-forgotten, Kasbah-like villages and the two picturesque harbor villages of Maslinica and Stomorska.