25 February 2022
Map of sailing areas in Croatia (clickable map)
- Practical information for your boat rental from Pula
- What to do in Pula?
- Where to sail from Pula?
- Which activities should I choose during my cruise in Croatia?
- The most beautiful anchorages departing from Pula
- Which itinerary to follow for your cruise?
- What are the weather conditions?
"Everything is beautiful in Croatia. The sun, the warm and transparent sea, the beauty of the islands… It's perfect for a family holiday! ". This is the account of Sébastien, who left Pula to sail with his family on a Dufour 50. He added, "You can anchor in wild places, it's great! There's so much to see in Istria and in Kvarner Bay, I recommend renting for two weeks". If you're not familiar with Northern Croatia, you will be pleasantly surprised by the stunning scenery and the beauty of the islands ofIstria, and the Gulf of Kvarner.
Located in Southern Istria, Pula is by far the largest city in this region. Being among the most popular holiday destinations, treat yourself to boat rental in Croatia. Besides being a charming coastal town, Pula is a real open-air museum. So, renting a boat in Pula is a unique opportunity to soak up the beauty of Istria, a picturesque region in Northern Croatia. Along the coast, you will find many anchorages, perfect for enjoying lazing around and scuba diving.
1. Practical information for your boat rental from Pula
Renting a boat in Pula: with or without a skipper?
|With a skipper||Without a skipper|
Average rates depending on the season and the size of the boat
This table shows the average prices of boat rentals departing from Pula for a week. These prices are a rough estimate and may vary depending on the season, models, and age of the boat.
|Type of boat||High Season|
July and August
May, June and September
April and October
|Mono-hull (2 cabins)||€2,400||€1,500||€1,000|
|Mono-hull (3 cabins)||€3,400||€2,200||€1,500|
|Mono-hull (4 cabins)||€4,700||€3,300||€2,000|
|Catamaran (between 35 and 40 feet)||€6,300||€3,700||€2,000|
|Catamaran (between 40 and 45 feet)||€8,000||€4,500||€2,500|
|Catamaran (between 45 and 50 feet)||€11,500||€6,500||€4,000|
The port of Pula
Start your cruise inIstria and Kvarner Bay from one of the three marinas surrounding the city of Pula: ACI Marina Pula, ACI Marina Veruda and ACI Marina Pomer. The ACI Marina (Adriatic Croatia International club) are semi-private organisations offering services with rather high rates, but these are qualitative, and their marinas are well-equipped, clean and modern. Once you arrive at the airport in Pula, no need to worry; the drive to your marina won't exceed 20 minutes!
ACI Marina Pula can accommodate 200 boats and you can benefit from various services and facilities : electricity, water, showers, toilets, fuel and Wi-Fi. This marina has the advantage of being close to the centre of Pula, which is convenient for visiting the old town of Pula. From the quay, you can see the beautiful Roman amphitheatre of Pula. A little further south, the ACI Marina Veruda is bigger and also has a large number of services. It can accommodate up to 630 boats. Finally, the ACI Marina Pomer is the third one, even further south of Pula, but only 15 minutes by car from the airport. Pomer marina also provides many services and amenities and can accommodate up to 294 boats.
Our main partners on site
- Dream Yacht Charter offers nearly 1,000 boats in over 60 destinations. The company was founded in the Seychelles in 2000, and its mission is to help its clients discover the freedom of sailing on the water! You can rent your boat with Dream Yacht Charter from ACI Marina Pula or Pomer. 338 Filovent customers have sailed with Dream Yacht Charter and among them, those who sailed from Pula have validated the quality of DYC's service by giving it an average satisfaction score of 17.5/20.
- Pitter Yachting is an Austrian boat rental company founded in 1989. This partner is present on 15 bases in Croatia, including Pula. Their willingness to offer quality boats to boaters is affirmed by Olivier, a Filovent customer: "I did a charter from the ACI Marina Pomer for a Lagoon 40 with Pitter: the boat was in perfect condition and the staff were really friendly." 37 Filovent customers have cruised with Pitter Yachting, and the average satisfaction rating given by Filovent clients cruising from Pula is 17/20.
