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Dubrovnik

Come and discover with us the old harbour city of Dubrovnik. Surrounded by massive ramparts with a fortress atop a rocky cliff, the Adriatic`s most beautiful city!

Come and discover with us the old harbour city of Dubrovnik. Surrounded by massive ramparts with a fortress atop a rocky cliff, the Adriatic`s most beautiful city!

For whom is renting a yacht suitable?

Dubrovnik is without doubt, the most beautiful city to be found on the Croatian, Adriatic coastline. It is a historical and architectural gem which you simply must see. The whole area around the city can in fact be called Dubrovnik, including for example the island of Korčula, Mljet, or the island of Lopud where large forests, vineyards and olive groves blanket the land. The whole area is associated with a rich history and culture thanks to its harbour which was a centre of maritime trade in the Middle Ages.

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The 10 most beautiful areas in this region

  1. Dubrovnik
  2. Lokrum—an island with botanical gardens
  3. Lopud, Šunj Bay
  4. Šipan, Šipanska Luka
  5. Mljet—Veliko Jezero National Park
  6. Mljet, Saplunara Bay
  7. Lastovo, Zaklopatica Bay
  8. Lastovo, Skrivena Luka
  9. Korčula, Pupnatska Luka
  10. Korčula—the port of Korčula

Yachting in the Dubrovnik area offers a unique abundance of experiences. Exceptional architecture and history, gourmet experiences, bays with sandy beaches for children, restaurants for the parents, and pristine nature can all be found on the island of Mljet. Montenegro is close to Dubrovnik. It is thus possible to combine a visit to Dubrovnik with a cruise to the Bay of Kotor (The Bay), a charming Montenegrin bay which reaches 30 km inland. A magical backdrop for your boating holiday. More experienced yachtsmen will certainly appreciate the longer voyage to Korčula or the charming island of Lastovo.

A stable Mistral (daytime breeze) blows in the Dubrovnik area during summer. In the morning, it generally blows from a SSE and SE direction, turning to SW and WSW in the early evening. It usually starts blowing around ten o’clock in the morning and can reach a strength of 3–5 on the Beaufort scale (BFT) in the afternoon. At sunset it stops again. The Mistral is considered a fair weather wind because it usually accompanies a cloudless, blue sky and pleasant temperatures at sea. During July and August, temperatures in this area reach 29–35°C, with a sea temperatures around 25°C.

The Bora (NE) or Sirocco (SE) may also blow here. These winds blow mainly in the winter and spring months, when they mostly hit at full strength (easily as much as 50–60 KN).

Graph of air and water temperatures

Current weather

This harbour town, which is regarded as the greatest jewel in the crown of Croatia, will win over even those who are not naturally inclined towards historical monuments with its keen sense of individuality. The town has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979.

Dubrovnik was a centre of sea trade for centuries. The city registered its greatest boom in the 15th century, when it ranked among the most important harbours in Europe. Dubrovnik represented great competition, even for Venice, at this time. With 300 merchant vessels and warships and more than 4000 sailors, it had the third largest navy in the world. Ships docked here, bringing goods from all over the Mediterranean, Europe and even the Far East. The main commodities exported were salt (salt mining was the greatest source of income), wine, fish, and olive oil.

A prestigious naval school was established right next to the St Lawrence Fortress. Naval trade is popular here to this day and the women of Dubrovnik have had to come to terms with the fact that their men spend much more time at sea than they do on land. The oldest harbour in Dubrovnik, Kalarina, stood near St Lawrence's Fortress. There were also two armouries in the city, and large naval vessels were also repaired there. If you want to learn more about the life of sailors from Dubrovnik and their ships, visit the local naval museum. It is located near the old harbour (the so-called Kaša) and several aquariums are also here with sea fish.

