Plain Sailing

Yacht & Catamaran Charter in Zadar, Croatia

We can help you find the perfect yacht or catamaran to sail from Zadar!

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Sailing from Zadar

Zadar is a great place to set sail from. - it has terrific weather and sailing conditions, and it's the perfect starting point for exploring the Kornati islands - 89 completely unspoilt islands out in the Adriatic sea which are home to a vast range of stunning beaches, cute villages, delightful bays and teeming with wildlife.  You can also head up the coastline to get way, way off the beaten track and find secluded beaches just for you, or south to find the most heart-shaped island in the world!

Zadar itself is a city which has gained in international prominence in recent years and is fast developing into a major tourist destination in its own right - people flock here to see its Roman history and architecture, and a fun-loving atmosphere - and it's even better to see it all from the sea. We can help you find and book your ideal yacht or catamaran, with one of our trusted Charter Partners - just get in touch or search in the pink box with live prices and availability!
 

Must See if you're Sailing from Zadar

 SAILING RATING:  Beginner - With easy line-of-sight navigation, clear waters and light winds it's a great start point for sailors (and an easy cruising ground for experienced ones).  Peak season is July & August, but you can sail here from March to October.

 MUST-SEE:  Our full suggested itinerary is further down the page, but we'd highly recommend taking in Lover's Island, the most heart-shaped island on the planet, the idyllic ancient fishing village of Veli Iz, and the amazing beaches and beautiful panoramic views of the Kornati National Park.

 WHAT WE CAN OFFER:  We have a great range of yachts and catamarans available for charter from our trusted Charter Partners, all available bareboat or Skippered. We can also arrange a Hostess, Personal Chef and other crew.

 GETTING THERE:  Both marinas we use in Zadar are c. 15 minutes drive from Zadar airport. We can organise transfers for you - a 4 person taxi is c. €35-45.

 WHY BOOK WITH US?  We only work with the very best professional charter operators, who we have met, know, and trust to give you the same outstanding customer service as you'll get from PlainSailing.com.
 

 WHAT NEXT?  Use the pink box to search for yachts or catamarans with LIVE pricing & availability - if you have any other questions or requests, get in touch via Live Chat, the Contact Form, or by phone.

6-day Sailing Itinerary from Zadar

There’s so much to see and so many places to visit from Zadar, that one week just isn’t long enough to see and visit them all. Most places you go, you’ll find unspoilt beaches, bays, cliffs and islands, along with idyllic little fishing and farming villages, so you can’t go too far wrong, even if you just follow your nose and decide spontaneously where to go.

Zadar - 6 day sailing itinerary This itinerary is 6 days long - since checking-in and shopping take up most of your time on the first Saturday, so you likely won’t be able to do any meaningful sailing then, and likewise, you’ll be checking-out early the second Saturday (after arriving back at the marina on the Friday night) so won’t be able to sail at all that day.

This route takes in a lot of the nearby islands and clocks in at 116 nautical miles – which works out at just under 20 nM a day. As you’ll likely be going at a pace of 5 knots or above, that means the sailing should only take 4-5 hours a day, which leaves plenty of time to go at a leisurely pace, to explore your start or end destinations in depth, or to take your time and bob into bays, swim on some beaches, practice man-overboard drills, or just relax.

As we’ll be spending a night in the Kornati marine national park, it’s worth buying an entry pass in advance (since the ticket inspectors will sting you for an extra 50%, and they patrol the islands every night). The unwritten rule is that you need a pass for every day that you’re in the national park after 4pm, so if you’re following our itinerary, a one day pass should suffice.
 

 Day 1. Zadar to Ist – 22 or 27 nM Ist
Get the shopping back and stow it, check that everyone is on board, then pull the drawbridge on, and let’s go! Fire up the motor, and gently bob out to sea. If you’re starting in Zadar Marina, you’ll get a great view of Zadar old town rightaway, or, if you’re travelling from Sukosan, you’ll have to travel a few miles before you get to see the splendid view.

From Zadar, we’re heading in a north-westerly direction. You’ll pass lots of other charter yachts heading other directions, but we’re heading off the beaten track to a small farming village on the island of Ist. The prevailing wind is landward from the sea, so it should be a simple reach or broad reach to sail there.

Ist is an island of vines and olive groves, as well as sandy beaches, and it’s a quiet and tranquil place to spend the night, even though there are ferry connections to other islands. There’s a couple of bars and a church, but essentially this is a place to get away from it all and to enjoy life on the ocean waves.
 

 Day 2. Ist to Veli Iz – 22 nM Veli Iz
After a relaxing night at Ist, we’re heading onwards and downwards to Veli Iz, on the island of Iz. From Ist, head south to follow the west coast of the island of Molat, from where you should be able to see the lighthouse at the end of Veli Rat on Dugi Otok (which is notable for being the tallest lighthouse in the Adriatic, no less!). This area was also the scene of a great naval battle in the second world war (google the ‘Battle of Ist’ if you’re interested).

There are beaches on the south side of Molat, or you could pop into the town itself – which, oddly enough, was visited by King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson in 1939. But then we’re heading in a south-westerly direction, reaching against the prevailing wind as we follow the channels between the islands and to the east side of Iz.

