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Dubrovnik : What is your kind of boat?

Dubrovnik - Our advice for your cruise



By Anaïs BEDE 

Managing Editor of Filovent magazine. "As a travel enthusiast, my holidays always equate to boat trips!"

 

18 October 2021

 

Reading time: 6 minutes

 

 

IN A NUTSHELL

 

Unmissable destinations: the Elaphite Islands 

Special features : the waters of the Adriatic Sea which are both dark because of the posidonia, and clear at times. The numerous islets, bays and islands make it easy to find a place sheltered from the wind

The best anchorages are the anchorages in Mljet, especially in Pomena and Polače 

 

 

Contents

 

  1. Practical information for your boat rental in Dubrovnik
  2. What to do in Dubrovnik?
  3. Where to sail from Dubrovnik?
  4. The most beautiful anchorages departing from Dubrovnik
  5. Which itinerary to follow for your cruise?
  6. What are the weather conditions?

 

 

 

 

"I have sailed in Croatia several times and I think Dubrovnik is the prettiest corner of the country. The wooded and green landscape, the waters of the Adriatic Sea which are both clear and dark… my eyes are always dazzled!". These are the words of Jean, a Filovent customer, when he told me about his cruise from Dubrovnik.

Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is an ideal destination for your yacht charter if you are passionate about history and breathtaking scenery in South Dalmatia. Conquered by the Greeks, Romans and Venetians, Dubrovnik is full of historical monuments testifying to its thousand-year-old existence. And what about the islands that surround it: the blue of the water and the green of the lush vegetation are a perfect match!

 

Jean and Claude sailing a Dufour 410
Claude and Jean sailing on a Dufour 410 (photo by Jean Lequime)

 

 

1. Practical information for your boat rental in Dubrovnik

 

Average rates depending on the season and the size of the boat

 

Departing from Dubrovnik, the majority of the boats rented are mono-hulls. The table below gives you an order of magnitude of the average prices of rentals. These prices can change according to the season, the availability, the model, the age of the boat...

 

Type of boat High Season
July and August
Mid-Season
May, June and September
Low Season
April and October
Mono-hull (2 cabins) €1,300 €1,100 €900,
Mono-hull (3 cabins) €1,500 €1,200 €1,000
Mono-hull (4 cabins) €2,500 €1,800 €1,400
Catamaran (between 30 and 40 feet) €3,000 €2,500 €2,000
Catamaran (between 40 and 50 feet) €4,000 €3,200 €2,700

 

The port of Dubrovnik

 

In Dubrovnik, you can depart from two ports: the port of the ACI Komolac Marina and that of the Frapa Marina.

Most departures are from the ACI Komolac Marina, located in the North-East of Dubrovnik. It is ideally located for easy access to the Adriatic Sea and outdoor activities. The port can accommodate up to 380 boats. On site, you can benefit from the following services: Wifi, sanitary facilities, showers, electricity at the dock and on the pontoon, water, petrol station...

Frapa Marina is located at the entrance to the Gruz sea area and near the old town of Dubrovnik. On site, you will find a petrol station and a car park.

 

Our partners on site

 

Here is the list of our main partners who rent boats from Dubrovnik:

  • Navigare Yachting has sailed more than 250,000 holidaymakers on-board its fleet of 350 boats from 12 bases around the world over the past 20 years. From Dubrovnik, a hundred boats are available for charter, including mono-hulls (Sun Odyssey, Bavaria, Hanse) and catamarans (Lagoon, Fontaine Pajot, Nautitech);
  • Dream Yacht Charter was founded in 2000 in the Seychelles, and offers more than 1,000 boats for charter from some sixty destinations. In Dubrovnik, this charter company has more than 150 boats, both mono-hulls (Dufour, Oceanis, Sun Loft, Sun Odyssey, Bavaria) and catamarans (Bali, Lagoon, Fontaine Pajot);
  • Ultra Sailing has been located in Split since 1995. Departing from Dubrovnik, this charter company offers about fifty boats, including mono-hulls (Oceanis, Isla, First) and catamarans (Lucia, Fontaine Pajot, Elba).

 

Video that shows you Dubrovnik and its surroundings on-board a boat (video by Navigare Yachting)

 

2. What to do in Dubrovnik?

 

Over time, Dubrovnik has established itself as an independent and powerful city. In the Middle Ages, the city's advantageous geographical position enabled it to be a prosperous maritime centre in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Dubrovnik was therefore a commercial power competing with the Venetians. In the 14th century, Dubrovnik became the capital of a maritime republic, called Republic of Ragusa, founded following the signing of the Treaty of Zadar. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were marked by political instabilities and conflicts with the Ottoman Empire and the Venetians.