If you can’t find a suitable boat in Dubrovnik to set sail from, you can set sail from Montenegro. The journey from Dubrovnik airport to Cavtat is just 90 minutes by taxi, or you can fly in directly to Cavtat. Several companies with new boats and reasonable prices operate in Montenegro. Boka Kotorska is beautiful and Dubrovnik is only 25 NM from there.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

Wealth and relative peace (they paid the Turks a fat fee for protection) created the ideal conditions for the development of the sciences, arts, and architecture. The city had a modern water and sewer system, quarantine service and lazaretto (the lazaretto protected the city from epidemics and illnesses—each traveller or sailor was quarantined there for at least 40 days before entering the city), hospitals, a leper colony, a pharmacy (one of the oldest in preserved pharmacies in Europe) where monks made contraceptives from herbs, several doctors, and even a drop-off point for babies—the oldest baby box in history.

Alas, fate has dealt a number of harsh blows to the city. In the 14th century more than 7000 people died during one plague epidemic, a large earthquake hit in 1667 and most recently, however briefly, the civil war and bombing in 1991–92 saw the city's fortunes take a turn for the worse.

Dubrovník recovered though, and today it is a very popular and reassuringly expensive tourist destination. Rightly regarded as the most beautiful city on the Adriatic coastline it will win you over immediately with its unforgettable atmosphere. The largest dominant feature in the city are the fortified walls, roughly 2 km in length, with several defensive towers that protected the city from enemies.

The defensive system also includes several majestic forts—the St John Fortress, the St Lawrence Fortress set on rocks, Bokar, and Ravelin (the last three forts stand separately, away from the fortifications, but still had a fundamental impact, defending the city). Over the entrance gate to St Lawrence's Fortress is a motto—quite fitting for Dubrovnik—"Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro" ("Freedom cannot be bought for all the gold in the world"). The fort has an eerie atmosphere and a theatre festival is held there every year. Lovrijenac Harbour is famous the world over for its renditions of Hamlet. A beautiful view of the sea, pleasant music and refreshments are all offered at Buza Bar, situated on the rocks.

I recommend anchoring in the evening south of the entrance to the old harbour and entering early in the morning on a dinghy (you can also sail into the harbour in a sailing yacht, but this is not permitted and they will remove you from the breakwater by 09:00). The best time to visit is early in the morning around 06:00–07:00 when the city is just awakening. Not a tourist in sight, market stall-holders arriving with fruit and vegetables, the streets being cleaned, and a wonderful tranquility, everywhere. The first cafés start to open and you can enjoy a coffee and the atmosphere of the empty city. The city gates are closed to tourists this early, so you will only meet locals. The old town is truly unique.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

The centre is a labrynth of narrow, relatively steep stone lanes, crowded with cafés and terraces, restaurants, galleries, various stores, and souvenir shops. We recommend the little Clara Stones shop where you can buy beautiful jewellery made from genuine coral and where also, you might learn some interesting facts about coral processing. Part of the local colour is the ubiquitous laundry hanging from clothes lines stretched on pulleys between windows. They impart colour and life to the otherwise austere stone walls.

The main entrance to the city is the western, double-pile Gate. A stone bridge and operational wooden drawbridge lead over a dike to the gate. Steps then lead from the outer gate to the inner gate which is part of the main city fortifications. The castle dike has been made into a park where beautiful pink oleanders bloom. On the other side of the city is the eastern Ploče Gate.

Dubrovnik's marinas

ACI Marina in Miho Pracat offers 425 berths on the water, connections to water and electricity, showers and toilets, WiFi, technical services, and several shops with yachting equipment. An open-air swimming pool, a children’s playground, a diving centre, laundry, superbly stocked supermarket, a taxi rank and fuelling station are also here. Several cafés and restaurants are on the waterfront (we recommend the Vimbula restaurant if you want to eat near the marina, or the superb Bonaca Konoba—about 1 km from the marina). The average cost of a berth here is EUR 123 (for a boat length of 13 m). A regular bus service runs from the marina to the old town.

