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Tour Highlights

  • Take in the breathtaking landscapes that make up the 130-island archipelago of Kornati National Park

  • Swim along the plunging ‘Stene’ sea cliffs of Dugi Otok – the biggest in the Adriatic

  • Complete a circumnavigation of the island of Lavdara, a majestic 8.5km round-the-island swim

  • Enjoy an exhilarating six crossing island hop from the island of Zut to the remote island of Sit

Swimming in Croatia's breathtaking Kornati National Park is the perfect opportunity to stretch out your stroke and enjoy some longer swims in one of the country's most beautiful archipelagos. With more than 130 remote and often uninhabited islands, this stretch of water is a truly fascinating part of Croatia's famous Dalmatian coastline.

From the calm, sheltered waters of the lagoon of Telascica Bay Nature Park, to the dramatic open sea cliffs on the western shore of Dugi Otok, there is no shortage of places to explore and sights to enjoy. With an average daily swim distance of 8km, this trip is suitable for more experienced open water swimmers and those who prefer longer swims, with one of the highlights of the week being the exhilarating 8½km circumnavigation of the lovely pine-clad island of Lavdara.

Who is this trip for?

Distances here average a challenging 8kms/day. Combining both island hopping and coastal swims, this trip is best suited for the swimmer who is keen on longer swims with full safety cover throughout the duration of the trip.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Croatia
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Six nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunch (except on Day 4 and Day 6)

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Lunch on Day 4 and Day 6
  • Evening meals

Related Links


Day 1

After your arrival at the Sali Hotel you will have a chance to relax before meeting in the early evening at the hotel for a pre-trip briefing in which the details of the week's plans will be discussed in detail. Following this we will hold a brief acclimatisation swim in the bay directly in front of the hotel.

Day 2

The first full day of our trip involves a steady introduction to the area with a circumnavigation of the island of Krknata. From here we motor east along the coast to the small fishing village of Zaglav where we have lunch and video your stroke both above and below the water.

After time to rest after lunch we journey north to the twin islands of Mrtovnjak and Tukoscak. We carry out a figure-of-eight loop between them. As we swim we see the island of Lavdara, which we aim to circumnavigate later in the week.

The early evening is given over to a video session with your swim guides where we play back your stroke from earlier in the day.

Day 3

Today we start off with a walk across Dugi Otok and into the wonderful Telaščica Bay, an 8km long protected bay which is home to over 25 sub bays and 5 islands. The walk is pleasant and gives excellent views of a number of our upcoming swims. We arrive into the isolated hamlet of Magrovica from where we start our first swim of the day around the prominent twin islands of Skolja and Farfariculak.

After enjoying lunch we walk to the famous Lake Mir salt lake (where you can swim!) and also take in the views from the top of the stunning Dugi Otok cliffs and check out where we will be swimming the following day. In the afternoon we travel up Telašćica Bay by boat and swim from the lighthouse at Vidilica, across the National Park boundary and to the main island of Kornati itself.

Day 4

We travel by boat to the famous "Stene" of Dugi Otok, a dramatic series of cliffs (the biggest in the Adriatic) on the open sea side of Telašćica Bay. The cliffs are home to the nesting sites of Peregrine Falcons and Eleonora's Falcons. The swimming here is superb as we can see the cliffs fall to the ocean floor beneath. This is one of the undoubted highlights of the trip.

After returning to the hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a well deserved rest after our morning’s 7km exertions.

Day 5

We head east once again as we swim the 7½km from Zut (Croatia’s largest uninhabited island) to Sit. The swimming is a fantastic combination of coastal and island hopping as we complete up to 6 crossings during our journey.

The afternoon is taken over with a crossing from the lunar landscaped island of Kornati to the picture postcard islet of Svrsata. There is a real contrast between these 2 islands. Pebbled beaches and miniature reefs dot the route.

Day 6

This is our final main swimming day and we travel by boat to the island of Lavdara that sits directly in front of Sali. We head west as we start our 8½km anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the island. The circumnavigation adds a feeling of accomplishment to this varied trip of coastal swimming and island hopping and gives you that sense of achievement that only going around an entire island can.

