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Split - the Adriatic's most vibrant port

A brief introduction to Split

Split is the second biggest Croatian city and one of the most visited cities on the Adriatic coast. Its location and good transport connections means it’s a perfect starting spot for visiting the whole of Dalmatia. The city itself offers a unique blend of rich history, beautiful architecture and vibrant nightlife. The main attraction for history buffs is the famous Diocletian Palace, built by the Romans in the 4th century and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. 

What's the best way to get to Split 

The fastest and easiest way to get to Split is flying to Split Airport, located 25 km outside the city. There are plenty of direct flights from all over Europe, and Split can also be reached via connecting flights from Zagreb. Split is also easily accessible by car, bus or train. For those not pressed for time, there is even a ferry line connecting the Italian city of Ancona and Split.    

Some of our favourite Split itinerary options

Split’s geographical location and warm summer climate makes the city a perfect starting point for an unforgettable week of sailing in Croatia. Here are some suggestions on places to visit during your stay.

Option 1 - the coastal towns of Dalmatia

Total sail distance: 140 NM

Things to see and do: Sail north along the Adriatic coast and visit the Croatian towns of Trogir, Šibenik and Zadar with several detours to nearby islands. This route is the perfect way to experience the culture and architecture of these historical cities. Once you’ve soaked up the culture, relax on the islands of Murter, Pašman and Ugljan.

This route is perfect for: Groups of friends seeking culture and fine dining, families wanting to enjoy the best Croatia has to offer, and sailing enthusiasts wanting to experience one of the most popular nautical areas on the Adriatic.

Best time of year for sailing: From April until September.

Day 1: Trogir

Trogir is the perfect place to start this culturally filled route. Located 10 NM from Split, this small town situated on an island is a sight to behold. Considered one of the most well preserved examples of medieval architecture, the old town of Trogir was classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The town is connected with the island of Čiovo by a small bridge which can get quite congested. Its nautical port is a favourite destination due to its location and natural protection. Trogir offers plenty to see but can get quite crowded.

Day 2: Primošten

Primošten is a small coastal town originally built on an island which was artificially connected with the mainland. It lies right in the middle between the cities of Šibenik (16 NM) and Trogir (16 NM). This popular tourist destination offers beautiful beaches, most notably the Mala Raduča beach which is considered to be one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Primošten is the perfect place to enjoy a day in the sun!

Day 3: Šibenik

Visiting Šibenik offers the perfect balance of cultural heritage and  breathtaking natural beauty. The city is dominated by no less than five medieval fortresses, the most notable being St.John’s Fortress and St. Michael’s Fortress. A visit to Sibenik's Cathedral of St. James (Katedrala Sv Jakova), now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must. While in Šibenik, an excursion to the Krka National Park is highly recommended. It was established in 1985, protecting the ecologically important area of the River Krka.

Day 4: Murter

As we set sail away from Šibenik, the island of Murter calls as the perfect destination for a day of relaxation. The town of Tisno is a popular place amongst the younger crowd, hosting numerous music festivals during the summer. Enjoy some quality seafood, relax with a cocktail or two, and dance the night away.

Day 5: Biograd na Moru

The coastal town of Biograd na Moru sits 15 NM south of Zadar and houses several marinas offering extensive amenities. From here, the islands of Pašman and Ugljan are minutes away. As you sail north along the two islands, stop at one of the many coves and enjoy a day of swimming and soaking up the sun. The two islands are connected with a bridge in the town of Ždrelac, and this is a popular place to take a selfie.

Day 6: Zadar

Zadar is yet another gem on the Croatian coast, filled with culture and magnificent architecture. The historic old town connected with marble streets and numerous medieval churches and Roman ruins will leave you wanting more. The famed Church of St. Donat, built on the site of a former ancient Roman forum, is one of the most popular tourist destinations. There are newer attractions to see as well: the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation. These two unique art installations use the sea and the sun to produce some truly unique sights. As the sun sets, Zadar transforms into a vibrant city filled with good restaurants and exciting nightclubs. 

Day 7: Split  

Heading back to Split, about 86 NM south, will leave just enough time to enjoy an afternoon coffee at the Riva Boardwalk and maybe a nice dinner in one of the city’s many restaurants.

A beach and a hill in the distance on Brac island, Croatia

Option 2 - the island experience

Total sail distance: 110 NM

Things to see and do: Visit the beautiful and lush islands of Hvar, Brač, Vis and Lastovo. Enjoy beautiful scenery, soak up the culture and taste some of the finest culinary delights this area has to offer.

This route is perfect for:  Friends seeking summer activities and fine dining, families wanting to enjoy the most popular Croatian islands, and sailing enthusiasts wanting to experience one of the most visited nautical areas on the Adriatic.

Best time of year for sailing: From late-April until mid-September.

Day 1: Šolta

The first stop as you leave Split is Maslinica on the island of Šolta. A small fishing village on the northwest shores of the island of Šolta, it is surrounded by an archipelago of seven small islands.This is a peaceful oasis and a perfect spot for anybody looking to relax and unwind.

