Our southern recommended route for sailing Adriatic islands begins with the island of Murter.
Murter is the largest and closest island to the mainland in Šibenik area, and it is separated from the coast by a narrow sea channel, over which drawbridge raises twice a day for passing of bigger boats and yachts in Tisno. Island is situated at the very entrance to the Kornati archipelago, and is an attractive destination for yachtsmen and all lovers of quiet relaxation. The beginnings of tourism in Murter date back to the 1930s, when Czech Villa was built in the bay Slanica. The outer coast of Murter is adorned with a variety of beautiful bays great for swimming, from those with a large number of tourists like the most known Slanica, to the bays in which you can practically be alone, and marina Hramina situated in the north of the island.
Next on our way to the south is island Zlarin which is located near the city of Šibenik, and it is the third largest island in the Šibenik archipelago. The inner parts of the island are uninhabited, covered with thick forest and bushes and therefore the island is called also the green island. Zlarin is specific for the reason that it is the only island which still cherishes skill of harvesting and processing corals. It is one of the islands where cars are not allowed which gives it a special charm and is ideal for a relaxing holiday, walks and swimming in the crystal clear waters. Port of Zlarin is protected from southern and northeastern wind and it is a favorite destination for yachtsmen.
After Zlarin we arrive to probably the most famous island in the whole Adriatic coast. The island of Hvar is really special and you just need to visit it. Hvar was known since ancient times for its important strategic and nautical location, its history, cultural and natural monuments and literature. No matter what you're looking for on your vacation, you will find it here: from architectural achievements, cultural and historical sites, through lavender fields and fantastic sights that stretch from Hvar peaks, extraordinary cuisine, fascinating southern slopes with beautiful beaches and unforgettable Pakleni islands, all the way to the rich nightlife in the city of Hvar.
Southern route truly reveals the most beautiful islands of Dalmatia, and after Hvar we head towards another pearl of the Adriatic. Lastovo island is slightly smaller and more remote island with less crowds and leaves a fully opposite impression from the more crowded and well known island of Hvar that here time has stopped. Lastovo is a hidden southern destination in which those who find it definetly fall in love with. Because of its beauty it was declared a park of nature. Its main settlement is a medieval village with a long and interesting history, located in the heart of the island to protect it from the enemies in the past times. It has amphitheater shape, and it is surrounded by mountains with lots of stone steps surrounding the church and the old town center. It is famous for old stone houses with chimneys, each of which hides its own history and gives a special Mediterranean ambience. Skrivena luka, Zaklopatica and untouched Lastovo bay, as well as nearby Lastovnjaci islands are some of the best locations for sailing in Croatia.
It is said for island Mljet that it is one of the most beautiful and greenest islands in the Adriatic sea and this island of olive trees, pine trees and rich forests is ideal for exploring the flora and fauna and to enjoy the beauties of untouched nature. It is the eighth largest Croatian island, situated near the Pelješac peninsula, Dubrovnik and island of Korčula. Its mediterranean climate, dry summers and mild winters with around 2.500 hours of sunshine annually, make it one of the sunniest Adriatic islands. Mljet National Park is the oldest marine park in the Mediterranean. It occupies the northwestern third of the island with several villages, two salt lakes (Big and Small Lake) as well as the Benedictine monastery on Sveta Marija island. This area was declared a national park in November 1960, and the sea area was included in 1997. Beautiful nature, crystal clear sea, lakes, islands and rich cultural heritage make the island of Mljet real paradise on earth, and in Polače you’ll find one of the best natural anchorages in the Adriatic sea.
From Mljet we move slowly to the north, and one of the first islands that we come upon is Korčula. It is divided from the Pelješac peninsula only by a little more than a kilometer wide Pelješac channel. Conditions for sailing around Korčula are considered for some of the best in the Adriatic due to constant favorable winds in the Pelješac channel. The island has a large number of bays and coves, and the north shore is generally low and easily accessible with several natural harbours sheltered from the south and east wind. The south shore is more indented but on some places it is steep and rocky with cliffs up to 30 meters high. The south side has plenty of anchorages and bays sheltered from the north winds, but exposed to the south ones. The largest, best protected cove is Vela Luka, which lies in the far west of the island. The island of Korčula was inhabited in prehistoric times, and today it represents a unique combination of beautiful nature, centuries-old cultural tradition and history and modern tourism. Those who visit this island will appeal to countless beautiful beaches and coves, ancient olive groves and vineyards, old villas and island towns that seem to have remained lost in another time.
Next stop is the island of Vis, located in the open sea, some 45 kilometers from the mainland, surrounded by an archipelago consisting of smaller islands and islets. Island is special of its Mediterranean climate and everywhere presence of rosemary, immortelle, sage and lemon scents. Since it is located on the open sea, the minimum temperature on it is always a few degrees higher than on the mainland or other islands. Beside its natural beauty and the traditional architecture of the Adriatic, Vis has an additional attraction because of its history. Until the beginning of the 90s it was isolated because the army stayed on the island, and access to visitors and foreigners was limited. Only after the departure of the army its touristic boom began. Just because of this, Vis has only recently started to develop in tourism, so there is a relatively small number of hotel accomodation so it has retained its original charm and beauty. There are two main towns on the island, Vis and Komiža, and small villages along the coast and in the interior. In the past, Komiža was mainly a fishing port and town of Vis was agricultural and commercial center, and both places are located in the well-protected bays. Except untouched beaches and coves you should explore the interior of the island whose beauty will definetly surprise you.
The next island on the way back to Sukošan is Žirje, the remotest inhabited island of the Šibenik archipelago, situated some 12NM away from Šibenik. The island stretches in NW - SE direction and it is considered as a natural extension of Kornati. It used to be covered with dense oak woods, so it is assumed that it was named after the acorn, which grows on thetree. The island is indented, has a large number of protected bays and it is surrounded by islets and reefs. It has a beautiful nature and clear sea, and you can experience the traditional island way of life on it, without the stress and noise. Natural shelter is provided by the Mala and Velika Stupica bay and Tratinska cove, and divers will be delighted by the surrounding waters.
At the end of our southern route on the way back we come to the Kornati archipelago, about which you can find out more here, and we recommend you to spend last night in the Telašćica bay on Dugi Otok about which you'll find out more in our northern route recommended for sailing in Croatia.