- Ultra Sailing started boat rental in Split in 1995 and combines a team of sailing enthusiasts to offer you a quality and tailor-made service. Their fleet consists of 60 models of mono-hulls (Beneteau) and catamarans (Fountaine Pajot) and they provide yacht rental in the marinas of Split, Trogir, Dubrovnik and Pula. Filovent's customers who opted for yacht charter in Pula with Ultra Sailing gave them an average satisfaction score of 18/20.
2. What to do in Pula?
What to visit in Pula?
Before boarding your boat, discover one of the most beautiful Roman amphitheatres still accessible, and remarkably well-preserved, in the heart of the city. Having been able to accommodate more than 25,000 spectators, the place has now been converted into an open-air concert hall. Other must-see monuments such as the Temple of Augustus and theArch of the Sergii testify to the historical importance of Pula. Pula Tourist Office also recommends visiting other cultural and heritage sites such as: Pula Castle and the underground tunnels of Zerostrasse. For museum lovers, visit the Museum of Olive Oil or the Museum of Contemporary Art of Istria.
What are the most beautiful beaches?
While Pula shines through its historical treasures, it also stands out for its majestic pebble beaches, which reflect the majority of Croatia's beaches. An employee of the Pula Tourist Office told me the following: "In Pula you can find the beach that best suits your needs! You've come to the right place if you're looking for an easy entry or if you're looking for a beach with jumping sites." The latter are suitable for various water sports and pleasantswimming in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic. The beach ofAmbrela, labelled Blue Flag and located at the entrance of the seaside resort of Verudela, is perfect for families to spend a relaxing time in the shade. Banjole beach is also family-friendly. Bordered by pine woods, it's the ideal solution to enjoy the beach while making sure your children stay in the shade.
Lovers of beautiful views will enjoy Fazana beach and its many footbridges that lead to the sea. It offers a magnificent view of the Brijuni Islands, an unspoilt archipelago that is located a few kilometres from the coast.
3. Where to sail from Pula?
Along the West coast of Istria
During your cruise from Pula, you should definitely stop in the archipelago of Brijuni. Grouping 14 islands and islets, this must-see place was recognised in 1983 as a National Park. It is located along the West Istrian coast, just 4 miles from the ACI Marina in Pula. This small paradise for boaters is known for the original outline of its islands, with very rounded shapes. Upon arrival at the outskirts of the archipelago, you can moor at the port of Veli Brijun , or choose one of the multiple bays with pebble beaches on the island of Mali Brijun.
"We went to Brijuni National Park once. I recommend this place! It's very enjoyable. There are lots of animals and there's one place where you can see dinosaur footprints." explained Olivier, a Filovent customer who went sailing in this area in January, on-board a Lagoon 40. Brijuni archipelago certainly has extremely rich fauna and flora. On the land, you will encounter rabbits, deer, bighorn sheep and birds, but also exotic animals in Brijuni Safari Park. The underwater world is also very populated. So put on your masks and snorkels, and set off to encounter the multitude of fish, dolphins and turtles which surround the islands. We suggest that you don't miss visiting the island of Veliki Brijun, where more than 200 dinosaur footprints have been found, it's amazing! "On the Brijuni Islands, there is also the former residence of Tito (the former Yugoslav president) and his Cadillac on display, which is quite funny." Olivier added.
As you continue up the West coast of Istria, anchor at theACI Marina in Rovinj. The marina is very upscale and gives you a splendid view of the old town. It's a pleasant anchorage to spend the night and you'll be protected in case of strong west winds. "In Rovinj, there's a fantastic hotel that completely integrates into the landscape: the Grand Park Hotel. It's a luxury hotel with lots of restaurants and even a gourmet restaurant." Olivier told me, when he described his cruise in the Adriatic Sea. Also called "Little Venice", the town of Rovinj is known for the Venetian influence of its architecture, which you can guess during your visit to the historical centre.
Sailing between the islands of the Gulf of Kvarner
The Gulf of Kvarner has four large islands - Krk, Rab, Cres, and Lošinj. Heading South-East, you will reach the island of Cres, easily recognisable by its huge cliffs. Feel free to drop anchor there and go for a dip in the largest lake in all of Croatia, Vransko Jezero. On the West coast of the island go ashore and let yourself be charmed by the small stone village of Lubenice. Perched on a 378-metre high rock, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of Istria. While you're in the area, I highly recommend you to go and anchor at the beach of Plava Grota and visit the famous Blue Cave! To enjoy good light inside the cave, I suggest you go there in the late afternoon, when the sun illuminates the back chamber of the cave.
