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Šibenik

Come with us into the aisles of the oldest Croatian city or the fairytale natural landscape of cascading waterfalls on the Krka!

Come with us into the aisles of the oldest Croatian city or the fairytale natural landscape of cascading waterfalls on the Krka!

For whom is renting a yacht suitable?

This location offers an interesting cocktail of experiences. Šibenik is not far from Zadar, in a picturesque bay on the estuary of the Krka river which is dominated by the St Nicholas Fortress. It is one of the most beautiful locations in the eastern Adriatic. The maze of steep, stone lanes and the remarkable cathedral in the city centre are true tourist attractions. The town is also an excellent base for visiting the Krka and Kornati National Parks. The fairytale Krka Waterfalls offer some of the most impressive natural scenery in Croatia.

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The 10 most beautiful locations in this region

  1. Šibenik
  2. Skradin Marina and waterfalls on the Krka river
  3. Tribunj harbour—the old city coastline
  4. Kornati—the island of Levrnaka and Lojena Bay with a sandy beach
  5. The island of Vrgada—with a sandy beach near St Andrija Bay
  6. The island of Kakan—Potkučina Bay
  7. Primošten Harbour
  8. The island of Žut—Žut Bay and ACI marina
  9. The island of Prvić—Prvić Harbour
  10. The island of Zlarin—Zlarin Harbour

On the more distant islands, you will be refreshed by the exceptionally clear water and divine tranquility. Adrenaline junkies will want to take a trip in a speedboat. There are several Big Game Fishing bases in the area around Šibenik. If you are more peacefully inclined, you can set out for the islands famed for their red coral and sponge, take a cycle ride along the cycle paths or retrace the footsteps of the famous inventor Nikola Tesla.

You absolutely must visit the waterfalls in Krka. Sail all the way to Skradin and set out for the national park right away in the morning’s first water taxi, or go on foot in the early evening (it is a gentle walk of about 40 minutes). If you reach the waterfalls after closing time, you will be there alone. You will save yourself the admission fee, but most of all you won’t be part of the crowds of tourists and will be able to enjoy the beauty and intimacy of the location and swim in the waterfalls or under them. Swimming under the waterfall is only for the strongest swimmers!

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

This area is suitable for sailing novices, families with children, as well as more experienced yachtsmen. Beginners will particularly appreciate the simple navigation, gentle winds and abundance of safe anchorages with moorings. Experienced yachtsmen can take a longer trip to Kornati and enjoy the sublime calm of the more distant and uninhabited islands.

During July and August, temperatures in this area reach 25–32°C, with sea temperatures around 24°C. A stable Mistral (daytime breeze) blows in the Šibenik area during the summer. Winds are changeable in the morning, generally blowing as a breeze from the SE in the afternoon, and calm at night. The Mistral usually starts blowing around 10:00 and can reach a speed of 5–20 KN (knots) in the afternoon. At sunset it stops again.

The Mistral is considered a fair weather wind because it accompanies a cloudless, blue sky and pleasant temperatures at sea. The Bora (NE) or Sirocco (SE) may also blow, although the likelihood is low. These winds mainly blow during the winter and spring months.

Average air and water temperatures

Actual weather

Šibenik is the oldest city on the Adriatic coastline. The ancient city of Šibenik is surrounded by fortifications and four majestic fortresses – the St Michael, St Nicholas, St John, and Šubičevač (or Barone) fortresses. The forts were built to protect the city against Turkish invasion. The Turks made it all the way to the ramparts but never conquered the city. St Nicholas' Fortress protected the city from the sea, the other three from inland attacks. Each tower is unique and offers a wonderful view of the sea and the surrounding islands.

