Paradise Coves in the Adriatic That Only Sailors Know of

Paradise Coves in the Adriatic That Only Sailors Know of

A Sailor's Heaven

The coves on our islands are the most recognizable feature of Croatian nautical tourism. Due to the largely indented coastline, the number of coves is almost endless. Choosing the best one out of them is impossible, but we know which ones are more popular among sailors and yachtsmen. These are usually crowded during the tourist season so our list can be a good indicator of the places to avoid if you prefer more quiet and peaceful spots. When we made the list of the 10 most popular coves, north to south, we realized we needed to include at least 10 more which would have been too many for this article, but we added one more which will then represent 11 strategically located coves across the Croatian coast.

Šunj cove (Lopud)

Lopud, Šunj
Aleksandar Gospić
Šunj cove

The cove of Šunj is located on one of the jewels of the Elaphites – the island of Lopud. It is the most popular cove in the Dubrovnik waters, reminiscent of tropical destinations. The turquoise sea and sandy beach surrounded by steep cliffs with overhanging lush indigenous vegetation is the paradise that awaits you in this lagoon.

Polače harbour (National Park Mljet)

Ulaz u uvalu Polače
Osvin Pečar / JUNP Mljet
Entrance to Polače harbour

Polače is the largest and safest harbour on Mljet which was frequently visited by Greek and Roman sailors in the past. The harbour cannot be seen from the sea because it is surrounded by four green hypnotising and gently intertwined islets that can rightly be called the natural breakwater of Polače. The safest haven of the popular nautical spot in the southern Adriatic is the deeply indented cove Rogač. This is the perfect starting point from which to explore the natural symbol of these waters – the famous lakes of Mljet.

Bili žal (island of Korčula)

Bili žal, Korčula
Andrija Carli / TZO Lumbarda
Bili žal

Located in the immediate vicinity of Lumbarda and the town of Korčula, the cove of Bili žal has a big sandy beach protected from the western winds. This popular swimming spot contains vineyards of the grape variety Grk which grows only here in the entire Adriatic. You can enjoy this wine if you visit the local wineries that have preserved the thousand-year-old tradition of wine-making on the island. We also recommend bringing a supply of tools for some fun in the sand.

Island of Saplun (Lastovnjaci)

Sailors wanting to experience the wild and untouched nature also visit the turquoise lagoon located between the island of Saplun and two smaller islets of Arženjak. The Saplun lagoon is paradise for lovers of the eponymous crystal white sand. Time seems to stand still while you listen to the cries of countless gulls, inhale the intoxicating scent of pine and gaze into the distant blue horizon.

Ivo Biočina

Stiniva cove (island of Vis)

Sailing into the cove of Stiniva, one of the most picturesque coves of the island of Vis and in the Adriatic in general, is a unique experience for any sailor. From the narrow, almost semi-circular entrance surrounded by imposing steep cliffs, the cove widens and ends in a small pebble strand with several fishermen's cottages. Natural perfection and beauty is on full display in Stiniva, which is sometimes overcrowded by numerous tourists who flock to see this natural wonder.

Vinogradišće cove (Pakleni islands)

Vinogradišće cove (Pakleni islands)
Ivo Pervan
Vinogradišće cove

The cove of Vinogradišće lies at the southern coast of Sv. Klement, the largest and most famous of the Pakleni islands. This deeply indented cove is one of the most popular and best berths in the waters around Hvar. When strong southern winds disturb the calm you can safely berth on the opposite side of the island – in the ACI marina Palmižana. The Vinogradišće cove – also known as South Palmižana among local sailors – has a small sandy beach, several superb restaurants, a fanciful lounge bar, and a short promenade decorated with exotic plants brought from all over the world.

Zlatni rat (island of Brač)

Zlatni rat
Boris Kačan
Zlatni rat

Zlatni rat on the island of Brač – a beach that can be found on many tourist brochures – covers several hundred metres of the blue coastline, and its distinctiveness lies in it constantly changing its shape due to the waves and strong currents. Among the white pebbles of Zlatni rat you can find the so-called “stone of good fortune”, a seashell shaped like a winkle. Legend has it that whoever finds this seashell will be lucky for their entire life. Even though there is no real berth nearby, the beach itself provides good shelter for sailors looking for a daily swim.

Lojena cove (Levrnaka)

Kornati
Aleksandar Gospić
Lojena cove

The sandy cove of Lojena on the island of Levrnaki is the most beautiful beach of the Kornati National Park. The cove of Lojena can be described as having turquoise seas, sand on the sea bottom and pebbles on the beach, along with the surrounding rocky shores with scarce vegetation typical of Kornati, above which an endless sky rises – the cove of dreams. The narrow isthmus interspersed with a few pines and several stone cottages separates Lojena from Levrnaka, the biggest cove of the island, with its two restaurants.

Sakarun cove (Dugi otok)

Dugi otok, Sakarun
Ivo Biočina
Sakarun cove

The Sakarun cove is one of the most beautiful bays in the Adriatic. During the day it is filled with swimmers and visitors from land, while at night sailors in berth can experience the true natural atmosphere. Famous for its inviting sea colour that comes in thousands of turquoise shades, the finest white sand and numerous submarine springs which make swimming in the crystal clear sea particularly refreshing, even during the highest temperatures.

Krivica cove (island of Lošinj)

Krivica cove
Hrvoje Serdar / TZG Mali Lošinj
Krivica cove

Krivica cove is one of those coves that are often found on Croatian tourist posters. Its spectacular beauty is preserved by pine branches that bend almost to the sea surface, making it one of the most protected coves in that part of the Adriatic. The cove is almost uninhabited and decked in inviting emerald colours of the sea, with tall overhanging pines, whose scent and indispensable sound of crickets fill all your senses, reminding you that Krivica is the place of your dreams.

Boris Kačan

Sv. Ivan cove (Lubenice, Cres)

The most beautiful beach of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago, the uninhabited cove of Sv. Ivan lies right underneath the magical place of Lubenice. The town has a medieval fort built on high cliffs that offer incredible panoramic views. It is possible to hike up to Lubenice using a steep path, but this is recommended only to athletic individuals in good physical shape. Instead, just enjoy lounging on your boat surrounded by the emerald sea and one of the most beautiful pebble beaches. However, Sv. Ivan is not suitable for overnight berth, so we suggest you spend the night safely moored in the nearby town of Cres or perhaps on the island of Unije.

Nautical