Best place to start the South Adriatic sailing adventure is from Dubrovnik town, known as “Adriatic Pearl”. Dubrovnik location is on the south of Dalmatia and Adriatic coastline with a population of around 40 000 people.
Traces of the rich history are visible in every single stone and wall of the old town. The old town is on the list of UNESCO world heritage since 1979. 1940 meters of unique medieval walls surround the old town. The city walls in their original form preserve and open to visitors as the cities flagship attraction.
The extraordinary geographic position enabled the great development of the city in the past. It was a major maritime and mercantile port between the west and east on the Adriatic. By the beginning of the 15th century, it became the independent Dubrovnik Republic. The Dubrovnik merchant navy matched world levels with its quality fleet of 180 to 200 ships. The merchant fleet sailed throughout the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and even across the ocean.
The rich historical monuments include the Old City with Stradun, Rectors Palace, St Blaise’s Church, Sponza Palace, Orlando’s Column, attractive historic churches, cathedrals and city streets.
The city is a destination of culture, many festivals, prestigious art happenings, major open-air events, excellent artists and athletes, and architectural treasures.
Thanks to the nearness of the Dubrovnik airport which has great international connectivity it is easily accessible.
To sail out and charter a yacht or catamaran is possible from ACI marina Dubrovnik or Marina Slano which is 35 km north from Dubrovnik. Popular are one-way sailing routes from Dubrovnik to Split or Split – Dubrovnik. Please check here one-way sailing route from Split to Dubrovnik.
No matter how many times you visit Dubrovnik, each time it will leave you breathless.
So are you ready for more information about the sailing route from Dubrovnik?
Sailing from Dubrovnik continues to a small group of Elaphiti islands. The Elaphites is a small archipelago comprising several islands stretching NW of Dubrovnik. They have a total land area of around 30 km2 and a population of 850 people. Only three islands of this group are inhabited: Šipan, Lopud and Koločep.
The closest island to Dubrovnik is Koločep island, just 2 NM away. It’s surface area is 2.35 km2 and has a population of around 160 people. Koločep is the smallest island in the Elaphite Archipelago. There are two settlements on the island, Gornje Čelo, and Donje Čelo. These settlements are situated in the largest bays and connected by a 3km long swerving promenade.
The East and West parts of the island are covered in a thick pine tree forest which descends all the way to the surface of the sea. Sailing around Koločep you can explore many hidden coves and the Blue Cave inside which you can swim. Sports and recreation lovers can enjoy the cycling and jogging trails which follow the coastline, and scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, beach volleyball and badminton.
Lopud island with surface of 4.5 km2 is the 2nd island by size in Elaphiti group. The main settlement on the island is a port of Lopud. The island had two monasteries, 30 churches, and several noble palaces.
The island is famous for its sandy beaches, the most popular is in the bay of Šunj.
Šipan island is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands, 11 NM NW of Dubrovnik. Island has a surface area of 16.22 km² and a population of around 400 people.
It is separated from the mainland by the Koločep Channel, and its neighbors are islands Jakljan, Lopud, Olipa and Mljet.
On the islands are two bigger settlements, Suđurađ and Šipanska Luka ( port). These two settlements are connected by road, which goes through the fertile Šipan field. On the slopes of Šipan field there are many summer houses, and in the middle centuries-old renaissance, baroque churches. The island is full of beautiful beaches. Clean sea, brilliant food, especially the seafood specialties attract visitors are in search for quite and relaxing vacation. Suđurađ is a great restaurant Bowa where you can taste excellent Mediterranean gourmet specialties.
Šipanka Luka is the safest harbor on Elaphiti islands, except in stormy and tramontane conditions. 40 m long city pier provides 10 berths with moorings and water. With an extra charge, you can get electricity from private houses. City promenade offers as well 10 mooring berths with water and electricity. Anchoring is allowed in the entire bay, but not recommended in unstable weather. It is important to leave enough maneuvering space for the passenger ship which comes in the evening hours and at night on the inner side of the city pier.
On 15 NM sailing west from Dubrovnik lies one of the most beautiful and forested Adriatic islands – Mljet island. It covers the surface of 98.01 km² and has a population of around 1 100 people.
Untouched nature, the island’s mysticism, olive groves, vineyards, and rich forests are ideal places to research the rich flora and fauna. For all wanderers in search of a peaceful enjoy in the pristine beauty of the natural surroundings Mljet island should be on the bucket list.
National Park Mljet makes up most of the island, and there are several villages, two saltwater lakes – Veliko and Malo jezero, and a Benedictine monastery on the island of St. Mary.
One wonder of Mljet is St. Mary’s monastery on a small islet in the Veliko jezero (Big Lake). An island within an island, the monastery is a breath-taking piece of 12th-century architecture that has been guarded by the Benedictine order for nearly a thousand years. You can easily get to St Mary’s island by taking one boat leaving once an hour in summer, from Pristanište, Mali Most or from Soline. Alternately, you can rent a sea kayak or small rowing boat and easily paddle there in about 40 minutes.
Villages which are within the National Park are protected. The most notable of them is Govedari, a small settlement that gets its name from the word “govedo”, meaning cattle. Govedari is uninhabited and completely restored visitors can admire to its previous glory.
Saplunara is the most famous and beautiful bay with sandy beach on the SE side of the island. On the same side of the island is a beautiful Lumini bay. Both bays are great for anchoring and swimming. There are two or three restaurants with mooring buoys. If you want to stay overnight, pay attention to prognosis, as if it turns to the south winds (jugo), you might not get out of the bay in the morning.
