Dalmatian Dreams in Croatia

April 23, 2023

Croatian dream: Pula to split 

Pula is located at the southeastern end of the Istrian peninsula and has been in existence for more than two thousand years. Many cultural and historical monuments dominate its skyline and represent a unique setting of various cultural and artistic events. Among all the imposing buildings and monuments, the highlight is certainly the well preserved Roman amphitheatre, Arena of Pula, which is most often used as an attractive open concert stage.

Pula represents a fine combination of the old and modern city where many famous writers and composers have found inspiration for their masterpieces. World-class festivals, delicious cuisine and the most complete Roman Coliseum in the world, Pula is a destination you don’t want to miss.

What to see and do:

  • Visit the 2 thousand year old Roman amphitheatre
  • Triumphal Arch of the Sergi
  • Temple of Rome and Augustus
  • The Gate of Hercules and Twin gates
  • Pretty cafés, bars and restaurants in the centre

Start your charter by boarding your yacht at the beautiful ACI Marina in Pula; settle in to your new luxurious home for the week with a freshly cooked dinner onboard, then head out to anchor for your first night aboard.


Day One

After breakfast, sail over to Unije (21.5nm) for a relaxing lunch and perhaps a swim in the stunning azure blue waters. Unije is the largest of the islands surrounding Lošinj and completely car free! Both the northern and eastern sides of the island are  steep, rocky and covered in lush greenery, while the southern and western sides are much flatter and form a pretty bay. There is only one settlement on the island known as Unije village, where there are numerous restaurants, patisseries, bakeries and grocery stores.

After lunch head over to Susak, a small yet gorgeous island located in the north of the Adriatic sea (8.5nm, taking 1 – 1.5hours). Susak is particularly famous for its sandy beaches, which in Croatia is rare, and just how unpopulated and quiet the island is. There are no roads or noisy night clubs – there are only miles of dusty paths running across sand cascades, which connect the only village with coves on the other side of the island. The 200 people who live there year round are those who stayed behind after the big emigration wave to the United States. On Susak a special dialect is spoken, which is very different from standard Croatian.

Day Two

After breakfast and maybe a morning swim in Susak, make your way to Premuda (16nm, 2.5hours) where you can enjoy lunch onboard before heading to Molat, (17nm, 2.5 – 3 hours).

Premuda is another little island and definitely a gem, belonging to the north Dalmatian islands and approximately 10km long and 1km wide. It is located southwest of Silba and northwest of Škarda. The town of Premuda has around 50 inhabitants but the population varies during the summer season.

Premuda is a popular destination among nautical and diving tourists, with some very popular diving spots. The “Katedrala” for example, is a chain of connected caves with rays of light shining through the ceiling of the caves. Another renowned diving spot is the wreck of the World War I Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István, located in a depth between 40–60 meters (131–199 feet) and only accessible by experienced divers.

Molat is an island in north Dalmatia, covered with maquis and pine forests and is the ideal destination for those seeking hiking treks among the Mediterranean vegetation. The many bays are a frequent destination for sailors. The island is situated in the northern part of the Zadar Archipelago. The Island is almost entirely green covered by rich green vegetation. The northeastern coast is low with  numerous coves (the largest cove is Jazi), whereas the southwestern coast is steep with magnificent views overlooking the sea. Chief occupations are farming, livestock breeding (sheep), fishing and tourism.

The villages of Molat, Zapuntel and Brgulje are situated in the interior of the island – the coastal hamlets developed around their small harbours. Molat is silent and tranquil, with hidden secluded beaches and numerous hidden bays for swimming and couple of restaurants and shops. The beaches are either pebbled, rocky or sandy.

Day 3

After sailing to the beautiful Dugi Otok, spend the morning ashore in Veli Rat where you could enjoy an indulgent lunch either on or offshore, then make your way to the south of Dugi Otok to Luka or another nearby bay in the afternoon (18nm, 3 hours).

Top things to do on Dugi Otok:

  • Cycle the island
  • Spend a day in Telašćica Bay
  • Hike along the ‘Stene’
  • Take a relaxing dip in Mir Lake
  • Catch some rays on some of the island’s glorious shores
  • Climb the Veli Rat lighthouse
  • Meet the island’s donkeys
  • Explore Dugi Otok’s underwater world
  • Indulge in local cuisine with a stunning view. Those looking to enjoy the local food will find plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from on Dugi Otok. Be sure to get a table at Gorgonia Grill  a beachfront restaurant serving flavourful traditional cuisine.

