Croatia Flotilla Sailing area

This is the area where we run our main Learn to Sail and Flotilla Holidays. The flotilla does not follow a strict pre-set weekly route,as we have to be flexible to allow for weather etc, but it generally remains in a set area, cruising between Primosten in the south and Zadar in the North. Our core in house fleet is based from Betina on Murter, and the flotilla sails in the area outlined in red. Bareboat/Flotilla yachts are from nearby marinas to Murter.

Yachts can can sail for one or more weeks, and we try to visit a different selection of ports on alternate weeks, although there are some overlaps at the beginning and end of the week.  The lead yachts always return to our base marina for the Friday and Saturday nights, with Saturday being the changeover day.  Sunday is the first day of the flotilla and we usually remain in the immediate area that day, allowing a gentle start for anybody on their first day and then go to one of the nearby ports that night.  Anybody taking a flotilla yacht for two weeks does not have to return to the base for the middle weekend but can  have this period for some free sailing.

The area outlined in red is the main sailing area for the flotilla. The outline does not indicate a pre set flotilla route, but instead it is a series of links between the main ports in the area. The flotilla route on any week is then a criss cross selection of any of these ports, with the final decision being made on site on a daily basis to suit the wind and weather.

Click on any red line for the approximate distance between ports and a photo and some more information on the port that the line is linked to.


Murter Sample Route North

Yachts are available for check in from 1700hrs on Saturdays, but any arrival time can be accommodated. The flotilla does not sail on the Saturday so there is no problem with a later arrival, and all that happens on Saturday is that you move on board your yacht. For anybody that arrives earlier in the day, bags can be left while you explore locally, do some shopping etc and as soon as yachts are ready, you can usually move on board. If you are taking a Bareboat/Flotilla yacht, all check in details will be sorted with that yacht supplier. Sometimes people that arrive early and are taking a Bareboat/Flotilla yacht from an alternative marina like Biograd or Jezera will choose to leave that afternoon, as soon as check in is completed, and to sail to Betina for the first night, so that they are with the flotilla for the first morning.

The first day always starts with a comprehensive briefing in Betina marina, which explains about the flotilla, gives a chance to meet the other crews, and is where any final paperwork and on site payments are sorted out. This takes place just after 0900hrs, after which crews then go and do any necessary shopping and final briefings on the yachts are completed. People are then ready to sail from any time from 1030 onwards, although anyone that had a late previous evening arrival may not end up getting away until nearer 1200hrs. We always try to have a short first obligatory day and so today we are going to a Bay on the outside of Murter where there will be "Jasnas famous BBQ". This is only an obligatory distance of a few miles so offers full flexibility for the first day. Experienced sailors can head off early and create an interesting loop through the islands and easily create a 15 to 20 mile sail, while others can have a very relaxed first day as they sail in the general area getting used to the yacht, and having a relaxed start. For those on Learn to Sail holidays this is a perfect first day as you can concentrate on getting used to the yacht. There are loads of anchorages and lunch time stops in this area. In the evening all yachts raft up together in a bay, with super clean water and great swimming. Facilities are the ones on the yacht on this evening and there is a professionally prepared BBQ ashore (weather permitting only) so this is a great first introduction to the other crews, and it is always one of the most popular evenings of the flotilla.

Today we are going to Biograd which is about 12 miles to the north. Biograd is a lively tourist town on the mainland with very good facilities and an excellent marina. In the main July and August peak season period when we have two flotilla groups sailing most weeks, we will split after the BBQ and one group will go north. The prevaling winds are northerly so this can make for some excellent sailing as you tack through the flat waters between the various islands, while equally if we have conditions from the South, when the seas can be a bit bigger, then everything is behind us. Biograd is a port that we can nearly always be assured of getting into and the toilet and shower facilities are excellent. It is a lively tourist town so there are loads of ATM machines, restaurants, and good supermarkets, and so ideal for stocking up. For groups looking for some night life there are also plenty of cafe Bars here, and there is always plenty going on. For anyone that does not want to go to Biograd, they can separate off for the night and continue further up the channel and go to Kuklica that evening and re join the flotilla the following day.