Theisland of Lošinj, connected to Cres by a bridge, is located further South and is also worth a visit. Sail to Marina Mali Lošinj, where you'll enjoy the harbour's quiet atmosphere. Not far from there is the Underwater Archaeological Museum of Lošinj, in Čikat Bay. Accompanied by a diving instructor, you'll discover underwater relics of the Second World War.
Lošinj Underwater Archaeological Museum in Čikat Bay (Video by Daniel Pavlovic)
If your itinerary allows, Davor, base manager of our partner Dream Yacht Charter in Pula, suggests you sail to the island of Silba, the Northernmost of the Dalmatian islands. He invites you to climb to the top of Toreta Tower to enjoy a panoramic view of Northern Dalmatia.
Continue your cruise to the island of Krk, once called the "golden island" because of its ideal climate. Wander around the capital of Krk, which has kept its authenticity and history, then visit its medieval heritage, as Olivier did: "The old town of Krk is very nice and there are lots of places to visit. There were three bell towers, like in Italy! The town is cute and pleasant, as there are pretty views and nice walks to take." Enjoy the most beautiful beaches on the island in Baška : stroll with your partner on the romantic beach of Vela Luka, and enjoy the translucent waters of the large beach of Vela Plaža. Finally, don't leave the island without visiting the Biserujka Caves. This unmissable step invites you to explore different underground rooms composed of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns of calcite.
Before ending your cruise, you will have to stop at theisland of Rab, just South of Krk. A true cultural jewel, the smallest island in the Kvarner archipelago has even seduced the British royal family. Enjoy a stroll through the old stone walled city in the image of Croatia, where every street corner provides something new to discover. On the island of Rab, treat yourself to the famous cake Rapska Torta ("gâteau de Rab" in French). Also, if you're there between 25 and 27 July, you can enjoy the Fair of Rab, a historic meeting of the locals in honour of King Ljudevit Veliki, who liberated the city from the Venetians. Finally, you will be able to bask in the sun on one of the few sandy beaches found in Croatia such as Sahara beach, Paradise beach, or Pudarica beach, with Santos Beach Club.
4. Which activities should I choose during my cruise in Croatia?
For lovers of surfing and fans of windsurfing, they will enjoy the beaches of the municipality of Premantura, located on a peninsula South of Pula. Renowned for its rocky beaches and picturesque bays, it's the ideal spot to practise water sports. Swimming in crystal clear waters, kayaking, windsurfing, and volleyball will be on the agenda at Cape Kamejak, located in Southern Istria. Although admission is charged in order to maintain good upkeep, this place is a true preserved natural paradise. Thanks to the many trails and bike paths, you can easily walk around this reserve to enjoy the beautiful scenery it has to offer.
Festival and cultural events
Party lovers, we haven't forgotten you! You will find something to love at Valkana beach, which hosts many cultural events such as the Valkane Summer Beach Festival, which brings together all lovers of electronic music.
Hiking and cycling
Departing from Kamenjak beach, you can, for example, enjoy a long hike or bike ride through the heart of its park which accommodates particularly diverse fauna and flora. Budding botanists will enjoy immortalising the medicinal, aromatic and endemic plants that populate the peninsula.
Discover Croatian cuisine
Going on a cruise also means discovering the local culture of a country, and in particular, its culinary specialties. In Pula, you will find many typical Croatian and Istrian dishes. It's a Mediterranean cuisine with somewhat Italian influences. Maneštra is one of the main traditional dishes, it's a vegetable stew made of corn, very popular in this region. Often served as a starter, it can become a main dish when meat is added.
Fish and seafood are very present in the gastronomic culture of this region, such as brudet or buzara, again, in the form of stew. Don't leave Pula without tasting the culinary pride of the region, Istarstki tartufi truffles, which can be found in many dishes. On the sweet side, the desserts of the region are mainly based on fried dough.