Marina Gruž is a small marina offering 40 berths with connections to water and electricity. There are currently no moorings here! You have to drop anchor. Parking is expensive for small boats (boats up to 25 m pay EUR 120 and water and electricity are not included in the price). There are showers and toilets on the quay as well as an ATM and grocery. If you want to eat near the marina, we recommend the Amfora restaurant (superb food, relatively expensive but nonetheless, near the marina) or the Porat Bar & Grill (steak house, grill, specialities) and the Otto taverna.

The harbour in the old town is fully occupied and tourist sailing yachts are not permitted to anchor there.

A view of the historical city of Dubrovnik A view of the historical city of Dubrovnik

Mljet

An incredible green island that offers beautiful lagoons and divine tranquility! In the western part of the island is Mljet National Park with two salt lakes where you can swim. We recommend swimming in the light of the full moon, when the lake is lit with silver moonlight. There is also the lake island of St Marija with the beautiful Benedictine monastery and the Church of Our Lady. The island is situated in a beautiful park. Entry to the national park costs HRK 100 per person (children under 6 get in for free).

The magical island of Mljet The magical island of Mljet

Mljet inspired Homer to write about the beautiful nymph Calypso, who held Odysseus on the island for seven years. Odysseus’ cave is located on the southern side of the island and is considered a unique natural phenomenon. Rays of sunlight penetrate the cave and create blue illuminating effects (similar to those in the Biševo cave). The most beautiful play of light occurs between 12:00 and 14:00 in the afternoon. The cave has two entrances, one on the coast and the other from the sea. A 20 m tunnel runs from the sea, which can only be crossed in good weather. The GPS coordinates of the cave are: 42.43.7 N, 017.32.7 E.

At the northwestern end of the island there are two harbours, Polače and Pomena, with mooring berths. From both ports you can take a trip to the Veliko Jezero National Park, with a monastery on the island. It is really one of the most beautiful places in the Adriatic.

If you want to see Lake Veliko, which I recommend, you can also anchor in a small, narrow bay to the south of the island. You throw anchor from the bow and tie your stern to the rocks. There are not usually very many boats here. Get up a little earlier in the morning, take the dinghy about half a mile to the entrance to Veliko Jezero Bay, and pull the dinghy up onto the limestone shelves. And then take a pleasant trip along the lake all the way to the monastery on the island (about a 2.5 km walk). You can swim to the island (the water in the lake is warmer than in the sea) and you can eat and drink at the local restaurant. The monastery is accessible, but entry is not permitted wearing just swimsuits or without a shirt. Swimming on the island and visiting the monastery is a great experience. Veliko Jezero is a national park, opening at 09:00 in the morning. Before the tourists begin flocking around the lake on their way to the monastery, you can already be on your way back and avoid the plodding crowds that congregate during the day. If you can’t make it in the morning, the evening is also a good time. The park charges an entrance fee, but at the place you’ll be coming in from, no admission is collected. At the southeastern end of Mljet is the beautiful sandy bay of Sapulnara, where it is worth stopping for a breather. Besides the nice beaches there are also some pleasant restaurants there.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

The southern part of the island is rocky and creates an impression of inaccessibility. The island has many nice beaches and some are only accessible by boat, so you will most likely have them all to yourself. Most of the sandy beaches are on the southeastern coast. Pomena beach is particularly suitable for even the smallest children, as the seafloor slopes very gradually. Mljet is a hilly island (the highest hill is 514 m) but offers plenty of space for peaceful relaxation as well as sports activities. A 43 km long eco-path runs through the island, and has much to offer for both cyclists (beautiful nature around the lake) or kayaking enthusiasts. 74% of the island is covered in greenery consisting of mostly pine and oak forests, vineyards and olive groves.

If you are looking for an oasis of peaceful repose for your tired soul, Mljet is the right choice! The coast of the island is rugged and there are many small islands, bays and cliffs. Sunset over the island of Lastovo is very romantic.

Tips for good restaurants: the Stermasi (a beautiful location, friendly staff and excellent home cooking at affordable prices is definitely worth visiting), the Konoba Maran (Okulje), and Stella Maris (Polače).

