- Sailing Routes in Croatia
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Day 1: ACI marina Dubrovnik, Komolac, 0 NM
This one-way route from Dubrovnik to Trogir initiates from a truly stupendous spot, ACI marina Dubrovnik, situated deep in the bottom of the Rijeka Dubrovačka bay. This narrow and lengthy fjord-like bay merges wonders of nature such as potent, steep mountains and calm, green waters of Ombla river, while numerous aged stone buildings on its coasts reveal centuries-old and resounding history of the area.
It is even more visible in the magnificent and famous old town of Dubrovnik, just several kilometres from the marina. Surrounded by completely preserved and imposing city walls, this vivacious town hides many secrets and interesting facts which can be uncovered by strolling through labyrinth of tiny cobbled streets. Amount of historical treasure is enormous and testifies about the abilities and wisdom of town’s ancestry, especially of its nimble merchants and plucky sailors. Present-day residents’ proficiency is particularly reflected in a must-try cuisine based on seafood; hence a dinner in a nice restaurant is a compulsory task.
Day 2: ACI marina Dubrovnik – Slano, 15 NM
A moderate distance of 15 nautical miles is anticipated for the first day of cruising through beautiful Koločep channel in the northwest direction. The green coastline on your starboard side hides several scenic bays perfect for anchoring such as Zaton, Brsečine or Sjekirica, but if you had enough of sailing and want to relax few hours at anchor further from shore, just head towards any of three larger islands of Koločep, Lopud or Šipan.
These three islands are true pearls of Dubrovnik archipelago and offer numerous and even more attractive coves to stop in and enjoy on the water. Most popular are Donje Čelo on Koločep, Šunj and Lopud bay on Lopud island as well as Suđurađ bay on Šipan. In these spots, besides having a swim in turquoise seawater, you can also have a delicious lunch in one of many nice restaurants.
In small but likable village of Slano, located at the bottom of the vast homonymous bay, there are few options to spend a night. Most convenient and safe is to choose a berth in modern ACI marina Slano with all the amenities for boaters, another option is to moor at the town’s waterfront, while the last one is to drop the anchor in the bay. In quite calm village except large hotel there are several restaurants and bars, as well as promenade by the sea ideal for a long walks.
Day 3: Slano – Trstenik, Pelješac, 26 NM
For the second day of cruise there are 26 nautical miles of navigation to the next port of call, small but picturesque village of Trstenik. It is located about half the length of the elongated Pelješac peninsula, on its western coast. This route does not include destinations or bays on nearby Mljet island, but you can always take a little turn from the course and visit some wonderful spots there or wonderful National park. Check other routes for tips where to berth your boat on Mljet.
Sailing along the steep and quite unapproachable coast of Pelješac can be a bit tiresome, but those two hours or so will be paid off once you reach islet of Lirica. To the starboard there is a small village of Žuljana and enchanting neighbouring Vučine cove, perfect for a swim, but be careful when approaching it due to numerous underwater rocks. There are several berths for the boats and yachts on the pier in Žuljana port as well, but wine and food lovers should continue to Trstenik village, only 2.5 nautical miles away.
There is also a large pier in the harbour where crowds are rare even in high season, hence it should be easy to find a berth. Otherwise you can anchor in the bay. On the slopes over the village there are some of the most famous wine-growing sites in Dalmatia, that’s why Trstenik is a kind of “wine capital”. Several good restaurants and wine-tasting bars will indubitably surpass your expectations.
Day 4: Trstenik – Račišće or Lovište, 19/21 NM
This route is about avoiding crowds of boats and people, hence, after lovely Trstenik let your next stop be another vivid small town, Račišće, on the northern side of Korčula island, or alternatively, spacious and splendid Lovište bay at the westernmost end of Pelješac peninsula. If you and your companions on board are looking for bustling atmosphere, then you could always decide to stop in renowned Korčula town that you will be passing by.
During the navigation, just after 10 nautical miles, you should make a pause and drop the anchor in the stunning archipelago of about twenty islets right in front of Lumbarda village. Crystal clear water in lagoons around Vrnik, Planjak or Badija islets will certainly attract your attention and make you enjoy the sea and sun at its best. After the relaxation another 10 miles of sailing will take you to Račišće, tranquil but lovely settlement of seamen.
There are several taverns and bars, while berth for the boat you will most probably find on the large breakwater. If you prefer even calmer atmosphere and you want to spend the night at the anchor, head north for only 3 nautical miles to the spacious Lovište bay on Pelješac peninsula. There should be buoys scattered around the bay for mooring your boat, some of which belong to the fine restaurants, while there are no berths at the pier. Anchoring is possible as well.
Day 5: Račišće or Lovište – Trpanj, 14 NM
Only a short distance of 14 nautical miles remains to reach a borough of Trpanj, located approximately half the length of the northern coast of mighty Pelješac peninsula. Alternatively, one mile less trip is to small and quiet Sućuraj village on the easternmost end of Hvar island, but Trpanj is a better choice if you are searching for a really good restaurant or even some entertaining nightlife.
On the way stop for refreshment in the bay just next to Duba village, or in a stunning Divna cove. If you arrive early enough, Trpanj is a perfect spot to rent a car or take a taxi and explore miraculous inland of Pelješac peninsula. Not far away you can find several famous wineries which, apart from wine tasting, serve delicious homemade food. It could be a truly memorable excursion if you prepare it in advance and find the right one.
You shouldn’t be worried if you decide to spend the evening in the town as well, since there are many places with lively atmosphere and few restaurant recommendations. In addition, some cultural heritage can also be discovered in the town, such well-preserved late antique fortress Gradina, numerous old chapels or the statue of Great Lady on the breakwater in the harbour.
Day 6: Trpanj – Povlja or Luke Bay, Brač island, 30 NM
For the last two days of your perfect holiday you should prepare your crew for somewhat longer navigation and less relaxation at the anchor. This is because to the final destination – town of Trogir, there are about 60 nautical miles left. That doesn’t mean you won’t have time for swimming in beautiful coves (or in the open sea, why not?) or for fun on board.
If you prefer anchoring for an hour or two in a lovely bay, after reaching easternmost end of Hvar island continue for 3 nautical miles along its northern coast and find Mlaska bay to relax before setting out for another 20 miles. After you reach vast and indented Povlja bay on the north coast of Brač island, all efforts will be worthwhile because of quite unusual beauty and serenity of the place.
In the easternmost part there is small and peaceful Povlja settlement with a pier where you can moor the boat, but suggestion is to sail deep into the bay, in the western part called Luke cove. There are few excellent taverns which offer their own buoys or even pontoons for the night, but you can also drop the anchor wherever it suits you. Enjoy to the fullest your last opportunity to spend the night on the boat freely in the bay, because the next one will be in a crowded marina.
Day 7: Pučišće – Trogir, 33 NM
The good thing of the last day on board is that you can arrive to the crowded marina in Trogir later in the afternoon, since safe berth will be awaiting your boat anyhow. So you don’t have to hurry, but relax and utilize the whole last day of the cruise as you wish. You can stop for a lunch in one of the many bays or even towns on Brač or Šolta islands or just “let the wind take you”.
But leave some vigour also for the evening, because amazing Trogir historical centre with its bustling streets, protected as an UNESCO world heritage site, is a must-see. It is the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic town in Central Europe with 2300 years of continuous urban tradition, and as such represents the best spot to finish this meaningful one-way sailing holiday.