Monday, 10 October 2016

Senj, Northern Croatia

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj

Before you get excited about Senj, please note that this is the one town in Croatia  where the fierce Bora (north-east) wind blows hardest and fastest. It can reach over 200 km per hour and blows for roughly 200 days every year. Given that the Bora can appear from almost nowhere very quickly, we wouldn’t recommend Senj for an overnight stop. However, if you are certain that there’s a minimal risk of a Bora while you are in the area, then it’s a mighty fine town to explore for an hour or two. and the campsite restaurant, Konoba Gajeta, (pictured immediately below) makes for a good lunchtime stop.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj, Konoba Gajeta

Sister site, Croatia Online, explains a little of its history and features, and Croatia Camping Guide puts the very central Kamp Škver firmly in its top ten. Both links take you straight to the postings on Senj.

For passing sailors there are plenty of berthing options but only in the most clement of weather as the shelter is no match for a Bora or winds from the north and north-west.  Small local boats occupy the area north of the “middle” main pier which lies in the south-east part of the harbour.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj, local boats

Visitors can berth, alongside, on either side of this pier (green light) if space permits, or the south side of the north pier (red light), or the quay in front of the Harbour Master, or the east side of the south-west breakwater (white light). A waypoint of 44°59.60’ E 14°53.60E should give you a good view of your berthing options about three cables our from the shore.      

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj, hoist

There’s a ten ton hoist on the north pier with the red light, and slips by both the north pier and the south-west breakwater.  I also saw my first Croatian  Electric car charger by the south breakwater.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj, Tesla charger

The compact town surrounds the harbour and should have everything you need including banks, shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. If you’re feeling energetic and want to take in the view, make the climb up to the fortress.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Senj, Castle view

The harbour master’s office is just behind the quay that lies east of the main breakwater. Contact details

Address:  Obala kralja Zvonimira 12, 53270 Senj.

Tel: + 385 ( 0 ) 53 881 301

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Uvala Sibinj, Near Senj

Croatia Cruising Companion -  Uvala Sibinj, Mooring Blocks

Roughly between Klenovica and Senj is a small bay called Uvala Sibinj. It’s not very well protected, so not suitable for an overnight stop but there is a nice little restaurant, part of a small campsite, with mooring blocks and buoys just away from the main beach, to encourage you to come and eat there and perhaps have a swim. There’s also a minibus service to take you into Senj.

The water looks very shallow for the few metres approaching the shoreline but, according to the owner, depths are around 4 metres by the buoys.

I took co-ordinates onshore, at the campsite, as follows:               45° 02.663’ N 14°52.685E

For more information about the campsite check out our posting on sister site Croatia Camping Guide

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Croatia’s Largest Marina Gets Larger!!


We’re jumping ahead a little, in terms of reporting on our early summer trip, but we couldn’t resist sharing the latest news on Croatia’s largest marina - D-Marin Dalmacija - in Sukošan, near Zadar, Croatia.

It was already a fairly modern marina, with all the essential facilities, but the huge expanse of empty spaces and grey buildings gave the place an eerie feel and were crying out for rejuvenation. So it was greatly in need of substantial investment when the Dogus Group acquired it a few years ago.

When we visited in June, even with building work still going on, it was already in our top five of the most transformed marinas – Olive Island, Marina Seget, Marina Trogir and another Dogus Group marina, D-Marin Mandalina,  also featuring.  Now, the work is complete and the Portus Beach Club, on the outer, semi-circular, superyacht pier, is open for business.

A huge artifical beach has been made on the seaward facing side of the semi-circular pier and guests can rent deck chairs, towels and parasols, as well as luxury cabanas that come complete with champagne, ice cream, water and cold towels. There’s also Rum Shack, a beach bar offering a wide range of cocktails and other refreshments. 

Portus Beach Club also provides two restaurants, a night bar, kids club and sports facilities. The first floor restaurant offers local specialities and a wide selection of Croatian and international wines. Nearby is a spacious lounge bar designed in Mediterranean style. Both have a spectacular view of the bay and provide an ideal place for a business lunch, romantic dinner or an exclusive event. Enjoy more casual dining in the ground floor restaurant which offers an all day menu of Mediterranean and domestic dishes.


Kids Club offers different kind of fun and educational activities, all with professional supervision, and for everyone there’s music and DJs every afternoon from 4 pm until 9 pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday scheduled for live performances.

The investment required for a project of this scale is immense - €6.5 million according to the owners – but it’s just a quarter of the €25 million spent over the last three years which includes the impressive new administrative building, a new entrance, new toilets, a new building for charter and service companies and much improved landscaping.  The result is a really classy look and a new sense of purpose for what now has the air of  a vibrant marina village in its own right, rather than just an enormous yacht berthing facility! It still does remind me a little of Tracy Island from the Thunderbirds series but now in a good, chic way!

Croatia Cruising Companion - Marina Dalmacija Reception

What makes all this work even more impressive is the speed and lack of fuss with which it is accomplished. It’s easy to forget the immense scale of each new project, and that some of  the marina is built on land reclaimed from the sea and it’s therefore not that easy to grow verdant lawns and pretty flower beds.

Those who have a copy of our Croatia Cruising Companion won’t find the physical layout (see up to date chart below) and  approach very different from the way it was described on page 37 and 38, and the small village of Sukošan still retains its local charm, despite the size of its newer neighbour.  The new aerial shot looks very different though from the boat and car park on page 38!


And there’s something about the chunky lights that typifies the scale and purpose of Croatia’s biggest marina, now becoming one of its most upmarket ones.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Marina Dalmacija Red Light

Many thanks to D-Marin Dalmacija for their assistance with information and images. To go direct to the marina’s website link to D-Marin Dalmacija Overview

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Klenovica, Near Novi Vinodolski and Senj

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica 2

Klenovica looks like a great place for a gentle lunchtime stop and you can read about what’s in store, onshore, on sister site Croatia Online.

