Sailing the Croatian National Parks: Brijuni
We’ve recently started a new series of articles called Sailing the Croatian National Parks, which aims to provide you with all the necessary information as well as inspiration for exploring the beautiful Croatian coast.
We’ve already covered the Kornati islands, a special kind of nautical paradise. This time, read everything you need to know about sailing the amazing Brijuni islands.
The Brijuni Islands
The Brijuni Islands are a group of two small islands (Mali Brijun and Veliki Brijun) and 12 tiny islets located three miles NW from Pula and separated from the west coast of the Istrian peninsula by the narrow Fažana Strait. The archipelago was once an exclusive beach resort during the period of the Austro-Hungarian empire and president Tito’s summer residence from 1945 until 1980. Nowadays, it is a national park and an exclusive holiday resort.
How to get there?
You can visit Brijuni National Park by chartering a boat, taking an organized excursion, by daily boat transfer from Fažana or by your own boat, if you have one. Berthing rates and charges are deliberately astronomically high to deter all but the wealthiest or most committed of yachting visitors. A cheaper way to visit the islands is to go on a day trip from Fažana. Organized boat trip includes a return boat trip and a guided tour of the main island on a mini tourist train and costs approximately 200 kunas (30 euros) per person.
IMPORTANT: You are kindly requested to announce and book the excursion to Brijuni on the following phone numbers: +385 (0) 52 525 883 and +385 (0) 52 525 882, via e-mail: email@example.com or directly in the NP Brijuni office in Fažana several days before you plan your trip. From the beginning of November to the end of March, excursions are organized on request.
There is also a regular daily boat transfer service from Fažana (8 km north of Pula) to the island of Veliki Brijun.The service is available all year round, although it is much more frequent during summer months (especially in July and August). It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach Brijuni island from Fažana. You can check the up-to-date boat transfer timetable from Fažana to Brijuni here.
If you wish to join an organised excursion from the mainland, ask at the local travel agency or tourist office in the nearby town.
Sailing and mooring
In order to navigate the waters of the Brijuni National Park, you need a permission of the National Park Administration. Upon dockage at the port of Veliki Brijun, boaters have to check in at the reception desk, located in the Neptun Hotel.
Temporary mooring in the National Park Brijun is only allowed in the designated bays: Cape Kamen, Lovorika bay, Verige Bay, Sv. Mikul Bay on Mali Brijun island and islands Sv. Jerolim and Kotež (Kozada). You can also moor at Brijuni port.
Sailing around the island of St. Jerolim is allowed for boats with a small draft for a fee, and around the island of Kotež (Kozada) without paying a fee. Boaters who do not have the appropriate permission are obliged to leave the waters of the national park or obtain a permit to sail. When sailing to the Brijuni Islands, caution is required as there are many shoals to the west. Many passages between islands and islets are not accessible by bigger boats and can be even dangerous to smaller boats. When sailing the northern part of the Fažana Strait, caution is required in strong NW winds, whereas strong SE and SW cause waves in the southern part of the Strait.
Anchoring is forbidden in the area SE from the island of Veliki Brijun, from Cape Peneda and Cape Kumpar to Cape Kosir.
There are many interesting attractions on the Brijuni Islands, such as a safari park, ethno-park, archaeological sites, where you can even see dinosaur footprints, remains of the Roman villa rustica, archaeological museum, golf course etc. Take a guided tourist train tour, which will take you around the Veliki Brijun island, which includes a tour of the safari park and its animals (zebras, llamas, donkeys, elephant).The sightseeing of the island of Veliki Brijun is organized under an expert guidance in Croatian, Italian, Germain, Russian and English.
You can also visit Tito’s museum and Botanical garden or find out more about the island at a recently opened Boathouse – Presentation and Education Centre of the Brijuni National Park.
You can opt out of the guided tour, and instead, choose to explore the island by yourself by renting a bike or an electric golf car. The price of a whole day bike rental is approximately 100 kunas (15 euro), while a 5-hour rental of the golf buggy for 4 persons costs around 1100 kunas (150 euro). If you’re interested in the underwater world of Brijuni islands, you can take an educational underwater trail in Verige Bay on the southern side of Veli Brijun, which is approximately 500 metres long, lasts around 45 minutes and a includes swimming and underwater sightseeing at small depths using an audio guide and educational panels.
For more information about the island tours, click here.
There are two hotels on the island of Veli Brijun, Hotel Neptun-Istra and Hotel Karmen, both situated on the island of Veliki Brijun, right next to the harbour. There are also 3 villas: Villa Lovorka, Villa Primorka and Villa Dubravka, which can accommodate 4-8 people, situated in the southeastern part of the island of Veliki Brijun, in the Lovorika Bay.
For accommodation details, visit the official website of the Brijuni National Park.
You can purchase the ticket and book the excursion to Brijuni via phone (+385 (0)52 525 883 and +385(0) 52 525 882) via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or directly in the NP Brijuni office in Fažana. Organized boat tours include the return boat ticket, ticket to the National Park Brijuni and the guide in the price. The price of the boat tours varies from 30-50 Euros per person, depending on the tour agency.
See the ticket price list and berth rental fee for 2017 below.
The berth rates are for the stay of 24 hours. Each fifth day of stay of the boat at the National Park is free of charge.Each person-passenger on the boat beyond the above-stated number must pay the excursion ticket in accordance with the valid price list of the Institution.
For an updated price list, visit the website of the National Park Brijuni.
Phone: +385 (0) 52 525 888
Fax: +385 (0) 52 521 367