Endless Horizons: Sailing Croatia and Slovenia

Imagine a cool summer breeze filling your sails and gliding you through crystal-clear turquoise waters. Leading you past Roman arenas, commanding fortresses and infinite islands. Bringing you to enchanting coastal towns alongside their heavenly beaches, with seaside tavernas offering mouthwatering cuisine pulled straight from the sea.

In the Adriatic, you don’t have to imagine it, that’s just Tuesday on the Slovenian and Croatian seaside.

Journey Through Croatia’s Coastal Riches

Chances are when you think of Croatia you picture the coast, and for good reason; with a total of 6,278 km of coastline between the mainland and 1,244 islands, Croatia is the sea. To put that in perspective, if you straightened out the coast, it would stretch roughly from Miami, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska.

But it’s not just how long the coast is, it’s about what you’ll find along those sparkling waters that make Croatia a dream destination for sailors worldwide.

The blue waters around the Kornati Islands are a playground for sailboats and the 150 islands and islets make up 12% of Croatia’s islands. With their moonlike terrain, these rugged islands are largely uninhabited, making them yours to explore.

Another impressive archipelago can be found strewn off the coast of Hvar, the lush Pakleni Islands are chock full of beaches and beautiful bays. Nothing better than a day under sail followed by a seaside meal in Hvar town and sweeping views of the islands from a 16th-century fortress.

Mljet, near Dubrovnik, is a forest-covered island that’s as rich in natural beauty as it is in history and lore. A place where you can spend days exploring the coast and then drop anchor to visit saltwater lakes, Benedictine monasteries and snorkel Odysseus’ Cave.

Navigate the waters of Marco Polo’s hometown of Korčula by day and by night enjoy one of the island’s delectable restaurants with a glass of indigenous Pošip and Grk wines. And a sail through Dalmatia wouldn’t be complete without stops at the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian in Split and the hidden gem of neighboring Trogir.

The Cres-Lošinj archipelago is yet another beauty. While it’s made of 36 islands, we’ll focus on the namesakes. Cres is the largest Croatian island and is a world unto itself that’s full of green spaces and hilly terrain. There’s less in the way of towns, but given its size, it’s full of natural wonders and beaches for sailors to uncover.

Lošinj, the island of vitality, is the perfect place for dolphin watching and is as beautiful to take in from the sea as it is to enjoy from the colorful town of Mali Lošinj.

Discover Slovenia’s Seaside Treasures

Just over the border, Slovenia’s coast stretches to Italy and is no less charming.

Piran, set on a dramatic peninsula, is Slovenia’s timeless medieval jewel. Come for the sailing, stay for cobblestone streets, narrow passageways and warm Mediterranean charm that welcomes you. Nearby in Portoroz, there’s no nicer way to end a long day at sea than to be pampered in a waterfront spa with therapeutic salt pulled directly from the local salt pans.

Let the winds carry you further up the coast to what was once an island. With the backdrop of the Alps on a clear day, Izola is a compact yet endearing Mediterranean town where seafood reigns supreme. Add even more magic to your sail from Piran with a stop at Bele Skale beach for a swim.

History and the sea intertwine in Koper, the largest coastal town and Slovenia’s main port. Long the capital of Venetian Istria, docking in Koper gives you a chance to appreciate the meticulously preserved architecture while enjoying the gastronomy the region is so famous for.

Whether you’re after cultural heritage, luxurious destinations, island life or simply want to feel the wind in your hair, the Adriatic is truly a sea brimming with opportunity for all sailors.

Things to consider before traveling

load more

Some tips to consider while traveling

Want to know more about Europe?

Sign up to our newsletter here: