You are getting ready for a vacation on a boat or sailboat, but you don't know where to start? With so many beautiful islands, it really does seem difficult to decide. In this article, we bring you a recommendation about visiting the four small pearls of the Adriatic - four small islands in the Zadar archipelago - Iž, Rava, Sestrunj and Molat. These islands are the perfect choice if you want a simple and easy vacation and a slow pace of sailing. It will amaze you with its wonderful beauty, Mediterranean charm, and the generosity of its inhabitants.
After you set sail from our charter center, which is located in Marina Kornati in Biograd na Moru, it is best to head south, towards Kornati. Spend a morning in this beautiful archipelago and enjoy a piece of heaven on earth. After you have experienced all the beauty of one of the most famous Croatian national parks, sail north towards the island of Iž.
This small island is located between Dugi otok and Ugljan, it has two inhabited villages, Veli Iž and Mali Iž, as well as several hamlets and numerous beautiful bays that sailors adore. We recommend anchoring in Vodenjak bay, on the southeast side of the island. This bay has an anchorage on buoys and provides good protection. Enjoy the wonderful clean sea and the beauty of untouched nature that surrounds you. You can also anchor on the buoys in Knež bay, that is, the sea passage between the Dolinje coast and the Knež islet.
If you prefer a tighter mooring, then we recommend mooring in the marina in the village of Veli Iž. This charming Mediterranean village has a well-organized marina that will provide you with the necessary infrastructure. In the marina, you can connect to electricity and water, and they also have sanitary facilities where you can freshen up. In Mali Iž they also have a mooring for boaters, but they do not have any additional infrastructure.
Both Mali and Veli Iž are full of excellent restaurants and taverns where you can enjoy excellent Dalmatian food. Whether you want simpler dishes or fine dining, meat or fish specialties or a fine pizza or burger, you will have a wide choice.
Wherever you decide to go for dinner, you won't go wrong. Also, both villages on the island of Iž have shops, so you can stock up and buy everything you need.
If you are on vacation the last weekend in July, be sure to remember to visit Veli Iž when there is a local party and a culturally-entertaining program for choosing the King of Iž. This tradition of choosing a king has been going on for many years and delights more and more people every year. The cultural part is followed by a concert by popular performers. In Mali Iž, there is a local party on August 15th, so if you are in the vicinity of Iž then, definitely plan to stop by because you will have a great time.
After a pleasant evening and overnight stay in Iž, you should try a coffee in one of the cafés and continue towards Rava. Rava is a small island located between islands Iž and Dugi Otok. Surrounded by crystal blue sea and untouched nature, this little pearl will delight you. There are two smaller villages on the island – Vela and Mala Rava, with very few inhabitants. However, on weekends, and especially in summer, the island comes alive because it is one of the favourite destinations of many tourists.
The locals like to say that Rava is the center of the world, and even on the main square in the village, they have a hole where a large mulberry tree used to be. The locals poured olive oil into that hole so that the Earth would spin better.
Village Mala Rava is located in the northern part of the island and is more oriented towards the sea, while Vela Rava is located in the middle of the island in a large bay facing Dugi otok. Vela Rava is located in the interior of the island. There is a reason for this - in ancient times, Venice and the Venetians often attacked the Croatian side of the Adriatic Sea, and the islanders would build villages on the hills in the center of the island in order to defend themselves more easily from the attackers.
In recent times, many newer houses have been built along the coast, and in the bay you will also find restaurants where you can eat excellent Dalmatian food. The island of Rava has several sheltered coves facing Dugi otok and is an excellent choice for anchoring and sleeping peacefully.
Sestrunj is another island in a series of pearls of small islands in the Zadar archipelago. It is one of the smaller islands with less than 50 inhabitants, mostly elderly. Sestrunj is located further north than Iž and Rava, between the North of Dugi Otok, Zverinac and Rivanj. Island Sestrunj has two ports - one on the south side where the ferry docks, and one on the north side where the shipping line connects the island with the mainland.
The village of Sestrunj itself is located in the center of the island, i.e. on a hill. Arriving in Sestrunj, you will feel as if you have stepped into a time machine. Old traditional houses, olive trees and untouched nature, and friendly locals will that win you over at first. Feel the old spirit of the Mediterranean, play bocce and socialize with residents by life, and just relax. In Sestrunj the life is slow, so enjoy it.
The next small island on our list of recommendations is Molat. It is the northernmost of these four islands, and you will fall in love with it at first sight. Surrounded by a beautiful clear sea, numerous islets and large bays, it hides a special charm and romantic spirit.
Molat has several still inhabited villages - Molat, Brgulje and Zapuntel. During the winter, the population is very small, but it increases considerably on weekends, and especially during summer. During the season, this islet is one of the unmissable islands for many sailors. The village of Molat has a large and protected bay with a marina. Moor here and explore this charming place. There are several catering establishments in the bay itself, but our advice is to walk to the place that is also located inland. Molat also hides many beautiful and picturesque corners where you will enjoy and experience Dalmatia as it once was. Super cafés and top restaurants offer you a wide selection of Dalmatian specialties that you will enjoy.
On Molat there are also the villages of Brgulje and Zapuntel, which do not lag behind Molat in terms of charm and beauty. Explore these two wonderful places and let them amaze you with their beauty. In front of the village of Brgulje, there is an anchorage on buoys, where you can safely spend the night in a deep bay between the island and a small islet that you can swim to. On the north of the island is the village of Zapuntel, which is also located in the central part of the island, not along the coast itself. You will be delighted by the beautiful clean beaches and crystal warm sea, so be sure to bring your diving equipment.
The island of Molat is an island with a rich and turbulent history, and one of the most difficult was certainly during the Second World War. Namely, at that time there was a concentration camp established by the Italian fascists on this island, near the town of Molat. There are still remnants of that terrible and dark segment of history on the island. Nevertheless, the locals managed to continue with life, they turned to the future and are preparing various projects to make the life on the island more beautiful and attract as many guests as possible. In summer, this island pulses with life, children's laughter and numerous tourists who return enthusiastically.
These four islands will allow you to sail at a slower pace, and you will be able to get to know each island and each place you want much better.
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