Top 8 lighthouses for your sailing holiday in Croatia in 2021

Have the bests summer story and don't miss out on the lighthouse experience.

You decided that you are spending your sailing holiday in Croatia so by now you probably have a wishlist long as the Adriatic coast and we don't blame you. Croatia truly is a spectacular sailing destination and if you're feeling up for a summer treasure hunt, pack your spears, you're heading to the right place.

Exploiting the pure hedonism of the open sea, having your own free sunbed whenever you feel like it, feeling like on a Robinson cruise but having all your dearest gadgets with you. Dinning some freshly caught fish on your private yacht, counting sunsets, waking up with those Instagram sunrises.

Sailing Croatian Lighthouses

Yup, in your head you are probably already miles away from that forgotten shore and you love it. The best part about sailing in Croatia is that you can afford it. Not many places in Europe offer such an exclusive variety of natural treasures in one small country on almost regular summer budget.

Hidden bays only a yacht can reach, turquoise beaches you can only swim to, corals that can be found only in such happy waters and don't get us starting about the food, local fish, fresh fruit, exquisite vine, and an atmosphere to soak in, morning and night for days. You can't get bored of that neverending probability of hedonism you can create for yourself while sailing through open shores of the Adriatic sea so know that you made your best summer decision already.

As for your safety, since the global Corona crisis outburst, Croatia has been one of the safest European countries to handle it and is also one of the first European countries to start their tourism season corona-free.

Sailing in Croatia must include at least one lighthouse detour

Croatian Lighthouses

It's always a shame when we hear someone went sailing to Croatia and didn't visit anything out of the ordinary route cause our country is most famous for those little detours you can't find in regular brochures.

Lighthouses used to be the last hope for a sailor coming home while navigating the sea, sometimes for weeks and weeks. Standing there alone, stranded with only the open sea surrounding them, lighthouses kept their mystery and admiration of people long after modern technology found its way to private usage. Nowadays you have many ways to navigate on the sea but the lighthouses still serve their purpose to the locals and beyond.

You don't have to be coming home from a month-long fishing trip to be happy to see a lighthouse. We bet you would be happy to see one right now, right? We would.

Lighthouse Croatia

Lighthouses can also be romantic. It's a mix of emotions hidden in those towers and the nothingness that surrounds them. Out there in the dark infinity, everything is left to your imagination. It can be scary knowing that you are not so close to civilization. Just you, the open sea, that rocky cliff you're standing on, some of the loudest waves you ever heard, and the cold sea breeze. It can also be a very warm and calming feeling sleeping at a million-star hotel terrace of the lighthouse open just for you and whomever you choose to share it with.

When in Croatia, you'll have a problem picking your favorite lighthouses since Croatia has over 50 of them that can be reached easily. Most of the lighthouses in Croatia were built at the beginning of the 19th century during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

So, without further ado, we give you, Croatian lighthouses, some of the prettiest and most hidden in the world, made for the sole purpose of being seen. Most of them still have their lighthouse keepers living in them and some are automated but all of them represent a truly unique experience that Croats are very proud of.

Lighthouse at the sea

A list of top 8 lighthouses for you to choose from on your sailing holiday in Croatia:

  • Lighthouse Palagruža, South Dalmatia
  • Lighthouse Struga on the island of Lastovo
  • Lighthouse Sušac, mid-Dalmatia
  • Lighthouse Veli Rat on the island of Dugi otok
  • The Lighthouse Tajer on the island Sestrica Vela
  • Lighthouse Cliff Mulo near Rogoznica
  • Lighthouse Grebeni near Dubrovnik
  • Lighthouse Savudrija near Umag

Lighthouse Palagruža, South Dalmatia

Lighthouse Palagruža, South Dalmatia

This tiny island is the furthest sea point in Croatia and therefore it's the hardest one to reach but that's what makes it so spectacular.

How tiny is Palagruža? It's the tiniest. It's a spectacular group of islets and rocks only 1.400 meters long, 300m wide, and 90 meters high. The lighthouse sits at the height of 90m and is a rock-solid building with two four-bedroom apartments. It was the proudest point of the Austro-Hungarian Empire since it was the first to be seen from the open sea between Croatian and Italian shores and today it stands as powerful and firm as the former empire once did.

