Blue lures the green
Rich cultural heritage combined with beautiful beaches, spectacular national parks and deserted islands, makes this part of Dalmatia an amazing sailing destination. Along the coast are beautifully preserved medieval towns poised above some of the clearest waters in Europe, while offshore are myriad islands adorned with ancient stone villages and enticing coves. The region increasingly serves both as a focus for the party crowd and as a get-away-from-it-all destination, with a burgeoning roster of festivals dovetailing neatly with stirring scenery and soothing beaches.
Kornati National Park
The uniqueness of archipelago is that it's area is densely "populated" by bigger and smaller islands, so the passages between them are sometimes almost like a maze among the rocks.
Despite the semi-desert appearance of a large part of the islands, flora and fauna of the archipelago is rich both on the land and underwater. The name of the archipelago is the plural form of the name of the largest island, called Kornat (Italian: isola Incoronata). There are no permanent settlements in Kornati. Simple houses in various small bays such as Vrulje, Kravjačica, Lavsa and others are used by mainland landowners as temporary shelters.
The Kornati National park is opened through the whole year, you can enjoy in the quietness and serenity of the natural sea ambiance and the fresh air. This region is ideal for water sports (sailing, sport-recreational fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling) and for those who enjoy seclusion, better known as Robinson tourism. These things make your visit to the Kornati National park a unique experience! If you try it, you will know what we are talking about!
7 days Northern route
On arrival in Kastela we would suggest checking-in and boarding your yacht while leaving time for refreshments or lunch before your departure time of 17.00.
The first day of sailing will be manageable 3 hours to Primosten.
Primosten ranks among the most picturesque small towns on the Adriatic, with a number of typical Mediterranean narrow streets in the old town core. The old center of Primosten is alive with cafes, cellar bars and restaurants.
Primosten is so densely built up as it used to be an island some 500 years ago, when the locals built a bridge to the mainland in order to be able to work on their land during the day without having to take a boat trip.
On arrival in Primosten in the evening, you have the option of dining on the seafront, in case you chose to leave Kastela without a meal.
Note: If the weather is not suitable, or you find yourself leaving late in the evening I would recommend sailing to the nearby island of Solta and to the town of Maslinica where you will find safe mooring and a pleasant spot for the evening.
Skradin and the Krka River
From Primosten you can sail up the Krka River past the city of Sibenik and Prokljan Lake towards the town of Skradin. This small city at the start of the freshwater part of the Krka River is a charming small community with a well run marina for yachts of all sizes.
Skradin originated from the Roman settlement of Scardone in 100-200AD and the town today still reveals its colourful history. After a mid afternoon arrival there is plenty of time for a stroll around town and its main square. We would suggest visiting the “BEDRICA” wine shop, which is so unusual that it looks more like a pharmacy, but the wine is very good.
A recommendation for dinner would be the large stone wall tavern in the main square where the Bedrica wine flows from barrels and whose speciality is an unusual eel dish, which is worth a try.
Sail up the Sibenik canal to the freshwater part of the Krka River
Dine in the Bedrica restaurant with their home made wine and eel dishes.
An early start in the morning offers the opportunity to visit the Krka waterfalls at the border of the national park which are best visited early in the morning or late afternoon, especially in August to avoid the crowds. The waterfalls are a lovely place to go for a swim and a contrast to the landscape of Kornati. If a hike sounds too strenuous, then a morning boat trip is on hand to take visitors from Skradin to the falls themselves.
After lunch we would recommend sailing back to the open sea to the island of Zlarin (Golden Island). Zlarin village was formed by refugees from the Sibenik area, fleeing the Turkish invasion during the 16th century as well as the plague epidemic of that time. The small village boasts the longest stone pier of the Adriatic, with a pretty bell tower and the church of St.Raselj setting the tone of the village’s appearance. Unusually the population of the village is a fraction of what it once was at the turn of the 20th century as economic immigration took its toll on the island. Interestingly Zlarin born Anthony Maglica now owns the Maglite Corporation in the US.
From Zlarin on North West you can sail to the entrance of the Kornati Archipelago. Around lunchtime after approximately 3 hours sailing there is an opportunity for a swim stop and lunch in Hiljaca Bay on Zut Island where the “Sabuni” restaurant comes highly recommended. There is Vela Proversa passage which joins Kornati Island and Dugi Otok “Long Island”, through to Telascica bay, which is a protected area and southern most point of the 40 mile long Dugi Otok. Mooring in Uvala Mir, we would recommend an early evening walk to the Lake of Peace “Jezero Mir” which sits on the edge of the island and offers spectacular views from the cliffs on the South western edge of Dugi Otok.
