Category Archives: Sailing Italy

Sailing the Adriatic sea of Croatia & Italy

In the summer of 2009 I circumsailed the Adriatic Sea with Sailing Yacht Rosa, an Elan 434, for about 3 months. I left from Murter in Croatia and went north to Pula, Trieste and Venice and back again. After a week in the Kornati Archipel I went south to Dubrovnik visiting places like Split, Hvar, Korcula and the Elephati Islands. From there upwards to Murter again.

Below you will find an impression of the route I sailed and the different islands and cities I have visited. If these islands and cities are described in one of my posts, you will find the link to the post below it. This paga is a living thing so come back for updates.

Heading North to Venice

Week 1 – Sailing from Murter to Pula

Route: Murter – Sali – Brbinje – Silba – Mali Losinj – Sosak – Pula

Crew: Emanuel, Betina & Bas

A Night at the Office in Betina, Croatia
Some Highlights

My trip started in Bettina Murter where I have spent many days to plan the trip. Often I had dinner at this pizzeria located in a former shipyard. The family running the restaurant still had the same blood running through the vains as the original founders of the shipyard back in the 18th century. From Murter you have an excellent starting point for sailing the Kornati Archipel… wich I didn’t. I would head north to Venice, with the first stop in Sali on Dugi Otok.


Mali Losinj is the island known as the Monaco of the Adriatic whith it’s city is laying gentily at the end of a bay. This place offers everything luxury you appreciate having sailed some days. From bakeries, a fish market and some excellent pastries (you have to try the deer sausage) and the best showers of the Adriatic. It is told that on this place the Medea, the wife of Jason (of Jason and the Argonauts), ambushed her brother. An action the brother didn’t survive.

Pula, ancient Rome in Croatia

I would call Pula little Rome in Croatia. The city is so rich of Roman monuments like the Temple of Helena, an triumphal arch and the amphitheater lying next to the marina that I will always look forward to return. It was also the endpoint of my first week sailing providing me a warm feeling of mission accomplished.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 1

Week 2 – Sailing from Pula in Croatia to Trieste, Italy

Route: Pula – Rovinj – Porec – Umag – Trieste (Italië)

Crew: Bas & Alex

Some Highlights

Rovinj of Croatia

The first city we sailed was Rovinj in the second week and what a start. First of all the view off the city is breathtaking. It is lying on a peninsula with a distinctive Campanile on top of it, legacy of it’s Venetian roots. For the fresh crew it was also breathtaking to try the quay, a mooring and finally a marina for berthing.

Bora in Umag

Although Umag is the place I wouldn’t be found death being a cheap tourist trap providing only hell-lighted arcades, loud disco’s and cheap restaurants. This was the place where we first met Bora, the fierce northern-storm this part of Croatia is notorious of. So we sheltered here for one day and measured windspeeds of more then 50 knots.

Trieste, Italy

Trieste, our destination of the week, won my unconditional love without a warning. Besides being a monumental city with a rich history with the ups and downs, the people are so relaxed, the food fantastic (I never found a Manzo similar to what I have tasted here) and Marina San Giusto had the best espresso I ever found in a harbour.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 2

Week 3 – Sailing from Trieste to Venice

Route: Trieste – Piran (Slovenië) – Lugnano (Italië) – Venetië

Crew: Willem

Some Highlights

Piran, Slovenia

The prelude of heading to Venice is called Piran, pearl of Slovenia, and a well captured Venetian city. Before it fell under Venetian control in 1283, it was an important maritime trading centre. The whole city breaths ancient Venice and on top of the hill is an impressive Campanile modeled on the famous campanile in St. Marks Square. The view of the Campanile is fantastic as a reward for the more daring ones.

A nuked beach in Lugano, Italy

From a sailing perspective Lugnano has no significance. It’s economy is fully dependent on beach-focused people from Austria and Germany arriving in the summer. We arrived before the season had started and the millions of empty beach chairs gave me the creapy feeling of a nuked summer holiday.

Marina Isola San Giorgo Maggiore

Venice, were should I start? I guess the beauty of the city speaks for itself. For me it was the realization of a dream project that started a year earlier, a fantastic feeling. I will never be prepared though to be anchored in an harbour for which I will not find an equal for the rest of my life.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 3

Week 4 & 5 – Returning to Murter and the Kornati Archipel

Route: Venice – Porec (Croatia) – Rovinj – Pula – Mali Losinj – Luka Kraijil – Molat – Iz Veli – Sali – Vrulje – Murter

Crew: Boele, Emke & Oscar


Some Highlights

After leaving Venice we crossed the Adriatic Sea immediately for Porec in Croatia. After having done the customs and other formalities for our entrance into Croatia (I have learned here to take this more seriously) we sailed southward along the coast to Pula. From there we left the Istrian peninsula for the islands in the Kvarner Gulf. First to Mali Losinj and then we had the opportunity to sail into the unknown…


First to Luka Krijal, a small village lying on the west coast of Otok Premuda. The village is protected from the pounding gulfs of the Adriatic by a small chain of rocks and islets. This channel between the island and the off-lying reefs provides an excellent anchorage to enjoy the sunset.