Palagruža is also a very well protected nautical heaven where fish is still abundant. There are many diving tours you can book with the local lighthouse keeper but don't try diving around the island on your own cause it is forbidden and very dangerous since the cliffs surrounding the island can be pretty lethal.

Lighthouse Palagruža Croatia

There are two bays on Palagruža, Stara Vlaka on the north-west, and Velo Žalo in the south. You have to see both. As for food, Palagruža has no stores so remember to get everything you need in Korčula. If planned in advance your skipper will get in touch with the local fisherman so they can catch and prepare a meal for you on the day of your arrival. If they offer you any homemade specialty, reject none.

Palagruža is also a very popular archaeological site since it was home to more than 40.000 ancient fragments of Greek ceramics and the legend says the whole island was owned by Diomede, the Greek hero himself.

The best way to sail to Palagruža is from Korčula port on the island of Korčula, but it is not an everyday thing to sail to the lighthouse since the waves and the streams can be so powerful that many experienced skippers turn around and postpone their trip because of the weather. Some go for it despite the weather and fail to return. So, keep in mind, Palagruža is a very special island but also the one to be most causious about.

Lighthouse Struga on the island of Lastovo

Lighthouse Struga on the island of Lastovo

The only right way to visit Lastovo is by night so be aware of the last light you leave in the city where you're coming from because you won't see another one in a while. Once on your way, relax and let the last city lights disappear so the spectacular night sky star expo can begin. Everything you need to see on your way to the heaven of Lastovo lies above your head so grab something comfy for the spine and lay back.

You may also want to lower down the music cause you're about to hear the loudest sound of silence in the world. After a few hours of pure tranquility, no lights, and a sky you won't ever forget, you should stand up in awe when finally approaching Lastovo cause here, in the small village of Ubli the sky meets its match.

Ubli is an adorable ferry and boat port that looks like it had no inhabitants for ages but in the morning you'll see that those few stores will open and there will be fresh bread again and there will be local fisherman selling their daily catch and everyone you meet will be happy to meet you.

Ubli is located 10km from the main village of Lastovo, a peaceful village on top of a hill and a place of natural beauty where walking around you feels almost like being part of a history movie in the making. On top sits the castle Kašćel which was destroyed in the 17th century but was rebuilt and now serves as a meteorological station, one of the most important in Croatia.

Island of Lastovo

Lastovo is the only village on the island that's not situated on the sea. There are a few restaurants in Lastovo, two for pizza and pasta, and a few famous for its many fish specialties or „under the bell“ meals, locally called „ispod peke“ referring to the way the meat is prepared.

Chimneys were a huge symbol in Lastovo representing the status of the home and the family living in it so even today the locals take great care of them and still kinda compete on whose is the most beautiful.

There is one main road on the island and one taxi service. There is also a pharmacy and small tourist info. There is one bus line that goes around the island a few times a day and doesn't be surprised that it is always driven by the same bus driver. This guy was born in Lastovo and is one of its youngest inhabitants. In some period of his life, he moved to Zagreb to work but it didn't take long for him to feel homesick and return to Lastovo. He's been driving the bus ever since and says there's nothing he'd rather be doing in the whole world.

There are over 200km of walking paths on Lastovo but most people don't come for the non-water experiences if sailing to Lastovo. The entire island is considered to be submarine heaven so diving is a must.

A group of islands called Lastovnjaci sits on the eastern side of the island and there in crystal blue waters you'll see all kinds of funny looking fish, stelar corals, and algae that will blow your camera away. Your skipper won't miss taking you to the islet Bijelac, an epic underwater passage through the island.

However, the most famous part of the island is Skrivena Luka and like it name says it's a hidden port, a heavenly bay where you can truly hide from the world. Here a certain kind of respect for tranquility and privacy shapes every stone that surrounds you. There is also a huge deal of privacy people leave for each other when picking beaches and activities to do on the island. Everyone is very friendly and relaxed. Everyone has their own mission to seek on this island so whatever yours is, you'll pull it through. In the meantime, just relax and also try doing nothing for a while. This island is the best place for logging out and at this point, you are probably the loudest sound on the island.

