Sailing in Croatia - a Short Guide!
Whether you love sailing or are still only considering spending your next summer holiday on a sailboat or a yacht, sailing in Croatia will leave no one feeling indifferent. If you’re partial to swimming in hidden island coves, the sound of crickets, and exploring indigenous customs and coastal towns, nautical tourism could give you everything you need. The one in Croatia, even more.
Croatia has the largest nautical fleet in the world, with as much as 4378 boats and yachts, and 56 marinas you can safely sail into. There are also numerous other moorings in picturesque and charmingly beautiful places, some of which are only accessible by boat.
It is not only the Croatian fleet that is impressive, but also the things you can see while sailing.
1244 islands, islets, reefs, and hidden coves await you in the Adriatic Sea that is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Along with natural beauties – as many as five national parks are situated on the coast and the islands – there are also island villages and coastal cities with rich historical and cultural heritage, narrow streets, and impressive architecture that will fill your days and take your breath away. Delicious food – local specialties combined with world cuisine, made from fresh and seasonal groceries, will delight your palate and complete your holiday.
Where to go, what to do, when and with what to sail in the Adriatic Sea, find out in our short guide outlined below!
Sailing in Croatia - when should you go?
Sailing season in Croatia lasts from April to October, and height of the season is in June, July, and August. It is also the busiest period in harbors and towns, as well as in above-mentioned smaller coves. By the start of June, the sea heats up till the temperature is pleasant enough for swimming, and the warmest is in October.
September is the ideal month for sea-sailing according to Forbes magazine, and we can’t help but agree. The sea is still warm, sunny days are in abundance, and its significantly less crowded. If you want to avoid the hordes of tourists at all costs and explore the beauty of Croatian coast as privately as possible, we recommend you choose off-season months, early spring or late fall.
Besides, some parts of Croatia, like Dalmatia, are sunny throughout the whole year 😊
What is important is that you reserve your trip, sailboat, and skipper as soon as possible, especially if you plan on travelling at the height of the season. It’s best to do it until March, and the same goes for hotels if you plan on staying in them during your tour. This way you could even catch some early bird discounts!
Where to Sail in Croatia?
When talking about sailing in Croatia, Dalmatian coast and its belonging islands are the first thing that comes to mind. Organized trips usually start from historically and commercially important cities Split and Dubrovnik, and they often take place along this route.
Dubrovnik is the city of movies and grandeur, but it should be avoided when big cruisers are moored in its port. In the meantime, visit some of the islands nearby like Pelješac, where you can try some of the tastiest oysters in the world and while away the time off board with some of Pelješac’s well-known wines.
An island you shouldn’t skip is Korčula, Marco Polo’s birthplace that’s nicknamed “little Dubrovnik.” After Korčula and closer to Split is Europe’s sunniest island Hvar, one of the more attractive nautical destinations. On Brač, Croatia’s largest island, you can “park” your vehicle in Lučice Bay and enjoy the sun on your skin and the pine scent on deck before going to lunch in some of the local restaurants!
Closed to tourists for decades, one of Croatia’s furthest islands, Vis, is having a real boom these past few years. It’s a top destination for tourists arriving on ferries, but also for sailors. Many of which, according to Vis Tourist Board’s site, bought a plot of land there and changed their routes forever. You can find many coves, places and restaurants on Vis worthy of your attention and time.
Fantastic Place to Kickstart Your Tour, Zadar
You can also sail nicely in the Zadar and Šibenik Archipelago adorned by islands of incredible beauty such as Dugi Otok and Telašćica Nature Park situated on it, or Kornati Islands that is home to Kornati National Park. Besides multiple-day trips, this area is also great for shorter or daily trips and excursions. Besides these already mentioned, you shouldn’t miss the island of Ugljan situated across the channel from Zadar, or the islands Rivanj, Ist, and Molat.
We already mentioned Croatia’s 56 marinas, and the largest one is in Zadar County, in Sukošan near Zadar. There are two marinas in the city of Zadar, D-Marin Borik and Zadar Marina.
How to Sail on the Croatian Coast?
The way, type, and length of your trip depend on you, your preferences, and possibilities. If you are an experienced sailor yourself, know how to steer a smaller ship, and have the necessary permits, a bareboat charter could be an option for you.
"We are talking about boats that are 10 -16,17 meters long, which you can steer yourself or hire a skipper. Renting a boat with a skipper is ideal for families or groups of friends and is a holiday on which you can relax completely. We have the largest number of boats available in this category, while those who’d like to sail on staffed boats can look through our offer of charter yachts. It’s a more luxurious stay onboard for those who don’t want to worry about anything while vacationing. We also offer luxurious mini cruises of the Adriatic on the already defined routes", explains Selma Čmelik, the editor of a unique website for charter companies that will be online in a few months
Motor yacht lovers will surely be pleased to know that renting, but also buying first-class Focus Motor Yachts is available in Croatia. These handmade, prestigious small and mid-sized boats that combine style, luxurious construction, and attention to detail are second to none.
There is a lot of room for growth and advancement of nautical tourism in Croatia, but there is also a lot of potential. Precisely because of that, no matter which “marine fairytale” you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable holiday! In case you fall in love with Croatia and wish to stay here, contact us, you may equally fall in love with our properties 😊
-> Find more information on nautical tourism in Croatia.
Video: Source Hrvatska turistička zajednica/Croatian Tourist Board