The decent sized harbour has a green light at the end of the breakwater, although all but one of the main pilot books’ latest editions only seem to mention the while light on the little islet, Sv Anton, to the south. This islet is connected to the mainland by a rubble causeway.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - Sv Anton

The harbour has around 15 bollards for electricity and water, fairly evenly spaced around the main quay which lines the breakwater and then doglegs to the left as you look at it from the approach. It looks like some are fitted up for 3 phase electricity.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - 3 Phase

This quay appears to be quite new and there are a couple of  buoys so you can moor bow- or stern-to on the dogleg, and I guess laid lines will be there soon if they are not already there now. Local boats were moored alongside on the quay that runs along the breakwater.

Opposite the breakwater is an older quay, mostly used by fishing boats, and local boats are moored between the two, at the head of the bay, where there’s also a slip (next to the statue).

Depths are between 3 and 6 metres on the inner side of the breakwater, up to 3.5 metres on the older quay opposite and up to 1.4 metres where the local boats are moored. Shallow draft boats can also anchor either side of the causeway to Sv Anton, by the campsite.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - Sv Anton 2

The bay is reasonably well protected from the Bora, which blows very hard in this area, but exposed to winds from the north-west, through west, to south.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Novi Vinodolski – Not One, But Two New Marinas!

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica

Glancing at a few of the recently published new editions of pilot books, you’d think that the new marinas at Novi Vinodolski were one of Croatia’s best kept secrets and yet the Croatian Tourist Board announced the projects in 2011. The pontoons in the main harbour are almost complete whilst it looks like the new marina just east of the city centre may not be too much further away. The photo above shows it in May this year.

The “Town Centre” marina will offer around 220 berths and Marina Muroskva, further east, about 170, plus around 320 dry berths. Novi Vinodolski already has a fuel station, a small harbour for local boats and moorings for smaller boats in the river mouth.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Novi Vinodolski Crane & Fuel

It’s a fascinating town of a different era and this substantial investment in nautical tourism may well inspire other projects and further modernisation. Read more about the town itself on sister site Croatia Online

Finally, on the weather front, the interesting sky in the morning. in the main picture, was followed by another beautiful Croatian sunset.


Croatia Cruising Companion - Novi Vinodolski Sunset

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Selce, Near Crikvenica

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce

Like neighbouring Crikvenica, which gives it’s name to the “Riviera” of which Selce is a part, Selce belongs to an older style of Croatian tourism that grew up around health spas. Not for much longer perhaps as there seems to be plenty of investment activity in the pipeline for the whole of this area.

As you can sea from the photo above, there are moorings for yachts on the main quay, with electricity and water bollards. The yacht is moored roughly where the red “circle” is on the image below. The arrow points to the pier where the white light is.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Harbour

According to the harbour master, depths are 3 to 4 metres where the yacht is moored. The berths in the inner harbours are for local boats and depths are shallower. Tripper boats tend to use the perpendicular pier with the white light as can be seen below.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Tripper Boat

There’s a 5 ton crane and Selce has plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars, as well as some pretty gardens.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Crane

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Crikvenica – On The Brink Of Nautical Discovery?

Croatia Cruising Companion - Crikvenica

I mentioned, on sister site Croatia Online (COL – Crikvenica), that part of Crikvenica looked as if it might be in need of a little TLC and it seems, on further research, that  investment might be just around the corner. It’s already got plenty to offer, including sandy beaches and all the essential amenities and facilities, but is a little rooted in an almost bygone age of tourism.

For nautical visitors to Croatia it also already offers quite a lot including a fuel berth, pictured, and several smallish harbours, mostly for local and tripper boats. Soon, however, it may get its own 200 berth marina and we’ll be telling you more about that in due course. In the meantime they are a few options for visiting yachts:

a) in the main harbour, just west of the river mouth, berth on lazy lines on the inner side of the main breakwater and east harbour wall in depths of around 3 metres but note that the outer end of the jetty is mainly for tripper boats and the inner harbour for local boats

b) there are rings and bollards for lines along the quay by the river mouth. Depths vary between 2 and 4 metres and there’s a low road bridge just a little way down river

c) a little further east there’s Luke Podvorska, the newish harbour for local boats but that’s usually full

Croatia Cruising Companion - Crikvenica Main Harbour

The main harbour has some smart new electricity and water pedestals and there’s a green light at the end of the long breakwater with another green light further east on the west side of the river mouth. The fuel station is immediately west of this second green light and has depths of approximately 3 metres.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

ACI’s Newest Marina In Slano Is Now Open

Croatia Cruising Companion - New Slano Marina
It was a bit of a building site when we visited at the end of May this year, and we did (correctly!) doubt the scheduled original opening date of July 1st, but ACI have worked pretty hard and productively to finish off their first new marina in many years.

ACI marina “Veljko Barbieri” opened on 3rd August 2016 and is ready to take the pressure off the Dubrovnik region which is always in need of extra marina capacity. And to encourage berthholders it’s currently offering 30% off its normal rate for annual berths and a BOGOF [buy one get one free] offer on daily berths.

Not only is this the first new marina in a while for ACI but it’s the first to break with ACI’s traditional naming system. Rather than the expected ACI Marina Slano, it has been named in honour of the founder and innovator of the ACI Marina Chain – Veljko Barbieri.

Slano itself has plenty of room for this new 200 berth marina on the east side of the bay, just off the picture to the right  in the image below. The expansive bay was previously dominated by Hotel Admiral, pictured, at the head of the bay, and will now have a more “balanced” look.

Croatia Cruising Companion Slano

The marina will also bring some more varied life to this quiet resort town which suffered badly in the Homeland War and in an earthquake in 1996, although there are no longer any signs of these events.

