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Zadar : What is your kind of boat?

Zadar - Our advice for your cruise



By Maelle Macri

In charge of cabin cruises at Filovent, but above all a Breton woman with a passion for the ocean and boats!

 

18 October 2021

Reading time: 6 minutes

 

 

IN A NUTSHELL

 

Unmissable destinations: the Telašćica park?, wilderness hiking;

Special features : translucent waters, scrubland;

The most beautiful anchorages: Sakarun beach North-West of Dugi Otok, and Muline anchorage, North of Ugljan.

 

 

Contents

 

  1. Practical information for your boat rental in Zadar
  2. What to do in Zadar?
  3. Where to sail from Zadar?
  4. The best anchorages from Zadar
  5. Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?
  6. What are the weather conditions?

 

Laurent told me: "I loved the coves, seeing the coast from the boat, it's really the most beautiful thing to do, you really have to try it, my children told me that it was one of the loveliest holidays they'd ever had!". Indeed, from Zadar, the very jagged Adriatic coastline reveals protected coves and bays, suitable for anchoring and quiet stops. South of Zadar, between the islands of Dugi Otok and Otok Zirje, lies the Kornati National Park, a natural wonder consisting of 140 islands. This labyrinth of clear waters will delight sailors and hikers.

 

Photo of Laurent's family and their Lagoon 52
Photo of Laurent's family and their Lagoon 52 (photo by Laurent)

 

1. Practical information for your boat rental in Zadar

 

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

 

The table below gives you an order of magnitude of the average prices of the boats. These prices can change according to the season, the availability, the model, and 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) €2,500 €2,200 €1,800
Mono-hull (3 cabins) €2,800 €2,500 €2,300
Catamaran (between 30 and 40 feet) €5,750 €4,250 €3,500
Catamaran (between 40 and 50 feet) €6,500 €5,000 €4,000

 

The port of Zadar

 

Zadar has two marinas, D-Marin Borik Marina and Marina Tankerkomerc, from where the majority of our rentals depart. Tankerkomerc marina certainly offers a wide choice of boats for rent, as well as a multitude of services (gas station, parking, grocery store, laundry, shower, toilet…). This marina is located in the city itself and is 13 kilometres from the international airport of Zadar, so you can easily reach it in about 20 minutes by taxi after your flight. You can also get to Croatia by car. The journey will take between 13 and 15 hours from Paris and between 10 and 12 hours from Lyon and Nice. The land route will allow you to take a paddle-board or a kitesurf with you and to visit the North of Italy and Slovenia, like Jérôme, who took the opportunity to visit two charming Italian cities: Venice and Bergamo. The entrance to the harbour is only visible when arriving by boat from the West or North-West. This marina is located in the heart of the city, so you'll be just a stone's throw from the lively centre and its treasures to visit.

 

 Caption: View of the port of Zadar by night (photo by Laurent)
View of the port of Zadar by night (photo by Laurent)

 

Our main partners on site

 

Zadar marina has 300 berths and 200 places on pontoons, so you will find a complete catalogue of mono-hulls and catamarans for rent departing from this base.
Here is the list of our main partners who provide boat rental departing from the port of Zadar:

  • Pitter is our main partner from this base, this rental company is specialised in Croatia. Pitter has 335 boats in Zadar, 80% of its fleet is comprised of mono-hulls, mostly Bavarias, and some Lagoons.
  • Kiriacoulis is a competitive rental company in terms of rental price. This rental company is competitive in terms of rental price, it allows you to start your rental on a Sunday and is flexible in terms of rental duration (the option to rent for 10 days, for example). Its fleet is comprised of 55 boats including 45 mono-hulls from various manufacturers, and a dozen catamarans.
  • Adriatic Charter has 106 mono-hulls departing from Zadar; Bavarias and Dufours.
  • Albatros Yachting is a Croatian charter company with a fleet of 36 mono-hulls from various manufacturers.