Veli Iz is a small fishing village which also happens to have its own Roman fort and 14th century church. Founded by fishermen way back when, the village also has a number of decent seafood restaurants, and is famous for its decorative pottery (for which there is even a museum). Sadly, though there were 70 pottery companies on the island in bygone years, there is now only one left.
 

 Day 3. Veli Iz to Zut – 37 or 15 nM Zut
If you didn’t spot it, Veli Iz has a supermarket where you can go and stock up your provisions. If you’d prefer a bigger supermarket, there is an option to make a short detour to the town of Sali (on Dugi Otok) on your way down to Zut. Today is the smallest sailing day by distance, and Sali also has a gelateria, so if it’s hot, it’s almost certainly worth the stop.

You certainly need to stock up because Zut is out in the wilderness. Situated in a sheltered bay which has been used by sailors for centuries, the tourist board built a pontoon and walkway in the bay in recent years to make it easier for sailors to get to shore, and to increase the number of jobs on the island by 1200% - from 1 to 12 people.

When you moor up you’ll find a couple of small shops and bars or eateries (don’t rely on them to be open, just in case, but they’re good if they are), and not much else. It’s a very peaceful bay to spend the night in, and a very unspoilt island to explore.
 

 Day 4. Zut to Piskera – 16 nM Piskera
From Zut, we’re going into the Kornati marine national park and exploring the Kornati islands. This is a group of 89 islands with 537 species of plant, 750+ species of wildlife, and coral reefs, fish, dolphins and turtles below the water line. It was named a national park in 1980, and has been a haven for plants and wildlife ever since. As a result, a lot of it’s natural beauty is still unspoilt, and sailing can be a pleasure around here.

There are beaches and bays to explore, and you’re allowed to walk on the islands if you dare to brave the heat. The view from the top of the hills is certainly quite special, but it can take a bit of effort to get there.

From Zut, we’re heading west (likely beating or close-hauled) to pass over the top of Kornati island - the biggest island in the national park – and following down it’s western coast in a south-easterly direction, probably in a broad reach against the prevailing summer wind. Enjoy weaving your way around the islands, finding beaches, bays and even bars on the largely unspoilt islands. You need to head slightly west to ensure that you hit the west coast of Piskera, but it is fairly straight-forward to find the well-sheltered marina and to moor up for the night.

Piskera is similar to Zut in that it is a marina which was built primarily to make the Kornati islands easier for sailors to explore, so you won’t find a town here – though you will find a restaurant, an over-priced shop (but heck, it’s in the middle of nowhere, so it can’t be easy to stock it up!) and modern toilet facilities. It should be another tranquil night, although the bar here can get quite lively if there are enough sailors in the marina.
 

 Day 5. Piskera to Murter – 16 nM Murter
If you enjoyed dodging between the islands yesterday, then you’re in luck, as there’s more to be done today (or you can give them all a wide berth and just head outside them all). As well as looking out for dry land and interesting places, you should keep an eye out for dolphins and sea-turtles, as you’ll be going through an area they regularly frequent.

Starting in a south-easterly direction until we reach the southern tip of Kornati island, we then need to bear north-easterly to traverse across the channel to Murter. This should be a simple run with the prevailing wind, and you might be able to get away with a broad reach, but bonus marks are available if you manage to goose-wing your way back towards the mainland.

Murter is the largest town on the island of Murter (which isn’t really an island any more, since the arrival of a road connection to the mainland). Surrounded by brilliant beaches, it’s also popular with land-lubbing tourists, and there’s plenty of lively bars and restaurants along the waterfront, which will make a change of atmosphere from Piskera and Zut.

The best beaches are on the west coast, and you could anchor up here if you had time, or, if you fancy some exercise, you could walk to the top of the hill (where there is world war two military base) and enjoy watching the sun set over the Kornati islands.
 

 Day 6. Murter to Zadar – 25 or 20 nM Milna
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but today is our last day of sailing, and the final leg of our epic voyage. Zadar is north-west of Murter, so we’ll be reaching our way up the coastline. We’re 25 nautical miles from Zadar town, or 20 nautical miles if you’re heading back to marina Dalmacija in Sukosan, but there’s plenty of sailing to enjoy before then.

Working our way up the coast, we’ll sail past Biograd, which is one of the most popular charter bases in Europe, and the home to the biggest boat show in Croatia (check out our destination guide for Biograd if you want to find out more about it, but it’s not worth stopping there today as it will be busy with people returning their charter yachts).

Further up the channel is lovers island. This is the most perfect heart-shaped island in the world. It was only really ‘discovered’ after the invention of Google Earth, but it’s now a romantic destination in it’s own right, and hundreds of people come and propose here each year. It’s a romantic place to go, and it’s traditional to loop around the island (or make a heart shape on your plotter if you’re skilled enough) if you’re going past it, and throwing a euro into the waters around here is supposed to sort out your love life.

Follow the coast further north and you’ll arrive back at Sukosan (the biggest marina in Croatia) or Zadar marina. You should refuel your yacht or catamaran before returning the boat to roughly the same space you took her from on day one. Someone will come and inspect the boat, but you’ll still be sleeping on her tonight.