As you can see, Dubrovnik has a rich historical past which is reflected in the architecture of its old town. On site, start by discovering the ramparts and the various gates of the old town. The first is the Pile Gate, on the West side of the city, where you can admire, among other things, a statue of St Blaise, the city's patron saint. After passing through this gate, you will come face to face with the Onofrio Fountain dating from the 15th century. This polygonal-shaped fountain was built to commemorate the construction of an aqueduct that supplied the city with water from the Dubrovačka River. The visit to the Pile Gate leads to the Old City Walls, a 2-kilometre long walk at a height of 25 metres that offers a breathtaking view of Dubrovnik. The Stradun is the main artery of the old town and connects the Pile Gate in the West to the Ploce Gate in the East. This is where all the excitement of the old town is concentrated thanks to the presence of many shops and restaurants. The Stradun was built on an old swamp that was drained in the Middle Ages to alleviate housing and traffic problems. The next stop on your tour of the ramparts is the fortress of Lovrijenac. Overlooking the sea as it is located on a promontory, this fortress was used as a defensive bastion and a watchtower. To reach it, you have to climb about 200 steps, but the view of the walls of Dubrovnik and the bay of Pile is really spectacular.

Dubrovnik is a real museum city and knows how to amaze history buffs, but it is also perfectly equipped to entertain families and boaters along its coastline. Not far from the old town, you will find the beach of Banje which offers a beautiful view of Dubrovnik's walls and port. The Copacabana beach is perfect for spending a nice afternoon with the family. Located on the peninsula of Lapad, this pebble beach with clear water offers various water sports (water skiing, kitesurfing, diving…), perfect for thrill seekers! From this beach, you can also see in the distance the island of Daksa and the Elaphite Islands. Finally, the beach of Bellevue, both a pebble and a sandy beach, will give you a beautiful view of Miramare Bay. It's a small cove located in Gorica, a district of Dubrovnik, with translucent water which reflects the rocky cliffs surrounding it. This beach is ideal for swimming and playing water polo. Moreover, it regularly hosts water polo competitions such as the "Wild League".

 

View of the old town and the old port of Dubrovnik
View of the old town and the old port of Dubrovnik (Adobe Stock photo)

3. Where to sail from Dubrovnik?

 

Lokrum

 

In Latin, Lokrum means citrus, recalling its past when Benedictine monks settled there to cultivate medicinal and exotic plants. This island is a true haven of peace because it's uninhabited and there are no options for accommodation on site.

The main visits you can make on the island are to the Royal Fort in the North offering a panoramic view of Lokrum, or the Benedictine Monastery in the South. Finally, you absolutely must go to The Dead Sea, located at the Southern end of the island, to swim. It is in fact a salt lake supplied with water by underwater caves that are connected to the Adriatic Sea. In addition to being very salty, the water is also quite warm.

 

Lokrum
View of Lokrum in the background (Adobe Stock photo)

 

The Elaphite Islands

 

The Elaphites archipelago stretches along the West coast of Dubrovnik and includes 14 islands and islets, 3 of which are inhabited: Koločep,Lopud and Sipan. This archipelago is appreciated for its lush and preserved nature, its crystal clear and dark waters, and its sandy beaches. You will realise, whether it's for one day or longer, that the Elaphite Islands are one of the must-see destinations in your cruise from Dubrovnik!

 

Koločep

With its 2.5 square kilometres, Koločep is the smallest island in the archipelago. It includes two villages Gornje Celo and Donje Celo separated by a thick pine forest.

For hiking enthusiasts, the island is full of small trails and forest paths that you can take from Gornje Celo, or along the coastline. In particular, it is by walking along the coastline that you can reach beaches, hidden coves or even be above the "Plava Spilja", better known as the "blue cave", which is only accessible by swimming. You can also take the 3 km long walk from Donje Celo to Gornje Celo.

Finally, in terms of history, the numerous archaeological remains testify to the island's occupation by the Romans, the Greeks and Napoleon's troops. The island was also a shipyard during the Republic of Ragusa.

 

Kolocep
View of the East coast of Koločep (photo by Jean Lequime)

 

Lopud

 

Located in the heart of the Elaphites archipelago, a timeless getaway awaits you! Indeed, once you have reached the port, everything is done on foot because cars are prohibited.

