There are a few things you’ll have to know before you decide to sail in the Croatian Adriatic to get the full experience. Croatia and the idea of it are fascinating to many people as it is a very welcoming country as well as very varied.
One of the most enchanting facts about Croatia is that it has all kinds of landscapes. The interior of the country’s inland is diverse, from large, vast fields to wooded hills filled with untouched nature. Coming from the continental part of Croatia, the vista changes almost dramatically, as the Croatian coast is well indented with numerous islands and mountains overlooking the shore. The unique appearance of the Croatian coast makes it an ideal place to explore while sailing. But what exactly is sailing? What does a week on a sailboat in Croatia look like? How much does it cost? What is your idea of sailing in Croatia?
We present you a few things you need to know before you decide to sail in Croatia, so you can get a real picture of sailing in the Adriatic.
A sailboat is a small space
Boat sizes vary, but most charter yachts in Croatia are between 10 and 17 meters long (30-60 feet). It’s best to choose the size of your sailboat based on the number of people in your group and, of course, your financial capabilities. You need to be aware that a sailboat can be restrictive if you are not used to enclosed spaces. The more people in your group, the more you will have to spend time with them almost around the clock.
Therefore, think carefully before you assemble your company and crew. The people on board should be as enthusiastic about sailing as you are, because the atmosphere of the vacation depends to a large extent on the people we surround ourselves with. It’s important to remember that your cabins are not rooms, that the salon is a communal space meant for shared meals and socializing. You also will not have a walk-in closet or the comforts of, say, an apartment.
But wherever you go, you’ll have everything you need, because your accommodation goes with you and with it an unforgettable sailing experience. It’s up to you to feel the wind in your sails and sail to a peaceful and quiet bay where you can completely merge with nature.
Sailing is a sport
The idea of sailing and chasing the wind gets your adrenaline pumping, or you just want to give it a try? Hoist the sails, try your hand at this sport and find out how fast your boat can go, what performance it has and how well you can sail in Croatia this year. Sailing in its definition means steering a sailboat regardless of the wind direction and mastering all conditions on the sea such as strong winds and unpredictable situations. This applies not only to regattas, but also to a sailing vacation. Getting the wind in your sails is more complicated than it seems, because you need to be involved in all sailing operations. So be prepared to tighten and loosen the ropes, hoist and lower the sails, and react quickly. Sailing can be exhausting, but it is certainly an exhilarating experience.
There are a few types of sailing, most notably fleet racing and cruising, with several of their variations. Cruising is the most common form of sailing on the Croatian coast, but you will also have your share of excitement and adventure on vacation.
The weather may surprise you
Although Croatia has a mild Mediterranean climate that is well suited to sailing, you will need to check the weather forecast regularly. Weather changes can come as suddenly as summer storms, so it’s best to be prepared in advance. Winds tend to be weaker during the warm summer days, but the early season is better in terms of winds and their strength. Even on rainy days you can sail if you want a realistic experience.
The most common and well-known winds on the Croatian Adriatic are Bura, Jugo, Tramontana and Maestral. To be sure which of these winds are best for sailing and which ones it is recommended to stay in the marina, check the weather forecast before heading out. You can also ask your skipper or more experienced sailors. This way you will not be surprised by a wind shift or a sudden storm in the open sea.
There is traffic on the sea too
Sailing on the Adriatic to avoid the crowded cities and roads during the peak tourist season is undoubtedly a good decision. However, even in the summer months, crowds are possible in the ports and bays. First, remember that these crowds are nothing compared to the busy traffic of the big cities, so to speak, and remember that you are on vacation. It can be more difficult on weekends as this is the usual time when more people are out and about due to charter boats being handed over.
You can avoid people and their yachts if you want to. So plan your route differently than others, start early and find a small bay to anchor in. Crowds and boat traffic can be avoided by avoiding prominent tourist destinations such as well-visited cities and landmarks. If you have the opportunity, the best way to have a great sailing experience in complete peace and quiet is to sail in the early and late seasons. And then the entire Adriatic coast is yours.
Mooring and anchorage fees
If breathtaking sights and unique views are on your list of things to experience during your sailing vacation in the Adriatic, it’s worth mooring up at one of the beautiful coastal resorts. Take a break in a marina, rest assured – marinas across the Adriatic are superbly equipped. There you will find all the information you need to continue your journey. But if you need to fill up your water tank or do your laundry, you can do so for a certain fee. The cost of the marina depends on the location, the time of year and the size of your sailboat.
In addition to large marinas, there are also moorings in smaller towns along the Adriatic coast where you can do everything you need and then sail on to your destination or out to sea. Anchoring is also subject to fees in some places, such as national parks, nature parks or concession areas, so expect to pay for anchoring. However, there are more than a few well protected and safe bays where you can anchor without paying any fees. If you decide to spend the night in the bay, make sure your sailboat is well moored, so you do not have any unpleasant surprises during the night.
Whether you are looking for adrenaline-filled adventures or just love to sail, Croatia is the ultimate sailing destination. We hope this guide has given you an idea of what to expect when sailing in the Croatian Adriatic.
For complete planning of your sailing vacation and any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.