Veli Rat is home to Sakarun beach, easily one of the most beautiful beaches of the Adriatic, and is located to the southeast of Veli Rat. Luka is located in a bay called Zlatna vale and provides a safe harbour for boaters, due to its calm crystal clear waters and the tranquility it holds. Above the town looms the largest hill of Dugi otok, named Vela straža and 338m in height, while in the nearby ‘Boka Bay’ you can find the well-known healing mud that is renowned for having a relaxing and natural effect. You can see from the image below just how beautiful and charming Boka Bay is, and how it is surrounded by large mountains.

Day 4

Now just over half way through your Croatian charter, you could head to Kornati National park for a lunch stop, (15nm, 2.5 hrs)! Make your way across to the mainland and the town of Primosten for a dinner ashore or a relaxed meal onboard at anchor – your longest sail so far! (30nm, 4 – 5 hours).

The Kornati islands are an archipelago consisting of 140 pretty islands covering an area of 114 square miles (300 square km). Most of the islands are part of the Kornati National Park – and with its natural beauty, numerous coves and crystal clear blue waters, it’s easy to see why. George Bernard Shaw fell in love with this group of islands and said: “On the last day of Creation God desired to crown his work and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath.” – this is definitely a must see!

Primošten is a gorgeous little town and was part of an islet attached to the mainland in the 16th century by a drawbridge which is now a causeway.  You can spend your time walking through the pretty cobbled streets in the central part of the town and visiting some of the old churches. As for nightlife, one of the best known clubs in Croatia ‘Aurora’ is located here in Primošten, attracting tops DJs all year round for its big club nights.

Day 5

A Slower start to the day and a short 12nm (1.5 – 2 hours) sail to the island of Drvenik Mali for lunch. Then you could make your way over to Pakinski Otoci (20nm, 3 – 4 hours) for a night in the marina where you will find some tasty local cuisine in the restaurants ashore.

Drvenik Mali is unique due to the lack of traffic, crystal clear sea and serenity. Its area is 3.3 square kilometres and the only settlement on the island is the eponymous village with a population of 87 by the last records in 2011 and to this day hasn’t changed! The coast is well indented and the sea is shallow and ideal for swimming. This unspoiled island and its beautiful beaches creates the most peaceful environment if you’re craving some quiet time.

Palmižana has been a favourite getaway for Hvar islanders since the turn of the 20th century when a Professor Eugen Meneghello built a summer house and inn there, the ‘Meneghello Place’. This idyllic spot now hosts a number of villas, an art gallery and Zori restaurant and lounge bar. Make sure to book Zori Restaurant if you’re heading here, for some gourmet Croatian dishes and fresh seafood while overlooking the mesmerising natural scenery of Palmižana Bay.

Day 6

Enjoy a lazy morning and tender across to Hvar town for a wander round and then lunch at one of the beach clubs! Following lunch, head back to your yacht and sail over to Spilt (20nm, 3.5 – 4 hours), either spending your final night at anchor with dinner onboard or go into the town for dinner ashore.

Hvar is the fourth largest of Croatia’s islands at 182 square miles (300 square km) in size. It is even sunnier than Brac, getting almost 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. There is however enough rain to keep the island green and to maintain the beautiful fields of lavender, rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme and the carefully cultivated vineyards. For this reason, in the spring many people tend to say the island smells like a herbalist’s shop! When visiting, you must purchase some lavender oil (or lavender itself), which is the main export of the island.

Hvar (and in particular, Hvar Town) is increasingly gaining a reputation as something of an upmarket destination in Croatia. This is partly because it can be a little on the pricey side compared to some other destinations, but it’s also favoured as a destination by the rich and famous who sail into town on their amazing yachts. In recent years, Prince Harry (who famously fell into a pool whilst dancing at Carpe Diem Bar); Jay-Z & Beyonce (who debuted her baby bump there) and Roman Abramovich have all been spotted here!

Day 7

Have your final relaxing breakfast onboard with a wonderful view of sunny Split.

If you have fallen in love with these Croatian islands and want to explore them on a luxury yacht, get in touch with Lizzie: ahoy@diyachting.co.uk to book your once in a lifetime charter and customisable itinerary.