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Sailing in Croatia - Sun & Sea

The sun is the source of life and energy, its therapeutic effect and influence on your mood will make your vacation even more beautiful, imaginative and erotic. In moderate doses, you can soak in the best that the sun can offer, but don't forget sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

Sun

For those looking for sunshine, the Adriatic coast offers it in abundance. With an average of 2600 hours of sunshine annually, the Adriatic is one of the sunniest areas in the Mediterranean. Numerous bays and smooth rocks are exceptionally well-suited for sun tanning and swimming, and the thick pine forests and constant breeze provide refreshment and shade from the blazing heat.

If you find yourself near Vis Island on a sunny day, you must see the phenomena of the Adriatic Sea which exists thanks to a play of lights. Sunrays squeezed through the cave's opening, formed by sea waves, in combination with the existing water create a magical and unique azure and emerald radiant glow. The beauty of the Blue and Green Caves has to be experienced because it leaves everyone breathless.

The reflection of the sun on the waves, dazzling white stone, sun-bathed islands, sunny red roofs and villages in which time during the scorching hot afternoon seems not be moving...You will have a truly perfect summer day sailing in the sun and blueness, hugged by the waves and wind.

You will watch the sunrises and sunsets, which are unforgettable because they are unrepeatable, with the same rapture every time. Sailing at dusk will in a moment bring serenity to your body and soul, and sun-soaked Dalmatian red wine will flare up passion.
The magnificent sunset, viewed from the sea, is a sign for lovers while careful observers, watch for changes in the western part of the sky for indications of tomorrow's weather.
A clear sky with a few clouds here and there is sign of good, stable weather. The colors of the sunset are clear, and the clouds approaching the zenith are yellow in color.
If the sun before setting is a purplish color together with a clear sky under a thick, dark cloud, this is a sign that the weather will get better.
A dull and fuzzy sunset with a cluster of clouds, in which the sun sets as if in a bag, is an indication of weather worsening.
A halo-effect or refraction around crystallized humidity in the clouds is a sign of worsening.
A rainbow made by breaking up and reflection of sunrays in droplets of water is a sign of bad weather with rain, but also for better weather after the rain. A rainbow in the western part of the sky (possible only in the afternoons and evenings) as a rule means the end of rain and announces a pleasant, sunny day perfect for sailing.

Island Avg. annual sunshine (in hours)
Rab 2417
Lošinj 2606
Pag 2268
Vir 2450
Zlarin 2700
Hvar 2718
Korčula 2700
Šipan 2580

Sea

The Adriatic Sea, with its 1185 islands, islets and cliffs and innumerable splendid bays, is both a considerable challenge and a favourite destination for nature-lovers and sailing enthusiasts. The cleanest and most transparent sea in Europe, with an average depth of 173 metres, its waters conceal a rich world of sea-life plants and, as well as shipwrecks, objects and remains of buildings from the era of the Greeks and Romans.

Spreading from the northwest to the southeast, between the Apennine and Balkan peninsulas, the Adriatic offers you - thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate - a wealth of aromas, lush vegetation and a crystal-clear blue sea. For ages, the sea has evoked admiration, passion and reverence. It is a field for the everyday life of fishermen, the workplace of seamen, an inspiration for artists, and adventure for tourists. Swimming, sunbathing, sailing and diving are the pleasures you can delight in here. With such unique beauty, this sea has always attracted and gathered people from the furthest and most diverse parts of the world.

A group of prominent sailors writing in the American journal 'World of Cruising' considered the Croatian archipelago as, after the Caribbean islands, the most beautiful sailing area in the world. Indeed, many parts of the Adriatic are preserved as national parks and nature reserves. With a favourable wind blowing in the sails, you will be heading towards the most interesting parts of this kingdom of natural splendour.

The Adriatic Sea differs in its northern and southern section. The differences are not immense but are significant for navigating since, depending on these differences, you can determine the precise aim of your journey: that is, what you wish to visit and what you want your sailing experience to be.

In the northern Adriatic, the distances between the islands are smaller, as are those between the islands and the coast. There is much more shelter from all weather conditions at your disposal and the most common summer wind (the 'Maestral') is weaker. In southern Dalmatia, it takes longer to reach another island, harbour or shelter by sailboat. The Maestral is also stronger here and the sea is not as calm.