As you would expect, the marina has modern facilities and equipment and the bay itself also offers some well equipped town moorings (pictured below - between the new marina and the hotel) , as well as an anchorage in Uvala Badija, also on the east side but further out towards the open sea.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Slano Moorings

The main picture shows the new lights and some of the marina pontoons – perhaps not an image that instantly grabs attention but we were trying to be kind to ACI by not showing too much of the building works. If you want to see some more glamourous shots of the finished product, link to the ACI Picture Gallery.

For more information on the marina, go to the dedicated section of the ACI website ACI Marina Veljko Barbieri Slano where, interestingly, ACI hedges its bets and adds Slano to the name!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Croatia Invests In Its Marinas

Marina Trogir
A seven week trip around the Croatian coastline and islands has been highly informative. After several years of very little change and just the odd new marina popping up every now and then, things are hotting up. In the last few weeks we’ve visited almost every marina featured in our Croatia Cruising Companion (and that’s all of the marinas along the Dalmatian Coast and on the islands), and many of the bays and ports.

In some ways, very little has changed; in other ways changes are more significant.Refreshingly we found that not every bay is now the subject of a concession with mooring buoys; some are still open to all to anchor in for free. We also discovered that a substantial amount of those precious EU structural funds are being used to improve beaches, walkways, squares and quays. And sometimes local authorities are going it alone to improve their ports and harbours.

Seaplanes are occupying precious space in some busy ports but making connections much easier for holidaymakers visiting islands. Elsewhere, for example in Šibenik, which was expected to be the next destination to host seaplanes, local objections seem to be winning at the moment.

Most of all we found a huge amount of investment in the marina infrasture with the widespread renovation of older facilities and the building of several new ones. Some time ago we told you about Marina Trogir, pictured, which is already operating at good capacity levels with more investment to come. We’ve also told you about the relatively recent Baotić Yacht Club Seget nearby, which is now a veritable hubbub of activity on a grand scale, compared with the small group of buildings we first saw in 2009, just after it first opened and before all phases were complete.

The completion of these two marinas now means that the number and choice of berths in the highly popular mid Dalmatian town of Trogir has increased substantially. Existing ACI Marina Trogir is next door to Marina Trogir and of course Trogir Riva (the town quay and promenade) has always been popular with superyachts.

So, now that all those projects in the melting pot for so long have come, or are coming,  to fruition, and after catching up properly with all the local industry experts, it seems like an ideal time to update the Croatia Cruising Companion and bring out a new edition. We’re lucky enough to have a new publisher prepared to invest in exactly what the Croatia Cruising Companion needs to bring it bang up to date, continue to meet the high expectations of its readers and do justice to one of the best cruising grounds in the world.  And, although we originally wrote and designed the CCC uniquely to suit Croatia, and meet our desire to make it the best book of its kind on the market, we’re delighted that its no longer held back by being part of  a series, albeit the flagship and best seller of that series.  So keep an eye on this blog for a taste of what’s to come in the new edition.

For earlier postings on the two Trogir marinas, follow the links below :-
Baotić Yacht Club Seget Soft Opening
Marina Trogir Opens on Trogir Shipyard Site

Thursday, 24 March 2016

New Improved Croatian Marina in Zadar?

Croatia Cruising Companion - Zadar

It was bound to happen eventually. This majestic building in Zadar, once the home of the Maraska distillery, is apparently destined to become a 5 star, 120 room hotel. Next door there will be a luxury residential complex and a commercial zone including shops, restaurants and bars.

Dogus Group, who own three marinas in Croatia, including the flagship D-Marin Mandalina Marina in  Šibenik, announced recently they will be investing 80 million in the project which is due to start later this year and take approximately one year. Dogus does not have a marina in Zadar city centre itself though it’s difficult not to suppose that they must have their eyes on Zadar Marina which lies right next to the Maraska building and could probably do with some new investment.

Dogus opened a new hotel at D-Marin Mandalina last year and, this year, will also be upgrading facilities at nearby D-Marin Borik and  D-Marin Dalmacija Sukošan.

Zadar is a rising Croatian star. Ten years ago it was little known as a tourist destination and pretty hard to find a decent choice of hotels. Now, thanks to its own special charms and Ryannair favouring its airport, its attracting more and more visitors. For nautical tourists, however, it’s always been a very special destination with a marina that’s right in the heart of everything.

Sister blog Croatia Online has many postings on Zadar and here are a few, in chronological order – oldest first – which will give you an idea of just how much (or how little?!) some things have changed:

Zadar - November 2006

Ryanair Flies to Zadar & HMS Cornwall in Split - February 2007

Croatia Destinations - Zadar & Sibenik - February 2007

Zadar's Newest Hotel - November 2008

Zadar's Sky Diving Cocktail Bar Owner - July 2010

Croatia's Zadar Airport Continues To Grow - Feb 2015

Monday, 14 March 2016

Croatia’s Neighbour Build’s Largest Ever Yacht Berth

Porto Montenegro marina, July 2012

Ok, I know Montenegro is not Croatia but it does have a habit of stealing the limelight from its neighbour! Montenegro has a tiny coastline but some of it, particularly the Bay of Kotor, is spectacular, and it is here you will find Porto Montenegro and plenty of other superyacht marina activity. Small though it is, Montenegro has the distinct advantage of being able to offer Croatia’s amazing cruising grounds as part of its package. It has deliberately focused on the luxury end of the nautical tourism market, with considerable success, and now offers the world’s largest superyacht berth at 250 metres (820 feet), much bigger than the world’s largest yacht….so far!

