It's the peak of the tourist nautical season in Croatia. And that, you know it, doesn't only mean crowded beaches, but it also means the lack of berths (places) in the Croatian marinas. Croatia has about 60 well-equipped marinas along the coast and on islands, but there isn't always enough room for all of them. You've certainly been designing and coordinating ideas about the sailing route for a long time, so the idea that you can't anchor in the place you have marked on your map, is simply not an option.
In the following text we'll write about alternative places that we recommend for berthing, that are usually buoys and protected bays.
For example, we have chosen the Middle Dalmatian route which includes: Split - Stari Grad (Hvar) - Island of Vis - Island Lastovo - Island of Mljet
SPLIT – OLD TOWN, ISLAND HVAR
The special pleasure would be checking-in in one of the marinas in Split or its surroundings and sailing to the sunniest Croatian island - Hvar. Except the breathtaking landscape, you will also have a chance to enjoy a spectacular nightlife. Of course, you are not the only one attracted to the beauty of Hvar, so the crowd at the main marinas of JK Zvir and at Palmižana (St. Clement's Island) are unavoidable. Except for the crowd, it's usually wavy in the harbor, either from the waves of the south, or from huge traffic jam in the harbor, but you should also have in mind that anchoring in the middle of the harbor is not recommended because the sea bottom does not hold well. This is why we advise you to look for anchorage in several smaller bays, among which sailors find the most attractive one in the bay of Tiha. The mentioned port consists of seven bays, those on the north side are safe from the winds, the west is not safe from the southern wind, and Hobonj in the east is not safe from the Lebić (south-western wind). However, this is one safe anchorage and it is good to spend the night there, and it will be an excellent opportunity to try all the traditional specialties and delicious wine, of course, with an infallible spectacular sunset.
RAVNIK AND CITY VIS, ISLAND VIS
It is time to unmoor and to leave paradise of Hvar on the way to the mysterious island of Vis. If you want to take a short swim on the way, visit the Green Cave at the Ravnik Island. Visit to the Green Cave gives you a true Robinsonian pleasure, but it will also be the most romantic thing you could ever imagine. At Vis, you can anchor in the main port of Komiža, which we do not recommend at the peak of the season, as there are simply too many boats and people. But we definitely recommend you the charming bay of Stončica. The bay is adorned with stone lighthouse and pebble beach that reminds you of some kind of a movie set. Here you can find refreshments in a cafe located right by the sea, in the shade of old pine trees. Another alternatives are; the harbor of Rogacic and the Kut bay where you have to be careful because the water is two meters deep.
THE BAY OF SKRIVENA LUKA, THE ISLAND OF LASTOVO
You've decided to go directly to the lobster island? In that case you'll have to wake up early in the morning to go to Lastovo. Lastovo is a beautiful island, but as it's far away so you'll have to spend more time in front of a steering wheel than you've expected to. From the southern part of Hvar to Lastovo you' ll need to cross some 40 NM. The place you should definitely visit is Skrivena Luka (Hidden Bay) with several restaurants that give you an amazing view to an endless blue horizon. It is a well-sheltered anchorage. Besides Skrivena Luka, you should also visit Zaklopatica and Ubli, where you can find the only gas station, but if you can, you should avoid them during the peak season due to crowds. The islets of Lastovnjaci are also beautiful for anchoring.
THE BAY OF OKUKLJE, THE ISLAND OF MLJET – SPLIT
After Lastovo's karst and rock, we believe that you'll enjoy Mljet's green belt. You can anchor there, in the famous bay of Požura, but you can also do this in the bay of Okuklje, where you are almost completely protected from all winds. Here you can moor your boat, open a bottle of rosé and enjoy the view on islands on the horizon or go to the mainland to taste gourmet delicacies. During your stay in Mljet, we advise you to visit the National Park where the bay of Polača is an excellent anchorage. To visit the Benedictine monastery on the island of St. Mary in the Great Lakes you will need to rent a vehicle. After seeing the natural beauty, you will, well we believe it, get tired and you will hardly wait to return to your peaceful bay to enjoy the fish prepared in the magnificent baking oven of the Mare Tavern.
These are just some of the suggestions where you can escape the big crowds during the boating season in Croatia. But wherever you go, we are sure you will find your favourite place. Just take care of the safety of the crew and the boat and enjoy your sailing.