The most protected place is Okuklje bay, and she protects from all winds. It is perfect anchorage with plenty of moorings in front of the restaurants.
Sobra is a ferry port with the gas station. Ideal stop if you need to pick up someone on Mljet or refill fuel and water.
Pomena and Polače are a part of the National Park Mljet. From there you can walk along the walking trails to Veliko and Malo jezero. In Pomena are classic commercial berths with water and electricity. Several restaurants provide their own moorings. Cove Polače is an excellent anchorage and big, so even in high season, you will find a spot.
With surface of 270 km2 Krčula island is the 6th largest island in Croatia. The population of the island is 16000 and is the 2nd most populated island. Mediterranean flora and pine forests completely cover the island which is why the Greek colonizers called it “Korkyra Melaina”. The coastline of the entire island hides many gulfs and coves. Island is a perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful holiday in the perfect ambiance of pristine nature and crystal clear sea.
The main center of the island of Korčula is its eponymous city on the NE side of the island. Korčula town consists of an old part on a small peninsula, a baroque suburb located under old walls and new parts spread across the coast. It has over 3000 inhabitants and considers as one of the best preserved Mediterranean towns. The biggest places on the island are the town of Korcula, Vela Luka and Blato.
Korčula was formerly famous for its black pines as Black Korčula and is today widely known for its wines and olive oils. In the village, Čara stands a 50 m high protected nature monument – one of the oldest cypresses in Europe. This part of the island is famous for its fertile valley full of vineyards where Korčula produces the famous white wine Pošip.
Medieval Korčula town streets form the shape of a fish skeleton and lie on the pole of the old town, which surrounds the eight preserved towers.
The city’s greatest attraction is the house belonging to the Polo family in which, according to legend, was born in 1254. Marko Polo – a Venetian writer, trader, and researcher. However, although historians are in agreement with the fact he was born in the Republic of Venice, the exact place of his birth remains the subject of speculation. In the Marco Polo Museum, you can see the exhibition with the details of his many trips.
Right next to Korčula historic center lies ACI Marina Korčula.
The north coast is relatively low and easily accessible, with several ports such as Korčula, Banja, Račišće, Vrbovica, Babina and Prigradica. On the south, steep but indented coast, there are many anchorages: Zavalatica, Rasohatica, Orlanduša, Pavja Luka, Pupnatska Luka, Prižba, Gršćica and Brna.
The north-eastern side of Korčula will delight you with its diversity and 19 islets, of which the largest are Vrnik and Badija. This archipelago is wonderful and ideal for daily swimming and anchoring. For those with children the ideal choice is a short daily anchoring near the sandy beach 200 m east of Lumbarda in Tatinja bay. In a small, well-protected bay, on 200 m from Lumbarda center is a small marina with electricity, water and showers.
Most famous anchorage on the island is Pupnatska luka bay on the southern side of the island. Beside Pupnatska luka, on the southern side are bays who protects from N winds, Zavalatica, Prižba i Grščica.
The largest and best protected bay is Vela Luka, on the west side of the island. Location of the bay Picena is in the great port of Vela Luka. In front of it is the little island of Ošjak. The bay is shallow, so it is suitable for children and people who can’t swim.
In the 60s of the last century, the development of modern island tourism began, with a focus on health tourism. Cave Kale in Vela Luka is the finding of a unique medical mud on the Adriatic, and at the bottom of the cove is the source of radioactive water Kalac. It has been shown that this mud helps with various rheumatic diseases, various spinal deformities, skin diseases, but also with female infertility problems.
Korčula is an island of sword dances which are performed all summer long to the music of drums and bagpipes. The most spectacular of them all is Moreška. In the summer’s peak, when Korčula streets turn into a dance floor, is the masqueraded Half New Year’s Eve celebration on June 30.
The last island on our sailing from Dubrovnik route is the most remote inhabited Croatian island. And that would be island of Lastovo, with the surface of 46,87 km². The population of the island is around 800 people. It is the youngest Croatian Nature Park.
Lastovo is called the imperial Island, the island of dreamlike beauty, preserved landscape and a unique Carnival tradition.
The safest anchorage bays are Skrivena Luka on the south side, Velo Lago on the west and Zaklopatica on the north of the island. If you want to dive in the exotic paradise of sandy beaches, sail to the islets of Kopište and Saplun. Do not miss the isles of the Lastovo archipelago called Lastovnjaci, islands Mrčar and Sušac.
Because of its beautiful bays, pristine shores, and lush vegetation, it is an ideal destination for yachtsmen. Sail around the island and visit the lighthouse on the islet of Glavato. Or the lighthouse Sušac on the island of the same name.
Diving is possible only with the diving crew of the allowed diving centers on Lastovo – “Ankora” and “Diving paradise”.
Many cultural sights and attractions are testifying to the rich history of Lastovo island. One of the most interesting are the chimneys.
On the island dominate specific family houses dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Each house carries a trademark, a richly embellished “fumar” (chimney). Even since Dubrovnik Republic times, people from Lastovo competed, whose “fumar” would be better, bigger, different.
On the island of Lastovo, the island of Emperor, for centuries, the kings and the emperors enjoyed olive oil and aromas of medical herbs. With Lastvo we finish our sailing tour which started in Dubrovnik.