When sailing into Šibenik, right at the entrance to the Channel of St Anthony, you will see an old Napoleonic fort on the right where you can land at the small breakwater on the northeastern side. The fort is open to the public without an entrance fee. The best time to visit is just before sunset, when the large cellars are lit by the sun. BEWARE! While sitting sideways by the low breakwater, you must look out for motorboats and ferries sailing from Šibenik. They create such large waves that they could throw you sideways onto the breakwater. Always leave a lookout by the boat, someone who is capable of sailing away quickly. Drop the fenders all the way to sea level.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

The most majestic and the oldest fortress is St Michael's Fortress (formerly known as St Anne's Fortress). The fort was built sometime around the year 1000 AD. During the 11th century, it was the residence of the famous king Peter Krešimir, who founded the first Croatian city of Castrum Sebenici (today Šibenik) beneath it, and the castle and town fortificationswhich provided a safe haven for the people of the city. This protection came in handy, because the locals were pirates and the neighbouring countries did not like this. There was an escape route from the castle (rescue route) which made it possible for the locals to escape to sea if great danger loomed. In the event of an attack from the sea, the escape route allowed the locals to hide behind the castle walls. The path is an exceptional historical monument. It is 40 m long and carved into the steep rocks, with a height difference from bottom to top of 28 m.

St Nicholas' Fortress is also worth visiting. It is shaped like a keyhole and has many secret passages. The fort excels with superb acoustics and concerts are often held here in summer (a pleasant experience for the yachtsmen who listen to the music from the decks of their boats). Until recently, the fort was only accessible from the sea (yachts and recreational boats anchor at the quay under the cave), but today a lovely cycle path leads to it (the path is 4.4 km long, and leads from Dumboka bay alongside the St. Anthony strait all the way to the fort).

When sailing from Šibenik, set out further upstream along the River Krka. About 2 NM past Šibenik, before and after the bridge, you will come across mussel farms. You can buy superb mussels from the farmers there for around HRK 20/kg and they will also advise you on how to prepare them properly.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

The beautiful, ancient city centre is full of small stone houses, picturesque squares, stairways, passages, and a maze of winding lanes. The most important monument in the city is the Cathedral of St
James, which is a UNESCO heritage site. The Cathedral of St James is built entirely of stone, adorned by 34 lion heads and 72 life-sized busts. During a Serbian attack in 1991–92, the cathedral was hit by an artillery shell, bursting through the roof and landing in the centre of the cathedral, but luckily not exploding. The cathedral stands on the main square, The Republic of Croatia Square (Trg Republike Hrvatske), once dubbed the "Square of Gentlemen".

The square has been the centre of Šibenik social life for centuries. The first café was built there in 1750. The most beautiful and important historical buildings are also located in the streets around the square. Here you will find the town hall, many palaces (the Rossini, Divinić, Pellegrin, and other Gothic palaces), chapels (the most beautiful being the churches of St Nicholas, St Barbara, and St Frances), monasteries, galleries, and the Sea Gate. Next to the town hall is a stairway leading through ancient courts and little squares to the old town.

Tips for restaurants in Šibenik: the Pelegrini, Marineo (Croatian and Mediterranean cuisine but expensive) and the Dalmatino konoba (Croatian and Mediterranean cuisine).

Marinas near Šibenik

Marina Mandalina—a luxury marina which is the only one in Croatia to have been awarded the highest quality rating (five golden anchors from the British Yacht Harbour Association and five anchors from the Croatian Ministry of Tourism). This marina was designed mainly for mega yachts 30–140 m in length (comprising 80% of the berths). The marina offers 429 berths, connections to water and electricity, free WiFi, modern showers and WC, technical services and a shop with yachting equipment.

Marina Solaris—a nice but usually fully occupied marina offering 246 mooring berths (depth 1–1.5 m, maximum boat length up to 12 m), connections to water and electricity, showers and WC, WiFi, technical services and a shop with yachting equipment. Other services: supermarket, ATM, laundry, children’s playground, diving centre, ice boxes, bicycle and scooter rental and a car park. The marina is situated in a nice and well sheltered bay (sheltered from all winds). The newly opened Aquapark Solaris is near the marina! This is located between the Kids Andrija, and Jakov hotels. Entry for children up to 3 years of age is free of charge, from 3–5 years HRK 40, and for children from 6 years or older HRK 100. Entry for adults is also HRK 100.

Šibenik city harbour—a port of entry, with several mooring berths by the city quay. Mooring costs HRK 20/m for boats up to 15 m in length and HRK 25/m for boats 15–19 m in length. If you are only staying until 16:00, you only pay half price. Connection to water is available. A fuel station is near the harbour.