Have a look here - Porto Montenegro - for the full story and to see how fast and how far the marina has changed since the photo above, taken in 2012.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Croatia Marina Prices 2016

Croatia Cruising Companion Tribunj Gajeta Falkusa

Most, but by no means all, of Croatia’s 50 plus marinas have, by now, decided on their prices for 2016. Regular nautical visitors to Croatia will know that the pricing structure varies from marina to marina – some daily, weekly, monthly and annual rates include things like water and electricity and some don’t; some have discounts for multiple days stay and/or throw in additional services; some have slightly different dates for each season; size categories can vary, some price rises take effect in January, some in April etc, etc. Almost all charge at least 50% extra for catamarans. The variations can make comparison between marinas quite difficult but if you read the small print carefully the marinas are normally quite good at spelling out exactly how much it costs for each service.

State owned ACI have 22 marinas if you include the new marina in Slano which is due to be ready for the 2016 season. Their prices and price structure vary from location to location but the following examples will give you an idea of what you might be in store for if you prefer to spend the night in these marinas.

In ACI Marina Vodice, a 12 metre boat will cost €72 per day in the main summer season (1.7 to 31.8 inclusive) and  €66 a day the rest of the year. In ACI Split a 12 metre boat is  €90 a day from 1.6 to 30.9 inclusive and €78 per day the rest of the year.  If you go to ACI’s website - ACI Marinas – you can look at each marina individually, or if you follow this link -  ACI Marinas Price List - 2016 you can print out 26 pages of 2016 marina prices!

Below are three examples (and direct links in brackets) of prices amongst the indepent marinas, though in typical Dalmatian fashion they are quite a few who have yet to publish 2016 prices as at today’s date of 22.2.2016.

All are daily rates for 12 metre boats.

Marina Tribunj (Tribunj Prices):  1.7 to 31.8  €97; otherwise  €73

Marina Frapa (Frapa Prices) 1.7 to 31.8  €89; otherwise  €67 (effective 1.1.2016)

Marina Kornati  (Kornati Prices) all year - €66

And finally, below are links to postings on similar exercises we have carried out in previous years.

Marina Prices 2014

Marina Prices 2011

Marina Prices 2008


Today’s photo is of Tribunj Marina back in 2010 -  not that long after the pink marina building in the background was finished. The wooden boat in the foreground is a replica of a traditional fishing boat - the Gajeta Falkuša – and you can read more about that on Croatia Cruising Companion - the Gajeta Falkuša although unfortunately Lifejacket Adventures is no longer around.

Croatian Superyacht Marinas – The Year Ahead!

ACI marina Palmižanac

Below is an extract from the feature we wrote for this year’s Superports, a Boat International annual guide to superyacht marinas around the world. It’s good to see Croatia taking such a large chunk of the space dedicated to news for the year ahead!


State owned ACI runs 21 of Croatia’s fifty plus marinas. Dubrovnik, Split and Korčula are favourite locations, as is Pakleni, close to Hvar town, and Vrboska also on Hvar island. ACI Marina Skradin is popular, not just for its proximity to the spectacular Krka water falls, but also for its rare combination of salt and fresh water. In Istria and Kvarner, in northern Croatia, ACI Marinas Pula, Opatija, Umag and Cres all have their special attractions including Pula’s magnificent Roman amphitheatre and Opatija’s grand villas and promenades.

ACI’s latest investment programme started with the replacement of all the pontoons at ACI Marina Cres, work which is now complete. Soon, a twenty second marina will be added to the network with the completion of a new marina in Slano, near Dubrovnik, which will cater for yachts up to 25 metres in length. In autumn 2016, work will start on ACI Marina Opatija to extend the marina and provide 42 dedicated superyacht berths for yachts up to 60 metres or more. Next will be a major extension to ACI Marina Dubrovnik to provide an additional 45 berths for superyachts, and a reconfiguration of the traditional stone building on site, an old summer palace, into a 5-star boutique hotel.

ACI Marina Pomer, for smaller yachts, is having a major facelift, due for completion by summer 2016, and ACI Marina Rovinj, also currently for smaller yachts, will undergo an extensive reconstruction and upgrade of facilities, starting in late 2016, which will provide 22 berths for yachts between 27 and 30 metres and should result in it becoming ACI’s flagship and first five anchor marina, as categorised (and rarely awarded) by the national regulating authority.

Also on the agenda for 2016 is the roll out of a gastro project which started in 2015 with the grand opening of “Navigare”, a newly-refurbished restaurant in ACI Marina Milna on the island of Brač. Key elements are a modern interior design concept and consistently high catering standards focusing on traditional local cuisine with a modern twist. ACI Marinas Pomer, Cres, Slano, Žut and Piskera are next in line for a gastro makeover that will eventually be introduced in all 22 marinas.

Also in Croatia, D-Marin continues with an impressive program of upgrades and improvements to its marinas. Their flagship superyacht marina, D-Marin Mandalina in Šibenik, has 79 dedicated superyacht berths out of a total of 429, can accommodate yachts up to 140 metres in length and continues to receive the highest industry accolades. In July 2015 D-Resort Šibenik opened in the heart of D-Marin Mandalina and features a luxury hotel with 63 rooms, six suites and three exclusive villas with private pools. There’s also a spa, gym, shops, four bars, and two à la carte restaurants. In summer 2016 there will be a new Beach Club with VIP cabanas, an additional swimming pool, open air fitness and beach food court. Just along the coast, Croatia’s largest marina, D-Marin Dalmacija is adding an exclusive Beach Club with restaurants and a kids' area, as well as a Piazza with pub and fashion stores.

In central Dalmatia, independently owned Marina Kaštela, was a rare new marina for Croatia in the noughties. Superbly located just five kilometres from Split airport, close to the historic city of Split and a short sail or ferry ride from the alluring islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, it’s a popular base for superyachts. In contrast to the bright lights of Split and Hvar town, the immediately surrounding area is classic traditional Dalmatia – stone houses, family restaurants, tucked away beaches and historic castles. The closest castle (kaštel), just a short walk from the marina, was built by nuns and is probably the best of the handful of castles in this cluster of villages collectively known as Kaštela.

