Sailing in Šibenik - region of numerous sailing opportunities
Šibenik is a tourist, administrative, educational and sports center of the region. With its impressive Cathedral of St. James that is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with its central location on the Dalmatian coast, it offers an insight into city’s rich history and various holiday possibilities. Four fortresses provide beautiful views of the city and the open sea full of islands. There are two national parks in the vicinity - Krka on the mainland and Kornati on the sea - because of which the city records rising tourism in recent years.
You can visit the monument to one of the biggest basketball players in the world - Dražen Petrović. The biggest lake in Croatia, Lake Vrana, is only a short drive away. Gourmands will take great pleasure in tasting traditional Dalmatian food and fine wines in small family restaurants and taverns on the islands. Relax on clean beaches and swim in deep blue sea in numerous bays.
Why is Šibenik area popular among sailors
Šibenik area is home to the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea - the Kornati archipelago with Kornati National Park. The archipelago consists of 150 pristine islands that makes sailors able to visit many different locations in a short period of time. Small towns and peaceful bays are ideal for swimming and relaxing, or to spend the night. Lively marinas will attract those looking for fun and active holidays.
Croatian indented coast, especially Šibenik area, is an oasis for sailors looking for either relaxing or adventurous sailing holidays. Nautical routes pay attention to the islands of Prvić, Zlarin, Tijat, Zmajan, Kaprije, Kakan, Žirje, Murter and Kornati. Sailing is enjoyable and comfortable, and since destinations are close by, sailors are able to find shelter quickly in case of bad weather.
Climate and ideal time to sail the area
Recommended period for sailing the Croatian coast is between April and October, and the peak season is reserved for July and August. Less crowded, but still warm are May, June, September and October.
Croatian coast enjoys Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The summers are hot with temperatures going up to 40 °C and the sea temperature is around 25 °C. The Adriatic Sea gets a plenty of sunshine, 2600 hours per year on average.
Winds and waves
There are eight winds that blow on the Adriatic. Each has its own characteristics that can often be recognized by clouds appearing on the sky. Adriatic Sea is, in general, very tame and will not cause you any significant troubles while sailing. Special attention has to be paid to a sudden and strong storm called neverin, which in this area occurs 3-4 times per month. Neverin usually lasts only half an hour, but it can be very powerful.
- Bura - cold and dry north or north-eastern wind that blows in very strong gusts which makes sailing challenging, can bring heavy rain and snow (during winter), but after it ends, brings clear skies and lovely weather, quite often in Istria and Kvarner region
- Jugo - warm and humid south or south-eastern wind that brings clouds and bad weather, as well as big waves, allegedly causes people to feel disoriented and depressed or rather feeling under the weather, predominant wind in this region
- Maestral - most common summer wind, brings lovely and stable weather, always blows from northwest. It is a very constant wind usually reaching speed between 15 and 20 knots, which is perfect for sailing on the Adriatic, weaker in northern regions that southern
- Tramontana – northerly cooling wind that brings pleasant weather
- Grego – moderate or strong northeasterly wind carrying dry, clear and cold weather
- Levant – easterly wind that blows during cloudy, humid or rainy weather
- Oštro – southerly, warm and damp wind
- Lebić – southwesterly, dry and warm wind which blows in the Adriatic after the jugo, leveling the waves in shallow harbors
Waves occur due to winds blowing. On average, the waves are between 0.5 m and 1.5 m, but can get bigger with stronger winds.
Sea currents also occur because of winds, but are hardly noticeable and move at average speed of 0.5 knots.
Tides have small amplitudes, around 40 cm, but can get slightly bigger if jugo is blowing.
Gastronomy of Šibenik region
Croatian cuisine consists of different ingredients, depending on the region. Šibenik region enjoys a lot of olive oil and seafood, as well as fresh fish, lamb and veal, prosciutto, goat and sheep cheese. Meals are accompanied with a lot of vegetables and wine. Fruit is essential, especially citrus fruit, marasca cherries, grapes, figs and almonds. Sailing in Šibenik area and eating in restaurants, taverns and inns will definitely get you acquainted with delicious Croatian cuisine.