Polače Harbour is a fairly well-protected harbour, offering mooring berths with water and electricity connections, showers and toilets, an ATM, and bicycle and scooter rental. You can anchor in the bay or by one of the local restaurants (some have marvellous mooring berths set up with an electricity connection for their guests). There are also the ruins of an old palace, two supermarkets and a bakery. There are a number of good restaurants on shore. We can recommend the Stella Maris (fresh fish, excellent calamari, friendly service and good value for money), the Calypso, the Antik Tavern or the Ankor, the Dalmatinac restaurant (a quiet place in Tatinica Bay, about 1 NM from Polač, with a view of the sea, where we recommend the grilled seafood. It is a very clean restaurant with pleasant service and prices). During the Bora and northwesterly (NW) winds, strong, swirling gusts of wind blow into the bay, and the Sirocco causes rough waves.

Bay on the island of Mljet Bay on the island of Mljet

Lopud

A rocky, beautifully verdant island, alive with the fragrance of orange and lemon groves. Forests, vineyards and olive groves are draped all over the island. According to experts, the local olive oil is one of the highest quality olive oils along the coast! This island is also inextricably linked to seafaring. Many renowned sailors in the services of Spain came from Lopud.

The history of Lopud is closely intertwined with the history of Dubrovnik. Most of the rare buildings were destroyed, during an earthquake in 1667. Only the ruins of a few churches and monasteries remain on the island. Typical for the island are the stone houses surrounded by blooming gardens creating an ideal place for romantic strolls.

The island is very peaceful, there is only one village near the port and only two hotels. The island’s largest attractions are its nice beaches, greenery, and good restaurants. The most famous sandy beach, Sunj, is located at the south of the island. Due to its fine sand and gradual slope into the water, it is suitable even for the youngest children.

There is only a small town port on the island, mostly occupied by fishing or cruise boats. You can anchor in the bay northwest of the harbour (with a depth of 6 m, dangerous winds can be NW, W, and SE but nearby is a nice pebble beach) or in the bay of Sunj at the south of the island (dangerous wind and waves from the SE; there are several boulders here, and around Veli Skupio island are shallows and a long underwater reef—we recommend studying the Navionics navigation app. maps or the Sailing Guide to the Adriatic, 888).

Restaurants on the island of Lopud—we recommend the konoba Dubrovnik, with its freshly caught fish, traditional Croatian dishes at affordable price and beautiful views of the sea and setting sun.

Sunset over the island of Lopud Sunset over the island of Lopud

Korčula

Another name for Korčula, the sixth largest Croatian island, is the Black Island. The nickname comes from the black pine trees which at one time covered the entire island. Korčula, however, is not at all black. Offering a unique blend of colours, beautiful nature, history, good food and entertainment. This is the place where the famous explorer, Marco Polo, was born. Korčula is beautifully green, but in contrast to Lastova, it is frequently visited by tourists. It has a fairly rugged coastline with many bays, attractive beaches and cliffs. A countless number of adjacent, abandoned islands offer great swimming opportunities. The island is a popular kiting and windsurfing destination. Korčula is also famous for its superior white wines. The most well-known wines are Pošip, Rukatac, Grk, and Plavac.

The interior of the island is mountainous and abundantly fertile. The most beautiful and most-visited inland villages are Smokovica, Blato, and Čára. A first-class dry white wine is produced here. You can also taste the succulent local oranges and the delicious olives. The northern coastline is low-lying and easily accessible, with several sandy beaches (suitable for the youngest children). There are relatively busy natural ports here—Korčula, Vrbovica and Prigradica.

The southern coastline is more rugged, rocky, and very steep in some places (the cliffs reach a height of up to 30 m). Even so, the landscape is very welcoming. In contrast to the north, it is idyllically peaceful here, with beautiful, clean seas. Prižba Bay and the town of Prižba are located there, surrounded by lush vineyards. The locals are very friendly and will be happy to offer you a glass of homemade wine. You will also find many cycle paths marked nearby. You can also cycle along the coastline.

