Nautical Information

General info

The part of the Adriatic Sea belonging to the Republic of Croatia ranges from Prevlaka in the south to cape Savudrija in the west, embracing all islands, islets and cliffs along the coast, including the archipelago of Palagruza.

No other areas in Europe possesses such unique opportunities for cruising, whether with motor boats, speedboats or sailboats. The breathtaking scenery of more than a thousand dazzling islands along the Croatian coast, combined with the unpolluted crystal clear sea, will satisfy even the most demanding nautical enthusiasts.

For those interested in exploring the magic's of the underwater world we included a special section about diving opportunities in and around Dubrovnik. Croatia has long been proud over its picturesque beaches and marinas. The recognition regarding the quality of sea water and other ecological parameters came when beaches and marinas across the Croatian coast begun receiving the Blue Flag reward. The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label awarded beaches and in countries across Europe. The Blue Flag Campaign is owned and run by the independent nonprofit organization Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE). It symbolizes high environmental standards as well as good sanitary and safety facilities at the beach/marina.

Author:Ivo Pervan, source: Croatia Tourist Board

In the year 1999 ACI marina Dubrovnik along with five other ACI marinas was awarded the "European Blue Flag", an environmental award, given to communities that make a special effort to keep their beaches and marinas clean and manage them with consideration for the local environment. Today there are many beaches and marinas carrying the Blue Flag.

To all dear sailors and those who wish to try and learn this fantastic sport, together with guests interested in excursions and trips by boat

Dubrovnik Online is pleased to announce the partnership with several professional and experienced charter companies in Dubrovnik and Croatia. You can now browse through our offer and send online inquiries or reservations.

Visit our Charter Section

Nautical Information Service (nIS) is a multilingual free application for smart phones published by Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure held for leaders of yachts and boats, fishermen, divers, swimmers and other people who visit Croatia..

Adriatic Sea - general oceanographic and hydrographic data


The Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea is at its shallowest in Istria, where depth seldom exceeds 50 meters. From Pula in the north, the seabed drops gently, creating a long, narrow valley, extending from Zirje towards Italy, called Jabucka kotlina. The largest depth there is about 240 meters. From Jabucka kotlina, the bottom rises to the volcanic island of Palagruza, where the biggest depth is around 130 meters. Towards the south, the bottom abysses towards the Juznojadranska dolina, where the biggest measured depth is around 1,300 meters. The appearance of the underwater relief is the consequence of tectonic movements, abrasion or erosion which were and are active since several million years ago created an amazing underwater relief, a paradise for many divers and snorkelers.

Sea Temperature

Surface temperatures of the Adriatic Sea vary, depending on the period of the year and the weather. During winter, the sea is the coldest, with surface temperatures of around 7C. During Spring, the sea becomes warmer and the surface temperature can rise up to 18C. In summer, the surface of the sea reaches its highest temperatures, from 25C in the southern Adriatic to 27C in Istria. Swimmers will observe thermoclines, parts of the water column that are of the same temperature. The thermocline is most evident during summer, and, . In the summer, we can notice the first thermocline at the depth of 3 to 5 meters, the next one is at about 12 meters, and yet another one at 18 meters, while below 30 meters the temperature is mostly constant throughout the year. In the winter, the isothermal process arises, i.e. equaling of the temperature throughout the water column.

Sea Currents

Sea currents are influenced by winds, differences in pressure, temperature, and the differences in salinity. Depending on the direction, they can be horizontal or vertical. There are also bottom currents, which appear as the consequence of the moving of water from warmer areas to colder ones, during which the surface layer gets cold and descends towards the seabed. The speed of currents is influenced by the geographical properties of a specific area and time periods. The average speed is about 0.5 knots, with maximum speeds of around 4 knots in certain areas.

Sea salinity

Salinity is the total quantity of salt dissolved in one kilogram of sea, usually expressed in grams and as the per millage. The salinity of the Adriatic Sea is 38.30 per mill averagely, meaning that there is 38.30 g of salt dissolved in 1 kg of water. In the northern parts, the salinity is somewhat lower than in the middle and south because of the influence of the Po River.


In the Adriatic, relatively small amplitudes of high and low tides are observed. In the southern parts, the difference is rarely above some 30-40 centimeters, the northern part showing bigger amplitudes, as much as 1 meter in Istria and the Gulf of Trieste. A strong sirocco can produce high tides in some narrow channels and bays. This phenomena is mostly characteristic for bays of the southern Adriatic because this wind blows for longer periods, pushing large amounts of water mass towards and along the coast, raising the sea level.


Waves occur primarily under the influence of winds. The bigger the reach, i.e. the surface across which the wind blows, the higher the waves will develop. Their strength depends on the configuration and the exposure of the coast. In that way, mixing of the surface layer with water from the deep is enabled, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the sea. We distinguish the crest and the trough of a wave. The length of the wave is the distance between two troughs. Most often, heights of waves in the Adriatic are between 0.5 and 1.5 meters, very rarely exceeding 5 meters.

Last update: 7.2.2023