Anchoring in Croatia is like entering a paradise, with its countless beautiful islands, islets, and lagoons characteristic of the Isles. Sailing yacht charter routes here may seamlessly integrate peaceful isolation with robust cultural and historical appetites, as most are within miles close to each other. As an additional bonus, the Croatian anchorages are sure to catch the attention of charter professionals whose passion takes them beyond the traditional West Mediterranean itineraries.
As a result, putting together a list of the top 15 anchorages along the Croatian coast is difficult but possible. If you have chosen Dalmatian coast in Croatia as your sailing/yachting itinerary for the following year, here are some advice for your sailing holidays and a list of the 15 best anchorages in Croatia.
Veli Rat can be found in Cuna Bay, a part of Solišćica near the northernmost tip of the island of Dugi Otok. Veli Rat is also the name of the lovely cape with the historic lighthouse. The 42-meter-tall lighthouse has been in operation for more than 150 years. Dugi Otok is the seventh-largest island in the Adriatic Sea and the largest of the islands in Northern Dalmatia. Dugi Otok contains numerous outstanding beaches and caves with spectacular views.
In addition, Dugi Otok is home to many tourist hotspots, including the famous sandy beach Saharun and the breath-taking Blue Cave. The northern region is the most intriguing due to its scenic richness and contrast. Veli Rat, located in the bay of Cuna, is the ideal site to anchor your boat. The perfect spot for sailors seeking seclusion and peace. According to some sailors, It is a beautiful location for a few nights due to its wind protection. The bottom of the ocean is sandy and muddy. Strong hold on the anchors - five meters depth.
On the island, Dugi Otok's southeast side is a large entrance to the Telašćica nature park. This inlet has many well-protected bays, one of which is named Tripuljak bay. The park staff take care of the many mooring buoys in this bay, which makes it stand out. It is also close to the major attractions of the park, which are the high cliffs and the salty lake. The sea depth of the bay is 10 to 14 meters. Unfortunately, this bay is not so well protected from the Bora wind, so that the swell might get uncomfortable. Still, there are plenty of other safe and attractive anchorages in Telašćica.
There is a beautiful blue lagoon on the island of Drvenik Veli, which is not far from the port of Split. During the day, it's an excellent spot for swimming and scuba diving, and at night, it's a great place to anchor. As long as the Sun is out, there will be people in the bay since there are towns nearby, but as soon as the Moon comes out, no one will be there to bother your peace. Be careful when sailing into the bay because the passages between the islands of Krknjas Mali and Veli that lead to this hidden gem are only about 2m deep.
But once you get there, you'll be glad you made the trip. There are a lot of small, shallow coves here, but they get very crowded in the summer. But the island's appeal goes up when day-trippers return to the mainland because the lagoon returns to a warm sleep. Krknjasi is a great place to spend the night because, from dusk until dawn, it turns into a private paradise for yachts. Get up early and have breakfast outside while the Sun and sea are bathed in soft, peachy light. Blue Lagoon is another name for Krknjasi. The Blue Lagoon is the most beautiful anchorage in Central Dalmatia, according to Lonely Planet's list of the most beautiful anchorages in Croatia. On the island of Drvenik, the Krknjasi lagoon is on the island's eastern side. The bay is perfectly safe, with two small islets called Veli Krknjas and Mali Krknjas. Here, you can swim, scuba dive, or just lay out in the Sun and enjoy the clear blue water of the sea. You can get to the coast by boat.
Bobovisca bay, only 12 nautical miles from Trogir, is among the finest locations to spend the night sailing from one of our bases in Trogir. Even if this beautiful place isn't on your sailing itinerary, you should still go there. The bay is split into two small parts. In one of them, there are mooring buoys, and in the other, there are mooring facilities.
The bay is a great place to escape summer storms because it is well-protected from the wind. Larger boats can dock in the outer part of the bay, where the water is 20 metres deep, while smaller boats can even dock along the northern waterfront of Bobovišća town.
Borce Bay is one of the most beautiful places on the island of Hvar and across Croatia and is remarkable among some of the island's other breathtaking coves. Many sailors visit because they know it's an excellent place to relax away from civilisation. However, the bay's beauty hasn't gone undetected; therefore, it has lately been placed under concession, but at night you may enjoy a peaceful solitude that you won't find among the daytime visitors.
