Travel in Croatia – Sea Kayak Odyssey: Rab to Skradin

The idea behind Secret Dalmatia project was always to offer unique and original programs in entire Dalmatia. So it happens that people are looking for the same level of experience all over the country and we had to expand, but that is another story.
Few years back an owner of Southern Seas Ventures – Al Bakker – was looking for partners in Croatia and, to cut the long story short, asked us to tailor a program for his tour of Croatia. Sea kayak tour of at least 10 days.
Since he was not impressed by the islands of the south and central Dalmatia – too few and too much open seas – I immediately thought of Kornati and islands from Pag to Šibenik. THE most spectacular islands in Croatia!
Although, these islands are no match to i.e. Hvar, Brač or Vis for cultural heritage – they are far superior in terms of wild beauty and unique landscapes.

hmmm...a lovely stop on the northern side of Pag island
hmmm...a lovely stop on the northern side of Pag island

So I teamed up with my friend Jogi from Rab to create an adventure for Al. Luckily, Jogi is nuts!
He had this fantasy of creating an odyssey from the shores of his Rab to the mouth of Krka river in Skradin. 270 Kilometers and over 350 islands!!!! (only Kornati are 185 islands). An adventure of epic proportions even for experienced paddlers. Al said that they never had a 16 day adventure but that did not stop him from putting it up and promoting it. And that coming from a guy who has adventures on Greenland and Antartica, Fiji and Kamchatka. Personally, I thought that the chances were slim for something like this to book, but we went for it anyway: Jogi was in charge of planning the route and I was handling the logistics and supplies.

Group No 1 on Kornati
Group No 1 on Kornati

The route starts in Rab and follows the extremely dangerous northern shore of Pag island. We had to pay close attention to the weather forecast and also to keep looking at the Velebit mountain top for clouds: clear sign of bura wind coming. In these rough shores and steep rocky “beaches”, the chances of surviving a strong bura are very, very small…

Samll cave on the northern side of Pag
Small cave on the northern side of Pag

Although I suspected we would have any bookings for such a long program, the first few weeks of circulating newsletter from Al proved me wrong!
We had overbooking on the first dates so we had to introduce the second 16 day tour but in the opposite direction: Skradin to Rab. Twenty one person booked the program within a month since Al published it!
Jogi started finalizing preparations and gathering the equipment.

The groups were mostly of the 50+ Australians ending their long World trips or European adventures.

Under the cliffs of Mana
Under the cliffs of Mana

Of course, we had problems with strong winds so both groups got stuck on Kornati. But that was not a problem at all – the camp on Levrnaka was one of the best things they have experienced on their journey!
Kornati is truly spectacular maze of islands and reefs in the crystal clear sea. The cliffs of the outer islands are one of the most unique sights in Croatia!

Old film scenography on Mana
Old film scenography on Mana
Mana... mythical place of eternal beauty!
Mana... mythical place of eternal beauty!

After the wilderness of Kornati, the calm waters of Šibenik followed. Often neglected and almost unknown to Western traveler looking only for “hot-spots”, these islands are one of the most beautiful archipelago of the Croatian Adriatic: Žirje, Kakanj, Prvić, Krapanj, Zlarin…
The inventor of parachute – Faust Vranchich was born on Prvić – the village of Šepurina still preserves the ancient charm.

Prvić Šepurina
Prvić Šepurina

The journey ended in Skradin with two visits to beautiful Krka National Park.
The feedback was great! Although tired, all the members of both expeditions experienced all the best North Dalmatia has to offer: 3 national parks, 2 nature preserves, unique landscapes of Rab and Pag. They even had a rafting day and a caving day in Modrič Cave! 16 days of great adventure… Well, 32 for Jogi and the second guide Bafo, since they got home after over a full moth of paddling up and down the beautiful shores from Rab to Skradin.

The rest...
The rest...

If interested in sea kayak adventure of this proportions in this area of Croatia, or a custom adventure or a sea kayak break – contact us or contact Jogi at http://www.seakayak.hr/index.html. If interesting in sea kayak adventures in Central and South Dalmatia contact http://www.lifejacketadventures.com/

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