If you’ve not had chance to visit the old town of Zadar, then now is a good time to go and see the 3,000 year old UNESCO world heritage site. Most bars near both marina’s will be lively with happy sailors recounting their adventures to anyone who will listen tonight, and it’s the last night of the holiday for so many people that it shouldn’t be difficult to find a lively atmosphere.

Hopefully you’ve been impressed by the sun, sea, sailing and general tranquillity of the Croatian islands, hopefully your crew all got on well together (and maybe there was a holiday romance?), and hopefully you’ve had a brilliant, enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Have a safe trip home, and, when you start to miss the sea and the sunshine, remember to visit PlainSailing.com to start planning your next epic adventure!


Sailing Conditions

 WHAT ARE THE WINDS LIKE? 
Croatia Sailing - Wind ConditionsCroatia is one of the top sail-tourism destinations in Europe because it has both plenty to explore (with 1,700 islands!) and great weather (predominantly sunshine, with a decent amount of wind).

The winds are particularly reliable throughout the sailing season, when local sailors claim that they can set their watch by them: there are Mistral winds during the day which peak between 9am and mid-day, then take a break for a couple of hours, before returning (“after lunch”) for another few hours at 3pm until dusk, when the winds die down to a light breeze, if anything at all.

The daytime winds are usually Force 4 or Force 5, and their prevailing direction is landward, which is driven by the sun – as the land warms up and the air above it rises during the day, air is sucked from the sea. A little further out from the coast, and away from the Mistral winds, then the winds shoots down the Adriatic channel into the heart of the Mediterranean.

 HOW HOT WILL IT BE? 
Zadar - Average TemperatureZadar has reasonably cold winters, and reasonably warm summers, but temperatures are never too extreme. For the sailing season, from May to September each year, conditions are practically perfect – the temperature is somewhere in the region of 20 to 25 degrees (which means shorts, t-shirts and bare feet are the order of the day, and that you have every excuse required for grabbing an ice cream or a cool drink).

 HOW WARM IS THE SEA? 
Zadar - Sea Temperature The Adriatic is very well sheltered and enclosed, so temperatures never fall much below 15 degrees and the sea is swimmable all year round. Swimming in the sea gets pleasant, yet refreshing at about 20 degrees in late May, and at 25 degrees in late August, it will feel like you’re swimming in a swimming pool.


Marina Details

We use two marinas in Zadar, each offering excellent and modern facilities, and great levels of care for our guests.

If you're staying in the area before or after your charter, we can recommend these places that are close to Marina Zadar - Prestige design rooms or Guest House Dia or El mirador rooms - or these places next to Sukosan - Hotel Joso or White Residence.


Marina Zadar

Marina Zadar is based right in the centre of town, which means it’s quite an atmospheric place to spend the night, and there’s plenty of bars and restaurants. The marina also boasts its own casino!

Marina Zadar
 WEBSITE:  www.marinazadar.com
 GETTING THERE:  From the aiport, by far the easiest and quickest way to arrive at the marina is by taxi (or we can help arrange you a private transfer - check out our blog on Transfer Fees for the likely cost) – the journey is under 15 minutes, and there’s no real effort involved.  Public transport options are available if you have the time, and depending upon how heavy your bags are. You’ll need to get the bus from the airport to Zadar bus station, and it’s then about a 15 minute walk to the marina from the bus station.
 PROVISIONING:  The nearest decent-sized supermarket is the Konzum which is just across the bridge and in the old town, which should stock everything you’ll need. The address is Ul. Dalmatinskog Sabora 8, Zadar.
 FUELLING AT END:  There is a fuelling berth in the Marina - head there before you head back to your home berth (there might be a queue...)
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Marina Dalmacija, Sukosan

The recently built Marina Dalmacija is just 7km to the south of the historic old town (in the suburb of Sukosan), and, with space for 1,200 boats, is the biggest marina in Croatia. It has all the latest mod cons, including a swish beach bar and a waterfront restaurant with stunning decking over the sea.

Marina Dalmacija, Sukosan
 GETTING THERE:  From the airport, by far the easiest and quickest way to arrive at Sukosan marina is by taxi (or we can help arrange you a private transfer - check out our blog on Transfer Fees for the likely cost) – the journey is under 15 minutes, and there’s no real effort involved.  Public transport options are available if you have the time, and depending upon how heavy your bags are. You’ll need to get the bus from the airport to Zadar bus station, and then take the 928 bus down the coast (ask the bus driver to tell you when you arrive at Sukosan).
 PROVISIONING:  There is a small supermarket in the marina, but the nearest decent-sized supermarket is the Spar which is 400m away on the main road from the marina and which should stock everything you need before you set sail. The address is Jadranska Magistrala 160, Bibinje.
 FUELLING AT END:  There is a fuelling berth in the Marina - head there before you head back to your home berth (there might be a queue...)
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 WHAT NEXT?  Use the pink box to search for yachts or catamarans with LIVE pricing & availability - if you have any other questions or requests, get in touch via Live Chat, the Contact Form, or by phone.


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