Korčula is a popular kiting and windsurfing destination. There are also excellent conditions for fishing and diving (there is a diving base and an interesting location at Grščica Bay). The towns of Babina and Brna are also worth visiting. The towns are very tranquil, which is why we do not recommend them for lovers of wild nightlife. Right next door is the Istriga bay and anchorage, which is famous for its healing mud. The mud helps with the skin and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Tips for nice beaches on the south shore: Pupnatska Luka (considered the most beautiful beach on the island).

Popular resorts include the port towns of Lumbarda (with a beautiful sandy beach, the only one on the island) and Vela Luka (a spa town with a healing spring).

The capital of the island is Korčula. The old town is incredibly magical and is rightfully called “Little Dubrovník“. The city is protected by massive walls and several guard towers, and inside are winding streets, nooks and passages with numerous staircases. Among the most beautiful sights are the cathedral of St Mark, the Church of St Peter, and the Franciscan monastery. The home of Marco Polo and the city museum are also worth visiting.

A local curiosity is the network of streets built in the shape of a fish bone. It is a very sophisticated system that allows free airflow and simultaneously protects against strong winds (the main street leading north-east slightly curves three times to create a windbreak). Many cultural events and folk celebrations take place in the town. The most famous of these are the Feast of the Sea (knight games and dances), the Marco Polo Festival, the reenactment of the historic battle of the island of Korčula, the beautiful festivities on the day of St. Peter and Paul and before Easter.

The southern Dalmatian island of Korčula The southern Dalmatian island of Korčula

Lastovo

This unbelievably charming island is located far out on the open sea and only experienced yachtsmen who long for divine tranquility and pristine nature dare journey there. The island of Lastovo and its adjacent islands were declared a natural park in 2006 and are also listed by the World Wildlife Fund.

Lastovo is a paradise for yachtsmen, surfers, divers and sports fishermen. There are calm bays and fairytale beaches often only accessible by boat. The sea is extremely clean, with an abundance of fish. According to many experts, the area has the world's richest fishery of blue fish (plava riba), lobster, moray eels and other, valued fish species. A permit is required for fishing, costing HRK 60 per day or HRK 150 for three days.

You will also be pleasantly surprised by the healthy, very tasty and original cuisine. Only organic local ingredients (herbs, olive oil, wine, fruit, vegetables, goat’s and sheep’s cheese, lamb) and first-class marine fish caught in the surrounding waters are used. Local specialities include grilled sardines, homemade bread, tagliatelle with lobster and prawns (lobster paste, a traditional, local speciality), calamari and prawns, eel goulash, goat roast, roast lobster, freshly cooked fish (riba na bijelo—dory, kanic or pražma) and lamb. The excellent food is perfectly complemented by the local wine, Maraština.

Ubiquitous greenery, crystal clear waters brimming with life, and unspoiled medieval stone houses like a cinematic backdrop all contribute to the incredible charm of this place. There is no doubt that the islands are among the most beautiful in the Adriatic.

The village of Lastovo The village of Lastovo

The island has retained its individuality due to its remoteness and the presence of a navy, which had its base here, up until 1992 (before 1988, foreigners were not allowed on Lastovo). Tourism was not cultivated and the population declined. Today, there are only 700 permanent residents on the island, scattered around seven villages. There is one hotel, along with several small guesthouses and private apartments. Most of the population lives in the village of Lastovo (the main centre on the island), lying high above the sea, on a slope overlooking a valley. The most unique features of this village are the medieval stone houses (the inhabitants did not need to build new houses and maintained what their ancestors built) and endless stone stairs instead of streets. One of the most reliable means of transport here is the mule. Renaissance villas with spacious terraces, renowned chimneys in the shape of minarets (fumari), and beautiful folk costumes and traditions have all been preserved. Each year a carnival is held on the island where the people recall the victory over Catalan pirates who had occupied neighbouring Korcula and headed at last for Lastov. The men began arming themselves while the women and children prayed to St Juri, who duly heard them and set a storm upon the Catalan fleet on its way to Lastovo, destroying it. Lastovo is also home to a well-known music festival (jazz, rock, blues). The island is the second sunniest and most forested island in Croatia (second only to Hvar) and in summer, a pleasant Mistral or Levant wind blows. Around the island are pleasant walks and cycle paths (a fragrant forest and low elevation).

