Sea kayaking in Croatia – Enjoying the Adriatic November 6, 2013 – Posted in: Sea kayaking
Clean sea, hidden beaches and warm sun combined with good food make the perfect epicurean adventure.
The Croatian archipelago is adorned with 1185 islands and with only 66 being populated, it gives you plenty of opportunities to find peace and a stony beach to spend the night. Located between the Italian and the Balkan peninsula, the Adriatic has a tiny tidal range of 50 cm, no braking surf, mild temperatures and a predictable weather system. All this makes the area suitable for beginners and week-end adventurers. There will always be a bay or a village where you can shelter in case of danger. Although it’s usually sunny and calm from May – October, beware of the strong offshore Bora wind and the danger of the cold Neverini summer thunderstorms.
The beauty of the Croatian islands lies in their unspoiled nature. You will easily find small fishing villages and taverns, but it will take a lot of effort to stumble upon a big hotel complex. If you are looking for a peaceful summer retreat, then the islands of Elafiti near Dubrovnik, Hvar and Brač are best avoided in the peak tourist season (July – August).
The Kornati islands, the most fascinating group of islands of the Adriatic Sea, are a National Park and thus have some restrictions. But you can still spend the nights on the fascinating island of Levrnaka and explore the unusual rocky forms, the extraordinary relief structures and especially the high cliffs on the western side of the islands.
Just on the northern border of Kornati archipelago lies another crown of Dalmatia, the island Dugi otok, with the Nature Park Telaščica situated on its southern part. This large and the most beautiful bay in Croatia is covered by forests of pine, macchia, olive and fig trees. It offers not only kayaking opportunities, but you can also explore the area on foot or by bike. The small town of Sali is easily accessed from the mainland and can serve as a base to explore the nearby Kornati and Telaščica.
Also the northern islands are not to be overlooked. If you have time, head to the island of Rab. The island is one of the greenest in the Adriatic and has to offer a variety of beaches: sand, rocks and gravel. The medieval buildings built during the Venetian rule in the picturesque town of Rab are worth an afternoon exploring.
The Croatian archipelago isn’t only sun and easy paddling, also your taste buds will have the time of their life. Imagine a meal starting with a tasty plate of prosciutto and cheese, followed by a grilled fish that was still swimming a few hours before. All prepared by the friendly local fisherman.
Getting there: The bigger islands are easy accessible by ferries. There are four international airports that offer a fast escape to the sea, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.
Other local paddling: From April to October, the Zrmanja river offers easy to moderate kayaking through magnificent canyons.
On land: If you fancy some wild hiking and unspoiled forests, head to the Northern Velebit National Park. Hang your food on a tree if you don’t want a brown bear waking you up in the middle of the night.
Recommended tour and rental service: Sea Kayak Croatia