Around Hvar by sails
Sailing around Hvar is a 80 nautical mile round trip. From cape Pelegrin to the port of Hvar, then along the southward shore of the island of Hvar to Sućuraj whilst along the northern part to the cape Kabal and Stari Grad, is a landward breeze and north wind.
From cape Pelegrin to the port of Hvar
When sailing from the west towards the town of Hvar
, you will see it the moment you turn in its direction, but do not lower your sails, unless from the west or north-west a landward breeze or north wind is blowing, as they will bring you to the town.
If the winds and waves are beating the prow, you will manoeuvre against them from one shore to another, slowly approaching; Klement
on the one side and Vela and Mala Garška
, then Ždrilca
and finally the port of Hvar. Only from the sea can you discover Hvar in all its beauty. The Cathedral, Arsenal with the theatre, the Fortica, Franciscan monastery, the waterfront under the Fabrika where the Venetian fleet once anchored as well as hundred of boats at anchor. The port is significantly opened towards the south and west and is often quite rough, but you can find a shelter on Pakleni islands.
are worth sailing around. If you pay attention to the shoal, you will experience great enjoyment. You should go into the wind and along it, follow the current, pass Ždrilca, and scrape through Jerolim, all in just a short time. However, when the lebić (north-westerly wind) becomes strong this channel tends to fizz up so caution is necessary, although its islands and inlets are still a safe refuge.
The best time to sail off Pakleni islands toward Milna
is when the mistral is blowing. In the afternoon, hoist the spinnaker, have the crew put the boat under control and whilst you are foaming along the waves, the only question is how close you will approach the shore and whether you will stop at one of two afore-mentioned coves.
It is quite hard to do when the mistral is blowing, except in the Milna western cove that is small Milna. If the weather allows you to do so, stop at Dubovica too.
Continue sailing along the sheer and inapproachable shore with small beaches opened both to the influence of the scirocco and the mistral which can be approached either by foot or by boat and your next destination will be the islet of Šćedro
During the winter, this islet is mostly uninhabited but starts wakening with the first rays of spring sunshine. Summer inhabitants of this islet come to the small number of houses at the port of Lovišće
and Vinogradišće cove
whilst ever more yachtsmen can be found on the more protected coves.
Since ancient times, Šćedro has been an important port, the only refuge for sailors during the strong scirocco gales on their way from Corcyra to Pharos. In 49 B.C. important historic battles took place here from Pompeii and Caesar where Caesar's commandant, Vatinius overcame Marcus Octavius in the port of Taurus, with a smaller fleet and greater skills.
During medieval times, the monastery in Mostir cove was inhabited by Dominicans after whom the cove got its name.
The best place for anchoring in the entire island is at its western part, in the port of Lovišće. Although there are even more yachtsmen visiting this island every year, this port still exudes with the isolation and peace that was here in the past. Like its neighbouring cove, Mostir, you should protect yourself against the strong bora wind.
Along the southern shore of the island of Hvar
Along the southern shore of the island of Hvar towards Sućuraj
, you will hardly stop before reaching Sućuraj, except during the summer when the sea is calm. But the views that sailing along the coast offers are well worth approaching the coast for. The coast is fairly inhospitable, with numerous rocks and small beaches confined between them and a few deeply incised inlets. On the way towards Sućuraj there are a number of smaller villages – Torac and Smarska and two-three coves where you can anchor. However, Kozja, Smarska and Mrtinovnik with their two sides are not safe coves to pass the night unless you have a bigger boat. Sućuraj, the most eastern village in Hvar is safe.
Along the northern coast of the island of Hvar
The northern coast of the island of Hvar, from the cape Sućurje to Jelsa
is subject to north-eastern winds which should be treated with respect. The coast perpendicularly lowers into the sea, thus creating smaller coves and beaches. The most interesting cove is Pokrivenik
in which the deepest part is home to a lovely beach with a few houses around it. If there is no bora blowing in this opened cove, it is nice to anchor and bathe here. Moving onwards towards Jelsa, Vela stiniva
and Mala stiniva
follow one after the other whilst after the shallow cape Makarac, set more than 200 metres into the sea, in the Papratna cove
are the Jelsa coves - Crkvica, Zenčište, Grebišče and Mina that are fine for bathing but are in no way a suitable place to pass the night.