A swim stop on the island of Zut on the edge of the Kornati archipelago.
An early evening walk to the saline Lake of Peace in Telascica bay with exceptional views from the cliffs of Dugi Otok just before sundown.
“Mare” Katina – the Vela Proversa Passage.
This is the oldest restaurant in this area and has been a tavern for fishermen throughout the ages. Simply prepared food, in the way that its been done for centuries. A real treat.
“Sabuni” Hiljaca Bay on Zut Island
Mooring on anchor in a quiet and sheltered bay. Run by a large family and well known for its crustacean dishes.
Entering the Kornati Archipelago after breakfast on board. Until the late 19th century these we’re literally unchartered waters. Although well known to the local fishermen, most of the islands just weren’t named until the Austro Hungarian army started mapping this part of the Adriatic.
Sailing south through the archipelago, there is plenty of time for a few swim stops, and the Islet of Levrnaka comes highly recommended as a mid morning stop. From there we would suggest sailing out to the western outskirts of the archipelago to view the impressive cliffs of Mana Island, and past the islands of Mali and Veli Rasip.
There are a few options for a late lunch in one of the “konoba” taverns in Kornati after which we would recommend evening mooring in either Lavsa Island or Smokvica “Fig Island” depending on where you choose to have lunch.
If you are still feeling full of energy we would recommend a stroll to the top of the Fig lined Smokvica Island, for a great 360 Degree panorama of the whole of the Kornati archipelago.
Sail through the Kornati archipelago with swim stops on Levrnaka Island.
Dine in one of the recommended family taverns on Ornate.
Hike to the top of Soskice Island, for a special view of the whole archipelago
“Piccolo” Soskice Vela (Fig Island)
Built by the Trinova brothers, the restaurant only serves what is caught by them. The boss (their mother) has previously run one of the best known restaurants on the Adriatic (the Tic-Tac restaurant on Murter Island). Mooring also available
“Opat” Opat bay, on Kornat Island
This Island is only accessible by boat and very popular yachtsmen in the area. (best arrive before 2pm). Great grilled seafood and delicacies from their stone oven.
“Ante” Vrulje village on Kornati Island.
Run by Ante Jerat, this place is full of the authentic atmosphere of the area. Ante is the best known octopus fisherman on Kornati and prepares a great octopus stew (“Brudet”) and salad, with only the freshest catch and produce.
Smokvica/Lavsa - Kaprije
If you were busy relaxing the previous day, it might be an opportunity to go for an early start and walk up to the top of Smokvica Island. Before leaving the Kornati Archipelago for the Island of Kaprije (named after “Kapara” plant buds, i.e. capers)
The island itself has a number of fairly safe mooring spots and bays, although the town of Kaprije may be your safest bet during bad weather.
“Vanjska” and “Gacice” bay may be of interest if you’re trying to hide away from the rest of the charterers.
The town itself has a number of nameless taverns which are worth a try as the island is well known for its fishing tradition.
Tip: Make sure you have plenty of water on board before you enter Kornati, as the archipelago itself has limited supplies, (Piskera marina has water available for a few hours a day), and Kaprije itself has no streams on the island and relies on rainwater.
Kaprije - Kastela
From Kaprije it’s time to return to Kastela in the evening, and I would suggest a swim stop on Krknjasi islands near the island of Veli Drvenik, before sailing the last hour to Kastela. Upon your evening return you have the options of eating the tavern next to the marina or go for a stroll down the Kastela seafront where there are a number of restaurants to choose from. Our base staff can also organise transfers to Trogir if you wish to go for dinner and a visit to the old town.
Trogir is a picturesque town with a pleasant seafront, and more than a few quality restaurants suitable for a late lunch.
Breakfast , 9 am check-out time in Marina Kaštela
Rich cultural heritage combined with beautiful beaches, spectacular national parks and deserted islands, makes this part of Dalmatia an amazing sailing destination. Along the coast are beautifully preserved medieval towns poised above some of the clearest waters in Europe, while offshore are myriad islands adorned with ancient stone villages and enticing coves. The region increasingly serves both as a focus for the party crowd and as a get-away-from-it-all destination, with a burgeoning roster of festivals dovetailing neatly with stirring scenery and soothing beaches.Find out more
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"Sailing with a skipper is definitely the easiest way to cruise from place to place while still taking advantage of the freedom you have."