Croatia is blessed with a gorgeous indented coastline and more than 1,000 islands, making her a perfect sailing destination. Whether you are after peace, relaxation or exploration, we guarantee you will find it all sailing in Croatia. If you charter with a skipper, they know all of the best destinations and hidden bays to take you. However, we have written this for those who charter bareboat, to let you know some of our favourite coves and bays to visit when sailing in Croatia.
Bobovišća Bay, island Brač
First, we will mention Bobovišća bay on island Brač, mostly for practical reasons. Bobovišća is a well-protected bay, and only 10 nm from Split, making it a perfect spot to anchor and spend the night on a central Dalmatia sailing route or Split – Split sailing route. The bay is divided into two smaller parts, anchor or take a mooring a buoy.
Stračinska Bay, island Šolta
Stračinska bay is a gorgeous bay on the island Šolta which boasts crystal-clear waters and is surrounded by thick vegetation and a few quaint stone houses. Thanks to its depths and rocky shoreline, it is easy to anchor and tie a line to shore. Spend an afternoon or evening in this peaceful location. An extra bit of information and 'cheek' – there is a white-pebbled stone beach here which is a favourite spot for swimmers, called “Di dida pere guzicu” by locals, which literally translates to “where Grandpa washes his bottom.”
Vinogradišće Bay, Pakleni Islands
Lying in front of Hvar town are the Pakleni Islands. The Pakleni Islands are a monument to nature, as they are uninhabited for most of the year and alive with wild nature. The Pakleni islands and particularly Vinogradišće bay have been known and loved by sailors for years. Vinogradišće is a deep bay located on St. Clement (Sv. Klement) islands – the largest in the Pakleni group. Turquoise waters, white sand, famed seafood restaurants and bars set in amongst botanic gardens, have made this a favourite stop for sailors in summer. Vinogradišće has mooring buoys available.
Note: during peak season, be sure to arrive early to get a buoy.
Stončica Bay, island Vis
Stončica bay is one of the most beautiful beaches and bays on the island of Vis. Stončica is a deep and well-protected bay, 7 km NE from Vis town centre. Like Vinogradišće, Stončica has crystalline waters and a sandy beach. On the beach, there is a cute beach bar and Konoba Stončica which serves fresh seafood with genuine hospitality at reasonable prices. Stončica is mostly for boaters and locals as it is not easily accessible from town. Spending the day in Stončica is perfect for families to swim, relax or play ashore on the sandy beach.
Stiniva Bay, island Vis
It is impossible to write about bays or beaches without mentioning Stiniva Bay on island Vis. Stiniva is more of a cove than a bay but it deserves mention here. Stiniva beach was always a hidden gem for sailors in the know until it was named Best Beach in Europe in 2016. The allure of Stiniva beach was always in its unique setting – a narrow entrance that opens to a pristine pebble-stoned beach, dominated by high cliffs. These are the same reasons it became famous and is one of the most photographed beaches in Croatia – because it is the picture-postcard ‘secret beach’. Thanks to its title as “Best Beach”, it is more popular these days but if you arrive early or during the shoulder season (May, June, September, October), you have more chance of being able to enjoy it with fewer crowds.
Strašinčica Bay, Korčula
Vela Luka lies at the heart of a deep bay on the western end of island Korčula. This deep bay is indented with many cute coves and secure anchorages where one can easily spend a day in peace. Strašinčica bay is near the town of Vela Luka, and has a beautiful beach with pebble stones at its head. With deep hues of greens in the water and surrounding vegetation, this cove is a perfect escape.
Skrivena Luka, Lastovo Nature Park
The Lastovo archipelago is a protected nature park, made up of 44 islands, cliffs and reefs. Escaping the 'main drag', many sailors spend days just exploring this mesmerising paradise. With lush vegetation, rocky shorelines, numerous coves and bays, marine life, and wonderful restaurants, sailing the Lastovo archipelago is a must for anyone sailing in Croatia – particularly on a southern sailing route. There are numerous bays and coves to explore, all of them beautiful and unique in their own way. Today we will mention ‘Skrivena Luka’ which cannot be seen from the sea, this is how it got its name “hidden bay”.
Saplunara, island Mljet
On the south side of island Mljet is another hidden jewel – Saplunara. A wide, protected bay, with a long sandy beach, surrounded by pines and junipers, Saplunara really is a piece of paradise. Maybe because it is not easily accessible by land and there are no hotels or restaurants on the beach, it has remained isolated and untouched. Its beauty and tranquillity on this part of the Adriatic is unmatched. Add Saplunara to your Dubrovnik sailing route. Visit during calm weather, as the southern side of Mljet is open to the open sea and southerly winds.
Croatia, the land of many coves, beaches and bays
There you have it, this is just a small handful of must-visit bays for you on your sailing Croatia holiday. But of course, as you know – we can’t give away ALL the secrets in one blog, stay tuned to learn more and be ready to discover your own favourite spots when you charter a yacht and sail Croatia.
Visit our website or contact our team to learn more.