Four islands: no marinas: Split/Kremik
Credit crunch aside we still want to get a least a week’s sailing in Croatia in the coming summer. In July of 2009 we offered hints and tips for keeping the budget to a minimum while still enjoying the best that the Adriatic has to offer (Cruising on a Budget). Here is an itinerary that follows this advice and avoids marinas for a whole week while still taking you to four of the most well known and exciting islands in the central Dalmatia cruising area.
The aim with this route was to get out from Split, Kremik (or any of the other charter marinas in the area) and spend time either at anchor, on a mooring buoy or in some of the areas smaller harbours. Interspersing this route with harbours will give you the change to hook up to shore power, refill your water tanks and take on suppliers while avoiding the additional expense of a marina.
This itinerary offers two nights on Hvar, with its extensive history and lavender industry, two nights on Brac including a stop near its world famous limestone quarries (from where the stone for the Washington White House came) as well as the chance to visit the historic walled town of Korcula with its famous sword dancing and what remains one of Croatia’s unspoilt island gems in Vis.
As an alternative you can also choose to miss out the second visits to Hvar and Brac and return by a different route taking in the natural beauty of Mala Luka on Veli Drevnik (and hopefully its stunning sunsets along the bay to the west) followed by a night in the UNESCO listed world heritage site, the medieval town of Trogir on the mainland to the west of Split.
In addition to all of this the route also offers stops at some fantastic restaurants, several long days sailing and several shorter ones too, along with options for detours on the shorter days for swimming or site seeing!
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Length: 6-7 Days
Starting and Finishing: ACI Split
Way Point: 43°30’15”N 16°26’03”E
Overall distance: 189 nm
Leg 1: Split to Uvala Luka, Brac (peach)
Distance: Around 23 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Uvala Luka - 43°20’32”N 16°48’55”E
Recommendations: This leg takes you along the Bracski canal between the towering mountains of the mainland and the lower hills of Otok Brac to the south. If you have the time you have the option to stop at Bol and its famous sandy spit Dugi Rat, on the shore to your north. On Brac itself you will also pass the quarries of Pucisca where stone reputedly used in building the Whitehouse was quarried. Uvala Luka is the western arm of a three armed bay and offers some of the most sheltered moorings around this area. On reaching Uvala Luka there are several options for mooring both close to the Konoba Pipo.
View of Uvala Luka from the Konoba Pipo, 2009
There are around 8 mooring buoys at the west end of the bay just beyond the Konoba, and in front of the buildings themselves is a static concrete pontoon which can moor between 5-8 yachts stern too. Both options are administered separately from the Konoba and you will be charged for using them (in 2009 a mooring buoy cost 80 Kuna for the night). During our visit we saw boats at anchor in the same immediate vicinity being asked for fees and choosing to depart. There are however options for anchoring further east along the inlet.
The Konoba Pipo is one of two restaurants in the bay and offers fairly basic, but excellent, local fare including great roast lamb cooked in the traditional style over an open flame (4 flags).
Distance: Around 21 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Vrboska - 43°10’33”N 16°41’07”E
Recommendations: While there are options for dropping anchor here these are a good mile to the east of the town. Follow the inlet past the ACI Marina and the fuel berth until you reach Vrboska harbour. Here Josko and his brother run the harbour and will endeavour to meet your every need. With power and water Vrboska harbour is still between 25-30% cheaper than the marina and puts you right at the centre of this quiet little town. It, and its neighbour Jelsa are everything that is good about Hvar but without the glitz and expense of Hvar town.
Vrboska Harbour, 2009
Avoiding the more obvious restaurants on the water front there are several highly rated establishments in the back streets overlooking the inlet on both sides of the water. As Josko for a recommendation. The town and its bridges are well worth a walk and the Church of Sv. Marija offers fantastic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. There are several supermarkets, a bakers, bank and post office.
Distance: Around 52 nm
Way Point: Sucuraj Lighthouse - 43°07’28”N 17°11’58”E
Way Point: Entrance to Luka Banja - 42°57’48”N 17°06’46”E
Recommendations: This is a long day that will take you down the north shore of Hvar, around the impressive Sucuraj lighthouse and then south west to the Peljeski Kanal and Otok Korcula. Mooring in the visually stunning Luka Banja is either by anchor in the west of the bay or on one of the mooring buoys in the east of the bay - ownership and maintenance of these buoys is uncertain. Be aware of the unlit rock to the west of the entrance to the bay as you approach. From here it is a 20 minute walk along the shore to the historic town of Korcula.
