Croatia Yacht Charter
Sailing in Croatia has plenty to offer when it comes to a yacht charter holiday. The 'country of a thousand islands' has natural beauty, a fascinating history, a sunny Mediterranean climate with ideal and varied sailing conditions plus an interesting cuisine and culture. The country's charter areas can be divided into 4 main regions:
Istria & the Kvaerner region:
Pula is the main base in this area with a wooded mountainous backdrop on the mainland and the relatively unspoilt islands of Krk, Cres and Rab. This area is popular with central and Eastern Europeans who can reach the area quickly by road so it can be busy. There are many beautiful bays and anchorages and the area is well served with marinas. Distances are typically longer and winds can be strong in the afternoons, so best for experienced sailors.
The Kornati National Park:
This area is an un-commercialised national park with over 100 small islands to explore from the main marina bases at Biograd or Zadar. Many of the islands are uninhabited or have smaller fishing and farming settlements only inhabited in summer. The mostly low lying islands are generally rocky with numerous anchorages and coves with crystal clear waters.
Winds are reliable and stronger sea breezes can be experienced in the afternoon. This area will appeal to more experienced sailors and those wanting a quieter time ‘off the beaten track’, though several marinas have been added in recent years with more on the way. Visiting sailors in this area will pay a national park fee.
Mid Dalmatia Charter Area:
This is our favourite area and the base for Seafarer’s Croatian flotilla sailing from our base at marina ACI in Croatia’s second city of Split. There is a great choice of places to visit with the islands of Brac, Solta, Hvar, Vis and also Korcula within reach, The mainland coast also have many attractive towns and villages to visit, with Trogir, Primosten and the Krka river estuary with its’ famous waterfalls being firm favourites. There is plenty to keep one occupied over two weeks. Fresh winds in the afternoon are typical, though distances between destinations are generally moderate. The area has an excellent choice of marinas with modern facilities as well as a wealth of secluded anchorages to offer. The city of Split is well worth exploring at the start or finish of your holiday with a fascinating old town and the remnants of the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
Dubrovnik Charter Area:
Many chose to sail in this area to combine a visit to the beautiful historic medieval walled city of Dubrovnik. Being in the extreme south of the country, you will generally sail north to the islands of Mljet, Sipan and Korcula. Harbours can be very busy, particularly in the most popular spots such as historic Korcula Town and Okuklje on Mljet Island. Sipan is quieter and there are interesting spots on the mainland like the fortified fishing village of Ston. For 2 week charters, consider a one-way voyage to or from Split. You will usually pay a one way fee but the itinerary possibilities make this well worth it.
Being further north than Greece, the weather can be cooler and less reliable in early and late season and the water temperature slightly lower. It is also notable that to charter a yacht, a recognised sailing qualification such as the ICC is a must. Some argue that there has been over development of marinas and at an average of €1- 1.5 per foot, the extra cost needs to be calculated into the overall cost of the holiday. You will also be charged without fail on town quays at a lesser rate and plentiful water is generally available. On the plus side, many clients find the modern facilities to be a plus, even if this does mean sacrificing some rustic charm.
Overall, yacht charter in Croatia has much to offer the holiday sailor with fascinating history with a wealth of Roman and Venetian sites and architecture, crystal clear waters, lively sailing and a rich culture to tempt you. The cuisine has a lot of Venetian influence and some of their wines are pretty good too.