TRIP 3 – INTO THE NORTH
SIBENIK – KORNATI NATIONAL PARK
Island Hopping and Blissful Relaxation in Northern Croatia – What Could Be Finer?
With its turquoise waters, myriad islands to explore, and beautiful bays and beaches, Croatia truly is the Eldorado for yachting enthusiasts everywhere. Here at Splendid Yachting, we’ve been committed to providing unforgettable Adriatic holidays with peerless service since 2014.
DAY 1. ŽIRJE TRATINSKA ISLAND
Once you’ve taken over your charter yacht, your vacation begins by heading out to sea through the beautiful Šibenik archipelago, on course towards the island of Žirje. You’ll have the chance to test the turquoise waters and take a dip in Velika Stupica bay, where you can swim to your heart’s content in truly breathtaking surroundings.
It’s only a few nautical miles north to the fjord-like Tratinska bay, and those who are keen on diving and snorkelling will be able to take full advantage of the pristine conditions – you’ll be able to forage for mussels, and may even spot an octopus or two while you explore. Dinner can be enjoyed either on board, or at the wonderful Konoba Tratinska, where you’ll benefit from awe-inspiring views of the bay and – of course – your yacht. With stunning cuisine made according to the principles of fine Croatian cooking, it’s the perfect way to end your first day.
DAY 2. KORNATI NATIONAL PARK | LEVRNAKA
After a blissful night’s sleep, you’ll sail to the tip of the island on the other side of Žirje in a dinghy, and enjoy your morning coffee in Muna, the island’s capital. Here, you’ll be able to pick up fresh bread, fruit, and vegetables for the next morning. You’ll then continue north to Kornati National Park, taking a leisurely trip as you meander between the tiny islands, strung together like verdant pearls. Once you’ve reached the Kornati Islands, set your coordinates westward, and cross the strait out to sea towards the island of Piškera.
From there, you’ll sail north along the imposing rocky cliffs, setting a course to the next island, Levrnaka.
On the north side of this island, you will uncover a flawless bay where you can buoy in the turquoise-green crystal waters, and those who have reserved in advance can moor on the jetty of Levrnaka tavern, a cosy spot at which you can enjoy a relaxed sundowner on board your yacht.
Top tip: Just a few metres across the island lies Croatia’s most beautiful beach. It’s the perfect place to wander along the fine sandy stretches, and bathe in the sea as you let go of every one of your worries and cares.
DAY 3. DUGI OTOK | SAKARUN BAY
Cast off and sail north towards the island of Dugi Otok. Here, you’ll uncover numerous beautiful bays, each utterly perfect for a relaxing swim. Keep your eyes peeled for the small, hidden taverns which typify the island – the ideal places to stop and enjoy the iconic seafood of the Kornati islands, alongside many other culinary delights.
After about three hours, you’ll find yourself at Sakarun Bay at the northernmost tip of Dugi Otok. This blue lagoon simply cannot be missed; it offers crystal clear water and the most wondrous shallow sandy beach. Palm trees, cacti, and chilled-out lounges ensure a relaxed summer’s vibe… so drop anchor, unwind, and enjoy all that the location has to offer.
Weather depending, you can stay anchored at Sakarun Bay, or instead opt to head out around the northern tip of Dugi Otok to Božava. Here, you’ll find a charming fishing port with plenty of secure berths, as well as plenty of shops and intriguing restaurants. It’s a step backwards in time, and a quintessential Croatian experience from start to finish.
DAY 4. KORNATI | KATINA
Today is all about taking your time, and gently cruising through the fantastical island seascape that the Kornati Islands provide in effortless style. This leg of your trip’s motto is “the journey is the destination”, and as you travel south to the island of Katina, stop here and there to swim and dine wherever your mood takes you. The inner region of the Kornati islands is hugely popular with the international jet set, and you’ll discover that the island labyrinth of superyachts provides plenty of hiding spots – ideal for ducking away from the paparazzi!
Following a chilled day of unforgettable moments, in the late afternoon you’ll eventually reach the small island of Katina, located on the northern tip of Kornat island. Between these two equally beautiful islands, there’s a natural sea lake which offers the perfect place to stop in any weather conditions.
In the bay itself, you’re strongly advised to visit Mare – a well-known restaurant specialising in excellent Dalmatian cuisine. Should you reserve in good time, you’ll even be able to moor at the hotel’s private jetty.
DAY 5. ŽUT
Once you’ve polished off a hearty breakfast, it’s time to loosen your moorings and continue on your adventure. Today, relaxation is once again the only real requirement – you’ll anchor in Katina bay, and enjoy a blissful morning on board with your crew, or head out onto the waves on a jet ski, water skis, fun tires, or your dinghy. After everybody has let off enough steam and tummies begin rumbling once more, it’s time to make your way to the island of Žut, just a few nautical miles northeast of Katina.
If you have a passion for fishing, there’s no better place to indulge – Žut is no longer within the boundaries of the national park, and fishing is once again permitted. On Žut itself, you can moor at the ACI Marina Žut, or choose to moor your yacht at Fešta, the most popular gourmet restaurant in the region. Once again, we’d advise you to book a table in advance.
DAY 6. SMOKVICA
Today, you’ll cast off and head due north alongside the island of Kornat, until you reach the spectacular horseshoe-shaped island of Smokvica. You’ll enter the bay on the west side, and will arrive near the stunning Piccolo restaurant, where those who reserve in advance can moor at a private berth.
Piccolo is a small family restaurant with just a handful of exclusive tables. As charming as it is unmissable, it’s a family business through and through; the mother takes the orders, the father prepares your dishes, and the children serve you gastronomic delight after gastronomic delight. Especially recommended are the brudet – a Dalmatian fish stew – and the pepper steak cooked in a traditional clay pot. Delicious!
DAY 7. KAKAN ISLAND
The last day of your extraordinary journey is here, and it’s time to head back from Smokvica towards the beautiful island archipelago of Šibenik. Along the way, you’ll stop at Kakan island, where you’ll enter via a large bay on the northern side, protected from the wind and waves by a pair of smaller islands. As soon as you enter Kakan, you’ll be mesmerised by the vibrant colours of this dreamy bay; criss-cross sandbanks shimmer with an exquisite turquoise, and beneath the golden sunshine, few can resist its copious charms.
Look out for a free buoy or sandbar, and attach it to the bow of your yacht – you’re lucky enough to spend the night here, anchored safely in such a spectacular location. All that’s left is to enjoy your final evening with a sunset dinner, while you reminisce with your loved ones or crew members amidst awe-inspiring surroundings.