The appeal of the Croatian coast is undeniable. Islands scattered like pearls across the irresistible turquoise Adriatic Sea have lured in countless travelers. The best way to see the intoxicating Croatian coastline is by immersing yourself in it – with a boat tour.
A tapestry of glorious beaches, thrilling adventures, picture-perfect landscapes, dreamy villages, thrilling adventures, and locals who are more than happy to share their age-old traditions, the Zadar archipelago doesn't disappoint.
The hardest part is probably choosing where to go.
Luckily for you, we've graciously curated a list of some of the best boat tours available in the area.
Let us help you decide on what will undoubtedly be the best boat tour you're yet to experience.
Because as the great Jacques Yves Cousteau once said,
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
Ready to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey?
Hop on, let's go.
Best Boat Trips to Unlock the Secrets of the Zadar Archipelago
#1 Full-Day Private Tour to NP Kornati Starting in Zadar
Are you in Zadar? This could be your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Kornati National Park.
The private excursion starting in Zadar takes you to the iconic Kornati National Park and its 150 small green islands.
Besides Kornati, the journey will guide you to Nature Park Telašćica, with its majestic cliffs stretching 100 metres high up in the air. Soak up the view and dive in head first at Lojišće Beach in Telašćica.
The final island hop of the tour is Levrnaka Island, where you'll bury your feet in the white sands of the famous Lojena beach.
Before returning to Zadar, you'll get to see Mana Island and its ruins created for a film set surrounded by cliffs known for their wild beauty.
This private boat tour is all about the journey and authentic experiences. Uncover hidden bays, swim in the crystal clear turquoise Adriatic Sea and replenish your energy in your own Croatian paradise.
Gather up to 10 people and start your journey to the stunning natural beauty that will bring you closer at every boat turn. Our local skipper will show you all the must-see places – and more.
#2 Fishing Boat Rental to Uncover Vir and Zadar Archipelago
Around Zadar and Vir Island, you'll find plenty of fish in the sea. Rent a boat to catch some on this recreational fishing trip. Or kick back and relax with up to 10 friends and enjoy the picturesque voyage in the Adriatic Sea.
Don't know how to fish? No problem.
This is your sign to learn a new skill, with all the equipment and necessary instructions provided. Locals will show you all the best routes where you can set up your fishing pole and wait.
But don't worry; you won't stay hungry even if you don't have much luck on the fishing front. The trip includes breakfast and welcome drinks, but you can also pay additionally for a menu of your choosing. You can also hop on one of the islands nearby (e.g. Pag, Olib, or Molat) and visit local taverns offering fresh, delectable delicacies.
Explore the islands surrounding Vir and Zadar from the sea (via boat or your SUP board) and the underwater world with provided diving masks.
Feast on the catch of the day (caught by none other than yourself), or relax as you sip your drinks, enjoy fresh seafood, and explore breathtaking islands on your boat trip.
#3 Private Island Hopping Around Zadar
This tour on a luxury speedboat with a private skipper starts in Zadar. The adventure will lead you to one of many islands and islets scattered on the waterfront surrounding the city.
Your first stop? The island of Ugljan, where you can recharge your batteries on the sandy beach of Kostanj. Snorkelling gear will be waiting for you to uncover a whole new world under the sea.
After swimming in the clear sea, you can discover Ugljan's scenic villages. Or wine and dine at one of the restaurants near the sandy beach called Jaz.
Hop on Ošljak, one of the smallest inhabited islands in the Adriatic. It's a stone's throw away from Ugljan. Or sail to the historic islet Galevac for a museum and monastery visit.
Remote islands have their own culture, cuisine, history and way of life you'll uncover while swimming in the turquoise sea and dining on mouthwatering seafood in local restaurants.
Unearth the beauty of the islands surrounding Zadar with a private boat tour on this luxury speedboat, with a capacity of up to six people.
#4 Half-Day Ugljan Boat Island Tour Starting in Zadar
Islands near Zadar offer a rich history and culture, as well as unique Dalmatian dining experiences. Here, you'll find the best spots for snorkelling or swimming in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.
The tour begins in hidden Frnaža Bay on Ugljan Island. Accessible from the sea, the picturesque bay is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The next stop? Island Školjić. Also known as Galovac, this small island surrounded by natural beaches features a monastery hiding in a dense pine forest.
Before returning to Zadar, visit the Island of Ošljak. Walk through this small oasis of peace surrounded by the smell of pine trees and the sound of crickets. Or go for a swim in the glistening sea.
This four-hour boat tour is packed with the best swimming spots, history, fresh food and potential for new core memories.
#5 Watching the Iconic Zadar Sunset From the Sea
When Alfred Hitchcock visited Zadar, he said, "Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West in Florida, applauded at every evening."
Sixty years on, visitors from all over the globe still gather during the golden hour in Zadar and applaud the sunset as it colours the sky.
The Zadar sunset boat tour gets you a front-row seat to this spectacle.
An hour-long tour begins this journey in the Old Port called Foša and culminates with a sunset near the unique installation known as "Greeting to the Sun".
Watch as the sun slowly sinks into the sea and colours it in majestic hues of yellow, tangerine, pink and purple in an hour to remember.
#6 Full-Day Private Boat Trip to Dugi Otok Starting in Zadar
Dugi Otok (AKA Long Island) is one of the largest Croatian islands brimming with life with its small, charming villages and natural beauty.
This private boat tour that gets you to Dugi Otok starts in Zadar.
Snorkelling equipment is also at the ready if you wish to explore the extraordinary underwater life in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.
Fancy yourself quite the explorer? Don't miss out on the sunken shipwreck submerged in shallow water.
Once you get to the island, you'll visit the well-known Sakarun and Great Stone Beach.
Take a dip into the stunning turquoise sea surrounding the island or uncover the hidden bays and caves of the Dugi Otok. The tour will take you near the hidden Golubinka cave accessible only by sea.
Reserve a day to relax and find peace of mind surrounded by the beauty of nature or get ready for your great Croatian adventure as you explore the unique sights of the Zadar archipelago.
#7 Group Boat Tour to Kornati NP and Telašćica From Zadar
This full-day boat tour begins in Zadar. The journey takes you to Telašćica and Kornati National Park.
During the entire ride, you'll enjoy panoramic views of nature in vivid emerald and sapphire hues, from the lightest blues in the sky to the darkest greens of the forest covering the islands.
The first stop is Telaščica, where you can admire an awe-inspiring view from the high cliffs. Or take a swim in the salty lake.
The skilled captain will steer the boat towards the best snorkelling and swimming spots around the Kornati National Park.
Next on your itinerary is Mana Island, one of the most recognisable islands hidden in Kornati, where you can walk through the stone ruins of a former movie set.
Finally, you can wind down in the beautiful Vrulje Bay and grab a bite to eat local style or relax on the sandy beaches of Levrnaka Island.
Safety gear, snacks, sunscreen, drinks and even Dramamine is packed. All you have to do is book your spot on the boat.
Navigating Paradise: 7 Enchanting Boat Tours to Explore the Exquisite Zadar Archipelago
Whether you're a first-time visitor or basically a local, when it comes to admiring the Adriatic coastline, a boat tour is the way to go.
From mouthwatering cuisines, ancient ruins, underwater wrecks, sleepy villages, stunning vistas, outrageously dazzling beaches and friendly locals – you'll get an authentic taste of Croatia.
No matter which of these boat tours you embark on, we hope you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.