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April 07 2014

Exploring the Croatian Islands starting from Dubrovnik

The eastern Adriatic coast is attractive for everyone – with over thousand islands and islets, thousands of bays along the Dalmatian coast, idyllic fisher ports, sophisticated holiday villages, historic buildings and a dense net of marinas. We start our sailing route in the southernmost point of the sailing region – in Dubrovnik.

The eastern Adriatic coast is attractive for everyone – with over thousand islands and islets, thousands of bays along the Dalmatian coast, idyllic fisher ports, sophisticated holiday villages, historic buildings and a dense net of marinas. We start our sailing route in the southernmost point of the sailing region – in Dubrovnik.
 

The high bridge of the magisterial – the coastal road – crosses the fjord “Rijeka Dubrovacka”, which goes 2 sea miles long into the land. On its end, the nice ACI Marina of Komolac is situated. This is the starting port for our sailing cruise. The base of Sea Help is situated here, too. In the main port “Gruz” big yachts are mostly moored at the northern pier, just in front of the vivid main street. Right diagonally opposite, on the other side of the street, there is a farmer’s market. And close to it a fish market with great assortment. Both markets are worth visiting. Visitors come comfortably with a bus to the well-preserved medieval old town. In its period of prosperity, Dubrovnik was called Ragusa and was a strong economic competitor for Venice. The rich town was proud of its monumental walls, which still surround the UNESCO protected old town.

Dubrovnik is great, but the islands are calling! Our crew sails to the west until the bay of Planiak on the northern coast of the island Mljet, where we stop. The small pier belongs to the kanoba – the coastal tavern – and can be used free of charge. It’s a point of honour that we have dinner there.

From here, Korcula is not far away. Korcula is said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. Also here, the Croatian Slavoljub Eduard Penkala patented the pen for the first time. The very small marina is literally full with guest yachts during the summer season. Coming after 4:00 PM you will only have chance to anchor in a small neighbouring bay in front of Baretica.

Another day cruise to the west takes us to the elongated island Hvar and its correspondent main town. Here, in Saint-Tropez of Dalmatia, the rich and beautiful from all over the world come together to party. In the high season, yachts come to the port pier in the morning to get one of the treasured berths. The anchorage in front of the port mole is always full, too. Further berths are situated in the marina of the Palmenzana bay of Sveti Klement, one sea mile to the west. There is a taxi boat bringing tourists and party people from here to the island Hvar. There are many bays around the island.

We make a detour to the neighbouring island Brac northerly from Hvar. The town is called Bol. This place is famous for its beach called the golden horn of Bol. This beach is legendary because its unique form reminds a long finger showing into the sea. At extra charge you can stay at the pier with mooring lines, water and electricity right in the town center.

Almost 5 sea miles long is the shallow and narrow Stonski channel in the direction north-west – we pass the last 2 sea miles in the buoyed fairway until the small pier in the village Ston. This village is famous for its 5 kilometres long defensive wall, which is the longest in Europe. In the Roman period sea salt was gained here in the bay. And nowadays, gourmands from all over the world come here to enjoy the excellent oysters, bred in farms around Ston. There are many fine restaurants. All in all, Ston is definitely worth visiting!

Now, the 13 Elaphiti Islands (the so called “Deer Islands”) separate the crew from Dubrovnik. If you don’t find a berth at the pier, you can anchor off the shore and use your dinghy to get to the land and enjoy a Slibowitz under tamarind trees.

Right to the north from the small island Kolocep, on the opposite mainland there is a nice small port, almost unknown among sailing crews. Guest yachts are welcome here. It is the hotel own port of the 5-star Radisson Blu Restprt & Spa, which has a few free of charge berths for yachts. There are mooring lines. You can also use electricity and water, however, at an additional charge. If you like to use the hotel facilities like pool or the huge spa area, you can register and pay at the reception.

Our crew sails back to the marina to spend the last evening in the old town. Along the main street “Placa Stradun”, which goes across the old town, there are numerous cafes and bars. In the parallel street, at half height of the hill, you will find many restaurants for dinner.

Our result: the very south of the Croatian coast attracts with diversified nature, protected anchorages and ports, beautiful small towns and the great historic metropolis Dubrovnik. The sailing area is not so full as central Dalmatia around Zadar and the Kornati. If you go sailing in spring or autumn, the ports are empty and there are free berths. The water temperature is good for bathing until late autumn. And sailing here is just wonderful!

For a similar experience, you could charter one of our many yachts in Dubrovnik
 
 
 
Felix Wolf
f.wolf@yachtbooker.com

Felix Wolf once founded YachtBooker. He is a charter skipper himself and enjoys discovering new sailing areas.

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