15th Feb 2017
Why is Croatia such a popular charter destination? I asked myself when exhibiting at the London Boat Show. I was intrigued because there was a real buzz about booking yachts in Croatia. I have spent many years teaching sailing in the Southern Med, but have to admit, that my knowledge of Croatia as a tourist destination was pretty weak. And so, I decided to do a bit of research to find out …
Croatia stretches along the North-Eastern Edge of the Mediterranean. Its crystal blue shores host a myriad of bays and archipelagoes with numerous small islands. You can choose to sail along the Dalmation Coast and take in the beautiful Venetian architecture or explore Croatia’s 718 islands and islets which are littered with unspoilt, Medieval buildings. Major harbour towns include: Sibenik, Split, Biograd, Sukosan, Trogir, Pular and Dubrovnik.
If you want to get away from it all, you can sail your yacht in the Kornati National Park which is home to the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean. For a bit more tourist action, you can immerse yourself in any one of Croatia’s largest harbour towns: Skradin lies at the entrance to the Krka National Park where you’ll find a cascade (nice collective noun) of gobsmacking waterfalls, Hvar is great for a party but also has a beautiful Medieval fort, Korcula features a lovely old town and not to forget, Mljet’s paradisiac national park with lush greenery and crystal clear lakes.
Croatian food has many different influences: mainly Italian, Turkish and Hungarian. From grilled fish to delicious risottos, there is something for everyone. Something I have tried and love is ‘Soparnik’, it’s a bit like a stone-baked samosa, filled with swiss chard, garlic and parsley.
The sailing season in North Croatia goes from June till the end of September. The sailing season in the South is longer, it stretches from May until the end of October. And at this time of year, you can expect moderate winds. The Croation sea has many elongated islands that extend parallel to the shore and are separated by channels, which means that the cruising grounds are protected and safe for family charter holidays. The outer islands (e.g. Hvar and Korcula) are the sunniest in Croatia, they get an amazing 2700 hours of sunshine per year!
For bareboat charter in Croatia, you must hold a skipper´s licence or proof that you have sufficient sailing experience. The alternative is to hire a yacht with a skipper. Additionally, a radio licence is needed. Note that it is possible to arrange a crash course once there but I would advise that you attend a formal radio course which can also be completed online (RYA Radio Courses).
Well, now I understand why Croatia is such a popular charter destination. With perfect sailing conditions and beautiful scenery, it’s the ideal place to explore by boat. From idyllic islands to bustling, tourist attractions, you can tailor your holiday to suit you. Well that’s it, I’ll book a boat!
I hope this inspires you,
Helen (Borrow a Boat)