- Restaurant Kod Kate, Kaprije - famous for its friendly atmosphere and black risotto, one of the best on the Adriatic coast, you can also try delicious octopus or fresh fish, pair it with local wine
- Tavern Tratinska, Žirje - get food with accommodation in Villa Mare, anchor in the sheltered Tratinska bay equipped with buoys, enjoy homemade Dalmatian and international fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, lobster is a must
- Restaurant Bonaca, Skradin - a modern seafront villa and a restaurant with authentic cuisine, the family owners catch fish and seafood by themselves and offer it fresh, make sure to try Skradin risotto, Skradin cake, cured ham and any of Croatian wines they offer
- Restaurant Trabakul, Žut, Kornati - located in a tranquil bay and popular with sailors since the restaurant has a dock and mooring buoys, you can enjoy seafood, fish and meat specialties prepared traditionally while being surrounded by the sea
- Restaurant Luna, Tribunj - a seafront restaurant with a long family tradition, offers fresh local fish and seafood, as well as Dalmatian prosciutto and salads
- Restaurant Mareta, Prvić Luka - a nautic restaurant located in a lovely bay right next to the sea, offers five anchorages for boats up to 8 m, fresh homemade meals and ice cream, as well as national dishes and fine wine
Most important destinations
- Kaprije Island - a quiet island with only one settlement where you can walk its steep narrow streets between stone houses, there are no cars, so you are guaranteed to have a peaceful holiday here, there are around 20 bays where you can enjoy in swimming in crystal-clear sea and relax on the beach, eat in a dozen of restaurants very popular among sailors and make sure to try locally grown olives and grapes
- Žirje Island - agriculture and fishing island with beautiful nature, there are around 30 sheltered bays, 17 islets and reefs around the island, and several natural caves, one can find medicinal and aromatic plants, there is no mass tourism, the island served in defending Šibenik during Croatian War of Independence
- Kornati National Park - the most indented islands group in the Mediterranean that consists of 89 islands, islets and reefs currently on the list to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Park practices sustainable tourism and has beautiful dry stone walls, tourists are able to hike, dive, snorkel and explore the wildlife, as well as eat in restaurants in taverns
- Krapanj Island - one of the smallest inhabited island in the Adriatic, it has the lowest elevation (1.5 m) and sinks like Venice, for more than 300 years there is a tradition of harvesting and selling sea sponge that are indicators of clean and warm sea, there is a hotel with mooring places, take a peaceful walk around the island
- Krka National Park - named after the river that flows through, the area has an exceptional natural value and preserved ecosystems, listen to the seven magnificent waterfalls and swim on designated locations, enjoy on a boat excursion and visit a monastery on a river island, there are restaurants and accommodation available in the Park
- Vodice - a popular tourist destination with rich history and cultural heritage, plenty of archaeological sites and a wide gastronomic offer, there are all types of beaches, as well as dog-friendly and Blue Flag-certified, engage in a conversation with friendly locals, have an active vacation, and enjoy in beach bars and clubs
- Prvić Island - a small carless island in the vicinity of Vodice with two settlements ideal for a relaxed vacation on beautiful pebbled or sandy beaches, there is a production of olive oil and fine wine, tourists can stay in private accommodation or in an award-winning hotel “Maestral” in Prvić Luka
Where to anchor and interesting marinas
Croatian coast has more than a thousand harbors, marinas and bays for anchoring and mooring, and twice as much buoys. Buoys are more accessible and more affordable than marinas.
- Žminjak, Murter - a small bay in the shape of a horseshoe, good shelter from bura and easterlies, open to westerly winds, sandy seabed, depth in the middle of the bay is 4.5 m, but one should be careful when entering the bay because depths are around 1-2 m, no concession
- Sv. Nikola, Murter - located in a fishing bay, sheltered from all winds except strong jugo and southwesterly winds, there is a small church, a house and a pier for barges, depth is around 8-10 m, sandy and sludgy seabed covered with algae, no concession
- Tijašćica, Tijat - a beautiful bay crowded during the day and tranquil during the night, sheltered from all winds except jugo, depths go up to 20 m on the entrance, so one should anchor closer to the shore where depths are around 7 m, rocky and sandy seabed, under concession
- Tratica, Kakan - a bay sheltered from westerly winds, but not from jugo and bura, there are buoys and mooring places that are offered for the same price, there is also a quality restaurant with moorings popular with sailors located in pine woods, depths are between 3-6 m, under concession
- Kaprije - a very good shelter from bura and jugo, but open to westerly winds, 18 mooring places and 24 buoys, sandy seabed, enjoy in a restaurant and in bars or take a walk around the island, no concession
- Tratinska, Žirje - almost a kilometer long bay with remnants of military constructions on the coast, good shelter from all winds except jugo, tavern offers traditional meals, 8 mooring places and 22 buoys, anchoring on depths between 6 and 14 m, under concession
- Skradin - located deep inland, sailors will see various picturesque sceneries while getting there, many big yachts anchor here, the town has a rich history and is connected to Krka National Park, one should be careful about bura, waves created by jugo and the river after rain, the seabed is sludgy, depth is 4-5 m, no concession
- Zlarin - good shelter from bura and jugo, but open to tramontana, maestral and westerly winds, moorings are available on a 140 meter long pier and there are 15 buoys on the west side of the bay, no cars on the island, gravelly seabed, no concession
- ACI Marina Žut - one of the islands of Kornati with a beautiful landscape, there are several excellent seafront restaurants, 135 berths, 15 anchoring buoys, max depth 8 m, many amenities, open from April to October www.aci-marinas.com/en/aci_marina/aci-zut/
- Marina Hramina, Murter - a marina and a charter base, pretty much always full due to its proximity to Kornati, naturally protected marina that has recently been renewed, offers excellent yacht service and maintenance, 370 berths, 120 dry berths, max depth 3 m, all amenities, open all year www.marina-hramina.com/en/
- Marina Betina, Murter - a marina designed in the shape of a ship, intimate atmosphere, extra attention should be paid when bura is blowing, 240 berths, 100 dry berths, max depth 8 m, all amenities, open all year www.marina-betina.com/en/
- ACI Marina Jezera, Murter - located in one of the best-preserved towns in Croatia, Blue Flag-certified and recently renewed, 233 berths, 60 dry berths, max depth 5 m, all amenities, open all year www.aci-marinas.com/en/aci_marina/aci-jezera/
- Marina Tribunj - a relatively new marina marina and a charter base, Blue Flag-certified, 220 berths, 150 dry berths many amenities, open all year www.marinatribunj-adriatiq.com/en
- Marina Zaton, Šibenik - a small charter marina located in a natural bay, ideal for those sailing in Krka National Park, sheltered from waves and all winds, 35 berths, many amenities www.dreamyachtcharter.com/destination/croatia/
- D-Marin Marina Mandalina, Šibenik - a naturally protected luxurious nautical resort, 5 Gold Anchors-certified, can accommodate superyachts up to 140 m in length, 429 berths, 50 dry berths, max depth 6 m, all amenities, open all year www.d-marin.com/en/marinas/croatia/mandalina/overview.aspx
Telephone numbers you might need
Emergency – 112
Police – 192
Fire department – 193
Ambulance – 194
Search and rescue at sea – 195
Road assistance – 1987
General information – 18981
Tourist information, Šibenik and Šibenik region – 022 212 075, 022 219 072
Croatia country calling code is +385