Šibenik town harbour Šibenik town harbour

Zlarin

The Golden Island, the Green Island, or Coral Island—these are all names for the small rocky island which shot to fame thanks to its diving and red coral harvesting. Harvesting and processing coral was known as far back as the 15th century and represented the main source of income for the island. During Venetian rule, the locals used as many as 17 boats to harvest the coral. They always set out to sea at night so that the Venetians did not see them. They regarded the undersea wealth as theirs and keeping any find a secret meant being sentenced to work on a galley (hard slave labour or rowing on the galleys). Before setting sail, a celebratory procession of boats was always held, culminating in a blessing. Life on the small island was always associated with the sea, and apart from harvesting coral, the locals engaged in fishing, sponge collection and salt mining.

Today, there is a small museum on the island and a workshop where coral is processed and cut by hand. You can buy jewellery made from coral. The museum is located in the small town of Zlarin. The museum is reached via ancient cobbled lanes. There are no cars on the island and it is divinely tranquil. Yachtsmen will particularly appreciate the untouched nature and exceptionally clean sea. This sunny island is filled with the fragrance of rosemary. Cyprus trees grow here, as do pitch pines, figs and olive trees. The sea around Zlarin is also suitable for sports fishermen. Larger bays: Zlarinska luka (north), Magarna (a nice bay and anchorage, with a beach nearby), Vodena Njivica, Veleš, Platac, Lokvica and others.

Prvič and Zlarin harbours before Šibenik are beautifully picturesque and you should definitely visit at least one of them. You could do worse on Zlarin than taking a seat in the Aldura restaurant at the end of the breakwater. High quality food at a reasonable price is not the norm on the islands.

Jirka Zindulka’s TIP

Zlarin harbour—a pleasant harbour, there are buoys and mooring berths here with connections to water and electricity, WiFi, a grocery store, an ATM and several restaurants (they have a great draught beer at the restaurant near the main breakwater). The Punta and Mjesto beaches are both nearby.

Zlarin Harbour at sunset Zlarin Harbour at sunset

Prvić

A pleasant island with several fishing villages. The exceptionally clean sea (according to the measurements, the cleanest in the Adriatic) provides ideal conditions for snorkelling and underwater photography. There are two lovely pebbled beaches on the western coastline. Lovers of good food and drink are also catered for. The local restaurants typically offer fresh fish and traditional Croatian specialities. The largest villages and harbours on the island are Prvić Luka and Šepurine.

The village of Prvić Luka has a lovely Marian chapel and a museum dedicated to universal genius and inventor Fraust Vrančić (he studied the use of rising and ebbing tides to harness energy, the construction of parachutes, windmills and wind turbines among other things). Some life-size models of his inventions are displayed here. Prvić harbour has 17 mooring berths with connections to water and electricity, buoys, a WiFi connection, showers and WC, a shop and a bakery. There are several restaurants near the harbour. When a SE wind is blowing, sailing into the harbour is a real challenge.

Prvić Luka Prvić Luka

Žirje

The largest island in the Šibenik archipelago. A rocky island surrounded by numerous other islands and cliffs, with abundantly stocked fishing grounds (mainly on the western side of the island). This is why the island is popular among yachtsmen and anglers. The sea is exceptionally clear and the bays are pleasantly quiet. The beaches on the island are mostly comprised of flat white rocks that slope gently into the sea. The island is overgrown, mainly with Maackia and in places with pine forests. There is no running water on the island, only a natural reservoir in the middle, providing water for the wildlife. The ruins of Byzantine forts can be found on the Gradina and Gustijerna hills.

The traditional and authentic fishing village of Žirje Luka looks as if time has stood still there. It has remained almost completely unchanged over the centuries and is quite untouched by tourism. The village is located about 1 km from Muna port (about eight relatively expensive mooring berths with no water or electricity, a restaurant, shop, and fresh bread every morning from 09:30). Boats can moor up to the quay or by the restaurant. Stupica is a picturesque and well sheltered bay (anchorage subject to a fee of HRK 150 for boats longer than 10 m, buoys, Gradina fort, a restaurant, and fresh bread in the morning). Other nice bays are Tratinska and Mikavica, both with anchorage, buoys, and restaurants. There is a lighthouse on the nearby island of Hrabošnjak. The rocky Punta Beach has pine forests along it and offers a great place to swim.

