Best place for anchorage: If you start later in the afternoon from Biograd na Moru, on the first day of your sailing holiday in Croatia?
There are more options available to you. If you are departing from Biograd earlier in the day, Žut and Soline are also good options to consider.
Although it is attractive to go towards Žut, if you are departing later than expected on the first day due to arrangements and taking over the boat, you should avoid doing so, especially if there is a chance that night may catch up with you before the finish!
The entire island of Žut, as well as the surrounding waters, has heavily forested cliffs and islets that must be properly looked for throughout the day. Particularly, they change into a real minefield at night, with dangerous cliffs, islets, and shoals; this is especially true of the Sitski Kanal: http://www.map.com.hr/sitski-kanal and the aquatorium directly from the island of Žut, but also on the Kornati area.
So, suppose you depart later in the afternoon. In that case, Soline on the south side of Paman Island, Island Vrgada, or any of the surrounding Pašman Island bays is your only choice:
In addition, for those who will depart late in the afternoon and do not want to spend the first night in the port of departure, the option of traveling to Vrgada is also possible; with this option, you will only travel 5 miles on the first day (as compared to 14-18 miles to Soline bay or Žut).
Vrgada is a less thrilling option, but it is still deserving of some consideration.
It is a lovely island with two extremely shallow harbors, although both are exposed to the Mistral and the Bora winds. There are, however, several mooring buoys on both sides of Vrgada. If a heavier night breeze (burin) blows, you may spend the night on these buoys a bit uncomfortable, but you will see a sky full of stars. Larger ships in transit may sometimes cause you to be rocked by their waves. Even so, it's preferable to the first night at the departure marina, without a single mile sailed.
With your dinghy, you can go to the main port and visit some of the restaurants on the island, which are quite many and reasonably priced.
Important note: Never try to cross the apparently navigable passage between Artina and Vrgada. It is quite dangerous. A shallow, ridged bottom is also problematic for small boats. A notice with information on the anchorage is located in the middle of the passage, on a low cliff, indicating that the area is highly dangerous. It's important not to lose sight of it if you're approaching the buoys at nighttime!