Dedicate some of your time to visit the few historical monuments of the island such as the Church of St. Mary dating from the late fifteenth century and which fulfilled defensive and humanitarian functions, or the Dominican monastery of St Nicholas.

You will also appreciate this island while hiking along the paths connecting the two hills of Lopud. It is by taking these paths that you will reach the beautiful Sunj beach, in the South of the island. This white sandy beach is bordered by a pine forest and is ideal for swimming because of its shallow waters.

 

sunset in the bay of Sunj
View of Sunj Bay at sunset (photo by Jean Lequime)

 

Sipan

 

Sipan is the largest and wildest island of the archipelago. It's worth a visit if you are looking for tranquility and swimming away from the crowds. You will find only two villages on this island: Sudurad in the South, and Sipanska Luka in the North-West. The island has many bays, cliffs overlooking fish-filled waters and hills covered with fields of olive trees, fig trees, vineyards and almond trees. This varied biodiversity contributes to make Sipan a small corner of paradise. On site, a walk through the island will enable you to discover its rich architectural heritage and in particular its thirty or so churches dating from the Middle Ages. To name just a few of its monuments: the Sveti Duh church in the South of the island which is typical of the Adriatic with its flat roof, the Renaissance castle of the Stjepovic Skocibuha family in Sudurad, and the Pakljena tower dating from the 16th century.

 

Korčula

 

Located North of Dubrovnik, Korčula will seduce you by its authentic and wild nature as well as by its charged historical past and its architectural heritage.

While there, be sure to visit the old town of Korčula, which houses, among other things, the house of Marco Polo. "Korčula with its houses built of old stone is overflowing with charm. It's perched on a promontory and therefore provides a beautiful view of the water, which is sometimes turquoise and at times dark blue" Grégoire told me. The other highlight of your stopover on this island is the discovery of Vela Luka, on the West coast. Nature lovers will appreciate its landscape, its vineyards, and especially its olives which are exported all over the world. Finally, South-East of Korčula, stop at Lumbarda. This small fishing village is magical because it is surrounded by a bay, vineyards, and a pine forest. The past has left its traces in this village since following archaeological excavations gnathia vases were found, testifying to the Greek occupation.

As you can see, the vineyards are an integral part of the island's landscape. We advise you to discover one of its many vineyards. The most famous grape variety on the island is the Posip, a sweet white wine with a golden colour that will perfectly accompany your fish dishes.

Finally, the wild beaches and coves of Korčula invite you to relax. The beach of Przina, a rare sandy beach on the East side of the island, will give you a swimming session you won't want to end. Lying on your towel on this beach, you can see Lastovo in the distance. In the South of the island, the Pupnatska Luka cove is one of the most beautiful on the island. The green of the vegetation, the azure blue of the water, and the grey of the pebbles: so many colours which intermingle harmoniously for you to feast your eyes on!

 

Prizba
View of Prizba Bay, South-West of Korčula (Adobe Stock photo)

 

Lastovo

 

Lastovo is the furthest island from the Croatian coast. It is still preserved from mass tourism, which contrasts with the other islands around Dubrovnik. Indeed, like Vis, Lastovo was once a Yugoslav military base where tourism was prohibited until 1989.

This island invites you to hike to discover it in depth. It is comprised for the most part of a dense green forest, its coasts are overhung by steep cliffs, and the deep blue of the sea will plunge you into a timeless stopover. On site, visit the town of Lastovo hidden in the hill in the South-East of the island. Your discovery of the island continues in the bay of Zaklopatica located on the Southern side and which is particularly well-suited to exploring the seabed.

The architectural originality of Lastovo lies in the chimneys called "fumari" by the locals and which, according to custom, are supposed to ward off the evil eye.

 

The village of Lastovo
View of the village of Lastovo nestled in the hollows of the hills (photo by Grégoire Billon)

 

Mljet

 

This island is one of Jean's favourites: "I think it's really the prettiest one. It has everything to offer with its wild, wooded side, its small anchorages, the monastery, and the inland lake. Its landscape is varied, so there's something for everyone!"

The visit not to be missed during your stopover in Mljet is the Island's National Park. This park consists of two large bays connected to the sea by a passage so narrow that they are considered lakes. These two bays are therefore called "Grand Lac" and "Petit Lac" respectively. On the large lake is the islet of St. Mary where you can admire the monasterydating from the 17th century and founded by Benedictines. "The countryside is very beautiful, and the water is particularly salty; if I had to describe this visit in one word, I would say relaxing" Grégoire told me. To experience this park, you will need to book tickets and the tour will be on a shuttle bus.