I recommend stopping in the north of Lastovo Island at the well-protected Zaklopatica lagoon. There are mooring berths here with electricity on the piers in front of several restaurants. Definitely go on foot (about 40 minutes uphill) or drive to Lastovo, which lies on a hillside facing inland to the island and cannot be seen from the sea at all. This feature protected it from the pirate raids. Lastovo is a beautiful and quiet town, where time has stopped. When you stroll through its streets and walk through the overgrown meadows around, you feel that you just might meet Jesus herding sheep. The location’s magic will surely enchant you. Most residents left the island and went to the cities on the coast, and so, especially in autumn the town appears as a city of ghosts. A fee of about HRK 30 per person, per day must be paid for landing at Lastovo as it is a national park.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

Skrivena Luka Bay, Zaklopatica, Posadur, and Lučica (a truly picturesque harbour with original, refurbished fishing houses) are all definitely worth visiting. Above Skrivena Luka Bay is the Struga lighthouse (built in 1839, the oldest in Croatia, the keeper there inherited his craft from his father and grandfather, and incidentally, it is also possible to stay there). The Lastovo archipelago comprises 46 adjacent islands, islets and reefs. It is definitely worth seeing the island of Sušac (13 NM west of Lastovo, with nice, small bays that serve as fishing boat anchorages as there is an abundance of fish in the waters around the island, and a 40 m long beach), but equally worthwhile are the smaller islands of Kopist (also known as Kopiste, fishing bays, good swimming), Saplun (also good swimming), Mrčara (with the largest occurrence of crayfish in the Adriatic), Prežba, Makarac (hermits lived there), Sestrice, Vlašnik and Glavat (a lighthouse)—the latter three islands are a fishing paradise.

The lighthouse on the island of Lastovo The lighthouse on the island of Lastovo

Zaklopatica—a well-protected bay and anchorage (dangerous wind, only from the NE), with four restaurants and two jetties offering berths with water and electricity connections and WiFi. Because it falls under the administration of Dubrovnik, there is a charge for anchoring on the western side of the bay. The fee is HRK 150 for a 10 m yacht, HRK 40 for electricity, and HRK 20 for waste. On shore you will find a store with groceries and a cycle-hire shop, showers and toilets. You can buy fresh fish and lobsters here.

Skrivena Luka—is a nice bay and anchorage and in front of the Porto Rosso restaurant is a pier with moorings, water and electricity connections, and WiFi. At the waterfront are good showers, toilets, and a laundry room with a dryer. Dangerous winds and waves from the S and SW. When the Bora blows, violent gusts are often experienced.

Lučica—a picturesque bay and anchorage, with gorgeous and original reconstructed fisherman’s houses. Dangerous winds from the N and NE. In the small harbour there are often waves and breakers. You can also anchor in the adjacent St. Mihajlo Bay.

St Mihajlo—where there is a landing pier belonging to the village of Lastovo. The bay is protected only if the wind is blowing SW or SE. When the stronger Bora, Tramontane, or Mistral are blowing, it is better to leave the bay.

Ubli—is a ferry port, with the opportunity to fill up with water (100 L for HRK 30) and there also is a fuel station.

Tips for restaurants: the Santor (Zaklopatica), the konoba Fumari (Lastovo), and the pizzeria and bistro Amfora. Lastovo, is recommended for its good food and very good prices.

A bird's-eye view of Lastovo A bird's-eye view of Lastovo

The following map shows a sailing route around Dubrovnik. For more details about routes and individual locations, click on the icon at the top left hand corner of the map.

Take a look at the map of the coastline with icons to find detailed information about harbours, marinas, bays, and other attractions on the island of Korčula. For detailed information, click on the appropriate icon. You can zoom in and out of the map at will (clicking on the square at the top right of the map frame will enlarge the map to full screen). 

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