The eastern edge of the island of Žirje The eastern edge of the island of Žirje

Logorun

If you want to make your kids happy, sail out to Logorun island. Eight donkeys live on the island in a reservation. The donkeys are very friendly and come when they hear their names. You can feed them, pet them, even take them out for a ride.

Donkeys on the island of Logorun Donkeys on the island of Logorun

Kaprije, Kakan and Obonjan

The name of the island of Kaprije is derived from the name of the caper bush growing in abundance there. Its small green buds preserved in a special pickle are a much-sought-after delicacy. Capers benefit the immune system and are also good for coughs. They act as a natural cleansing agent for the body as they have a diuretic effect.

The island is relatively rugged. Yachtsmen especially appreciate the peace and quiet, the clean seas and the lovely bays. You can anchor in Kaprije fishing harbour. Several mooring berths are here (depth of 2–7 m), there is also a connection to water (only available in the morning and 100 L maximum) and electricity, WiFi, a waste container and an ATM. There are about seven restaurants on the quay, a pharmacy and a post office. There are several mooring buoys.

Please note: anchoring is forbidden throughout the whole bay! Strong gusts rise in the harbour when a Sirocco or Bora are blowing. You can anchor instead, in Vanjska, Remetic, Medoš (there is a restaurant there), Jedinjača or Nozdra Mala bays (with several restaurants and buoys). There is some lovely swimming on the island of Kakan (opposite Kaprije Harbour) and there is also some very nice swimming on the nearby island of Obonjan.

Kaprije Harbour Kaprije Harbour

Krapanj

This is the smallest island in the Šibenik archipelago. This flat, unobtrusive island is famous as a place for collecting sea sponges. Alongside fishing, the locals started diving for sea sponges. Legend has it that they learned this skill around the year 1704 from the monk, Antun of Crete. Prior to this, the sponges were collected from boats using harpoons. Subsequently, as the sponges began to grow scarcer in the shallow waters, the divers had to go in.

The pharmaceutical and therapeutic use of sea sponges has an ancient tradition. In ancient Rome, people were amazed by their miraculous properties. The sponge was used, for example, to treat thyroid disease (1 g of the sponge contains the same amount of iodine as 130 L of sea water). Soldiers placed sponges under their armour as protection against abrasions, and they also used them to treat war wounds (after noticing that the sponge significantly supported and accelerated wound healing) they even used them to clean their helmets. You can learn more about the uses of sea sponges at the local museum. Some of the finest sponges can also be bought here.

The skill has been preserved on the island of Krapanj to this day. Divers gather roughly 4000 kg of sponges every year, and they are exported all over Europe. The substances contained in the sponges have antiviral, antitumor, disinfectant and antiseptic effects. This is also the basis of the wide range of their uses. They are used primarily for acne treatment, skin cleansing, skin trauma treatment, scarring, and striae (these healing effects are due to the high salt, mineral, and iodine content), they are also used during massages, saunas, in the pharmaceutical industry and in medicines.

A romantic sunset A romantic sunset

The Krka National Park and the Krka River Waterfalls offer some of the most impressive natural scenery in Croatia. The fairytale natural environment is permeated by a balmy sea breeze. The national park has an area of 109 km square and surrounds almost the entire length of the Krka River. The Krka originates in Knin and flows into an estuary in Skradin. It flows through a beautiful landscape and shatters on rapids, cascades and waterfalls. The Travertine Cascades (steppe waterfalls) are one of the most unique places in the world. The largest of the seven cascades are the Manojlovac cascades. Their total height is 60 m and the main waterfall falls from a height of 32 m. The waterfalls are at their most majestic in spring, but they offer a wonderful sight at any time of the year.

The national park has five entrances. For yachtsmen, it is best to anchor in the ACI Marina in Skradin and board a Krka National Park boat that takes visitors to the Skradinski Buk waterfall. The ride takes approximately 25 minutes. A boat heads in that direction every hour, on the hour (until 17:00) and returns, always at thirty-minutes-past the hour. The ticket to the park can be purchased at the Krka NP Information Centre in Skradin or at the Skradinski Buk reception desk. The boat ride is included in the price. The cost of a basic ticket is HRK 110 for an adult and HRK 80 for a child (7–18 years). There is an extra charge of HRK 40–60 per person for boat trips to the Roški Slap waterfall, Lake Visovac,  and the monastery.