Day 7

A relaxed start, as we swim from in front of the hotel across the bay. It’s a short swim to end a fantastic week of swimming in this land of a myriad of islands!

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Hotel Sali, Dugi Otok.

Start Time: 17:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Hotel Sali, Dugi Otok

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Trip Information

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Towel
Swimming Googles* (x2) Small Daypack
Sunhat and Sunglasses Windproof / Waterproof jacket
Waterproof Sun Cream Sweater / Fleece
Walking Sandals/Trainers Insect Repellent
Aqua Shoes / Sandals

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rashvests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rashvest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Krknata Circumnavigation 3½km
Mrtovnjak Figure of 8 3½km
Telašćica Bay islands of Skolja and Farfariculak 3½km
Stene Cliff Coastal 7km
Zut-Sit 6km
Vidilica (Dugi Otok)-Vrulje (Kornati) 4km
Kornati-Svrsata 2km
Lavdara Circumnavigation 8½km
Sali Bay 1km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Distances

The walk from Sali to Telašćica Bay is around 4km long but if you don’t wish to do the walk you can travel by boat to the swimming meeting point. This being said, most SwimTrekkers take advantage of the hike. The majority of the walk takes place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
July 20-22˚C l 68-71˚F 22-24˚C l 71-75˚F
September 22-24˚C l 71-75˚F 27-29˚C l 80-84˚F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two inflatable boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

To get to Dugi Otok (Sali), you will need to fly into either Split or Zadar airport and take the ferry from Zadar port. There are many different options for travelling to Sali, however the easiest is to fly into Split airport and catch the SwimTrek designated transfer from the airport to Zadar ferry port and then catch a ferry to Dugi Otok.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We always recommend checking www.skyscanner.net prior to making a booking. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

For further details on all airlines that fly into Split and Zadar, please visit the following websites: www.split-airport.hr / www.zadar-airport.hr. For a comprehensive list of Croatian ferry ports, and ferry timetables please see the following website: www.croatiaferries.com.

Getting There via Split

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Split from various European cities are included below:

Airline Departure Airport Arrival Airport
Easyjet Berlin, Bristol, Glasgow, London Gatwick, Luton & Stansted, Manchester Split
Croatia Airlines Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich Split
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich Split
Norwegian Air London Gatwick Split
Thomas Cook Manchester Split

SwimTrek Transfer Service from Split Airport to Zadar Ferry Port

The transfer takes around 1½ hours with costs changing depending on the number of travellers that take advantage of the service. Please note, the transfer needs at least three passengers to run:

Number of Passengers Cost
3 Passengers (minimum required) €50 per person
4-5 Passengers €40
6-11 Passengers €30
12+ Passengers €20

The transfer departs at 12:30 from Split airport, arriving in Zadar in time for the 15:30 ferry. You will need to purchase your ferry ticket (40 Kuna) at the ticket office prior to getting on the ferry. Please contact the SwimTrek office if you would like to take advantage of this. The ferry journey time is approximately 1 hour, full details on the ferries and their timetables can be found at the following website www.croatiaferries.com.

Return transfers can be arranged on location.

Public Transport Options from Split Airport to Zadar Port

Split to Zadar

When leaving arrivals, make your way to the far side of the car park. The number 37 bus leaves from here and will take you to Trogir, buses travel every 30 minutes and will terminate at the main bus station. The fare is approximately 12 -15 Kuna (€2) and the journey takes 10 minutes. The bus timetable can be found at www.promet-split.hr.

At Trogir bus terminal there are a number of services to Zadar (www.buscroatia.com). The fare should cost approximately 70 - 80 Kuna (€10) and the journey should take around 2 hours. The bus timetable can be found at www.buscroatia.com. Upon arrival into Zadar we recommend you catching a taxi to the ferry port, which is 10 mins away.

How to Find Your Ferry

There are three ferry lines that will get you to the Hotel Sali in Dugi Otok. You have the choice of two national lines, the 405, the 405a and a national high speed line, the 9406. For more information on timetables and where to collect your ferry tickets please click on the following link www.gv-zadar.com.

