The Croatian coast is decorated with around 1,200 islands (or somewhere between 1,185 and 1,244, to be exact), which attract international travelers eager to explore this nautical paradise every year. However, only 78 are classified as ‘proper’ islands in Croatia, while 525 are islets, and 642 are rocks and reefs. And what enhances this coastal wonderland even more? Only around 50 Croatian islands in total are actually inhabited. Let that set in.
A dream for yachters on an Adriatic sailing holiday, Croatia abounds in seaside charms - and some of the Adriatic Coast’s most alluring attractions are the extraordinary shapes, scenery, and stories of the islands themselves.
Meet some of the most interesting islands and islets on the Adriatic, destined to heighten your Croatian sailing holiday.
Galešnjak (Croatia’s heart-shaped island)
Galešnjak, Croatia’s famous heart-shaped island, has gained popularity not only for its frame - while there are only three heart-shaped islands in the world, Galešnjak is the only to continuously maintain its shape! Located south of Zadar, Galešnjak is one of Croatia’s uninhabited islands that has protected the island of Pašman with envy for thousands of years. Not only is it popular amongst romantic tourists, but Beyonce is said to have celebrated her birthday there this year! Because it’s only reachable by boat with no tourist facilities on land, its exclusivity certainly adds to its romanticism. Once you’re there, you’ll see why.
Your Korčula sailing route doesn’t stop at Vela Stupa. At the entrance to Vela Luka bay is Proizd, known as the ‘magic island’ for its spellbinding scenery. No stranger to international media which has praised it as one of the Adriatic’s most beautiful beaches, Proizd’s whimsical white stone slabs meet the cerulean sea to form an unforgettable ambiance that’s more than easy on the eyes. Proizd beachgoers can also enjoy local specialties and refreshing cocktails to enhance the already unrivaled experience, all of which helps it earn its name as Croatia’s island of magic.
Baljenac (Croatia’s fingerprint island)
It’s not every day you find something in nature that resembles perhaps the most intricate detail of humans, that is, until you’ve met Baljenac Island. Located on your Šibenik sailing route, Croatia’s fingertip island got its nickname thanks to the help of nature and the human effort of dry-stone walling, a traditional method used to cultivate grapevines and fruits. Human hands thus assembled 23 kilometres of dry stone wall on Baljenac’s tiny area of only 0.14km2, which is fitting, given the island now resembles the very thing that brought it to life. While Baljenac is best seen from above, the view from your sailboat does this stone paradise justice.
This tiny islet near Korčula Island is known for its unparalleled beauty, blissful beach scenery, and unaffected nature. It has also become one of Croatia's most Instagrammable locations in recent years. Vela Stupa today is best-known for Moro Beach Stupe, a unique concept that joins local cuisine and chilled vibes with the striking Stupa setting, and all of this just two nautical miles south of Korčula town. For gourmands, hedonists, and melophiles, Vela Stupa is one of the hottest summer locales you’ll visit on your yacht charter. We promise you’ll get a few Insta-worthy posts to share, too.
Gaz (Croatia’s fish-shaped island)
For those of you looking to capture a true symbol of the Mediterranean, there is no better island than Gaz, which resembles a fish - one of most important factors of Mediterranean food. Another uninhabited Croatian island, Gaz is one of the islands that make up Brijuni National Park, thus it is best-visited if you’re sailing the northern Adriatic Sea or find yourselves near Pula (just 3 miles away). Because no public transportation is available to Gaz, visiting this fish-shaped island is a must on your next yacht charter, as private boats get the perks.
Located between the islands of Brač and Šolta, Mrduja is an uninhabited islet that boasts a single lighthouse and fort ruins, and has become famous thanks to two events - a regatta that will celebrate its 90th edition this year, and a ‘tug of war’ event between the inhabitants of Brač and Šolta. The Mrdujska Regatta has been ongoing since October 1927, following the example of the famous America's Cup, and is one of the oldest sailing regattas in Europe. Hundreds of boats join in the local festivity, creating a sailing spectacle on the 22-mile route from Split- Mrduja-Split. And if regattas aren’t your thing? Milna and Stomorska locals from the islands of Brač and Šolta take part in a satirical boat tug-of-war, all in an effort to ‘pull’ the islet of Mrduja closer and claim it as their territory! One thing is for certain - there is never a dull moment if your Šolta sailing route comes across either event.
Are you ready to explore the unrivaled gems of the Croatian coast? Contact our charter specialists to choose the best yacht for your sailing adventure, from one unique Croatian island to the next.