There are also many contrasts of colour and landscape. The colours and aromas of the south part of the coast are more intense and the views of islands and coastal areas are more attractive and spectacular. The people, culture and soul of the region are also more striking, as are the towns due to the stronger historical influence of antiquity and the Renaissance. Finally the coastal waters differ with regard to their level of roughness.

Depending on whether you prefer social life or more peaceful and solitary surroundings you can evaluate these differences as you go. The rougher northern islands will offer you an unforgettable company and fun, and the distant islands of the south will provide untouched nature and the enjoyment of silence.

Regardless of which area of the Adriatic you choose to visit, the harbours will always guarantee a shelter for your sailboat and the secluded natural bays, islets and piers of preserved ancient rock will provide an equally safe area for mooring.

The Adriatic Sea in figures:

LENGTH 783 km
WIDTH (average) 248,3 km
DEPTH (average) 173 m
SURFACE 148 595 km2
VOLUME 34 977 km3
TOTAL LENGTH OF COASTLINE INCLUDING ISLANDS 5835 km
LAND 1777 km
ISLANDS 4058 km
SALINITY (average) 38.30 per mill.
WIND SPEED AT SEA (mean) 0,5 knots
WAVE HEIGHT (on average) 0,5 - 1,5 m
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE (mean) 11°C
AVERAGE SUMMER TEMPERATURES 25°C - 27°C

Ecology

Croatia falls under the category an ecologically unspoilt area, regardless of whether we consider its air, its waters and sea. Precisely due to this fact, Croatia has been attractive to many who have chosen to spend their holidays in untouched nature, enjoying sailing and swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic.

The Adriatic distinguishes itself with a variety of natural wealth and rarities and with a sea that is exceptionally well maintained. The biological and scenic individuality of the area reveals itself in the number of plant and wildlife species as well as in the high number of endemic species (for instance, the Dubrovnik knapweed, Centaurea ragusina, or the black lizard, Lacerta fiumana pomoensis). State bodies and other associations contribute to the conservation and protection of the natural wealth of the Adriatic. A project for the protection of dolphins was carried out on the island of Lošinj.
Both financial assistance and adoption helped in the preservation of these wonderful animals. On the neighbouring island of Cres, in Beli, a shelter was established for the 'Bijeloglave supove', very rare birds of prey whose population is now struggling to maintain itself. One movement of nature activists, 'Lijepa Naša' (among others), are working on the projects 'Blue Flag', 'Green Flag' and 'Eco-school'. The blue flag represents well-preserved, safe and pleasant surroundings designed for holidays, fun and recreation, with well-ordered structures for the management of the coastal area and the continual development of tourism. Displaying the blue flag on a beach or marina implies an excellent promotion for tourism that bases itself on a first-rate quality service, the cleaning of the sea and coast as well as the equipping and clearing up of beaches. This year alone there will be 98 blue flags on Croatian beaches and marinas.

Delighting in the scents and sounds of the untouched nature of the Adriatic can be done on every island and islet, especially the preserved parts of nature which have scientific, cultural, historical, ecological and touristic significance for Croatia. More than 7.5 % of the surface of Croatia is under the protection of natural parks or other protection measures. There are plans to double the size this existing area. But the fact alone that such large unenclosed area of pure nature exists in the middle of Europe is delightful and is a sign of hope.

In the Croatian coast are located as many as four national parks.
Brijuni consists of 14 islands and islets all protected, as well as the surrounding sea, was proclaimed a monument-area and a national park in 1983. From autochthon plant and wildlife species, it is the best preserved in the Mediterranean holm-oak and macchia (evergreen undergrowth) as well as bird species such as terns and seagulls. This island group is also important stopping place in the process of bird migration in the winter. The island has zoological gardens placed in nature, with a safari park full of exotic animals and a valuable cultural heritage from the Roman and Byzantine ages.

Of all the rivers in the Croatian Karst, the most beautiful is without doubt the river Krka. The national park covers the most part of this river and its surrounding area, in the pre-coastal region. Of the numerous waterfalls, the most beautiful ones are the Skradin and Roški cascades. Between these cascades is a section of the river that forms a lake, on which is the small islet Visovac which hosts an attractive Franciscan monastery.

The Kornati are the most indented island group of the entire Mediterranean and are located in northern Dalmatia. Due to the exceptional beauty of the landscape, the fascinating geomorphology, the great indentedness of the coastal outline and especially the rich biodiversity of the marine ecosystem, the most part of the island cluster was declared a national park in 1980.