5. The most beautiful anchorages departing from Pula
"There's a fjord below Vrsar where we went by boat and it's very enjoyable. There's a place where there's a nice cave and a bar that must be pretty lively in summer, with music and a good atmosphere.". These are the words of Olivier when he told me about his cruise in Istria.
Just below the town of Vsar to the North of Pula is Limski Canal. Sail along the 11 kilometres of canal passing by Romuald cave, a cave in which some of the most ancient remains of the Istrians were discovered. As Olivier noticed, at the beginning of the path you'll come across the Pirate Bar, half built in a cave. If you continue until the end of the canal, you can try oysters raised in the canal at Tony's Oyster Shack!
"You have to visit Susak, it's lovely! It's very different from the other rocky and mountainous islands found in Croatia. It's a kind of completely atypical sandbar, and there's a really nice little village." These are the words of Sébastien, a Filovent customer, when he told me about his best memories of his cruise in the Kvarner Gulf.
On the island of Susak, instead of large mountains, you'll find gentle hills. It's certainly "flatter" than the other islands in the sailing area. You can moor at Susak Marina and enjoy the sandy beach right opposite. After looking at the many reviews of this anchorage, I highly recommend you go and immortalise this moment of your cruise by climbing up the hill to the restaurant Konoba "Barbara", to enjoy a good meal while admiring the view of the islands of the Adriatic Sea.
Maracol Bay (Unije)
"Unije is a really beautiful island, it's quite wild and not very well-known because even in August, there weren't many people. It's a little gem!" Sébastien, a Filovent customer, told me.
The island of Unije is the nearest island to Pula in the South-East direction. Maracol anchorage was recommended to me by Davor, Dream Yacht Charter's base manager at ACI Marina Pomer. The bay is located on the south side of the island and is known for the dolphins that come to visit boaters. It's also an ideal place for snorkelling!
Uvala Drenova (Rab)
On the island of Rab, do as Olivier did and anchor at Uvala Drenova, in the South of the island. "Uvala" means cove in Croatian, and you won't be disappointed by Drenova cove with its fine sandy beach secluded inside its high cliffs!
Krivika Bay and Balvanida Bay (Mali Lošinj)
The last anchorages suggested by our partner Dream Yacht Charter are Krivika and Balvanida bays, in the South of the island of Lošinj. Both bays are well-protected from the winds, you can stay there for the night. They are generally appreciated for their sandy bottoms and their turquoise and translucent waters. There are not many buoys in the two bays, so we advise you to arrive early to find a place.
6. Which itinerary to follow for your cruise?
One-week itinerary in Kvarner Bay from ACI Marina Pula-Pomer
The itinerary I have prepared for you is inspired by an itinerary proposed by Dream Yacht Charter, and by routes taken by Filovent customers. This one invites you to discover the islands of Cres and Lošinj, by way of the islets surrounding them. With a total of 113 nautical miles covered in 6 days, this cruise looks to be quite calm. The average sailing time per day is about 4 hours, which will give you time to go ashore to visit Croatian villages and places of interest!
Total distance travelled: 113 miles
- Day 1: ACI Marina Pomer → Uvala Slanci, Otok Zeča → Maracôl bay, Unije (26 miles - 5 hours)
- Day 2: Maracôl bay, Unije → Uvala Bok, Susak → Mali Lošinj (14 miles - 3 hours)
- Day 3: Mali Lošinj → Uvala Krivica, Lošinj → Baldarin Pogana (17 miles - 4 hours)
- Day 4: Baldarin Pogana → Blue Cave - Plava Grota → Valun (28 miles - 6 hours)
- Day 5: Day 5: Valun → ACI Marina Cres (4 miles - 1 hour)
- Day 6: ACI Marina Cres → ACI Marina Pomer (24 miles - 5 hours)
DAY 1: ACI Marina Pomer → Uvala Slanci, Otok Zeča → Maracôl bay, Unije (26 miles - 5h)
Start your cruise towards the bay of Slanci on the small island ofOtok Zeča. This first anchorage in the heart of nature invites you to dive into a crystal clear sea with sandy bottoms, and observe the many fish! Then leave for the island ofUnije and anchor at Maracôl bay. The bay is known for its calm and the dolphins that come to visit it, you'll be well-sheltered. For the first evening, don't hesitate to take the loveley path to reach the village of Unije! You can enjoy dinner with a splendid view of the sunset at the Konoba Kod Joze restaurant (I encourage you to reserve in advance to avoid the wait).
