Where to shelter from the Bora in Croatia?

What are our favourite hiding spots from the approaching Bora?

The Bora is a north to northeasterly wind that most sailors have encountered at some point. Powerful, cold and potentially dangerous, even the most experienced sailors respect it and must keep a close eye on the weather forecast when it's due to hit. So, we've decided to put together a guide to the best places to shelter from the Bora during your Croatian sailing trip.

Tips for mooring during the Bora

This wind can be fierce..... so we recommend never underestimating the Bora. Before we get into specific anchoring tips, let's recap some general advice:

  • Forget the northern and northeastern parts of the islands. Some of the harbours facing this way even close at high tide.
  • Book a berth in advance. When the Bora strikes, every skipper looks for shelter, so there's high demand.
  • Always have a backup plan in case the marina you choose doesn't have space. Sometimes, despite booking, there just isn't room.
  • Prefer mooring at a jetty to wild mooring. It's not compulsory, of course, but mooring at the pier with two mooring lines or an additional spring line will give you a much more restful sleep.
  • Check out the nautical guide 888 Harbours & Anchorageswhich provides information about harbours, anchorages and where to find shelter.

YACHTING.COM TIP: If you get into an emergency situation where the Bora has already hit and you are not in port or at a pier, it is advisable to sail further out to sea and wait out the situation. This is challenging, but sometimes it is safer than going into an unprotected harbour and risk crashing the boat. Take a look at what it looks like on a boat when the Croatian Bora hits.

Bora

The Bora is not to be taken lightly.

Where to shelter from the Bora in Istria?

In Europe to save time on the road, sailors quite often choose Istria. With that in mind, we'll take a look at the best spots to seek shelter, especially around the well-loved town of Pula.

Veruda Marina

Besides its charm, Veruda marina offers safety and protection for boaters. It boasts a range of amenities for leisure, from a swimming pool and skipper bar to a playground for the kids. Diving enthusiasts will appreciate the dive centre, while those needing supplies can head to the nearby supermarket, boat equipment store, or fuel station.

Uvala Soline (island of Krk)

This bay near Rijeka is very well sheltered and offers a good protection from the Bora. There is a well-maintained buoy field, where you can sleep with some peace of mind.

Where to shelter from the Bora on Kornati?

The popular Kornati National Park consists of many islands and islets, but not all of them have well-sheltered anchorages. Which place do we think offers safety when a storm hits?

Definitely Levrnaka

Even if the Bora is not blowing, you should visit Levrnaka Bay. On the eponymous island of Levrnaka, where the bay is located, you will also find the Levrnaka restaurant. The island is picturesque, the bay is clean and calm and the restaurant serves good food. We highly recommend it.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Interested in Kornati? Read our guide to Kornati National Park.

Where to shelter from the Bora around Zadar?

The Bora near Zadar can be treacherous, especially in the northwest of the town. The surest way to shelter from the strong winds is to stay in the Zadar marina. But if you want to spend a slightly more romantic night, here are some tips on places where you can safely park your boat.

Island of Rava

This is a quaint island offering multiple mooring spots. We highly recommend the Vela Rava harbour, renowned for its tranquil boating conditions. So peaceful, in fact, that you might feel as if there's no buoy activity at all. Within this harbour, there are various piers where boats can moor either side-on or with an anchor at the bow. However, ensure you leave space for incoming ferries. In high season, there are also buoys and restaurants in the bay. Berths are limited, so if it's busy, venture further south towards the bay near the Villa Rava restaurant. This area provides buoys, moorings, and a pier accommodating around five vessels. Plus, the restaurant owners are very welcoming.

Where to shelter from the Bora around Sibenik?

Marina Mandalina in Sibenik is very busy with charter boats. So let's take a look at where you can find a safe shelter from the Bora in the neighbourhood.

Tribunj

Tribunj lies a short hop from Vodice, where you can also find refuge. However, expect little privacy as the marina gets busy. The town pier in Tribunj provides berths and is well-shielded from the north wind by the rows of houses on the island. Consequently, the waterfront with its moored yachts remains peaceful. Plus, the area boasts an array of restaurants and cafes, each offering fantastic sea views.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Do you love Croatia as much as we do? We often write about it in our magazine.  For example, check out our essential guide for sailors in Croatia or note down the 14 best islands to drop anchor.  When you're planning your itinerary, you ll find it handy to check out our recommended routes, or our favourite marinas in Croatia. If the high season doesn't appeal, then you'll appreciate the 12 benefits of sailing in Croatia in autumn, and if you're also tempted by Greece, check out our comparision Croatia vs. Greece. Which provides better sailing?

Where to shelter from the Bora in Central Dalmatia?

Central Dalmatia has always been, and remains, a top sailing destination. Sun-kissed islands like Hvar, Brac, Solta, the more remote Vis, and nearby Biševo with its renowned blue cave, not to mention coastal gems like Split and Trogir, draw countless visitors annually. But where should you seek shelter?

Vrboska (island of Hvar)

This charming town not only allows you to buy freshly-caught fish from the locals but also boasts an ACI marina, ensuring all services meet a certain standard. In short, a great combination that has something for everyone.

 Vrboska

Vrboska is a very well sheltered bay.

Milna (island of Brac)

There isn't a bay more protected than this one. ACI marina Milna sits in an extensive bay, completely shielded from the Bora. With numerous top-notch restaurants, shops, and ice cream parlours, it's a favoured spot among many boaters. An ideal location to rejuvenate, replenish supplies, and indulge in quintessential summer holiday sailing.

Milna

Head to Milna even if the wind is not blowing.

Where to shelter from the Bora in the south of Croatia?

Unfortunately, the Bora hits the south too. So, where can you go in Dalmatia?

Inside ACI marina Korcula

Why mention 'inside'? Because just outside the entrance of ACI Marina Korcula, the waters can be quite choppy. When the Bora wind kicks up, you might think this marina isn't the best place to be, but it's actually pretty safe inside. Still, it's a good idea to get there before it gets too rough. In the evening, it's lovely to dine at a restaurant in the old town and then take a leisurely walk through its streets and along the waterfront. Korcula is definitely worth a visit! Just a reminder, it's on the pricier side for marinas in Croatia.

Korcula

Korcula is sometimes called little Dubrovnik.

Okuklje (Mljet)

Though Mljet is frequently labelled as the wildest island in southern Croatia, there are places where time seems to stand still. Okuklje bay is one such place. Here, you'll find only a few berths associated with local restaurants, adding to its distinctive allure. It's wise, however, to book a berth by the pier in advance at the restaurant of your choice.

YACHTING.COM TIP: We have written everything you need to know about the Bora in our article — The Bora: the scourge of the Adriatic. Before sailing, we recommend you study it carefully. Find out what other winds you may encounter on the Adriatic in our guide to the most common winds on the Adriatic. 

Where are your go-to hideaways, and where have you had less-than-ideal anchoring experiences during a Bora? Share your stories with us. Also, don't miss out on exploring our selection of charter boats.

Whether it's Croatia or another destination, if you're keen to set sail, get in touch. I'll help you find the perfect boat.