 

2. What to do in Zadar?

 

Before starting your cruise from Zadar, we recommend that you take the time to visit it. Marked by the bombings of the Second World War, the city of Zadar is nevertheless a destination with a rich cultural heritage. This 3,000+ year old port city combines modernity and history. During a walk through the old town you will discover the church of Saint Donat, the Roman Forum, and the cathedral of Saint Anastasia. Along Kalelarga, a lively central street, you can admire many archaeological sites such as fragments of Roman buildings, medieval ramparts and imposing gates. You can also admire more modern monuments such as the Monument to the Sun, or the Sea Organ on the waterfront. The waves of the sea will enable you to discover a great variety of sounds through tubes shaped like steps in a stone staircase. Complete your visit by lingering in the ancient port where you will find many restaurants and refreshment points before starting your cruise.

 

The Kornati Islands
The Kornati Islands (Adobe Stock photo)

 

3. Where to sail from Zadar?

 

The Kornati Archipelago

 

The Kornati Islands are the wildest islands in Croatia. Its islands form a paradise of crystal clear waters, deserted coves, and spectacular cliffs. In total, the archipelago has 147 deserted islands and islets, 89 of which are part of the National Park. Classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site, they extend over 300 square kilometres around Sibenik and Zadar. You won't find a town as such in the archipelago, only simple houses in the best protected coves, like in Vrulje, Kravjačica and Lavsa. The vegetation in the archipelago mainly consists of scattered scrubland. The olive trees represent about 80% of the cultivated land, followed by vineyards and fig trees. It is believed that the Kornati Islands were once covered with Mediterranean holm oak forests, but since open fires required a lot of wood, the forests were slowly destroyed. As for the fauna, besides the seagulls, which are the most numerous animals, the archipelago is also home to some lizards and ringed snakes, as well as 69 species of butterflies! As for the reserve's marine fauna and flora, although under reconstruction, they are among the richest in Croatia.

Telašćica Nature Park

Telašćica Nature Park is a bay located on the Southern part of the island of Dugi Otok. The topography of this park and its surrounding islands make them perfect sites for hiking : while anchored at Otok Žutska Aba, Jérôme and his family climbed to the top of the island and stayed there for a good hour admiring the scenery. They also anchored for a day in Telašćica bay, and hiked to Dugi Otok island, the largest natural shelter in the Adriatic Sea. "It's a really beautiful park, the water was very clear, on the hike we went along the cliffs, it was gorgeous!" he says. As for Etienne, he was accompanied along Dougi Otok by an exceptional number of dolphins that played with the boat!

 

Typical landscapes of the Kornati islands, images captured by Laurent with a drone (video by Laurent)

 

4. The best anchorages departing from Zadar

 

Anchorage at Muline, North of Ugljan

This anchorage is one of Jérôme's favorites: "the water there is clear, it reminded me of the Mediterranean, the landscape is beautiful, and we could hear crickets in the background. As soon as they arrived, the kids dove in!" The anchorage is an A, since it is very calm and protected from any wind. It is done with a buoy or an anchor.

 

Anchorage at Sakarun beach to the North-West of Dugi Otok

Jérôme and his family made the most of this anchorage to stop for a meal. There too the water is crystal clear, "it's like being in a swimming pool" he told me. Jérôme advises going early in the morning. Indeed, this anchorage is popular, and since it is a lagoon, the water is warmer than elsewhere: "27 instead of the usual 23 degrees, but it was more than worth it!"

 

Anchorage at Otok Veli Lagan, North of Dugi Otok

This anchorage is unique and will seduce lovers of snorkelling! Indeed, the point of going to Otok Veli Lagan is to be able to swim in the middle of the wreck of a boat. For Jérôme, it was "the nice surprise of the week", because this anchorage was not part of their itinerary. This anchorage is therefore perfect for a break and a quick dip!

 

Anchorage in Otok Žutska Aba

This anchorage is Jérôme's favorite. "This was our most beautiful night anchorage, between Otok Zut and Otok Žutska Aba islands. The anchorage was wild and once moored, we climbed to the highest point of the island. A 3-star anchorage!"

 

Sveti Nikola Anchorage

An anchorage in a beautiful bay recommended by Etienne. There are only a few buoys (13), and therefore, not too many people, the water is very clear. At the end of the bay on the left, you will find a small pier and a church.

