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Boat Trips and Tours in Zadar

Explore Zadar’s islands, take a dip in the Adriatic, and admire some of the most picturesque bays in all of Croatia. Boat trips in Zadar are the best way to discover this famous coastline, with ancient monasteries and sun-dappled olive groves all part of the adventure.

Fancy becoming a sailor for the day? Then the friendly crew will show you the ropes as you hop between the islets.

The most common boat trips in Zadar take in the nearby islands and national parks on half- or full-day scenic tours. Excursions by yacht or speedboat are both available, on either small-group trips or private charters.

Coastal sightseeing cruises

Spend a few hours island hopping in the turquoise Adriatic Sea, anchoring in secluded coves for swimming, snorkeling, and beach picnics. You can choose between a leisurely sailing excursion on a stylish yacht, or a fast-paced speedboat ride which will let you see more in a short space of time. Popular highlights include natural parks, iconic islets, and plunging cliff faces.

Private boat tours

For something a little more exclusive, why not charter your own yacht or speedboat for a few hours or even a full day. That way you can decide where you would like to explore and avoid the crowds by visiting hidden gems off the beaten tourist trail.

Sunset sailing trips

Relax on deck with a glass of wine and some tasty local snacks as you watch the sun disappear below the horizon, flooding the ocean with fiery reds and oranges. These sunset sailing tours are really romantic, with small-group and private hire options available.  

How much do boat tours in Zadar cost?

The price of boat trips in Zadar depends on the number of passengers, type of vessel, and length of excursion.

  • Island hopping cruises that take in all the best coastal sights start at €35 per person for a half-day trip. For a full-day tour expect to pay between €36 - €99 each according to the passenger capacity of the boat.
  • Private boat charter prices vary greatly, so do some online research to ensure you get the best deal. A half-day excursion will cost around €168 - €325 depending on group size, while full-day adventures range from €121 - €552.
  • Sunset sailing trips are €54 - €70 per person, including wine and snacks on board. For a private evening tour, prices start at €103.

Which places are visited on a boat tour in Zadar?

Ugljan, Ošljak, and Školjić Islands

These peaceful islands just off the coast are a popular stop on Zadar boat tours. Go swimming and snorkeling in sheltered bays around Ošljak, and discover the history behind one of the smallest settlements in Croatia. For picnics, head to the shady pine forests and olive groves, then photograph 19th-century windmills and ancient churches.

Over on Školjić you can visit the Franciscan monastery and a museum that holds a copy of a 15th-century bible. There are of course plenty of beaches and places to swim. Finally, sail over to Ugljan for traditional fishing villages and local cuisine.

Kornati Archipelago

Kornati National Park has around 150 islands and islets, with enough hidden coves and secret beaches to make you feel like there is nobody else around for miles. Most of the islands are uninhabited, and some have olive groves, vineyards, and grottoes to explore. Snorkeling over the rocky reefs is a real vacation highlight.

Telašćica Nature Park

Northwest of the Kornati Archipelago is Telašćica Nature Park, where you will discover the largest natural harbor in this part of the Adriatic. There are several enticing bays to snorkel in, with countless islets making for enviable photos.

You can swim in the saltwater lake of Mir and visit the donkey reserve if you want to stretch your legs. A popular stop on the return journey are the “Devil’s Cliffs” which rise vertically from the ocean, their rocky white faces shining in the sun.

Heart Island

Known locally as Galesnjak, this tiny island is famous for its heart shape and is a popular destination for photographers and social media enthusiasts. Here you can swim off the beach that circumnavigates the whole island, and check out the marine life with a snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.

How long does a boat trip last?

Scenic boat trips in Zadar tend to last either half a day (around 4-5 hours) or a full day (up to 9 hours). If you are short on time, a half-day speedboat tour will take you to many of the same sights that you would see on a full-day sailing tour.

Likewise, private boat charters last between 4 – 8 hours. Sunset trips are 2 hours long, giving you enough time to admire the sights before the light fades.

Where do boat tours leave from?

Most Zadar boat tours do not include hotel transfers, so you will need to make your own way to the meeting point.

Many of the tours depart from either Zadar Port in the heart of the city, or Marina Borik which can be found on the northern edge of town.

When is the best time for a boat trip in Zadar?

Zadar boat excursions are at their best during the summer months, between June and August. The sea temperatures at this time of year are warm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

If you want to avoid the crowds, visiting during May or September is a good bet when the weather is still mild but there are fewer tourists.

Most boat tours head out during the day, but for something really special, opt for a sunset excursion that departs in the early evening.  

Which other water activities can be done in Zadar?

  • Kayaking: see the rugged shoreline in a new light as you paddle stealthily alongside dramatic cliffs and through secret island coves on an easy kayaking excursion.
  • Snorkeling: explore sunken ships and float in lagoons, then glide over reefs to meet the residents of this buzzing underwater world.
  • Rafting: battle the rapids with an expert guide as you navigate some of the beautiful rivers near Zadar – hang on tight for the waterfalls and gorges.

Travel tips

  • Pack your swimming costume and a towel if you plan on swimming or snorkeling, as well as plenty of sunblock to protect from the rays.
  • Check prices online and book your tour before leaving home to guarantee the best deals.
  • Some trips do not include lunch so take some snacks on shorter excursions to keep your energy levels topped up.
  • Wear light clothing and comfortable footwear to make your onboard experience more enjoyable.