The Bay of Zdrilca is on the Pakleni islands, known for its many pebble beaches and natural state. In this beautiful bay, there are several places to eat. The bay of Zdrilca is on the western side of the island of Marinkovac, not far from the town of Hvar. Anchoring spots around the island of Hvar are by far the most used. The Paklinski islands are a group of several small islands that will give you a safe harbour and a real Croatian summer. The passage between the two islands is called Zdrilca, one of the most popular places to sail in the Adriatic. Because of this, it is very busy, but you should still go there.
Stay away from Zdrilca when strong Bura winds or local thunderstorms are called nevera. You should also avoid sailing in from the northwest, between Planikovac and Borovac, because the water is very shallow there. In addition to the crystal-clear water and beautiful scenery, the boats are tied to the pier in front of a restaurant. The restaurant in the bay has set up several buoys for people who come with boats up to 15m long. Larger ships and ships that aren't going to the restaurant can dock in Zdrilca bay, but they have to ensure they don't block the way for other boats.
Yachtsman can find Carpe Diem Beach in the bay, located on the northern section of the island Marinkovac (another of the Pakleni islands). Less than two and a half nautical miles separate Carpe Diem Beach and the island of Hvar. It's 2,500 square metres in size.
The bay is an extraordinary location, serene by day and alive with the best parties in the world by night. Among the many features that make this neighbourhood so popular are a diving school, volleyball court, restaurant, lounge, cafe, and cocktail bar. Oversized, plush sundecks (large, cosy beds available for rent) and palm tree umbrellas accompany the complex's pool. As a bonus, there is a designated massage room. In addition, there are pine trees across Marinkovac island, also known as Carpe Diem Beach. Carpe Diem Beach is the place to go if you want some genuine, unadulterated pleasure. Almost every night, a different DJ spins at Carpe Diem Beach, and the beach also regularly organises a full moon party. Only by boat will you be able to reach the coast.
Porat can be found on the island of Biševo. It is located in the northern part of the island and is an administrative subdivision of Komiža on the island of Vis. It is only about five nautical miles from the island of Vis. It's a place that's cut off from civilisation, almost uninhabited. Porat bay is located on Biševo's most popular and beautiful pebble beach.
Bisevo has 26 caves that can be reached by boat from Porat bay. The Blue Cave and the Monk Seal Cave are the most popular ones.
Remember that only the Blue Cave (the most popular attraction) requires an entrance fee. Because of its beautiful pebble beach and shallow water, Porat Bay is ideal for families with children. Boat anchors should be used at most forty feet from the beach. There is enough room to anchor approximately ten boats. The bay is nestled beneath cliffs, providing ideal wind protection. The coast is reachable by boat. Porat cove is also famous for its pine tree forests, which provide shade from the hot summer sun. Biševska Luka (also known as Porat) on the island of Biševo is one of the most beautiful stops on your sailing route. Anchoring is safe in the inner part, where the depth ranges from 5 to 10 meters. However, because the bottom is sandy, use caution when anchoring. Biševska Luka provides excellent shelter from southern winds, but it is vulnerable to W and SW winds and can be dangerous in such conditions. A nice path will lead you from the bay to the island's highest peak, Strazbenica, and the island's inland villages - if you want a nice dinner, go to one of the area's famous restaurants.
Stoncica is a modest pebble beach in the northern region of the island of Vis. This place is excellent for families with kids because the water is shallow, and the bottom is sandy. You can anchor in the middle of the bay, where the water is about 7m deep. Since the seabed is sandy, the anchor needs to be well-set. Winds can always make it hard to stay on the anchor, so if you are anchoring in the sand, recheck it to ensure a secure grip and, if required, dive underwater.
Still, Stoncica is protected from all winds, including the bura wind, and is the first choice for sailors and yachters who want to enjoy and relax close to civilisation. About 15 homes owned by locals and rented out are in Stoncica bay.
In the bay, a cute restaurant serves a wide range of fresh dishes cooked on the grill and under the bell (peka)
(check this blog post to learn more about traditional Croatian food and Peka).
Catch-of-the-day specials, other seafood, and meat options are available. Boaters and sailors go to Stoncica bay because it is a gourmet Mecca surrounded by beautiful nature.
Even though Stiniva Bay is famous and offers little protection from the wind, you shouldn't anchor there for the night. However, it would be best if you anchored there for an afternoon to swim and enjoy one of Croatia's best beaches. It is in the north of the island Vis, under cliffs that seem to have been directly taken from a fairy tale. The unique formation was made when the ceiling of a cave collapsed many years ago, leaving behind a beautiful rocky entrance to a pebble beach. In 2016, Stiniva wasn't named one of the best anchorages in Croatia, but it was named The Best Beach in Europe, making it twice as popular and bringing twice as many people.
