Sailing in Croatia - Perfect sailing holidays destination
Croatia is one of the most amazing sailing holiday destinations in the world. Places
You can choose to sail the beautiful northern Adriatic regions of Istria and Kvarner, more southern Zadar region, the popular Split region, and the magical Dubrovnik area. Whichever sailing route on the Adriatic coast you choose, you can be sure that your sailing journey in Croatia will abound in sun, tastes, scents, sights and sailing experiences. Our comprehensive guide on sailing in Croatia will give you the most detailed insight about the adventure you can expect once you hop aboard your sailing yacht.
Best time to sail in Croatia
The best time to sail in Croatia always depends on your preferences, but it is still important to mention that the peak of summer/sailing season in Croatia is in July and August. If you would like to experience crowded cities, full marinas, bays full of boaters and all that fuss that summer is bringing, this would be the perfect time for you.
When it comes to the
Overall, the best time to sail in Croatia would be at the end of May and in June. The weather is
Types of sailing/charter possibilities
Once you decide to sail around the Croatian islands, there are a few possibilities of how to do that.
The simplest way of getting on board
If you are lacking
A step further would be renting a crewed yacht, which includes a professional skipper and a host/cook. When it comes to larger yachts, there will also be a deckhand on board to help with all the ropes and mooring operations. When renting a crewed yacht, also make sure to hire a domestic skipper. Along with a domestic skipper, a domestic host can take you on tours on different islands and give you a short overview of their history and cultural heritage. If you choose to hire a domestic cook you will enjoy
On the Croatian coast, the most common type of a crewed yacht charter is a gulet. A gulet is a charming wooden sailing yacht and there is a large variety of Gulets offered in the Adriatic Sea. Most of them have a minimum of three or four crew members consisting out of captain, deckhand, host and a cook. Gulets are very wide, so you will feel very comfortable while spending time at sea. Among the offered gulets, you can find the luxury ones with all deluxe goods needed.
Book an organized Sail Week in Croatia (yacht or a cabin)
Sail Week in Croatia is an event where you can book a cabin on a yacht or the whole yacht. If you do not want to be bothered with all of the organization issues, this is the best solution for you, since you will receive a “key in the hand” - the only thing left for you would be to pay the trip and show yourself on the yacht. Once you arrive
The organized party sailing events usually include at least 10-20 yachts and at the peak of the
Costs of sailing in Croatia
This topic is very ungrateful to write about, since costs can significantly vary and, for each person, the level of acceptable costs of sailing is different.
The largest item on the list of costs is a charter yacht - it is up to you to decide whether to hire a brand new yacht with all the equipment available at the
You will also find buoys on your sailing trip in some bays, and spending a night on the buoy will be charged by the length of your yacht, but that will be at least 50 % cheaper than staying in a marina. Some bays are under private concession, so once you anchor in such a bay, there is an anchoring fee which goes from €10 to €40, depending on the boat length.
Almost every marina and harbour has its own grocery shop, but they are more expensive than the regular shops in the city or on the land, in case you are moored on the island. Also, more crowded marinas have higher prices in the shops, so stack your yacht at the beginning of your sailing journey. When it comes to food, it is very important to underline the fact that the guests are responsible for the well-being of the skipper and their obligation is to provide the skipper with three meals per day, and one of these meals has to be a warm meal. If there is a hostess on the yacht, the crew is responsible to provide food for the hostess too.
There are fees for entering national park areas and some other protected areas. Some of the most famous ones are Kornati Islands (National Park), Mljet (National Park), Blue Cave, Biševo Island, Green Cave, Ravnik Island etc.
Fuel costs are also significant - the consumption of fuel depends on the engine and the number of hours that the same engine has been used. Fuel costs vary from €70 to €200 per week, but as already mentioned, everything depends on your boat and sailing style. In case you are sailing with a catamaran, which has double the engines, count on double costs for the fuel.
