Sibenik is a tender port – Sibenik cruise port serves only smaller cruise ships. Larger vessels anchor in the bay and the passengers are tendered ashore by boats. Guests are then taken to shore by small boats or tenders. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.
The oldest city in Croatia, Sibenik was fortified over the centuries to protect its inhabitants from the Ottoman Empire and many of its medieval fortifications survive to this day, including towers and fortresses. Lying at the mouth of the Krka River, picturesque Sibenik was originally built on a small island surrounded by walls and towers.
Though it has a lovely medieval center, the small city of Sibenik is used primarily by cruise lines as a drop-off point for cruisers headed to Krka National Park or other small towns in Croatia. The port is typically found on Dalmatian Coast and Adriatic Sea itineraries. The Croatian city on the Adriatic is filled with cultural, historical monuments, monasteries and churches.
Among the notable buildings of the city are the Renaissance St.Jacob’s Cathedral (1434) which lies underneath the fortress walls of the city in the old area of Sibenik. There are 4 fortresses in Sibenik but only Saint Nicholas Fortress is at sea, at the port Sibenik’s entrance. It was built in the 16th century by Venetians to prevent Turkish vessels from reaching the port.
Sibenik is home to the Palace of Diocletian, which dates back to the 4th century. The quaint Old Town area offers a remarkable selection of sightseeing and shopping opportunities, and the deep, protected harbor is a beautiful place to wander and take pictures of the limestone cliffs and green offshore islands. Sibenik is also the gateway to historic Trogir, built upon a small island and home to the remarkable 13th-century Cathedral of St. Lawrence, and nearby lies the magnificent Krka National Park, where a wide variety of animals, birds and plants welcome you to its splendor and the cool spray from the spectacular Skradinski Buk waterfall system.
The disabled cruiser visiting Sibenik will encounter local terrain and roads that make it very easy to see the area. The port area is pedestrian-friendly, however several challenges including cobblestones, hills, and inaccessible public transportation. Beach facilities for the disabled in Croatia are not as developed as in some other countries but there is a certain amount of beaches which are adapted to the special needs of the disabled, unfortunately, many of them have built facilities for the disabled but that is very often done partly, which means entering the sea in a wheelchair is not made as easy as it should be. You can often see access to the sea but without ramps to hold on to, toilettes and wardrobes often locked with no person authorized to unlock them.
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships either dock at the port or anchor and tender passengers ashore. The port area is pedestrian-friendly and a reliable bus service is available.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The currency in Croatia is the kuna. While some small souvenir spots might take euros, you should not count on it. Most cruise ship tours don’t stop in the city of Sibenik itself, so it’s better to get money in a previous port than try to find an ATM during your time in Sibenik.
The official language in Sibenik, as in all of Croatia, is Serbo-Croatian.
There are lots of shops, cafes and restaurants on Kalelarga, souvenirs include the Sibenik Button (in the form of earrings, rings, charms, brooches etc), olive oil, lace and natural sponges from the area.
The cuisine of the Sibenik area features plenty of fish and shellfish, especially Sibenik mussels. Local dishes include salted anchovies in olive oil and lamb prepared on an open fire under a baker’s lid.
Points of Interest
- Trogir – St Lawrence Cathedral – Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, is a delightful town of narrow streets, stone houses, churches and monasteries, including St. Lawrence Cathedral, built in 1240, and several remarkable 15th-century buildings.
- Krka National Park – Home to more than 400 species of animals, Krka boasts the Krka River, considered an exceptional phenomenon due to its lack of pollution. It flows through a limestone landscape into cascading waterfalls. Some of the area’s archaeological sites are in the confines of this park.
- Skradinski Buk Falls – Skradinski Buk Falls is not one but a series of close-set cascades that appear as a mighty network of waterfalls that tumble over 75 vertical feet and feature a delightful swimming area at their base.
- Old Town – Sibenik’s Old Town area is home to grand 15th-century churches, atmospheric squares, quaint shops and exquisite medieval monastery gardens. The golden globe of the Cathedral of St. James can be seen glowing in the distance. The Cathedral of St James is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a 32m inside dome. Sibenik is filled with old churches, the church of Saint Spirit and Church of St Barbara both have extensive artwork collections and the church of St John has the first clock tower built in the city.
- Palace of Diocletian – The Emperor Diocletian’s walled palace, built in the 4th century A.D., is located in the heart of Split. These most imposing Roman ruins were constructed from local white limestone and today enclose a tiny enclave of cafes and shops.