Krka National Park Krka National Park

The most interesting and most visited section of the river is at the Skradinski Buk waterfalls. On a section that is 800 m long, the river falls 45 m over 17 travertine terraces (200–400 m wide). You can admire the waterfalls, cascades, and blue-green streams from the observation points or from the wooden bridges located on the maintained path.

At the top of the Skradinski waterfalls are reconstructed water mills and farm buildings. They are in the 19th century style but are built on much older foundations. Among the buildings there is a sophisticated system ensuring that flowing water is used as efficiently as possible. There is still a functioning mill with stones driven by water wheels, grinding wheat and corn and there is also a wool fulling apparatus, which is a simple water driven device to soften coarse wool fabric, and a natural washing machine comprised of a large, stone tank where water continuously swirls up from the bottom, swirling the laundry like a washing machine. In bygone times, mills were of great economic importance. In the 13th–15th centuries, all the towns from Istria to Dubrovnik milled their wheat here. The mills were prosperous even during the Turkish wars and under Venetian domination. The mills were a source of income for Šibenik up until the introduction of steam and electricity. Šibenik was one of the first European cities to have electricity in the year 1898. The first local and modern hydroelectric power station was the work of its native genius inventor, Nikola Tesla.

Other attractive sites at the National Park include the Roški Slap waterfall (an 8 m waterfall, one of the most beautiful localities in the national park, which starts with small cascades, poetically named the "Necklace Cascades", and ends with a large waterfall, with the upper part being an impassable wilderness, on the left there is a complex of several water mills); Lake Visovacké with an island and Franciscan monastery (15th century church and monastery, with a beautiful library of valuable books, manuscripts and first imprints); the Rošnjak waterfall (surrounded by 200 m high rock cliffs, creates a breathtaking canyon ) and; the Orthodox monastery of St Archangel (there are ancient Roman catacombs under the church). A boat service travels regularly to all these places, taking passengers from the dock above the Skradinské waterfalls (Lozovac entrance). These boat trips are not included in the price of the basic park entrance ticket. For each trip you must pay an additional HRK 40–60 per person.

Nature lovers will surely appreciate the well maintained hiking paths furnished with information panels. The panels provide detailed information about the life of plants and animals in the park and a wealth of interesting historical facts. The longest route is 8.5 km long, via Stinice (Lake Visovacké) taking in Roški Slap to Oziđana Pecina. This route is considered one of the prettiest hiking trails in Croatia. It is possible to take the path all the way to Burnum and to Manojlovac, the highest waterfall. Another hiking trail (which is also a cycle path) runs from Skradinský Bridge to Skradinský Buk (the route is 3.4 km long). There are three circular routes available: Skradinski Buk (1.9 km), Roški Slap (1.36 km), and Krka Monastery (2.1 km). Detailed maps are available at the information centre, directly on site.

Terraced waterfalls in Krka National Park Terraced waterfalls in Krka National Park

If you long for a truly adrenaline-filled experience, set sail for a one day trip to catch some big fish, a sport otherwise known as — Big Game Fishing. You can do battle with creatures weighing up to 60 kg. With mainly tuna, albacore, spearfish, swordfish, sea bream and amberjack that are fished for, just occasionally, there is also the blue shark. All of these predators put up a lot of fight and even a smaller, 20 kg tuna will make you work hard to reel it in!

Big Game Fishing uses fast boats on the open sea and are well-equipped with a fish detector and state-of-the-art fishing gear. Experienced skippers are happy to share their secrets and divulge the best fishing locations and techniques. A one-day charter costs EUR 400 for eight hours, for six people. Agencies specialising in Big Game Fishing are based on Murter—we recommend Artena and Megabite. The area around Murter is the most suitable for Big Game. Special regulations apply to Big Game Fishing in Croatia and you need a permit which costs HRK 120 per day. The permit can be purchased online.

Big Game Fishing Big Game Fishing

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