Sucaraj Lighthouse, 2009
For those who prefer to be closer to the centre of town there is also the Town Quay, though this is exposed to any westerly weather and a swell that builds up along the Peljeski Kanal and during both of our most recent visits has looked a very uncomfortable place to be moored up. (There is also an ACI marina on the east side of the town if you are so inclined)
Distance: Around 50 nm
Way Point: entrance to Viska Luka - 43°04’27”N 16°12’15”E
Recommendations: Another long day, but well worth it for the potential of some open water sailing followed by one of the undisputed and unspoilt gems of the Croatian Adriatic waters - Otok Vis. Three main options exist for mooring in Viska Luka, you can of course take advantage of some of the quieter spots in the outer bay and drop an anchor, but this is another opportunity to top up water and hook up to the shore power in one of the bay’s two harbours. Kut Harbour offers a quieter option and is located 2 minutes walk from the excellent Restaurant Pojoda (5 Flags) which is our must-try recommendation of this route as a whole. From Kut it is a 10-15 minute walk through the back streets to the centre of Vis Town proper.
Staff at the Pojoda show off some their fresh fish, 2009
The alternative is to moor against the Vis Town Harbour wall, which places you right in the centre of the action for a whole host of shops, bars and restaurants (not to mention banks, post office and also the fuel berth) but this mooring has a reputation for being more noisy than Kut and also for filling up more quickly.
Distance: Around 18 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Uvala Pribinja - 43°11’56”N 16°25’42”E
Recommendations: Located on the north shore of of Hvar at its western end mooring options are simple here, either find a spot to anchor at in the outer bay or head for one of the 4 mooring buoys located in the inner bay. These are maintained by the local restaurant, the Ringo, and can be booked in advance by calling the Ringo in advance (+ (0) 91 510 3686 ). At the Ringo the proprietor - Jure - bills the food as ‘what he feeds his own family’ and while it is definitely a family experience the fresh sea food is of the highest possible quality. There are no prices on the menu but during our visit a meal for two (3 course) and wine came to 370 Kuna which seemed like excellent value.
Uvala Pribinja is the eastern arm of a bay that has two arms. The port of Vira is located in the western arm - but is fully occupied by large commercial fishing boats with no space for yachts. Between the two is a large camp site that has a shop open between 07:30-14:00 daily. It is a pleasant 1 km walk from the moorings in Uvala Pribinja.
Distance: Around 14 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Spliksa Vrata - 43°19’25”N 16°24’02”E
Way Point: Entrance to Bobavicse - 43°21’14”N 16°26’57”E
Recommendations: If you badly need to be back by the end of the 6th day (possibly to return your charter boat by a deadline) then head straight from Pribinja back to your charter base. If not then the harbour of Bobavicse offers an excellent stop over from where you can head back to Split, Trogir and other local with relative ease. There seems to be three main options for moorings here. On the way into the inlet there is an arm to the left where it is possible to anchor. As you pass this you will see that there are also some mooring buoys on the south side of the inlet which require you to take a line ashore. It is not clear what the ownership of the buoys is. Finally you will make it to the Bobavicse harbour where you can moor stern too against the wall and both water and power are available.
Bobavicse is a sleepy little place with several bars that also serve food - we ate onboard during our last visit so have no recommendation for eating - please let us know if you find a good (or bad) option for food.
Bobovicsa, Brac, 2009
On the way to Bobavicse there is the option to stop at Uvala Lucice on the southern shore of Brac, just to the east of the entrance to the Splitska Vrata. Here you will find plenty of mooring buoys that are good for a lunch stop and swimming. If you are feeling slightly more energetic you could consider a stop slightly further east at Uvala Blaca. Here you can drop anchor, go ashore and walk to the impressive Blaca Hermitage.
Leg 7 : Bobavicse, Brac to Split (orange)
Distance: Around 11 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Split Harbour - 43°30’10”N 16°26’03”E
Distance: Around 28 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Mala Luka - 43°19’42”N 16°24’14”E
Recommendations: This slightly longer day gives you a more direct route back to Kremik (if that is your base) or the opportunity to visit Trogir and also brings you to one of the most stunning anchorages in the area. This is a great way to finish your holiday, work your way through the yachts in the outer bay and if possible get them between you and the sun, then anchor up right at the back and either put out a kedge or take a line ashore to prevent you from swinging.
Mala Luka, Veli Drvenik, 2007
The sun sets down the bay giving the most awesome golden sea and sky as it goes down. There are no services in the bay so make sure you have picked up everything you need, and topped off your tanks in Vis before you set out.
Leg 6 : Mala Luka to Trogir (light blue)
Distance: Around 10 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Trogir - 43°30’51”N 16°14’24”E
Recommendations: From Mala Luka you can return directly to any one of the central Dalmatian charter bases with relative ease. But if time allows Trogir is well worth a visit. The main mooring here is in the ACI Marina but in keeping with the spirit of ‘no marinas’ you have the option to anchor in the rode to the west of the harbour, or if you arrive at the right time to moor alongside the harbour wall right in the midst of the old town.
Trogir Harbour wall from the ACI marina, 2009
Get here early, ensure a mooring then spend some time wandering the medieval streets. For eating we like the Alka Restaurant, its more expensive than most but well worth it. There are of course endless options for food to cater to all tastes and wallets.
Leg 7 : Trogir to Split (white)
Distance: Around 17 nm
Way Point: Entrance to Split Harbour - 43°30’10”N 16°26’03”E
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Uvala Luka, Brac, 2009