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Having enjoyed previous trips to Croatia, exploring middle Dalmatia and sailing south to Dubrovnik, we knew there was sensational food, local wine, cheeses and easily accessible historical sites to explore further north.

We chose to sail on this charter through the northern islands, leaving from Zadar, an enchanting small coastal Adriatic departure point with a small marina just a short walk to the Old Town.

We decided that with three experienced sailors on board, two holding all the required certificates (must have a skippers and VHF radio certificate) we would ‘bareboat’ it (renting a private yacht without a professional captain or crew).

However, you don’t need to miss out if you have no sailing experience. Just hire a local skipper and if you wish, a hostess for meal preparation and cleaning.

We chartered a beautifully fitted out 50ft Elan four cabin/three bathroom yacht for our group of three couples as it’s always good to have one more cabin than actually required to store luggage.

This is also great if you are doing further travel in Europe at the end of the charter. Options for fully crewed charters are available for larger groups of three or four families or couples.

As we all enjoy exploring local markets and other shopping opportunities we opted for self-catering, easily stocking food and wine essentials from a local Konsum (a supermarket chain) located just around the corner from the marina in Zadar.

Charters traditionally start on a Saturday evening so it’s a good idea to arrive early to complete provisioning before leaving or stay the first night in the marina and explore your departure city.

We had some great recommendations for islands and restaurants to visit so planned that where possible to have one night on a town quay or at a marina and the next in a bay for swimming and snorkelling in the amazing clear and sparkling water of the Adriatic.

We started our charter by nosing out of Zadar and taking a turn to port to motor down next to the promenade fronting the Old Town where the famous Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun are located. Zadar is a lovely old town which we hoped to explore on our return on the last night of the trip.

From there we meandered through many islands making for the town quay on the small island of Molat for night one. From there we sailed to Silba, passing many islands on the way, spotting beautiful cloud formations but few other crafts – perfect!

Silba is only 15 square kilometres in total with 200 residents in winter but swells to around 7,000 in season. We picked up a mooring and it wasn’t long before a boatman appeared to collect the fee for the night and for transfers back and forth to have dinner at Leggiero. A short walk up the hill and we enjoyed a sumptuous seafood feast.

Next island was Mali Losinj with its interesting architecture, shops and access to provisions. From there we sailed to Uniji in Kvarner Bay before heading towards Istria and Pula.


We lunched in a bay opposite the entrance to Pula and had a spectacular entry in to the ACI Marina with its backdrop of a Roman amphitheatre. Exploring Pula was a delight – the market, the triumphal arch, temple of Augustus and other Roman Empire monuments.

The following day we organised a van to take us to sightseeing for the day. It was raining initially but luckily cleared up in time for us enjoy Rovinj and Porec.

Leaving Pula, we headed for the island of Cres, but decided to go to Valun instead as Cres seemed to sport too many water toys, big hotels and lines of beach umbrellas. A good decision as Valun was small and perfect for a quiet night with several restaurants along the water and the quay.

Our adventure took us to Krk and Rab before we headed back to where we started, enjoying a night in a quiet bay before our return to Zadar. Dinner at a waterside restaurant after walking around Old Town Zadar capped off a fantastic trip – I only wished we had longer to explore.



A yachting charter specialist since 2003, Latitude Vacations offers pricing for 2024 spring and summer rates on catamarans, yachts and gulets in major locations across the Mediterranean, including Greece, Italy, Croatia or Turkey.

Charters are offered as bareboat (with or without a skipper) or fully crewed for larger vessels. One or two week charters are available with flexible itineraries including one way charters within one country if required.