Island hopping with a skipper in Croatia

Case Study

The Clients

A party of four couples approached HELM with their hearts set on a luxury, skippered sailing holiday in Croatia. They wanted to explore some of the beautiful towns, anchorages and islands dotted along the Dalmatian Coast.


  • A high-end, well-appointed, air-conditioned yacht with good size double beds and en suite facilities.
  • A skipper with excellent local knowledge who would take care of all the sailing.
  • A tender (dinghy) which would fit them all in comfortably plus plenty of water toys on board to try out.
  • A holiday experience that would provide the opportunity to relax, try their hand at various watersports and enjoy the local nightlife.

Where and When

The group were flexible about dates, so we suggested a week in early July when they were guaranteed warm, sunny weather (temperatures average 24° during the day) and before the busy school holiday period started.


£1000 - 1500

per Person

Dufour 56 Sailing Yacht

Designed for comfort and performance, the Dufour 56 is an elegant, modern 17-metre sailing yacht. On board, it has a well-equipped galley and living area plus four generously sized cabins with double beds. There is plenty of storage space too, including a wine cellar!

Up on deck there is ample seating and a lounge area plus a large folding table big enough to accommodate eight people.

The group also had the use of a wealth of water toys, including snorkelling gear, towable tubes, a knee board, water skis and a paddle board.

In addition, the yacht carries a tender – ideal for hopping onto for short excursions.

7 Day Itinerary in Croatia

Day 1

Kremik to Blue Lagoon (Drvenik Veli) 16NM

A flight to Split followed by a 40 minute taxi ride brought us to Marina Kremik just south of the historic town of Primosten. Eager to get underway with our sailing holiday as quickly as possible, we opted to pay £130 extra for an early check in at 13:00.

We left the pretty marina and headed south towards the stunning anchorage of the Blue Lagoon off the island of Drvenik Veli. This beautiful bay with crystal clear waters was a welcome sight after a day of travelling. Following a refreshing dip, we settled down on board for the evening to enjoy a delicious barbeque.

Day 2

Blue Lagoon to Vis Town 22NM

We spent the day making our way to the island of Vis, the furthest island in the Adriatic from Croatia. We moored for the night on the town quay of Vis town and set off to explore. The architecture here dates back to the time of Venetian rule and beautiful old buildings, including Garibaldi Palace, line its narrow streets and alleyways.

There are some great restaurants to choose from in Vis, but on our skipper’s advice we settled on Rokis for some Pekka. This is authentic traditional Croatian cuisine all cooked in a pekka – a large cast iron dish over coals. You order one dish for your entire party, so we opted for octopus, which we washed down with some delicious local wine – a wonderful way to experience an authentic Croatian tradition.

Day 3

Vis to Komiza 17NM

As we learned, Vis was for many years a Yugoslav military base only opening to tourists in 1990. As such, it has remained marvellously unspoilt. We left Viz Town and sailed along its coastline admiring the lush forests and vineyards that still make up much of the island.

We stopped for lunch at the fascinating green caves on the island of Ravnik. Our handy tender enabled us all to go right inside and experience the shaft of sunlight that passes through a small hole on the roof of the cave. This produces the green colour on the sea’s surface which gives the caves their name and is quite magical!

After an afternoon of trying out all our water toys with differing levels of success!, we anchored for the night on Komiza, back on the island of Vis, and watched the sun set on board our yacht before heading off to dance away until the early hours at the local nightclub on Kamencia Beach.

Day 4

Komiza to Hvar 26NM

A refreshing breeze quickly cleared our heads as we set off early to ensure a good spot at the famous Blue Caves on the island of Bisevo this morning. We managed to avoid having to queue long for tickets and were quickly able to join a taxi boat that took us inside. The morning is by far the best time to come to get the best effect of the sun reflecting on the sandy bottom, so well worth the early start.

Our next stopping point was the Pakleni Islands, just off Hvar, from where our skipper kindly ferried us over to Hvar Town in the tender. Known as the St Tropez of Croatia, Hvar certainly lives up to its reputation. This small and glamorous harbour town is a mecca for tourists coming to Croatia, but still managed not to feel overcrowded. Our first point of call was the medieval castle which involved a slightly sweaty climb up the streets of the old town. However, we were rewarded with spectacular views down over Hvar and the Pakleni Islands.

We stayed up at the fort to enjoy a magnificent sunset then headed back to town and found a perfect restaurant on the harbour edge for an entertaining evening of eating, drinking and people watching.

Day 5

Hvar to Bol 18NM

A leisurely day relaxing and sailing began with a refreshing swim by our yacht followed by breakfast and then back into Hvar, courtesy of the tender, to investigate some of chic boutiques and have lunch by the quay.

We then made our way over to Bol, a beautiful small town, on the island of Brac. It’s a popular destination, but luckily our skipper was ahead of the game and ensured we managed to get a great spot on the town quay for the night. We took a stroll along its long seafront promenade, lined with pine trees and gardens and settled back on board for an early night.

Day 6

Bol to Split 23NM

Time to energise ourselves! Our skipper got the show on the road early today, so we could make the most of a visit to the beach at Zlatni Rat. One of the finest on the Dalmatian Coast, it consists of a narrow triangle of tiny pebbles that extend out to sea and is renowned for being a watersports paradise. We decided to have a go at parasailing and although it initially seemed rather daunting there is no better way to enjoy the spectacular views of this part Croatia.

As fans of Game of Thrones, we were all very excited to come back down to earth though and sail on to Split. Aside for being one of the locations for the TV show, this buzzing city is a great combination of ancient and modern. Diocletian’s Palace, which dates back to Roman times, made an impressive introduction. Less of a palace and more of a labyrinth of buildings, it is still home to local inhabitants and the heart of the old town.

Day 7

Split to Kremik 27NM

It was hard to believe we had seen so much in such a short space of time yet without spending hours at sea, but that is the joy of island hopping on the Dalmatian Coast. We were genuinely a little sad to be making our way back to Kremik and celebrated our holiday with a final stop off for a special lunch in a gorgeous secluded bay.

That night we moored in Kremik and had the chance to explore this pretty town before dining on locally caught fish at a lovely restaurant.

Marinakremik Primosten

Day 8

Time to go home

We packed our bags and said farewell to our amazing skipper who had done so much to make our holiday truly special and set off for Split airport for our return flight home.

Feeling inspired? Build your holiday here

Cost breakdown

Yacht: £8,490

Skipper: £900

Food and Drink (on board provisioning): £1,000

Larger Rib with 50hp and water sports equipment: £850

Marina fees: £300

Fuel: £300


per Person

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