In 2015, Marina Kaštela added the Nautic Restaurant above the reception area in the main building, which, with space for over 300 guests, should make it popular for weddings and other events and will take the pressure of the existing restaurant. 2017 will see the opening of an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness centre, pizzeria and sailing club. Further improvements planned for the future include a 200-ton travel lift, on site pump-out system and a hotel and congress centre. The 420 berth marina features modern equipment, up to 400 amp power and depths of 8 to 10 metres alongside the breakwater dedicated to superyachts. The marina owner has always taken his community responsibilities seriously and sponsors a number of local organisations as well as hosting on site a smaller marina for local boats, and a rowing and sports club.

Another piece of good news from Croatia is the roll out of European Coastal Airways’ affordable sea plane service with scheduled flights that make connections along the coast and between the islands much quicker and easier. De Havilland Twin Otters carrying up to 19 passengers whizz owners and guests from an international airport to their destination island in minutes. Currently, Split is the main hub for flights to the islands but there are also connections from Zadar, Pula, Rijeka and Ancona in Italy, with more to come.


Thank to ACI Marinas for today’s photo of Marina Palmižana on the island of Sv Klement near Hvar island.

And if you’d like your own copy of Superports 2016, here’s the link:  Boat International EStore - Superports 2016

Monday, 25 January 2016

Marina Kaštela, One of Croatia’s Newer Marinas and Still Improving!

Marina Kaštela c

Independently owned Marina Kaštela was a rare new marina for Croatia in the noughties. Superbly located just five kilometres from Split airport, close to the historic city of Split and a short sail or ferry ride from the alluring islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, it’s a popular base for superyachts. In contrast to the bright lights of Split and Hvar town, the immediately surrounding area is classic traditional Dalmatia – stone houses, family restaurants, tucked away beaches and historic castles. The closest castle (kaštel), just a short walk from the marina, was built by nuns and is probably the best of the handful of castles in this cluster of villages collectively known as Kaštela.

In 2015, Marina Kaštela, near the Dalmatian capital of Split, added the Nautic Restaurant above the reception area in the main building, which, with space for over 300 guests, should make it popular for weddings and other events and will take the pressure of the existing restaurant. In 2017 Marina Kaštela will have an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness centre, pizzeria and sailing club. Further improvements planned for the future include a 200-ton travel lift, on site pump-out system and a hotel and congress centre. The 420 berth marina features modern equipment, up to 400 amp power and depths of 8 to 10 metres alongside the breakwater dedicated to superyachts.

Monday, 27 April 2015

New Croatian Marina In Slano, Near Dubrovnik and Korčula

a432  Slano approach

This is how Slano looked when we first wrote our Croatia Cruising Companion. In fact, until recently, not much had changed. Now, however, ground has been broken on a brand new marina being built by state owned ACI. “State owned” needs explanation  as ACI has a significant minority “public” shareholding in the form of Turkish group Dogus Marine Croatia. And, if the Croatian Marina industry is having to follow the path of, for example, the Croatian shipbuilding industry then it may be that the state won’t own a majority in ACI for much longer. So perhaps Slano and other investments currently being carried out or contemplated by ACI is part of bigger plan to prepare the group for full privatisation?

Slano will be the 22nd marina in the ACI chain and the first new marina to be built by them for over 20 years. It strengthens ACI’s offer in Dubrovnik county to three (existing marinas are in Dubrovnik and Korčula) though it has to be said that, despite the attractions of the eponymous cities, this is a far less attractive cruising area than the Split and Zadar regions, not least because it has a much smaller number and variety of islands. However Dubrovnik and Korčula marinas are often full so this will ease demand there. Unfortunately, though, it will not be able to  help too much with the growing demand for berths for ever larger yachts as the 200 berths are only designed to accommodate yachts up to 25 metres in length.

Covering over 60,000 square metres  there will be a reception, premises for associated businesses such as yacht maintenance and repair, a restaurant with a terrace, and an outdoor pool. Eco friendly landscaping will hopefully mitigate the visual impact of the new development and infrastructure required which will of course include access roads and parking.

Slano itself has a good beach, the bay is well protected and it has long  been popular with  flotillas who have made good use of the existing facilities (lazy lines, electricity, water, tourist office, bars, restaurants, etc) for many years. The marina will no doubt bring back cosmopolitan life to a town that was badly damaged in the Homeland War, with an earthquake in 1996 causing further destruction, though none of the after effects of these incidents was obvious when we last visited.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Cruising and Partying In Croatia!


Croatia has something for everyone. If you want to party, as well as enjoy the sailing and the scenery, then have a look at this account of how to do it with style!

Travelettes Guide To Sailing In Croatia

Thanks to the Travelettes for the photo too.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

New Marina In Trogir, Croatia

SCT ready from above2

As regular readers will know, Trogir is one of our favourite places and was our first home when we moved to Croatia in 2002. Close to Split airport, it has a life all year round as well as being a popular tourist destination for its UNESCO protected medieval walled town, its cobbled streets, a plethora of shops, cafés, bars hotels and restaurants, and its wide Riva (seafront promenade) lined with luxury yachts on one side and more cafés, bars and restaurants on the other.

Unlike Dubrovnik, Trogir did not lose its soul to the mass purchase of old stone houses by foreigners and that’s part of the reason for Trogir’s still very “local” feel and all year round ambience. A school on the Riva and an active shipyard, across the way on Čiovo island, are two others.

There have been rumours for many years that the school’s prime location makes it a key target for various tourism projects but, so far it has managed to resist. And we are delighted to see that the now privatised shipyard in Trogir is making the most of its assets by building on its history as a shipyard, as well as embracing the opportunities of nautical tourism by turning some of this prime site into a deluxe marina.  We originally shared a landlord with a Finnish neighbour who was working at the shipyard. He told us that Finland has been doing business with the shipyard for many years so it’s no surprise to see that the owners of the newly privatised Brodotrogir are Finnish group Kermas who see the new marina as part of a wider strategy to diversify and modernise the activities of Brodotrogir, thus ensuring a sustainable future.