DAY 2: Maracôl bay, Unije → Uvala Bok, Susak → Mali Lošinj (14 miles - 3 hours)
For the second day, I recommend anchoring for the day at Uvala Bok on the island of Susak, and enjoy the beach and a swim in the clear waters. You can also choose to go to Susak harbour right next door to have lunch on land and enjoy the family-friendly sandy beach. For the night, head to the Mali Lo Marinašinj (services: electricity, water, and fuel), where you can enjoy the lively village with a wide choice in terms of shops, bars, and restaurants. For those who love fish, I suggest you take advantage of the Fish Market open on the port from 7: 00 am to 12: 00 pm. You can buy freshly-caught fish in the area!
DAY 3:Mali Lošinj→ Uvala Krivica, Lošinj → Baldarin Pogana, Cres (17 miles - 4h)
Head to the sheltered bay of Krivica for the morning and enjoy a swim in this quiet place in unspoiled nature. Then head up to the island of Cres and enjoy the sheltered anchorage of Baldarin Pogana for the night. You can anchor at the buoy in the bay, or at Pogana Marina (services: electricity and water). The anchorage offers a superb view of the sunset. I suggest Pogana Restaurant for its value for money and the service appreciated by boaters!
DAY 4: Baldarin Pogana → Blue Cave - Plava Grota → Valun (28 miles - 6 hours)
Set sail for the Plava Grota where I invite you to visit the fabulous Blue Cave. You can access it by paddle-board or by swimming. Go in the late afternoon to enjoy the spectacular reflections of the sun's rays inside the cave. Then pass the tip of the island to anchor at the small picturesque village of Valun for the night.
DAY 5: Valun → ACI Marina Cres (4 miles - 1 hour)
In the early morning discover Valun, then take a taxi to Lubenice (5 minutes drive). This stone village is located high on the island of Cres and offers a breathtaking view of the sea. For the last night, meet at theACI Marina de Cres, which is perfectly equipped (electricity, water, showers, toilets, fuel). In 10 minutes on foot, you can reach the city centre and walk around. For history and culture buffs, head to the Museum of Cres, located in the Arsan Gothic-Renaissance Palace. For the evening, enjoy the bars and restaurants along the lively harbour!
Day 6: ACI Marina Cres → ACI Marina Pomer (24 miles - 5 hours)
The last day of sailing is devoted to crossing the Gulf of Kvarner towards Pomer Marina. Leave in the late morning to reach Pomer in the afternoon and spend a last night at the marina before returning your boat. You will be able to refuel at Medulin Marina petrol station just before arriving in Pomer.
7. What are the weather conditions?
Pula is the ideal place for your next holiday on-board your charter boat. The climate is temperate all year round and the Adriatic Sea provides optimum bathing conditions. Sailing is quite simple with fairly little wind. It rarely exceeds 12 knots.
"I've always sailed in the Atlantic so this is a bit of a change! Generally speaking, the sailing conditions were quite calm. We had mostly North-West winds, relatively constant" Sébastien, a Filovent customer, explained to me. The prevailing winds are indeed the onshore breeze blowing in the afternoon, or the thermal breeze from the North-West. You may also encounter the Jugo or the Sirocco , which are quite warm winds, coming from the South. Finally, beware of the Bora, a North wind that sometimes blows on the Adriatic Sea. It can be compared to the Mistral in the South of France but it never blows for too long. Lastly, between May and September, you will enjoy a warm and dry climate. The air temperature varies between 20°C and 27°C, and you'll be able to cool off in water generally above 20°C.
I would like to thank Olivier and Sébastien, Filovent customers who took the time to speak for my article, as well as Davor from Dream Yacht Charter, and Pula Tourist Office, for their advice and their photos!
Good to know
|Number of available boats||4,233|
|Services types||Skipper, Hostess, Sailor, Chef, Steward / Chef, Sailor / Chef, Engineer, Mechanic, Masseuse|
|Average price per week||6,060€|
|Minimum price per week||470€|
|Maximum price per week||695,000€|