 

Kornati anchorage
"The good life", Laurent told me, while talking about these anchorages (photo by Laurent)

 

5. Which itineraries to follow for your cruise?

 

This two-week itinerary with a total distance of 476 nautical miles was created by Laurent and will enable you to discover the Korna Islands, Dalmatia, and the Dubrovnik region.

  • Day 1: Zadar → Žirje (37 nautical miles)
  • Day 2: Žirje → Šibenik (16 nautical miles) → Šolta (40 nautical miles)
  • Day 3: Šolta → Vis (28 nautical miles)
  • Day 4: Vis → Hvar (17 nautical miles)
  • Day 5: Hvar → North Korčula (35 nautical miles)
  • Day 6: North Korcula → Dubrovnik (50 nautical miles)
  • Day 7: Dubrovnik → Mljet (25 nautical miles)
  • Day 8: Mljet → West Korcula (40 nautical miles)
  • Day 9: West Korcula → Bol (South Brač) (50 nautical miles)
  • Day 10: Bol (South Brač) → Trogir (38 nautical miles)
  • Day 11: Trogir → Split (16 nautical miles) → Primošten (35 nautical miles)
  • Day 12: Primošten → Murter (24 nautical miles)
  • Day 13: Murter → Zadar (25 nautical miles)

 

This one-week itinerary with a total distance of 164 nautical miles was created by Jérôme, and will enable you to discover the Kornati Archipelago in depth.

  • Day 1: Zadar → Muline then Dolinje (24 nautical miles)
  • Day 2: Dolinje → Sakarun (12 nautical miles)
  • Day 3: Sakarun → Veli Lagan then Soline (12 nautical miles)
  • Day 4: Soline → Telašćica Nature Park (32 nautical miles)
  • Day 5: Telašćica Nature Park → Lojena, then Lopatica (12 nautical miles)
  • Day 6: Lopatica → Otočić Žutska aba, then Vodenjak (30 nautical miles)
  • Day 7: Vodenjak → Zadar (24 nautical miles)

 

This week-long itinerary with a total distance of 107 nautical miles was recommended to us by Albatros Yachting, our partner on site.

  • Day 1: Zadar → Molat (19 nautical miles)
  • Day 2: Molat → Brbinj (13 nautical miles)
  • Day 3: Brbinj → Np telašćica (17 nautical miles)
  • Day 4: Np telašćica → Np Kornati (18 nautical miles)
  • Day 5: Np Kornati → Kakan (12 nautical miles)
  • Day 6: Kakan → Zadar (28 nautical miles)

 

6. What are the weather conditions?

 

During your cruise in Croatia, you may deal with different types of winds. "It's important to keep in mind that you must be able to protect yourself at all times," Etienne tells me. He adds, "The winds blow during the day in Croatia, at night the winds calm down as the temperature drops." Some are conducive to sailing, like the Mistral, others you will have to be wary of, like the Bura or the Sirocco, also called Jugo in Croatian. The most common wind in summer is the Mistral, a North-West thermal wind that rises in the early afternoon and drops off by the end of the day. It is created by the difference in temperature between the sea and the land. Also in summer, you will come up against the Jugo, a hot southern wind. This wind can bring rain and dark clouds. However, you will encounter the Bura in winter. This is a dry and cold wind from the North that can go up to 200 kilometres per hour, and that will most often give way to clear skies. For Etienne, winds are not only dangerous when sailing: "I stalled in a storm" he says. "You could also get into difficulty at anchor; if possible, don't hesitate to take a buoy." Etienne also adds that Velebit is subject to a very strong venturi effect with winds that can reach 200 kilometres per hour. He advises consulting the Croatian weather site meteo hr and in particular the section "specialist forecasts" in order to be aware of localised weather phenomena in certain areas.

 

the Kornati
The Kornati Islands (Adobe Stock photo)

 

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank Laurent, Jérôme and Etienne, all Filovent customers, for their testimonials and their photos which illustrate my article beautifully.

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