Climate in Croatia
The Croatian coast and its islands are affected by the Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by rainy winters and dry, hot summers. The islands of Vis, Lastovo, Biševo and Svetac are in the category of most remote islands in Croatia, but what is more important is that they have the least precipitation of all Croatian islands, which means more sun. Among these islands, there are two absolute champions when it comes to the number of sunny hours per year - the islands of Hvar and Korčula which have more than 2,700 hours of sunshine per year. However, other islands are not far behind with approximately 2,000 sunny hours per year.
Even though good weather and sunny days are common, you might experience something that Croatians call “
When compared to some European countries, Croatia has very negligible tide differences, resulting in no stress when it comes to leaving the port if the tide is about to arrive. You can leave the port whenever you like and whenever the weather allows you to do so.
Winds in Croatia
There are a few important winds you will surely encounter during your sailing vacation. The most famous wind in Croatia is
On the opposite side we have
We also need to mention the best sailing wind in Croatia -
For sailing in summer, you will need swimsuits, t-shirts, short pants and similar summer clothes. For nights, which are cooler and breezy, take a hoodie or a summer raincoat, which will be just enough - bad weather never lasts for long. In case you will be the captain of a sailing yacht, you should bring a sailing raincoat and
When sailing in spring and autumn, it is essential to have a sailing water resistant suit to protect you from rain, wave splashes and
How to choose where to go and what to do there?
We will focus on the Adriatic coast and its islands. Without a doubt, the best way to explore and experience the Croatian coast would be to sail to all of its islands. However, that would be a mission impossible within a week or two considering that there are more than a 1,000 islands and islets. Each and
More than 1000 islands - which one to choose?
Let's start with a short division of the Croatian coast and its islands, so we can get a better overview of where to sail. A rough division would be Istria, North Adriatic, Dalmatia and South Adriatic.
Istria is actually a large peninsula in the north-western part of the Croatian coast, full of small picturesque towns, where you can have a delicious home-cooked meal complimented with a great choice of local wines. In Istria, you will find numerous smaller islands and islets which are not inhabited, but still worth seeing and great for having a swim in their beautiful bays. One of Istria’s “must see” gems is definitely Brijuni. Brijuni is a national park consisting of 14 islands and islets, where larger ones are very rich with cultural heritage, flora and fauna. On the main island, there are many golf courses surrounded with beautiful landscapes - a heaven for golfers.
The northern part of the Adriatic is a bit of a mystery for sailing beginners, considering the fact that most of sailing itineraries and schools are done in Dalmatia and the south Adriatic region. Nevertheless,
Dalmatia is the area around the city of Zadar, which has been rapidly developing its tourist offer in the past few years. Dalmatia is a part of the Adriatic Sea which boasts the greatest number of islands in Croatia. With Kornati islands archipelago, including 89 islands and islets, Dalmatia is already offering a lot to explore. There are still Dugi Otok, Ugljan, Kornati, Žut, Murter, Kaprije, Žirje, Zlarin and many more. Sakarun/
The South Adriatic boasts a group of larger islands with a greater number of inhabitants. There is also a group of islands which are pretty far from the mainland. That isolation gave them the opportunity to develop their special way of life, resulting in a very special charm which they are known for. One of these islands is Vis, which was actually a military island and due to that fact it was completely “separated” from the world and tourists for many years. While visiting Vis, be sure to visit the gorgeous Stiniva Beach. Another island is Lastovo - one of the most remote and inhabited islands in Croatia. More than 70 % of the island is covered by forests and its natural beauty has remained untouched. The island of Mljet needs to be mentioned as well, because of the fact that one part of this island is a national park.
Some of the most popular islands in this area are Hvar, Brač, Šolta and Korčula. Hvar is famous for its crazy nightlife, but the island itself is also very rich in cultural and historical legacy. The city of Korčula on the island of Korčula is also known as the “small Dubrovnik” and is surely
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