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Reasons why Kaprije is my favourite island

Kaprije is an island located in the Sibenik region. It's not a very famous or touristic island in Croatia, and, at first glance, nothing particular stands out, which makes it easy to overlook. However, after sailing in the Sibenik region countless times, I found myself drawn to this island again and again, and it became my favourite in the archipelago. 

A lot of sailing trips start on the coast between Sibenik and Zadar, as it is populated by a lot of marinas in small villages, such as Pirovac, Jezera, Biograd, and others. Most of my sailing trips with a crew in a charter boat started in Pirovac and Jezera, which means that week after week, I had the opportunity to explore this region, both the coast and the islands situated close by. 

During each sailing week, I often looked for places where to drop the anchor to hang out and swim for a few hours. For that purpose, I used the satellite view on Google Maps and checked for places that presented the colour of the water that I was aiming for. Every time Google Maps showed me the sight of a bay with turquoise blue water, I thought “okay, let’s check it out” and sailed in that direction. After a while, it became very clear that a lot of these moments were happening in relation to bays on Kaprije island. 

Other islands in the same region also provide a lot of bays where to stop and swim, such as Zrjie. However, it was not only the number of bays that stood out in Kaprije, but also their topography and location.

The bays in Kaprije are relatively shallow,  having approximately two to eight meters of depth, and the soil is made out of rocks and sand,  instead of the high levels of vegetation that usually darken the water. For this reason,  the topography of the island and its bays are friendly to create the dreamy turquoise blue waters that are so inviting during sailing trips.

Besides, the shallow waters of Kaprje present another big advantage for a relaxing sailing vacation:  it gives more opportunities to anchor the boat instead of always having to consider the number of buoys available and their price (which is usually cheaper than the port, but still, it sums up to the overall budget of the trip). The possibility to anchor for free in so many places provides a feeling of autonomy and freedom, as it gives the possibility to select the spot for the boat based on the will of the crew and practically without external constraints.

As for the location of the bays, this is an important factor when it comes to wind direction. Besides being able to visit an attractive-looking bay regardless of the side of the island where you are at any given moment,  it’s also very easy to find a place where the boat is protected from the wind. This way,  regardless of the wind direction, Kaprjie offers a good amount of options to enjoy the water, while feeling safe and relaxed.

It’s true that the island is relatively small when compared with other places that attract more visitors. Often, the new crews expect to visit the most famous places in the region, such as Korcula, Brac, Hvar or Split, and, if that’s the case, it’s important for the crew to have their expectations met. On those occasions,  it won’t be such a fulfilling experience to deviate from the route to visit Kaprije. However, once a crew checks all those boxes, visits all the iconic places and the “Game of Thrones references”  and opens itself up to find out what else the region has to offer, then Kaprije is a great place to visit. 

Besides the beautiful bays, there are also a few nice restaurants near the bays, such as:  “Mateo”, which is located in the south of the island and has around 45 buoys in front, making it very easy to find space for the boat; and “Konoba Kunika”, located in the north of the island, with a pontoon and a small number of unofficial buoys in front. Konoba Kunika, in particular, it’s a very recognizable place as it gives a pirate/hippy vibe and has a very relaxed atmosphere and service, run by a family. 

In addition to those few places in the bays, the island also has its main village, the village of Kaprije. This village can be viewed as a monument to what Croatia looked like before becoming a tourist hotspot, as it is quite simple and has a few of the classic elements of the old days. For example, there is only one main shop that presents itself as the centerpiece of the village, well framed by a few benches where old people sit together to drink beer and socialize. Together with another few elements, such as the cafeteria that sells it all, it makes the village a very interesting and chilled stop for a sailing trip. 

Curiously enough, one of the crews I sailed within this region of Croatia ended up spending the entirety of their sailing week around this island. It was not planned to be this way, it simply turned out to be the best way to meet the needs of the crew: short sailing distances, proximity to ports for dinner, and turquoise blue water bays where to spend the better part of the day relaxing on the inflatable flamingos, drinking margaritas and enjoying the “pina colada playlist”. Kaprije became the perfect answer for what this crew was looking for! As sailing for more than one hour was not something to consider for this crew, it came very handy that Kaprjie is located close to other nice ports, namely Tribunji, Primosten, Vodice or Murter, which allowed for a shorter period of sailing, just enough to stop by for a nice dinner. And of course, the island is not lacking bays where you can cozy up and swim for the whole day, and that’s exactly what the crew wanted from sailing in the Croatian Riviera. 

It’s true that sailing the whole week around one island is a hilarious accomplishment, but hey, that’s what’s possible when that island is Kaprje! 

After returning to it so many times, I can now find a sense of familiarity in the faces that run the restaurants, the anchors that you trust will keep the boat in place, the bays around each corner and the easiness of finding the perfect turquoise blue water to swim in.  All and all, that’s what makes Kaprije one of my favourite islands to sail in Croatia. □

smooth sailing water for charter holidays

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