Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide


Croatia is blessed with more than 2000 km of artistically formed Adriatic shore and along this enthralling stretch, you’ll find an array of numerous attractions from sleek resorts within palm-fringed bays to intriguing Roman remains holding numerous stories of centuries gone by. The alluring turquoise waters are home to more than a century of islets and islands and they are littered with secluded party villages and a number of sybaritic towns. These are some of the reasons why Croatia proves a sailor’s haven and if you’d like to try out your sailing luck on the Adriatic shore, here’s a guide to help you get started.

Where to go and for how long

The southern Dalmatian islands should feature at the top of your itinerary as they are the most popular of the countless land masses. Dubrovnik and Split are good places to start off and most companies offer one-way voyages or round-trips between either town. A week or 8 days should suffice for this route.

Islands that never fail to impress include the historic Stari Grad that is blessed with a beguilingly extensive plain and the winsome Hvar town that is brought to life by vibrant restaurants and chick bars. Brač is also a charming getaway while the quiet Stomorska village on Šolta is just as appealing though it has limited moorings for only fifteen touring vessels.

The Pakleni islands offer a picture perfect exploration of its enormous forest line while Vis-the farthest flung island from the coastline- is imbued with a well preserved military heritage evidenced in its architecture.

When should you go?



The best time to tour Croatia is during the peak summer period when the weather is extremely endearing. The sailing season ends in September after kicking off in May and this is the timeframe to adhere to. Summer runs from July through August and during this period temperatures average a friendly 26-27 C that is perfect for sailing and water sports such as paddle-boarding, snorkeling and swimming.

How do you get a yacht?

Getting yourself a yacht is the best way to go as you can just kick up your feet and take in all the sights while an experienced professional well-versed in the various routes can schedule your itinerary for the best attractions, swimming spots and restaurants. You might also consider getting a hostess to handle basic chores.

If you are however adept at sailing, then go for a “bareboat” charter where you do all the sailing yourself. The major requirement by most operators is documentation of full certification e.g. the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

What to expect onboard

Naturally, yacht services vary from one experience to another depending on the company and the price of the deal. There are several options to choose from and toward the low end of the cost scale, you’ll find boats with shared bathrooms and cramped cabins that have seen better days. On the opposite end of the scale, you’ll be in top-notch catamaran category that encompasses vast deck space, en-suites and luxurious furnishings.

Should you join Yacht Week?

Yacht week might have a reputation for holding scintillating parties incomparable to none, but it is one week that doesn’t really depict what Croatian culture is all about. As a result, some local towns have branded the event “Sodom and Gomorrah at sea” and have declined offering moorings to intoxicated crowds.

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