Nautical destinations in Croatia – island Hvar


The island of Hvar is one of the favourite sailors’ destinations. Those who are tired of crowds and glamour will definitely avoid the city of Hvar in the high season as well as Palmizana Marina on the islands of Pakleni in front of Hvar. These places should be visited in late autumn or winter. Those who like to party will rush to Hvar, and the rest should visit some of the many quiet Hvar places.

If you sail from Korcula to Hvar you will get the chance to see some small places at the southern slopes of the island of Hvar. Zavala, Sveta Nedilja and Ivan Dolac are famous places with a lot of private accommodation; here you can sun bath at some of the beautiful beaches . Mooring in their ports is good only when the weather is nice.

The harbour  Zavala  is situated in the bay Zaca. A small promontory is connected with a twenty meter long rocky part which protects the harbor from the southwest wind. On the opposite side there is a 40 m long stone pier with a breakwater that extends towards the south. There you can buy bread, go to a restaurant or have a drink under the shade with a view of Scedro.


In Sveta Nedilja the best red wines of Hvar are made while in Zavala the best white wines are made. At Nikola’s you will enjoy home made delicacies and the staff will help you moor your boat. In Sveta Nedilja you have everything you need for your holiday: a shop, green market, toilette… For adventure seekers, nearby there are spots for free climbing where people come from all over the world.

We approach Jerolim, the easternmost island of Pakleni, and we enter the channel of Pakleni. The maestral wind is the strongest in Krizna Luka. Next to it there is also a gas station where you should get early in the morning or in the evening because of the big waves caused by maestral. The next closest gas station is in Vis, Vrbovska, Bol or Milna on Brac.

Here we are in Hvar which is always nice to sail into. In Hvar you can moor at the waterfront (one of the most expensive moorings on the Adriatic) or “catch” a buoy on the western side if you arrive earlier and if you are lucky because this is almost impossible in the high season. Maybe it would be the best to moor your boat in the ACI Marina Palmizana and get to Hvar by taxi boats.

The islands of Pakleni are composed of 21 islands and islets and the biggest one, St Clement, takes up two-thirds of their total area. During  summer months the southern part of the islands of Pakleni is full of tourists who come to swim from Hvar. The largest bay is Stipanska which is well sheltered from the bura wind and from western winds. On the southwestern side of the island there is the Zdrilca bay. This is actually a passage and you must take notice of the shallow sea. The bay has several houses and 3 restaurants.

ACI Marina Palmizana is on the western coast and its flag serves as an orientation while sailing into the marina. If there is no place in the ACI Marina or you don’t want to pay for a berth, it is usual to anchor on the southern side; the stern is tied at the coast and the anchor is put on the bow. If you want to be sure you will find a place we recommend that you arrive by 17:00 at the latest because it is a very beautiful and secure bay so it is rapidly filled with boats. In the southern Palmizana we recommend the Meneghello restaurant with great food and on the eastern side of the bay there is a cocktail bar.


We pass the western point of the island of Hvar, the cape Pelegrin, and continue towards Stari Grad. Stari Grad is a historical town in the northwestern part of Hvar; it is also called the ancient Faros. This is the oldest town on island Hvar  made by Greek colonies .

A ferry docks several times a day in Stari Grad. The place where the ferry stops is easily visible because it’s marked with a big breakwater and a high pier as well as tires. The western port Faros is half a mile away and several hotels are on the northeastern side.

Sailing into Stari Grad you will see no houses so you might think that the place is not inhabited. The waterfront which extends for a hundred meters from a green buoy (which you should leave on your right side beacuse the water is shallow towards the waterfront) is made for the sailors. In the shallow water residents moor their small boats. At the waterfront you can hook up to water and electricity and there are moorings. Anchoring is forbidden. When the boat is safely moored you can go sightseeing the Hektorovic mansion; the square in front of it and the mansion with a beautiful pond still reflect the spirit of the poet.

Stari Grad is the second biggest town on Hvar where you can get anything you need. We suggest renting a car by which you can go around the island and visit its villages like Vrbanj and Pitve, pass through the tunnel between Pitve and Zavala and reach the southern side of the island or visit the town of Hvar. A safe shelter is the Tiha bay characterized by 7 coves so depending on the wind you can choose the safest one. The depth is approximately 10 m and it is very close to the shore.

The adventure is continued towards Vrboska, a small place and port on the northern coast of the central part of Hvar. It is located in a narrow and deep bay surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and pine forest. The residents are engaged into wine growing, agriculture, fishing, olive growing and tourism. The sailors have at their disposal a port for smaller boats and a well equipped ACI Marina. The Marina provides a good protection from all the winds. The winds of jugo and bura are strong in the port but do not cause big waves. The most popular beaches in Vrbovska are those on the peninsula of Soline, in the Maslinica bay and the little island of Zecevo.


In the vicinity of Vrbovska there is the Jelsa port, a mile and a half away. If bura starts blowing, we suggest going to Vrbovska which is very close. Sailing into Jelsa during the night is not a problem because there are lighthouses and during the day you can orient yourselves according to the hotels on the eastern and the western cape. Go swimming at one of the beautiful beaches like Mini, Grebisce or Carkvica. Jelsa is located opposite Bol on Brac and is often connected by local tourist lines.

After Jelsa, the first safe shelter is the Vela Stiniva bay relatively well protected from bura by a 20 meter long pier with a breakwater. The Kokic family runs a restaurant here which is worth visiting.

We get to the Sucuraj promontory and enter the waters of the Channel of Neretva. All the bays on the southern side provide a good protection from bura and most of them from maestral. We come to Sucuraj which is by ferry connected to Drvenik at the coastal road. The small port is exposed to the levant wind  but protects very well from the southern and western winds.

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