Marina Trogir should be ready for visitors by the end of June and will have 170 berths for yachts up to 120 metres in length, with a further 30 berths to follow by 2018. Modern, 5-star, purpose built, facilities will include 24/7 security, shops, bars and restaurants, and, of course,  repair and maintenance facilities including lifting services on floating docks for yachts up to 8,000 tonnes.

Trogir already has one marina in town, owned by state run ACI. However location, and the fact that it was built when the average size of yachts was smaller, means it can generally only handle smaller yachts. Superyachts have traditionally berthed alongside on the Riva but there’s only space for a handful and the channel can get quite busy, particularly when the cruise boats are loading and unloading their guests, so they should be particularly happy about the new marina.

Another alternative is the relatively new Yacht Club Seget, roughly opposite Marina Trogir, on the mainland, in the peaceful village of Seget Donji. In fact if you look at the photo on the following posting - Croatia Cruising Companion - 2011 Marina Prices – you can see the pontoons of Marina Seget, just to the left of the solitary tree. The new Marina Trogir lies on the tip of the peninsula across the channel  but bear in mind this photo and posting are a few years old!!

For more information, check out the following links:

Marina Trogir and Brodotrogir

ACI Marina Trogir

Yacht Club Seget

And just for fun, for the historians amongst you, you might be interested to read what we said about the Croatia shipbuilding industry way back in 2006 on sister site Croatia Online!

Croatia Online - Croatia Shipbuilding Industry Part One

Croatia Online - Croatia Shipbuilding Industry Part Two

Quite a lot has changed since then!


Today’s photo has been kindly sent to us by Marina Trogir. Good luck to them with their opening and we’re sure their presence can only enhance Trogir’s reputation as a luxury yachting hub and all round idyllic Croatian destination. And keep an eye on owners, Kermas, as we’re expecting to hear plenty more exciting news from them before too long!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Cruising Croatia In Style

Croatia Cruising Companion Bol

Readers who want to relax and let someone else do the skippering might be interested in the following report on a luxury Gulet holiday in Croatia. Telegraph Travel - Croatia By Gulet

However, if you want to make sure your skipper takes you to the places that might suit you best, it will pay to do a little research in advance. And what better way to do that than by reading our Croatia Cruising Companion!


Today’s photo is of Bol on Brač island. In the foreground is the local harbour where you can moor. In the back ground is Bol’s famous beach, probably the most popular and photographed beach in Croatia!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Croatia Island Marinas Open Up To Quicker Transfers?


We’ve met quite a few expats and UK residents who keep their yachts in Croatia and even more who have holiday or permanent homes on the islands. If the new project for affordable seaplane connections to the islands happens, as promised for summer 2014, then perhaps the island marinas will become more an easier option for annual berths and regular visitors will be able to get to their homes a lot quicker?

See Croatia Online for the full story.


Today’s photo is from a jet airline from London to Split, looking over somewhere not far from Luka Telašćica

Monday, 12 May 2014

Croatia Marina Prices 2014

Marina Frapa

Our latest update on Croatian marina prices is well overdue so here it is!

Prices continue to rise steadily though not exorbitantly. Perhaps of more significance to those that prefer to spend their nights in quiet anchorages and bays, rather than marinas, is that it is becoming increasing challenging to find good sheltered bays that are not now under concession and where fees are therefore due.  However these fees are still normally considerably less than marina prices.

Croatia now has over 55 marinas, well spaced along its coastline and around the islands. with the highest density in Dalmatia, its sailing heartland and the area covered by our Croatia Cruising Companion.

In general these marinas are all of good quality and with a similar standard of essential facilities – relatively easy access to electricity and water from most or all berths, lazy line moorings, toilet and shower blocks, etc. Many of the older marinas have regular upgrades and of course the newer marinas have mostly installed the latest technology. Still rare, though increasing, is the availability of modern pump-out facilities. A few marinas have geared themselves towards the superyacht visitor but many can accommodate larger yachts though it is advisable to check depths and availability in advance.

ACI, the state owned chain of  marinas, celebrated its 30th birthday in 2013 and owns 21 marinas providing over 6,000 berths. 17 of these marinas are open all year round. There are a couple of other smaller independent chains of marinas but most of the rest are independently owned.

Comparing marina prices in Croatia is not particularly easy as there are a wide variety of different deals and different methods of charging for eg electricity and water. We’ve supplied a few examples below to give you a general idea but there are a few things to bear in mind when budgeting for overnight stays at marinas.

1. Almost invariably the quoted price per day/month/year changes depending on the season, the length of stay and, of  course, the size of yacht.

2. Some marinas include “normal” consumption of electricity and water in the price quoted and some charge separately. Sometimes you’ll need to buy tokens for electricity and water  and sometimes usage will be metered.

3. There is normally an additional charge of at least 50%  for catamarans and trimarans.

4. Some marinas will give, for example, the third day free if you’ve already stayed for two consecutive days.

5. It is rare for eg toilet and shower facilities to be charged for separately.

6. Lifting in and out and other repair and maintenance facilities will normally be charged separately.

7. Some of the busier marinas may be quite strict on when you can arrive and leave and may, for example, charge extra if you arrive before 2 pm.