Day 2: Brač

Sail along the southern coast of Šolta and cross the channel towards the island of Brač and the biggest port on the island, Milna. Here you will find a marina with 200 berths, perfectly protected from the elements. You can take an excursion and visit the breathtaking monastery of Pustinja Blaca. This hermitage built from snowy white limestone etched into the side of a mountain is truly a sight to see.

Day 3: Hvar

Stari Grad on the island of Hvar is the oldest town in Croatia, dating back to the 4th century B.C. This Greek colony, also known as Pharos, exudes history at every step. The town sits at the end of a long bay, offering great protection from winds. Here you can enjoy peaceful walks or exciting bike rides through the island interior. Once you are done with physical activities, why not take a break in some of the local wineries and enjoy a glass of local wine?  

Day 4: Vis

The town of Vis is located on the northeastern side of the island with the same name. Its location at the base of a large bay offers great protection and is a popular destination among sailors. Similar to the rest of the islands in this part of the Adriatic, it has evolved from the ancient Greek settlement, known as Issa. There are plenty of things to do on the island, be it enjoying local culinary delights and wine tasting, swimming on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Adriatic, or simply renting a car and enjoying the mountain roads.

Day 5: Korčula

Vela Luka on the island of Korčula is the island’s main port. If you are looking for natural beauty, take a peaceful walk from the city and be sure to visit the nearby Vela Spila cave. No visit to Korčula island is complete without sampling local wines so be sure to make a stop at one of many local wineries.

  

Day 6: Lastovo

As you leave the popular tourist hotspot of Korčula, sail down south to the island of Lastovo and get lost in the charming Skrivena luka bay. Situated on the southern side of the island, it is well protected from strong winds and rough sea providing safe anchoring for yachtsmen.    The main attraction here is a lighthouse built in 1839, sitting at the very edge of a steep cliff that offers a splendid view of the open sea. This is a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy crystal clear seas before heading back.

Day 7: Split

Sailing from Lastovo to Split, some 75 NM away, you should arrive with just enough time to enjoy a stroll down the streets of the old town centre. Here you can do some souvenir shopping, visit the Diocletian Palace or enjoy a drink in many of the town’s cafes.

Option 3 - onwards to Dubrovnik

Total sail distance: 120 NM

Things to see and do: Sail along the coast of Croatia from Split to Dubrovnik, visiting the most popular destinations along the way including Makarska, Pelješac and Mljet.

This route is perfect for: Groups of friends looking for a blend of culture, fine dining and natural beauty, families wanting to enjoy the south of Croatia, and sailing enthusiasts wanting to sail along the southern Dalmatia.    

Best time of year for sailing: From early-April until the end of September.

Day 1: Omiš 

The town of Omiš sits where the Cetina River meets the sea, near one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe. The town was once a pirate nest, bordered by steep cliffs which make the town appear as if it was carved in the mountains. Here you can experience adrenaline raising activities such as rafting on the Cetina River or zip wiring down the canyon.

Day 2: Makarska

As we continue south down the Croatian coastline, the city of Makarska is your next stop. Sitting at the foothills of Biokovo mountain, Makarska is perfect for those wanting to stretch their legs and do some hiking. A guided visit to the Biokovo National Park is worth it for the view alone. The town boasts a rich culinary scene with plenty of restaurants and taverns to choose from.   

Day 3: Pelješac

Make sure to leave Makarska well equipped as the next stop, Divna beach, has no amenities. Located on the northern shores of the Peljesac peninsula, Divna is a small and picturesque place nestled on the lovely pebble beach. The name itself - Divna means beautiful in Croatian - will tell you all you need to know about this place. Here you can spend the day in beautiful scenery, enjoying the sea and the sun.

Day 4: Mljet

Sailing around the Pelješac peninsula and down south, the island of Mljet is the next destination on this tour. This heavily forested island offers lush vegetation and untouched natural beauty. The best spots for anchoring are the towns of Polače and Pomena, located on the western part of the island. Here you can experience local cuisine and book a one-day trip to Mljet National Park. 

Day 5: Elaphite islands

The Elaphite islands are a cluster of small islands located west from the town of Dubrovnik.

The main islands to visit are Šipan, Koločep and Lopud. These islands are scarcely inhabited, offering the perfect place to get away from busy towns and hectic surroundings. Spend a day enjoying the natural beauty with remnants of historical architecture scattered across the islands.

Day 6: Dubrovnik

The culmination of the tour is the visit to the mythical town of Dubrovnik. ACI Marina Dubrovnik is the best place to dock. One of the most visited destinations in the whole of the Medditeranean, Dubrovnik offers plenty to see and do. Visit the old city walls, take a stroll down the famous limestone streets and enjoy a night in one of the town’s many taverns and restaurants.

Day 7: Split 

You’ll sail back to Split enjoying the beautiful Adriatic sea. As the two cities are 100 NM apart, the majority of the day will be spent sailing. Once you reach the capital, the proximity of the ACI Marina Split to the city center will leave you with ample time to enjoy the bustling city. 

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