In Skrivena Luka you'll find the best fish if you find Camp Skriveni, the camp hidden in a huge olive tree forest, ruled by Vesna, the epic local owner who if you get the chance of meeting, you'll obtain a memory of a person so special that can hardly be forgotten. Vesna and her family will serve you the best cousin Adriatic has to offer and the prices will be more than acceptable.

Skrivena Luka Lastovo

You will have to call and reserve a seat in advance cause everyone in the camp eats at Vesna's place. We recommend lobster, but also every fish she serves you. You can always get additional information about the fish you are eating from Vesna's husband or son who are both fishermen and who catch most of the fish that is being served. They will be sitting at the first table to the left.

If you ask Vesna what is the most beautiful part of the island, she'll give you a look to remember as well but if you ask her what are her favorite symbols of the most beautiful part of the island, the bay of Skrivena Luka, she'll point to the open sea on a cliff no one approach can resist where our lighthouse Struga shines.

The lighthouse Struga stands proudly on the edge of a 70m huge vertical cliff that reigns above the open sea. It's memory and a selfie change you don't want to miss. The lighthouse offers accommodation for 14 people divided into four apartments. Here, bellow the lighthouses feet, also lies the birthplace of the biggest coral tree ever to be dug from the sea.

Of all the famous people visiting Lastovo, the best story definitely holds the billionaire Bill Gates himself. He and his wife had some of the best fish in this lighthouse and they did it without ever telling anyone who they were. The lighthouse keeper that was also a chef at the moment served them the fish he caught that morning with the traditional tomato pasta. When later on locals who recognized them asked the chef if he knew who he served the fish to he had no idea but even when finding out about it, the guy wasn't that much amazed. He said he served him the best fish he had like he always does, no matter who the guest is.

While Gates was dining his bodyguards surrounded the lighthouse. Later on, local ladies said that they were pretty shocked seeing some weird man hiding in the bushes cause they never had such a scene on their island and when they heard the explanation of who those men were, they laughed and said that is ridiculous because no one needs protection on Lastovo and everyone is safe on their island.

To conclude, when you get back home, you will honestly have to lie about visiting Lastovo and the lighthouse Struga if you miss it.

Lighthouse Sušac, mid-Dalmatia

Lighthouse Sušac, mid Dalmatia

Sušac lighthouse is located on the island of the same name in the Lastovo archipelago. It is surrounded by an endless open sea so it's easy to forget you are anywhere near civilization. It is built on the highest spot of the island on the southern side wherefrom the lighthouse you can see the life hidden down in the crystal blue and almost transparent sea.

While on Sušac you mustn't neglect a seawater lake that you'll have to dive to get to but is so worth the experience. It can be reached through an underwater cave that lies 15m underwater and of course, you should never take that tour on your own.

As for swimming, you'll love the more people-friendly eastern side of the island where the bays are very shallow and warm, ideal for swimming, and exploring the crystal waters far from the city pollution. The lighthouse keepers are the only inhabitants on the island so use the opportunity of meeting them, they always have some nice stories to tell.

Lighthouse Veli Rat on the island of Dugi otok

Lighthouse Veli Rat on the island of Dugi otok

Talking about the obvious one, lighthouse Veli rat is the tallest lighthouse in Croatia with it's 42 spectacular meters tall tower that sticks out from the old pine tree forest and nestles in the prettiest little bay where you will soak up one of the most spectacular sunset spots in Croatia. The legend says that the lighthouse was covered with thousands of egg-whites to make it more resistant to years of salt and wind exposure by its ever raging sea surroundings.

Next to the lighthouse, there is also a small chapel of St.Nicholas where there is always a ceremony going on because waiting lists for you to get married in this chapel are one of the highest around.

If you get the chance, ask for the lighthouse keeper Zvone. He and his family live in the lighthouse and take care of it and its surroundings and on a good day, Zvone will tell you stories you won't read about in pamphlets.

When on Dugi otok, also visit the nature park Telašćica in the south-east part of the island to see some more natural beauties characteristic for this island.

