I think you will agree, 2020 has been an interesting year. With nothing going as expected, and travel restrictions in place for a good portion of the year, getting the chance to visit Croatia, be in the fresh sea air and swim in the crystal clear blue the Adriatic Sea provided some much-needed rest and relaxation.
I have been lucky enough to visit Krapanj in both 2019 and 2020, and with a reduced number of visitors this year the whole experience has been incredibly special. With fewer visitors come additional peace, tranquility, and some pretty perfect swimming conditions. There have been noticeably fewer boats and some of the cleanest water I have ever swum in.
If you are considering a trip to the Dalmatian coast, then here are my top 5 reasons why the Adriatic Sea offers some of the best open water swimming in the world.
Croatia is very easy to get to, with flights running from most major UK and European airports and a quick flight time of approx. 2 hours. The country has a great bus network and taxis are very affordable (both Uber and Bolt taxi apps work here). Krapanj is just a quick hour drive from Split and then a short 5-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Ferries run every hour from the early morning through to midnight. Full ferry times can be found on http://krapanj.com.
2. Unique Island Life
Krapanj is one of the smallest inhabited islands on the Adriatic and comes with heaps of charm. On one side you have the mainland with just a short drive into the beautiful medieval town of Šibenik. On the other side, you have green and lush uninhabited islands with private bays and beaches. With the low elevation of the island, you feel as though you are living on the water and it creates some of the most magical sunsets I have ever seen. There is a path around the entire island which you can walk around, with beaches and benches dotted around to relax and enjoy the views.
As if this wasn’t enough, the whole island is surrounded by beautiful water and wildlife, we even saw a turtle while swimming around the island this year. The last day of our trip is really special as we swim an entire loop of the island – approx. 3.4km. It is the perfect end to a wonderful week of swimming and guests always really enjoy it.
3. Bright Blue Water
Having swum in open water in many locations all over the world, the Adriatic is one of the bluest and cleanest waters I have ever swum in. In the summer months, the water temperature here reaches a lovely 25 degrees Celsius. The transparency of the water is among the highest in the world making this one of the most enjoyable places to swim.
4. Carless Islands
Want to spend a week swimming along, around and in between some of the most beautiful islands and peninsulas in the world? Croatia has over 1000 islands. Think lush green trees, bright rock faces, no cars and the backdrop of the bright blue sea.
- Kaprije – this blissfully unspoiled island boasts one of the best Iced Coffees in Croatia. There are no roads, no vehicles and a beautiful sheltered bay to swim in.
- Krapanj – Once the center of the Adriatic sponge industry, this is a quiet and attractive island only 400m from the shore of Brodarica.
- Prvić – this unspoiled island has plenty in the way of traditional Mediterranean architecture and tones of charm. We frequently stop at the towns of Prvić Luka and Šepurine for lunch before our afternoon swim.
- Žirje – This beautiful and remote island is the largest and furthest out to sea of Šibenik county’s permanently populated islands. If you want to get away from it all, Zirje is an ideal spot to explore.
- Zlarin – Zlarin is a green island covered in olive groves. It has the longest island promenade in Croatia and Zlarin village is a beautiful settlement of stone-built houses around a bay.
5. National Parks
If stunning history, crystal clear water, and carless islands are not enough to tempt you, then Croatia also has 8 stunning national parks. One of the most noteworthy (Krka national park) is just a short drive or bus ride from the Dalmatian coast. The park has a wide variety of activities on offer, including hiking, biking, boat trips and some spectacular waterfalls. A great option for this culture-packed day out is to finish the day with dinner in one of the many wonderful restaurants in the Harbour of Skradin.
If you are looking for more inspiration on Open Water Swimming around Croatia’s Dalmatian coast then check out our Croatian Island Hopping trip page.
Apart from our 7-day island hopping trip we also operate a 5-day Elaphiti islands Dubrovnik swimming trip in southern Dalmatia.