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Croatia Sailing Guide - The Ultimate in Sailing Destinations

Croatia sits on the northwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The country borders Slovenia and Hungary to the west and north, Serbia and Bosnia to the east. The biggest maritime border is with Italy. Despite its small size, Croatia boasts significant geographical diversity. Today, Croatia is considered one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.  

What makes a Croatia sailing holiday so special

Known as the land of a thousand islands, Croatia is the perfect destination for a sailing holiday. Croatia has always been a maritime county and offers a vast network of ports and marinas placed alongside its beautiful coast. Coastal cities, bustling with culture and history, serve as an ideal stopping point on your way to more secluded and private spots local islands are riddled with. There you will find beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea and plenty of sunshine.

Chose from one of the many amazing types of Croatia sailing holidays

Over a thousand islands scattered along the Croatian coast provide countless options for sailing routes. Among others, your sailing holiday options can include a two week trip of the Dalmatian islands, a one week getaway to the Kornati islands, or an extensive two-week route of the whole Croatian shoreline from Istria to Dubrovnik. Make sure to consider your sailing experience and the experience of those sailing with you when choosing a sailing holiday. Some routes and destinations can be challenging for inexperienced sailors, although good infrastructure and fair weather will help. Be sure to research the area you will be visiting and prepare accordingly.    

Start your adventure from the main sailing bases in Croatia

Several big cities on the Croatian coast act as sailing bases for local areas. 

Most notable are Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Biograd, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik. These cities have good connections with airports located nearby, offer reasonable accommodation, and marinas with extensive amenities. 

Stop for a respite in a dreamy Croaitan marina

Today, there are around 60 marinas located across Croatia. Most of the marinas are easily accessible and located in big coastal cities or in the vicinity of the most popular tourist destinations. The most popular and widespread is the ACI Marinas chain, operating since 1983. There are a total of 22 ACI marinas, spreading from the city of Umag in the north of the Istrian Peninsula, all the way down south to the city of Dubrovnik. Aside from ACI marinas, there are also privately owned marinas. As the interest in sailing grew, so did the marinas. Expansions are underway almost every winter, to increase the number of berths and improve the offering. Today, Croatian marinas offer, apart from berthing, a wide variety of services and facilities such as restaurants, hotels, shops, yachting equipment stores, and many more.

Make sure to chose the right Croatia sailing charter option

There are several things worth considering when it comes to sailing charters. Depending on your knowledge and experience, you should choose whether you wish to charter only the boat, hire a skipper, or hire a crew. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you to decide which one works best for your vacation. The other big decision is the type of vessel you are going to charter for your sailing vacation. Croatia sits on the Adriatic and has fair weather conditions with no big waves or strong winds. Therefore, there are no limitations when it comes to the type of boat to charter. Sailboats are the most popular and affordable option, catamarans are better suited for larger groups while motorboats are best for those that enjoy speed and getting to your destination fast.

Get the best Croatia sailing prices

Sailing prices in Croatia can vary, depending on the time of year, type of boat, the duration of your sailing trip, and the area you are sailing in. We recommend you search for the best options months in advance as there are usually discounts available, depending on the time of year and location. The starting price for a week of chartering a sailboat for up to 6 people at the start of the season is around €1,000. However, prices increase significantly as you approach peak season in July and August. Additional expenses, such as berthing fees and skipper fees, should be considered as well.   

Pick the perfect sailing itinerary in Croatia

Most popular sailing itineraries in Croatia include visits to the Kornati islands or the islands in the Split area such as Vis, Hvar, Brač, and Korčula. These itineraries are usually one week long and concentrate on visiting the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. Or can be focused on finding the most secluded and private spots for those looking to get away. Another popular sailing itinerary is concentrated around the Dubrovnik area, visiting the nearby Elaphite islands and the beautiful island of Mljet. This itinerary is for those looking to get in touch with nature, enjoy some authentic local cuisine, and breathe in the cultural heritage and historical landmarks. 

What to expect from sailing weather in Croatia

The Croatian coast enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with warm and dry summers and mild winters. One of the reasons Croatia is such a popular sailing destination is its fair weather conditions. Sailing enthusiasts will thrive under the Croatian sun as the winds are mostly favorable, and the waves are small. Weather can turn for the worst, but it usually doesn’t last long, and there are plenty of coves that offer protection from the elements. Temperatures in the summer can often exceed 30 °C while sea temperatures sit between 23 °C and 27 °C making the Adriatic an ideal swimming spot.  

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