8. Yachts that are part of a charter fleet may attract eg a 20% surcharge.

9. Check whether parking fees are applicable if you are planning to leave your car at a marina.

10. Quoted rates normally include VAT at 25% and tourist tax.

11. Advance reservation of a berth may incur an additional fee and is not always easy/possible.

The examples below are  the basic fee per day for transit visits for a 10 metre (33 foot) monohull yacht:

a) ACI  Marina Split – one of ACI’s busiest marinas and at the upper end of its pricing scale:

October to May inclusive - €62; June & September €68; July and August €73. “Normal” consumption of water and electricity included (eg not boat washing or filling tank from empty)

b) ACI Marina Žut in the Kornati islands – open April to October inclusive:

01.04 to 19.06 and 13.09. to 31.10 -  €46; 20.06 to 19.07 and
23.08 to 12.09 - €46 to €49; 20.07to 22.08 €55

c) Marina Kaštela, near Split (privately owned)


d) Marina Frapa, Rogoznica (pictured)

July and August -  €74;  all other months - €57

Hopefully the above will give you an idea of what you might have to budget for and what questions to ask. If you can sail out of the main high season then it’s obviously generally a lot cheaper, a lot easier to find a berth and the waters are not so crowded.

If you’d like to get an idea of how current prices compare with those of three years ago then have a look at our 2011 posting on the same subject Croatia Online - 2011 Marina Prices

Friday, 9 May 2014

Trogir–Marina Trogir Soon To Open

Croatia Cruising Companion Trogir

Readers will be pleased to note that a new marina is about to open in the hugely popular destination of Trogir and we'll give you more news of that in due course.

In the meantime thanks to the many readers who have contacted us for help sourcing our Croatia Cruising Companion book and we are pleased to report that it should again be widely available in the UK now. Once we know where it is available elsewhere, particularly in Croatia, we will let you know. However, in the meantime, please check before making a special journey to any of the Croatian sources listed in the link above right.  Thanks also for the many helpful comments and kind words we’ve had from those who already have the book.

We’re pleased to report that the Croatia Cruising Companion  is straight back into Amazon’s top ten for all travel and holiday books on Croatia, currently sitting at number 5. We’re pretty sure its continued popularity with land based visitors to Croatia, as well as nautical visitors, is partly down to its unique detail on, and comprehensive coverage of, the Dalmatian coast and islands.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Cavtat – New Marina In Planning Stages

Croatia Cruising Companion Cavtat cr

Cavtat is one of Croatia’s most popular harbours, especially amongst the superyacht fraternity. It’s close to Dubrovnik International airport, does not attract the same crowds that Dubrovnik does, has some great fish restaurants and has that very traditional Croatian feel. Part of its very relaxed ambience is down to the fact that it has not been over developed, or even developed very much at all!

That might all change a little, hopefully for the better, when the Čista Luka Resort project goes ahead just a short distance away from Cavtat’s main bay. Translated into English as the Clearpoint Resort Project, the blueprint specifies a three-phase master-planned five star resort, residential and marina development covering approximately 100,000 square meters of land, with approximately 68,000 square meters of waterside area dedicated to the marina.  A large five star hotel, 80 room boutique hotel, residential villas, town homes and apartments, restaurant and retail outlets are all part of the plans.

The marina is expected to provide 200 berths.

For more information on the project link to Dalmi Resorts - Cista Luka Project

To read what we said about Cavtat  in an earlier posting link to Croatia Cruising Companion – Cavtat.

For those interested in Croatian pronunciation, the phonetic spelling for Cavtat is  “Savtat” (a soft “c”)!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Wall Street Journal Features Croatian Sailing Holiday

_MG_1128 Maslinica Compressed

Follow the link immediately below to read the story of how Wall Street Journalist Jonathan Gornall falls in love with Croatia after chartering a boat from Kremik Marina, near Primošten.

Sailing Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

Today’s picture is of Maslinica on the island of Šolta. The red tiled building in the foreground, surrounding the swimming pool, is the luxury boutique hotel Martinis Marchi. You can read more about that in a posting we put up in June 2012 - Newly Refurbished Marina On The Island of Solta – and, with no disrepect to the hotel at all,  you’ll find out in Jonathan’s article why it’s the first time he felt sorry for “folks in a five star hotel”!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Cruising Croatia In 2013


The hot news is that Croatia is now a member of the EU and that should make the paperwork a little easier! Old news is the fact that Croatia continues to emerge as one of the best cruising grounds in the world – over 1,000 islands islets and reefs, a Mediterranean climate, charming locals, great food and drink, excellent facilities, fascinating history and a huge variety of architecture, culture and entertainment. There’s something for everyone, it’s relatively safe, at sea and onshore, and the cost of living won’t blow the budget. If you’re chartering it’s a buyers market though it is still best to avoid the very high season when all the continentals drive to northern Croatia and sail in fleets down to Dalmatia.

Below are links to some of our earlier postings that might help you enjoy cruising Croatia better:

Croatia For All Sailors

Ten Reasons For Sailing In Croatia

Croatia's Marmite - The Kornati Islands

Dalmatia's Top Five Destinations

Marinas In Croatia

And for an up to date guide to marina prices, have a look at the ACI website. State owned ACI run a chain of 21 marinas along the coast and on the islands, providing over 6,000 berths with a high standard of facilities. You’ll find information and prices for each marina. Prices vary according to length and season. There are web pages in English but you do need to know what the days of the week are in Croatian to understand that price list fully so here they are.

Ponedjeljak - Monday

Utorak - Tuesday

Srijeda - Wednesday

Četvrtak - Thursday

Petak - Friday

Subota - Saturday

Nedjelja – Sunday

I’m pleased to say that I got the spelling right, before I double checked as it’s been a few months since I used them!

Today’s photo shows the view from our favourite Pizzeria in the lovely and UNESCO protected town of Trogir, near Split.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Newly Refurbished Marina On The Island Of Solta

Back in March 2009, we wrote a series of postings, on sister blog Croatia Online, about the island of Šolta.

It’s a gorgeous unspoilt island, very close to Split - full of olive groves and secluded bays, and great for spectacular sunsets, particularly in the west facing bay of Maslinica. It was in Maslinica that we spent most of our time as we’d been invited to come and take a look at the newly refurbished Martinis Marchi hotel.

