Croatia cruising guide-tips and routes
From Slovenia in the north to Montenegro in the south, the stunning 1800 kilometres long coastline of Croatia forms a leading cruising route of the Western Mediterranean. For the yacht men this region is a boon due the presence of excellent infrastructure and a plethora of spectacular places of tourist interest. The 1000 odd scattered islands and islets, together with the balmy climate make Croatia one of the most popular sailing destinations in the whole of Europe. Here are some guidelines for your sailing trip to this picturesque Dalmatian region.
POPULAR SPOTS AND ROUTES
The Southern Dalmatian islands are by far the best places to cover. Practically all the sailing itineraries do the Split to Dubrovnik circuit or vice versa and take around a week to complete either way. If you have more money and time to spare, then cruise north to Zadar and then further up to Montenegro for a truly fabulous two week holiday on the water.
Stay in family run guesthouses in stony villages while exploring the historic town of Stari Grad and the UNESCO listed plain
The island of Brac is the third largest in Croatia and boasts of some lively laid back towns of Bol and Milna on Brac.
The off the tourist radar village of Stomorska in Solta has room only for a very limited number of boats to dock in its harbour. Solta lies close to Split and is perfect for peaceful walks and relaxation.
Vis is home to the magnificent Blue Cave, where bathers enjoy a swim in aquamarine light caused by the reflection of the sun’s rays on the water. The unspoilt far flung island has been made accessible to tourists only in the mid nineties.
Cool forests, mountain ranges and sandy beaches stretch along the shores of Split Rivera. The Omis region is home of the River Cetina canyon and lovely fishing villages nestled in vineyards and groves of olives. Lovely routes on Adriatic add to your cruising experience.
WHEN TO GO
Gentle average sea temperatures and ideal winds for sailing make the high summer months of July and August absolutely gorgeous for sailing. Though the sailing season runs from May to September in Croatia, the warmer months are perfect for splashing around in the shallow waters or going snorkeling or paddleboarding. Yachts, however, are around 20% cheaper towards the end of the season.
BOOKING THE BOAT
Going on a skippered yacht cruise is the easiest and most comfortable way to enjoy a cruise in Croatia. Since your captain will form an invaluable part of the trip, one should ensure that the choice of the skipper is taken after due consideration. Experienced and knowledgeable captains should be able to adjust routes immediately in case of bad weather. They should be able to guide you to the best diving and swimming spots, local attractions and the best dining outlets. While your skipper is at the wheel you need to just sip the local wines and enjoy the views.
ON BOARD SERVICE
All sail boats in Croatia are not made of the same mettle. Vessel comfort varies widely from simple cramped cabins with shared bathrooms to ultra luxurious floating hotels with ensuite facilities. It is advisable to check beforehand the different levels of boats which are available and opt for one conforming to your budget.
IS SAILING AFFORDABLE?
Do not let stories of high costs deter you from your planned sailing vacation to Croatia. No doubt the place is expensive, but if you sail in small groups and charter a small boat the islands can be easily explored for as low as 300$ a day, which is extremely reasonable.
Clear waters and pristine beaches lure an increasing number of sailors to Croatia each year.The islands are unique and the top draw of the country and the infrastructure is world class. Even at the most busy time of the year a boat would be able to find a good anchoring spot anywhere along the coast.