From Biograd we continue going North up the channel between the islands of Ugljan and Pasman and the coast to Preko which is about 18 miles. Preko is a lovely little village on Ugljan, with a small marina just opposite Zadar. This is usually a longer day and there are plenty of lunch time stops and anchorages on the islands as you go north. Many people will also cross over towards Zadar main quay as they approach, to see abd hear the Sea Organ as they pass by, before crossing back over to Ugljan. Preko is a small new marina, and they are very accommodating and always try to fit us in. The port retains its village feel and we have had a number of people that like it so much that they base themselves from here for a few days. The city of Zadar is just a few miles opposite on the mainland, so anybody that wants fo go there for the night, can use this opportunity to do so. Zadar has a marina right in the centre but so many people visit Zadar separate to the sailing portion of their holiday, that we have found Preko is a much more popular option. There is also a speedboat taxi and normal Ferry service across to Zadar if anyone wants to go there for the evening. Again toilet and shower facilities are excellent in Preko and there is a nice selection of restaurants as well as supermarkets and ATM machines.

Today we are going to the outer islands to Sali and this is a distance of between 15 to 25 miles depending on the route chosen. Sali is traditional Croatian fishing village with a lovely town quay. There is a choice of routes today as most yachts of 36ft and under can go back down the channel and go through the bridge between Ugljan and Pasman to get out towards the Kornati while any larger yachts will have to go north around the top of Ugljan. The longer route is around the top, and is about 25 miles while the shorter one is about 20 miles. Going around the top is however no problem and many of the smaller yachts also choose to do this, perhaps leaving a bit more promptly that day and just motoring if the morning winds are light to cover a bit of intial distance. Most of the Bareboat/Flotilla yachts have to go north as many suppliers do not allow their yachts to pass under the bridge. This is because too many people have tried with larger yachts and damaged the mast, so they just have a blanket ban on passing under the bridge. With either choice there are loads of lunchtime stops and usually an excellent afternoon sail with the wind either on the quarter or on the beam, and a fantastic view of all the many islands in every direction. Getting into Sali can be a squeeze and it is a town quay with mooring lines rather than a proper marina, so we usually have to be here for no later than 1700hrs. A fall back plan then is to raft just off the headland outside the harbour or to carry on to the nature park of Telascica a little further south, where you anchor for the night. This latter is a designated nature park and an excellent anchorage with loads of options but there is a fee of about 60kuna per person to anchor here for the night. There are one or two restaurants in Telascica but they tend to be very busy so it is usually an eating on board night for anyone that wants to come here. Back in Sali then there are toilet and shower facilities available, and plenty of restaurants, shops and ATM machines. Sail is a traditional picture postcard little village and is very popular, although there is one music bar on the harbour that can be a bit noisy until it shuts at a about 0100hrs.

We now head back to one of the bays or little islands near Murter like Zminjac, which is about 20 miles. This takes us past part of the Kornati national Park, and if we get the afternoon Northerlies, is often an excellent sail. There a number of route options on this day and you can even sail right through the park if you so wish but this can be a long day of almost 40 miles so this is not for everyone. Most yachts choose to sail between Zut and the Kornati allowing us to see plenty of the Kornati and with some good lunch time stops at the bottom end of this channel. There is then usually an excellent reach across to the north of Murter in the afternoon and this is the area where we see the most dolphins. Zminjac is a small island near the north of Murter with a very good restaurant and a private pontoon that does not charge for mooring when people use the restaurant. Families with children love it as they can swim and play in the shallower end away from the yachts in clean clear water, and once it goes dark there is no one else here apart from people that have arrived by yacht.

Our obligatory distance today to get back to the base is less than 10 miles, so this allows for a relaxing last day, so people can sail as much or as little as they want. There are loads of routes available on this last day and a huge choice of bays and anchorages including all the ones to the south, on the West coast of Murter. This is the day that the skippers tend to arrange a mini regatta on the last afternoon, and this is a great way to finish off the week. Yachts have to be back in the marina by about 1700hrs and anyone with a yacht from an alternative base can break off at this point to return their yacht to the relevant marina that they collected it from. People still sleep on the yachts on the last night, but you can depart on the Friday after the sailing if you wish, and this sometimes suits if you are travelling onwards or have some of the cheaper return Friday evening flights that are often available.

Yachts must be vacated by by 0900hrs on Saturday, but earlier departures are no problem, or bags can be stored if you have a later flight departure that day. For anyone that we have arranged transfers for, you will have been advised of the time for the departure and pick up will be from the marina. For anybody that is on a two week flotilla, you may return to the base you got your yacht from on the middle Saturday if you wish as you will have free mooring there, or equally you can head off on your own for a day or two before joining the flotilla again on the Sunday, or later in the week depending on your preference, and our team on site will be happy to advise regarding this.

Sample route Centre Croatia
Croatia Flotilla Sample Route South