Mljet is an island at the furthest southern point of Croatia which, because of the exceptional luxuriant of forests of Aleppo Pine wood, they call the 'green island'.
The Mljet National Park covers the western section of the island which is, according to many, one of the most beautiful parts of the Adriatic. In this park there are two specific wide gulfs which, due to the very narrow connections with the open sea, have been called 'the Lakes'. The cleanliness of the Veliko and Malo Jezero (literally, Big and Small Lake) has enabled the survival of the Aurelia, the oldest species of medusa in the world. The national park of Mljet is also home to Monk seal (Monachus monachus) exceptionally rare varieties of the fauna both of Croatia and of the entire Mediterranean.

A number of other ecologically preserved island can offer their special quality. The tension of city life is still unknown and the throngs have not arrived here yet either. There are very few automobiles so the air does not have the unpleasantness of car fumes.
Everything here is natural: food is prepared from fresh local produce and wine from grapes of the islands' vineyards.
The natural heritage of the islands is a great blessing to Croatia and the basis of the quality of life and of the professions of its people. It is also the foundation of Croatian tourism, in which islands have a great precedence due to their preserved natural significance. For this reason, protection, conservation, care and a considerate relation towards the nature of the islands and the coast of the Adriatic must remain an everyday priority of anyone who visits the Adriatic, as well as of its own inhabitants.

Sights&Sounds

The Adriatic Sea - an ode of nature to life in which everything is permeated with wind and waves, with a song and a smile, with hard work and its fruits and from which eminates peace and quiet, even when the wind blows strongly. Its wealth is located in its colours and aromas, its shapes and sounds, its living and still-life world which, between high and low tides, awaits and looks forward to the coming day...

Colours are the first elements to be noticed. After the abundance and explosion of colours that emerges in spring, in summer four colours prevail - blue, yellow green and white.
Blue is the symbol of peace and harmony that provides tranquility, but it is also a call out into the eternity of ages. This colour is the sea and the sky.
Yellow is the colour of the sun. It heats, gives strength and incites unburdened happiness.
Green is the colour of nature. Green is life, abundance and wealth. These are also the characteristics of the evergreen forests on the coasts and the islands.
White has the effect of enhancing all the other colours. It is pure and easily allows the tones of its surroundings to be reflected on it. White is the stone and rock on the coastline and islands. White is also the colour of the coastal cities and fishermen's villages, of the seagulls and the foam of the waves.

Everything we see is complemented by the dominating scents of sea and salt.
The air is also given a distinctive freshness thanks to pine forests and resin, bushes of rosemary and the spring flowers of lemons, oranges and myrtle.
Rosemary embellishes the expanses of the Adriatic Sea and the islands. It is the symbol of love and also a famous essential ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine. Another seasonal plant with a pleasant and strong aroma is, of course, basil, another inhabitant of the Adriatic lands.
The sweet scent of locust-trees and cyclamen in spring is accompanied by the songs of a bird on the hillocks in a pine forest and a concert of summer crickets is attended by every tree and shrub.
Made from laurel, with a refined and discreet scent, are the small gardens which surround Istria and Dalmatia in which grapes and figs flourish and whose over-ripe fruit of sweet aromas attract bees and other insects.
Especially pleasant is the scent of lavender from the island of Hvar, the sunniest Croatian island. The splendid fields and plants are not spread out as they are by accident. Lavender loves sun and warmth and the winds circulate the enchanting scent.
Such aromatic winds emanating from the island circulate around the narrow streets of coastal towns and villages and certain older locals can recognise by the scent from which island the fresh wind is blowing. Lunch-time will spread the smell of grilled fish, olive oil, smoked ham and goats' cheese and all these smells will be enveloped the aroma of wine.

Navigating through the seas, the colours and scents of the Adriatic will become engraved in your memory and the sounds of the sea and the slapping of the waves on the side of the boat will soothe every tension and bring to you a state of deep relaxation.
The ports of the cities will offer you a welcoming smile and the colour and hubbub of the town markets will offer you a wealth of different objects and souvenirs.
The tourist heaven of the Croatian coast and islands must be experienced with all senses, since every sense discovers a new aspect of this exotic world...

 

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My name is Anita Pean Serdarević and I am a member of SailingEurope Contact Team. I will be happy to help organize Your sailing holidays.
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