18 October 2021
Reading time: 6 minutes
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.
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
May, June and September
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|
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.
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:
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 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 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)
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.
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!"
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!
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!"
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.
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.
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.
This week-long itinerary with a total distance of 107 nautical miles was recommended to us by Albatros Yachting, our partner on site.
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.
I would like to thank Laurent, Jérôme and Etienne, all Filovent customers, for their testimonials and their photos which illustrate my article beautifully.