Once a castle, with intermittent use as a 50 bedroom hotel, it was very tasteful restored, with no expense spared, to provide just six expansive luxury suites. Now, finally, the marina attached to it has had its own makeover and is ready to receive visitors in style.

Facilities include showers, reception and a café as well as access to the hotel restaurant. The breakwater of some 90 metres in length, with a red light at the end, protects 50 full service berths for yachts up to 30 metres in length. Larger yachts can moor on the outside of the breakwater.

Follow these links for more information about Šolta and Martinis Marchi:
Croatia Online - Šolta, Martinis Marchi
Croatia Online - Šolta In Pictures
Croatia Online - Šolta The Island Of Olives Croatia Online - Šolta Island: Orientation
Croatia Online – Šolta Sunsets
Martinis Marchi

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Marina Dalmacija and Marina Borik Change Ownership

Croatia Cruising Companion -  Marina Borik

According to Istanbul’s  Hürriyet Daily News, the Turkish Doğuş Group has just acquired 100% of the shares of  Marina Dalmacija and Marina Borik from Croatian businessman Zdenko Zrilic, and plans to invest 17 million euros in modernising the marinas.

“Our aim is to develop an international chain of marinas under the umbrella of the D-Marin brand and to expand Doğuş Group service quality to a broader portion of the Mediterranean,” said Doğuş Group Chief Executive Officer Hüsnü Akhan in the company press release.

Doğuş Group already has a substantial investment in Croatia’s first dedicated megayacht marina – Marina Mandalina in Šibenik and owns a handful of successful marinas in Turkey.

Marina Dalmacija, next to the lovely village of Sukošan, near Zadar, is Croatia’s biggest marina, and one of its newer ones. It reminded us of a scene from thunderbirds when we first saw it. Marina Borik is also relatively new and tucked away in a tourist area just north of Zadar.

Having assisted in a few marina investment projects ourselves, we know the challenges foreign investors face when investing in the Croatian Marina industry and have nothing but admiration  for Doğuş.

For more information try the following links:

Dogus Marina

Marina Dalmacija

Marina Borik

Marina Mandalina


Today’s picture is on Marina Borik

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Make The Most of Croatia’s Anchorages

183 Piccolo Smokvica Vela

A few weeks ago, Wolfgang contacted us after enjoying reading the Croatia Cruising Companion and thought we and our readers might be interested in another great tool to help make the most of Croatia’s anchorages. We were and here’s what he told us!

“The Croatian Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure (MPPI) provides a Concession List that lists the official licensed Nautical Anchorages in Croatia. Since this list is not very handy to use aboard, I created a little piece of software that adds the information and coordinates of the Concession List to a Google-Map. I also write a Blog about news regarding this Map.

You can find the Google-Map here:

You can find the Blog here  "


And we’ve just checked Wolfgang’s blog again and it seems he’s now developed an App!

Thank you Wolfgang and we’ll try and keep up with you!

Today’s photo was taken at Smokvica Vela

Monday, 14 November 2011

New One Design Rally Around Northern Dalmatia

Croatia Cruising Companion - Zadar Greeting To The Sun

We’ve just come across what looks like an excellent choice of routes for a one design yacht rally next summer. Sail World plan a flotilla event around some of our favourite and less discovered parts of Croatia including Zadar, Šibenik and the Kornati islands. All are covered in depth in our Croatia Cruising Companion and, in this area, you can be sure of spectacular scenery, challenging sailing, and the best of Croatian culture, history and architecture.

Read more about the trip on Sail World's web page.

Read more about the area on the following pages of sister site, Croatia Online :

Croatia Online - Sibenik's Bunari Museum

Croatia Online - Caffe Bar Zoilo Zadar

Croatia Online - Biograd Gastronomy and Nightlife

or browse through this site and Croatia Online for a real taste of what to expect.

Today’s photo was taken at sunset in Zadar. The world renowned civic architect, Nikola Bašić, based in Zadar, designed the Greeting To The Sun, powered by photo voltaic cells, to accompany the haunting sounds of its neighbour, The Sea Organ, powered by the waves. In the distance, just a hint of what you might expect on Sail World’s sailing trip.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Duty Free Fuel Around Croatia

Porto San Rocco 1

Whilst it’s still not possible to get duty free fuel in Croatia itself, there are now two great options on either side.

To the north, Camper and Nicholsons’ Porto San Rocco was granted permission, in June 2010, to sell duty free fuel to leisure craft. Located in the Bay of Muggia, within the Gulf of Trieste, 15 miles north east of Croatia, the position of Porto San Rocco in the northern Adriatic makes it very accessible to those cruising the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Even better for those who berth their yachts in Istria, a convenient drive from Germany and Austria, and then head south to Croatia’s sailing heartland. Vessels must leave the EU within eight hours of bunkering which, of course, poses no problem! With Trieste’s airport just a 45 minute drive away, it’s also a great spot to pick up guests or change crew. For more information link to Porto San Rocco’s website.

To the south of Croatia, just beyond Dubrovnik and Cavtat, there’s Porto Montenegro whose September 2010 berth extension also came with duty free bunkering and quite a lot more. Self styled as the “New Port of Cool” there’s no doubting Porto Montenegro’s appeal both in location and facilities. For more information link to Porto Montenegro.

For those that don’t want the hassle of clearing customs etc and/or prefer to do all of their sailing within Croatia, fuel is still cheaper than in the UK and the coast and islands are dotted with fuel stations. We detail them, port by port, in the Croatia Cruising Companion. Good news also that Croatia is finally paying attention to providing pump-out facilities though co-author, John Nash, of Marina Facility Solutions, has been banging that particular drum for more time than we care to remember! See our earlier posting on Pump-Outs for the situation as it was and keep an eye out for an update, here, soon.

Thanks to Camper and Nicholsons for today’s photo of Porto San Rocco, Trieste.