 

monastery of the islet of Saint Mary
View of the monastery on the islet of St. Mary (photo by Jean Lequime)

On the West side of the island, stop at Polače or Pomena, which have two lovely little ports. In Polače, you will find remains of an ancient palace from the 5th century, as well as the ruins of two churches from the 5th and 6th centuries. Finally, on the East side of the island, Saplunara will please lovers of white sandy beaches. The anchorage in the bay of Saplunara is particularly pleasant because you will be surrounded by green coasts, and you can admire from your boat the colour of the water going from azure blue to dark blue.

 

Saplunara
View of Saplunara (photo by Jean Lequime)

 

4. The best anchorages around Dubrovnik

 

Anchorage in Pomena at the Western end of Mljet

 

This anchorage is one of Jean's favourites: "the setting is idyllic: we were surrounded by green countryside and clear water, and we had a direct view of the typical little village of Pomena at the end of the bay."

 

Pomena
View of Pomena (Adobe Stock photo)

Anchorage in Ston on the Peljesac peninsula

 

The peninsula of Peljesac forms a strip of land stretching over 60 kilometres. This peninsula provides a varied landscape, harmoniously blending typically Mediterranean lush vegetation, the sea, and the mountains. Ston is a small village on the Eastern side of the peninsula. "The arrival in Ston with your boat is great because you can see the village from afar, overhung by cliffs" Guillaume told me. A visit to the village of Ston is worthwhile. Indeed, the Ston Wall is known to be the second longest in the world, after the Great Wall of China.

 

Okuklje Bay
View of Ston, its wall on the right and the salt marshes in the background (Adobe Stock photo)

 

Anchorage in Okuklje Bay, North of Mljet

 

This anchorage was also suggested by Alem who works for Navigare Yachting. The area is protected from the wind and there are restaurants at the edge of the landing area. As in the bay of Kobas, the anchorage is free if you eat in one of the restaurants.

 

Okuklje Bay
Panoramic view of Okuklje Bay (photo by Jean Lequime)

Anchorage in Kobas Bay at the entrance to the Ston Canal

 

This anchorage is also recommended by Alem. All three restaurants offer free mooring if you eat there. The restaurant "Niko" is, according to Alem, the best of the three. "The combination of nature and good food is heaven on earth!" he told me.

 

5. Which itinerary to follow for your cruise?

 

The following itinerary, offered by the professional charter company Navigare Yachting, will enable you to discover the main places of interest around Dubrovnik.

 

Itinerary for one week - Total distance covered: 148 nautical miles

  • Day 1: Dubrovnik → Sipanska Luka to Sipan (15 nautical miles)
  • Day 2: Sipan → Polače to Mljet (25 nautical miles)
  • Day 3: Polače → Skrivena luka, South-East of Lastovo (23 nautical miles)
  • Day 4: Skrivena luka → Pasadur, Veli Lago, North-West of Lastovo (8 nautical miles)
  • Day 5: Pasadur → Korčula (30 nautical miles)
  • Day 6: Korčula → Okukjle to Mljet (25 nautical miles)
  • Day 7: Okukjle → Dubrovnik (22 nautical miles)

 

Mljet
Mljet, a wonder to behold! (photo by Grégoire Billon)

6. What are the weather conditions?

 

The favourable temperatures and wind conditions make sailing in Croatia pleasant and accessible.

The dominant winds are the Mistral, a North-Western Mediterranean wind, and the Jugo, a warm South-Easterly wind coming from North Africa. It is important to note that in Croatia, the wind rarely exceeds force 3. Indeed, as Jean-Paul, who sailed on a Dufour 410 from Dubrovnik, told me: "sailing in Croatia is enoyable because the sea isn't too rough and there is a little wind: it's perfect for sailing. It happened to me to anchor at night in Croatia and to find my boat in the same place in the morning". Moreover, the presence of many islets, especially in the Elaphites archipelago, is a real advantage: "you will always find an islet that will protect you from the wind" Grégoire told me.

The weather is hot and dry from May to September with temperatures between 20°C and 27°C.

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Jean Lequime and Grégoire Billon for their testimonies and photos which perfectly illustrate this article. Many thanks also to Barbara Lippe and Alem from the company Navigare Yachting, for their time and advice.

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