Which Towns Should You Visit While Sailing in Croatia?

History, food, fun and more await on the coast of Croatia
History, food, fun and more await on the coast of Croatia | © jozef sedmak / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Nick Dauk
16 December 2021
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Italy and Greece are well and good, but a truly unique sailing experience starts and ends along the Adriatic coast of Croatia. This crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe has a cultural mix unlike any of its neighbours, something showcased perfectly by the coastal contrasts of its isolated islands and lively villages. Exploring ruins, reeling in fish and dining on amazing seafood are all on the itinerary when you set sail to these Croatian towns.

Crikvenica

Architectural Landmark
The holiday resort town of Crikvenica may not be as busy as nearby Krk, but what this place lacks in year-round excitement, it more than makes up for in June. The town’s annual Blue Fish Week has caught so much attention that its celebration of local maritime tradition now lasts an entire month. If eating your way through seafood dishes and Croatian delicacies is on your itinerary, set sail for Crikvenica.

Trogir

Natural Feature
Two boats moored outside Kamerlengo Castle in Trogir
Remus Pereni/Flickr
Make sure your scuba certification is up-to-date when you sail into Trogir. The underwater Via Crucis museum here is a fascinating attraction, with more than 50 life-sized statues to scuba around. Above ground, the marina service centre will make sure your yacht is in tip-top shape.

Skradin

Architectural Landmark
Those who keep a detailed journal at sea won’t want to miss the opportunity to sail into Skradin. Set your compass west of Split, and don’t stop when you hit Sibenik. Instead, follow the waterway inland until you reach this village. By hiking trail, bus or boat, you can venture into the lush terrain of Krka National Park, and fall in love with the fairytale backdrops of the enchanting Skradinski Buk waterfall, among other stunning natural sights.

Omiš

Architectural Landmark
If the romance of piracy is what birthed your interest in sailing, then you’ll be in good company at Omiš. The town may not be as piratical as in previous centuries, but it can still set you on an adventurous path. An adrenaline rush awaits inland, where you can trade seasickness for the queasy feeling you’ll get when paragliding, rafting, free climbing, ziplining or extreme canyoning in the interior.

Cavtat

Architectural Landmark
Yachts and trees line the harbour at Cavtat, a town on the Adriatic coast just south of Dubrovnik. You can scoot over to the Pearl of the Adriatic at any time, but Cavtat gives you plenty of reasons to stay anchored. The twin peninsulas jutting out from the city make stand-up paddleboarding an easy yet exciting experience. Strap on a snorkel and you might see artefacts from early Roman and Greek settlers below the surface.

Biograd na Moru

Architectural Landmark
Not to be confused with the inland town merely called Biograd, the seaside Biograd na Moru eases you into port with mild tides and calm currents. You’ll see many fresh-faced sailors and their skippers around the docks, as this seaside city is very family-friendly. Reward your mini first mates for their diligence with excitement at Adventure Park or Fun Park. You may even let them take the wheel and sail you back to sea in these safe waters.

Pula

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Almost at the tip of the Istria peninsula, Pula is one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, with centuries of multicultural influence. The Roman-built arena looks like a cousin to the renowned Coliseum in Rome. Dig up more history beneath the baroque castle in the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria, where underground tunnels reveal a deeper part of the city’s past.

Dubrovnik

Architectural Landmark
Christmas lights illuminate a street in Dubrovnik at night
Already a common port of call before cruise ships started unloading Game of Thrones fans onto the shore, Dubrovnik’s popularity is justified. You needn’t spend all day touring the old city to get a sense of its grandeur, but you could walk the walls and limestone streets for hours. If you’re itching to pull up anchor and get back out to sea, do at least make time for a drink at Buža Bar, which sits on the cliffside just outside the famous fortress.

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