Directions to Hotel Sali from Dugi Otok Port

When you get off the ferry, take a left and walk straight down the road, past the pizzeria. When you see Kornat Restaurant, walk straight up the lane to the left of the restaurant. Continue up this hill for around 400m; you will see Biffe Bocac Restaurant, after which you should take a right, and the Sali Hotel Reception is 50m ahead of you. This walk should take no longer than 10 minutes.

Getting There via Zadar

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Zadar from various European cities are included below:

Airline Departure Airport Arrival Airport
Croatia Airlines Berlin, Frankfurt, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Munich Zadar
EuroWings Berlin, Cologne, Edinburgh, Hamburg, London Heathrow, Stuttgart Zadar

Public Transport Option from Zadar Airport to Zadar Port

The regional bus departs in front of the International terminal, the journey to the port in Zadar is approximately 20 minutes and the bus stops at the main bus terminal and then continues to the old town and finally the ferry port. Departure times for the buses to and from the airport can be accessed at the following website www.zadar-airport.hr. The price for a one way ticket with the airport bus is around 10 Kuna (€1.50) and tickets can be bought on the bus. Alternatively, a local taxi from Zadar airport to Zadar port will cost 85 Kuna (€10).

How to Find Your Ferry

There are three ferry lines that will get you to the Hotel Sali in Dugi Otok. You have the choice of two national lines, the 405, the 405a and a national high speed line, the 9406. For more information on timetables and where to collect your ferry tickets please click on the following link www.gv-zadar.com.

Directions to Hotel Sali from Dugi Otok Port

When you get off the ferry, take a left and walk straight down the road, past the pizzeria. When you see Kornat Restaurant, walk straight up the lane to the left of the restaurant. Continue up this hill for around 400m; you will see Biffe Bocac Restaurant, after which you should take a right, and the Sali Hotel Reception is 50m ahead of you. This walk should take no longer than 10 minutes.

Practical Information

Accommodation

We are based at the Hotel Sali for the duration of the trip. The hotel sits in a tranquil bay with views of the mainland. The accommodation is simple and functional and is ideally placed for our week of open water swimming. All rooms are based on twin-share and all have en-suite facilities. Single Supplements are available but these rooms are limited.

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price, except lunch on days 4 and 6 which are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. The average cost of dinner in a local restaurant is around 100-120Kn (30€).

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as entertainment, dinner, souvenirs, etc. The local currency is Croatian Kuna (Kn). There is a cash machine on the island but it is advised to draw some local currency out before arriving just in case. You can also exchange currency at the hotel. Most restaurants will need to be paid in cash. You should allow around 180 Kuna (€24) per day but this will vary per person.

Passports and Visas

Croatia is part of the European Union. Non-citizens of Croatia require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Montenegro for less than 90 days. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your personal visa obligations prior to travel.

Vaccinations

There are currently no essential vaccination requirements for Croatia, however it is advisable to re-check this information eight weeks before you travel. You should also ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio is up-to-date.

  • Ricky, our guide, really moved my swimming on with excellent technique analysis and tips. He made sure we did plenty of crossings which I loved!

    Doug M, UK - 2017
  • If you're looking for long swims in a great location, in clear warm water, look no further.

    Val G, UK - 2017
  • Everything was wonderful: the people, the landscape, the swims. Strongly recommended for all long distance lovers.

    Valentina Z, Switzerland - 2017
  • The Kornati islands are like nowhere else, just beautiful. For crystal clear, warm water and beautiful landscapes, Croatia is hard to beat.

    J.P. USA - 2016
  • I switched off my brain, switched on my swimming muscles, met lovely people, enjoyed great food, and came home already planning my next trip. Swimtrek is rapidly becoming a wonderful annual habit!

    John F. China - 2016
  • What a fantastic experience! The week has been challenging, fun and opened my eyes to the fact that there are lots of people out there who love open water just as much as me! It has inspired me to do much more, so this will be first SwimTrek of many for me :-)

    Chris S. UK - 2016
  • The long swims trips are a FANTASTIC addition to your portfolio. Please, please, please consider adapting other locations to offer long weeks as well as shorter weeks.

    Aedin. 2015 - UK
  • Incredible!

    SwimTrekker. July 2015