This can be done in Jelsa, in the former Pitava port. In the time of sailing ships, many of them moored at the Jelsa waterfront which was built for them, whilst their owners, captains, lived in the noble houses which still today adorn the Jelsa waterfront. Sailing ships and Jelsa seafaring disappeared with the arrival of steamboats, but the port remained.
It is protected by three break-waters and is secure and pleasant except during bora gales which blow from Biokovo here. It is not recommended to enter port after the bora has begun blowing.
A mile and a half to the north of Jelsa is Vrboska
, a small and quiet village, if we do not count the yachtsmen who come here. Enter and exit the bay surrounded by a pine wood which first broadens and then becomes narrower, and is a real experience.
The former port of Vrbanja winds around both of the bay’s shores which are connected by a number of small bridges. Wherever you moor in Vrboska you will be calm. You can feel the bora well in this cove but it doesn’t create waves and does not create problems for moored boats. South-easterly winds create waves so it is dangerous only when the stormy south-easterly wind blows and the sea level suddenly rises so particular care should be taken of all boats.
Along the route of a strong mistral
There are around 15 nautical miles of sailing to Stari Grad
if you do not enter any of approximately 40 smaller and larger coves that can be found on that way.
Such indentedness forming some of the most pleasant Adriatic views is completed by the islet of Zečevo, situated half a mile on the north of the Glavica promontory, at the exit from the port of Vrboska.
If you would like to moor and bathe or pass the night here, do it in the small cove at the southern part of the cliff. If the bora begins to blow, you are completely safe – Zečevo will protect you. But you will be less comfortable when the scirocco starts blowing.
, all the coves to Žukova
, that is 6 nautical miles away, are uninhabited and open to the bora’s influence.
When in the summer afternoon Plani rat and sail in a westerly direction, you will experience a strong mistral blowing into your prow. This is the wind born far away on the Adriatic high seas but here, in the narrowest part of the Hvar channel, as in a sort of throat, it achieves its greatest force.
If you are sailing, using a motor, you can expect watering and rolling, but if you wish to be propelled by sails and have a well prepared crew, here is a chance to experience a few good volleys sharply against the wind.
Towards Stari Grad
After such sailing, don’t forget to stop at Žukova inlet
. This inlet is sheltered from all winds, particularly in its southern part and is good for bathing.
This point to the Smočiguzica promontory
is around a 1 nautical mile but also Nedomisalj is worth mentioning. This part of the coast which is not particularly hospitable is known around the world as one of the most remarkable Adriatic sights.
When you turn around the Kabal promontory
, an eighty metre high rock, you have just entered the Stari Grad bay which cuts some 5 nautical miles in the heart of the island. Yachtsmen like it as there is always a wind blowing there. This is the reason why professional sailors prepare themselves here. So don’t be surprised if, when entering the port, a Laser or Optimist sailboat speeds by in front of your prow. The most common wind blowing here is north-westerly wind which, when strong, can be unpleasant.
If you entered this bay during one of those crystal clear days when you can see everything in front of you, it is like having it in your palm, you will see a view similar to that of a fiord. At the southern part you will leave the high Bruška mountains that lower perpendicularly to the sea, deep in the bay you will see Stari Grad whilst on the northern part you will leave behind the port of Tiha
, another famous nautical destination that consists of seven coves.
Those situated on the northern part are protected against all winds, whilst on the western side they are not protected to the south whilst the Hobonj cove, in the east is not protected during lebićada (south-west wind) gales. Nevertheless, this is undoubtedly a delightful place to anchor where you can safely spend the night.
After Tiha, on the way to Stari Grad there are a few other coves the largest of which being Zavala
, situated in front of Žukova.
The marina in the port of Stari Grad is situated at Nova Riva, in front of the Port Authorities but you can also moor at the old ferry port or at the mooring place in the middle of the bay.
In this oldest island town, the town of Hektorović’s Tvrdalj, you can stay overnight during any weather as the bay of Stari Grad is by far one of the safest ones.