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Trip Diary

Croatia: Location Spotlight

By Jack Hudson , 14 September, 2021

Rocky shores, ancient coastal towns and warm Mediterranean waters…

Croatia is everything an open water swimmer could ever dream of. Relaxed and balmy, washed by the bluest coastal waters, scattered with small islands and roamed by dolphins that play over sun-dappled reefs. Between the forested islets of the Dalmatian Coast and the chalky fringes of the Kornati Islands, you’ll have no shortage of launching points (or backdrops!) for your seaborne adventures…


One of the most popular SwimTrek destinations, our swimming holidays in Croatia take you off to the unique islands, reefs and islets of the Šibenik archipelago – along the country's island-speckled Dalmatian Coast. We also journey among the 89 uninhabited islands of the Kornati National Park and search for the truth behind that old saying: ‘as many days in a year, as many Kornati Islands’. And so, whether you’re looking for leisurely Short Swims, or ready to take on our more challenging Long Swims options, you're sure to discover rewarding exploration in this sapphire swimmer’s playground.

Croatia Highlights


Dive Deep into an Undersea Paradise: Discover unique underwater vistas and colourful reefs, combing the boulder-strewn coast of Kornati Island.

Roam the Šibenik Archipelago: Challenge yourself in this glittering archipelago with coastal swims, island crossings and full circumnavigations – backed by seasoned SwimTrek guides and boat support.

Have as Much Fun on Land as at Sea: Ride the ferry to Zadar and stroll among the Old Town Roman and Venetian ruins. Or, take a bike to Ugljan and soak up the spectacular hilltop view from St. Michael Fort.

Kornati Islands

Fall in Love with Kornati National Park

The jewels of Kornati National Park are 140 islets and islands flung over fish-patrolled reefs and sapphire coastal waters that make swims irresistible. In short, the Kornatis double as a swimmer's paradise, packed with karstic hills and secret grottoes, caves and sheltered bays. You can island hop your way into blissful oblivion, swimming alongside evergreens and white formations that teeter over the Adriatic. One of the highlights of this trip is our full circumnavigation of Farfariculak - a small island that enables you to sight between strokes and safely comb its urchin-spotted edge.

kornati islands map

After your swims, you'll have plenty of time to crawl from the ocean and relax in your hotel, which is only a few steps up from the beach. A of the islands themselves are famously barren, with a lunar-like appearance that serves as an otherworldly backdrop for your stints in the deeper open water.

This region of Croatia is also well known for having superb water clarity. The sculptured islands, islets and bays we’ll visit, not only in the Kornati National Park, but across the wider Telašćica Nature Park, offer ideal swimming routes where you'll see far beyond the reach of your sweeping fingertips. Above and below the water, there are countless secrets to uncover and you'll gain greater insight into Croatia's protected natural beauty from a truly unique perspective.

"Kornati National Park... [offers] ideal swimming routes where you'll see far beyond the reach of your sweeping fingertips."

Find out more about SwimTrek’s Kornati Islands package

Croatia Escape

Croatia Escape

A wooded island with a Franciscan monastery, and many quiet beaches, shaped by the Adriatic, are just a few of the wonders you'll find exploring Ugljan Island and its rugged islet neighbours.

During our 5-day escape, you'll meander across the Zadar archipelago and seek out pristine coastlines among the far-flung northern islands. You'll be based on the island of Ugljan, directly opposite the mainland town of Zadar, which is just 10km away. Zadar itself is a bustling seaside community/resort packed with art galleries, cocktail bars and even a few Roman and Venetian ruins. In fact, this district has been populated since prehistoric times, with settlements dating as far back as the Neolithic period.

On our trip, you'll have plenty of uninterrupted time for longer swims, yet the short distance from the shore to your getaway allows you to accommodate wider travel and busier schedules. Together we will visit several of the islands that shape this sun-baked archipelago, combining coastal swims, crossings and full circumnavigations.

"Outside of swimming - we would definitely recommend a local hike uphill from the medieval St. Michael’s fort..."

Our accommodation for the duration of the escape is in the modern 4-star Vile Dalmacija, located down on the beach in the quaint town of Preko. Your large apartments serve as comfortable retreats at the end of each aquatic day. While the pool and beach are always there, only a few steps out from the airy confines of your room.

Croatia Escape map

Outside of swimming - we would definitely recommend a local hike uphill from the medieval St. Michael’s fort, situated on a steep lookout, above the historic centre of Šibenik. It is one of the oldest monuments in the city and the towering views (70 metres above sea level) are absolutely worth breaking a sweat for!

Find out more about SwimTrek’s Croatia Escape

dalmatian coast

Journey Along the Dalmatian Coast

Finally, we're winding our way again among the low-lying islands, old ports and rocky outcrops of the Šibenik archipelago. This is an island-hopping adventure in which many of your stops will be near uninhabited expanses of land. The remote reaches of this archipelago offer stretches of unbroken swimming and lots to see both above and beneath the little waves. We'll take time to soak up the laidback atmosphere on the island of Prvić Luka - always a welcoming and friendly ferry port and the geographic heart of this islet-spotted region. It's also the perfect base from which to seek out surrounding uninhabited islands and to take strolling trips into quiet fishing communities, where life runs at an entirely different pace.

"We'll take time to soak up the laidback atmosphere on the island of Prvić Luka - always a welcoming and friendly ferry port..."

Croatia's Dalmatian Coast offers a dramatic backdrop that stretches far below the surface of the water. Look down between the bubbles and you'll likely be in awe of the underwater topography, where caves and arches invite the careful exploration of aspiring freedivers. During our trip you will trace the fingers of the most isolated islands in the Adriatic Sea, including Zlarin - an inhabited island for 700 years, where noisome cars are still banned today. Indeed, many of the other islands we'll visit have never been settled and therefore their natural beauty remains untouched.

dalmatian coast map

If you would like to explore this lesser-swum part of the world, but are looking for shorter or longer swimming distances, please check out our adapted Dalmatian Coast Short Swims and Long Swims options, listed below:

7 Day Dalmatian Coast: Short Swims with 3km swim days, from £980 (Swim ability: Leisurely)

7 Day Dalmatian Coast: Long Swims with 8km swim days, from £1000 (Swim Ability: Challenging)

Find out more about SwimTrek’s classic Dalmatian Coast adventure

Croatia 3

Ready to form a swim pod of your own? All our listed Croatia trips are available as tailor-made experiences. Both date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs and specifications. Simply contact us on with your dates and group size and we’ll be in touch to help you realise the swimming experience of your dreams…

Explore our full list of Croatia swim holidays to pick the SwimTrek trip that suits your aquatic needs.

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