Even so, it is still a special part of the Croatian coast. If you are brave enough to walk down a steep and narrow path, you can get there on foot. Otherwise, it is a boater's paradise. It's an excellent place for a swim break. Boats can anchor just outside the gate (the cliffs) and use a tender to get to the beach, or they can swim through the clear blue water and lie on the beach to get some sun. Jumping off the cliffs has become popular, but be aware that it is dangerous. During high season, when there are a lot of boats, there are also a lot of propellers to watch out for when swimming.
Budikovac bay is in the southeast part of Rukavac, a town on the island of Vis. The bay is in front of an island called Budikovac (pronounced Budihovac by the locals). You can anchor in the bay, but be aware that the area is privately owned. Anchorage is only about 2m deep. The unique colour of the water and the pebble beach make the bay very pretty. This small bay is very safe and well-protected from the open sea. Many boaters and yachters spend their summer vacations in this area because it is safe and well-protected from the open sea.
If you plan to go to Budikovac Bay, remember to bring your goggles to snorkel, as this is one of the Adriatic's most beautiful lagoons. You'll fall in love with a sandy beach, clear water, a quiet night, and a few happy swimmers during the day. You can also go to the Green Cave, less than one nautical mile away, or Bisevo Island's well-known Blue Cave, about ten nautical miles away. And, of course, no trip is complete without eating at the tiny restaurant owned and operated by a single resident of the area.
Palmizana is one of the beautiful Pakleni islands, less than 2.5 nautical miles from Hvar. On the island of St. Clement, Palmizana is a village resort. On the island's northeast side, St. Clement, Palmizana is home to the well-run ACI Marina Palmizana. The marina has around 200 berths set up with electricity and water.
The marina is well protected from all winds and the open sea. You can go there from the middle of March to the end of October. Palmizana is known for its wide variety of fresh, healthy foods. Palmizana restaurants are known for their high-quality food, especially among yachters and boaters. A short walk south from ACI Marina Palmizana takes you down a winding path surrounded by nature to a beautiful bay with a few great restaurants. The bay is suitable for anchoring when the southerly winds aren't blowing.
On the northern side of the island of Hvar, near the historic town of Hvar, is Pribinja Bay. The bay is one of the best places for boaters, sailors, and yachters. This is especially true for sailors since the bay has a lot of shelter from the wind. Pine tree forests surround Pribinja bay. The summer mistral makes the treetops sing, which makes hot summer days more pleasant. It's a great place to enjoy the calm atmosphere, breathe fresh air, and eat well. In Pribinja bay, two friendly taverns with a sea view are open from June to the middle of September. They serve seafood specialities and a wide range of other dishes. Pine tree forests dot the natural pebble beach, which is impressive.
A little island and an even smaller bay; what a location! Even though this anchorage is only 13 nautical miles from the bustling town of Hvar, there are only a few summer residents. However, several sailors and vessels continue to arrive for overnight stays. It is suitable for anchoring or mooring to a buoy, the bottom is sandy, and you will be protected from all winds. Each of the four arms of the bay is suitable for anchoring and has its little restaurant serving traditional food. A spot to swim, unwind, dine, and even explore the island on foot.
Lucice bay is situated on the southern coast of the island of Brac, just a few kilometres from Splitska vrata (the passage between Brac and Solta). It is a large anchorage divided into three primary separate arms, the westernmost arm being the most wind-protected and supplied with mooring buoys.
This side of the bay is sheltered from all winds, but the other two arms are exposed to south-westerly breezes that can generate big waves. Due to its position, this bay is an ideal stopping point along your sailing route to Korcula, Lastovo, or Vis.
If you want to anchor, you must avoid getting your anchor entangled in the various mooring lines and chains. Due to the room limitation with all the mooring buoys, you need additionally run a stern rope to shore. In the bay, a restaurant handles a portion of the mooring buoys.
Conclusion: However, there are many reasons sailors and yachters choose to spend their sailing holidays in Croatia. In Croatia, you can find more than 1,200 islands, islets, rocks, and reefs. And over half of them are uninhabitable, so sailors can enjoy beautiful beaches and nature that hasn't been touched. That's one of the reasons why there are so many options to find more than only 15 best anchorages in Croatia.
On the link beneath, you can find more options for anchorage on the Croatian coast:
On this website, you'll find an ultimate comprehensive guide for anchorages in Croatia, complete with detailed descriptions, maps, charts, user pictures, user reviews, ratings for depth, shelter from wind and waves, bottom, and anchor holding.