The Lighthouse Tajer on the island Sestrica Vela

The Lighthouse Tajer on the island Sestrica Vela

The Lighthouse Tajer sits proudly in the middle of the beautiful Kornati archipelago. Its tower rises 26m in the air and is quite an impressive stone structure connected with a 200m long hall that serves as a bridge. The building has two apartments for rent and both of them are famous for their beautiful window view that opens to the whole of the Kornati and the island of Dugi otok.

The forest that surrounds the lighthouse is considered to be a true ornithological paradise and if you give it some time you'll be amazed by the variety of birds you'll see and the spectacular songs they're gonna sing to you.

Lighthouse Mulo near Rogoznica

Lighthouse Mulo near Rogoznica

Lighthouse Mulo stands at the entrance of Rogoznica on the cliff Mulo, north of the place Ražanj. It is a large stone tower with a lantern and a viewing deck attached to a small and charming lighthouse keeper home. The atmosphere here is always romantic and quiet since the lighthouse is situated on an isolated cliff and the only way to reach it is by boat.

There is a legend that says that there was a shipwreck in the 70s when an old cargo ship carrying citrus fruit crashed here during a storm so local people from the cities surrounding it kept supplying themselves with fresh citrus fruit the sea brought to them for months. The old lighthouse keeper confirmed the story but as time passed so did the last witnesses so today no one can be sure if the legend was true but who confirm legends, anyhow. Today, no lighthouse keeper is living in the building because it is one of the lighthouses that are automated.

As for diving, you don't have to go far cause once at the lighthouse you have already reached the top diving location around. When visiting Rogoznica, be sure you don't miss spending a day swimming in the colorful Dragon's Eye lake. The lake has many legends surrounding it and the locals will be happy to tell them to you. The lake was created in the middle of cave destruction when seawater filled the cave remains.

Many photographers from around the world spend days shooting this sight and once there, you'll understand why.

Lighthouse Grebeni near Dubrovnik

Lighthouse Grebeni near Dubrovnik

Settled on the cliffs Grebeni only 300m away from the shore near the city of Dubrovnik and it is the first thing you must see if you plan to visit Dubrovnik and you probably know that you must. Grebeni is a group of islets situated in Lapad bay. Unfortunately, there is no longer a lighthouse keeper present in the house because of the horrible accident that happened in the 60s when during a brutal storm a huge rock fell on the house and crashed almost half of it. The lighthouse keeper survived but never returned to the lighthouse.

Even though the weather can still be pretty dangerous on these cliffs, hundreds of photographers from around the world still return and try to capture some of the most spectacular storms.

Guests love this lighthouse for its small size and a special feeling you get while standing on it, watching the mighty walls of Dubrovnik and its spectacular hotels picking from them while also being able to see all the yachts cruising and entering the city from the open sea.

Lighthouse Savudrija near Umag

Lighthouse Savudrija is the oldest lighthouse on the Adriatic sea and it is also the first lighthouse in the world whose light came from gas produced by distilled coal which came from a local coal mine.

There is a romantic vibe around each and every lighthouse but this one, according to the legend, was built by count Metternich for a beautiful Croatian lady so it has an additional romance surrounding it. You can see it on the faces of locals living nearby. They love telling the story, ask them about it. Also, smell the pine trees in Savudrija, they don't smell like that anywhere in the world, you have our humble promise.

To conclude, pick one, pick two but don't risk missing all of them. Lighthouses have always carried that mysterious and very historic vibe around them. Some see them as powerful wind and storm-proofed monuments that serve a great purpose to its land and some will agree but an ad that they are also one of the most romantic and calming locations in the world.

Out there in the open sea, welcoming and guiding people for decades with their brave lighthouse keepers that dedicated their lives to the tower. We all have our reasons for visiting them. Pick one, pick a few, just don't neglect the feature so dear to the Adriatic shore.

Lighthouse Sailing

Did you already plan to visit one of the lighthouses on your sailing holiday in Croatia? Was it on our list? If not, get back to us and tell us which one you picked. We'll be glad to provide some additional information that may make your perfect holiday in Croatia even harder to tale.