Tranquile Molat

About 12 miles further to the south-east lies Otok Molat. The highlands of the mainland behind the island are impressinve. There are three villages on the island and one of them is Molat. This village main goal is providing ease for the Croatians of the mainland arriving by the ferry in the weekends. It has a church, post office, a supermarket besides around 20 houses and a graveyard. The village is the proof that tranquility is something to aim for.

From here we sailed further south and returned to Murter via the Kornati Archipel (see further below).

Click this link to see the pictures of this week

Hungarian Intermezzo

Week 6 – Looking for Shelter for the Bora

Route: Murter – Zagreb – Budapest – Murter

Crew: Saab 900 T16S

The third encounter with Bora made me visit a friend in Budapest. Having been boated for more then 6 weeks, it is such a joy being in the city again. Good food and espresso’s, large terraces and fast internet do belong to my life necessities more then I would like to admit.


Heading South to Dubrovnik

Week 7 – Roundtrip Kornati Archipel

Route: Murter – Plavsa – Vodice – Murter

Crew: Bas, Mariola, Job & Sanne

The Highlight

On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath.

George Bernard Shaw

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 7

Week 8 – Sailing from Murter to Split

Route: Murter – Telascica – Prvic – Rogoznica – Stomorska – Trogir – Split

Crew: Kate

The Highlights


Telascica Bay on the island Dugi Otok is a national park on itself. On the south-west side of the bay you can go ashore for a walk to a Jerezo Mir a saltwater lake cut off from the sea by a norrwo barrier. In the east side of he bay you’ll find a small bay called Uvala Krusevica. There is a small pittoresque restaurant where you can have fresh grilled fresh if you are lucky. The owner and patron of this place is known for shutting down the restuarant and leave for a hike on Dugi Otok for several days. So don’t expect too much when visiting the bay…

Otok Prvic, Croatia

It was the unexpected meeting of a long time friend which made Prvic one of the hghlights of the week. About five years earlier I was here before and had the tradional Croatian meal called Pecca. It is the stew of squid, potato and tomatoes and some secret ingredients and needs to be put under hot coal for circa 2,5 hours to prepare.


The old town Trogir, built on the foundations of ancient Greek Tragurion, is one of the most seductive towns on the Dalmatian coast with it’s fortress, Venetian-kind of palaces and houses along the streets. The Cathedral Sv Lovre is famous for it’s 13th century carved doorway (known as Radovan’s Portal) but personally I like the north aisle of the cathedral most. There you’ll find in St John of Trogir’s Chapel at the centre of the ceiling God the Creator surrounded by hundreds of angels, under God’s view tens of life-sized statues of saints are placed.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 8

Week 9 – Sailing from Split to Dubrovnik

Route: Split – Hvar – Vis – Vela Luka – Korcula – Sipan – Dubrovnik

Crew: Rutger, Robert & Alex

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 9

Week 10 – Sailing from Dubrovnik to Split


Route: Dubrovnik – Ston – Korcula – Loviste – Hvar – Lucice – Split

Crew: Robert-Jan, Thomas & Jeroen

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 10

Week 11 – Returning S/Y Rosa to Murter


Route: Split – Vinisce – Zlarin – Murter

Crew: José


Shameless Appetizer for Sardegna

Two more weeks before sailing in Sardegna, found the clip on YouTube doing my research, counting down the days 🙂

Added two more books to my library for this trip. The pilot for Corsica and North Sardinia and the Rough Guide to Sardinia.

pilot-corsica-north-sardinia rough-guide-sardinia

First impressions: the Maddelena Archipelago will be beautiful and I hope we can make the crossing to Corsica from Sardinia as Bonifacio looks as a place not to be missed.

Lot of wind to be expected though, crossing the Bonifacio Strait between the islands. The well-known Venturi effect (kiting paradise) will create gale-force winds. Some people will not like it being aboard…

Just as a reminder for myself, the latest weather forecastfor sailing of Sardinia: SardegnaARPA

Daily Picture: The Lions of Trieste

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Feel like the lions of Trieste today. Had a good party yesterday evening. Lot of friends I didn’t see for quite some time, excellent live band so all together a lot of fun.

So now I feel strong… although a little bit peeled on the outside.

Pictures above were taken in Trieste and part of my “Street Signatures”. What you see are the ornaments on the doors of an old church on Riva 3 Novembre.

View Larger Map

And Trieste, ah Trieste ate I my Liver!

Arrived in Trieste on Thursday and now, two Bora’s later, time for some reflection.

My relationship with Bora

First of all, I Bora is a hard way of life. And it is officially confirmed that she is a maneater.

I’ve been able to learn you have three ways of Bora coming by. She can stay for one day, three days and even ten days. To make things worse you never will know for what she is up to. It is often said that she is born in the Velebitski Canal in Croatia and dies in Trieste. Sleeping with Bora in your yacht while she is going wild, is another special experience. Be sure you are well protected. Bora comes always from the North East so your harbour must be safe for that direction. And no matter how tired you are, you will get up time by time and look up what she has left of you and your stuff.

At this moment it looks like the Bora will stay here for the week with me. The weather forecast I just received shows NE winds up to 9 Bft for the next week in the night of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There the forecast stops…

There is something about Trieste

Back to Trieste however, to quote Cook’s Handbook for travellers:

“The average traveler would not make a point of staying long in Trieste”

It is just not true.

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