Best places for sailing in Croatia
Sailing in Croatia, a country of a thousand islands and indented shoreline, is the greatest way to experience its natural, historical and cultural splendour. Safe natural harbours with fully serviced marinas in towns or simple moorings in villages, myriad isolated bays on uninhabited islands are the best platform for a great number of sailing routes. Favourable Adriatic winds, safe navigation and warm Mediterranean weather ensure enjoyable adventure tours in one of the most scenic parts of Europe.
Charter companies that are based in most ports provide boats, navigation tools and charts to licensed sailors opting for bareboat charter. If you have no skipper's certification for independent yachting in Croatia there are numerous options for skippered charter, crewed charter, organized group tours or full sailing packages for a luxury cruise. There is a variety of vessels offered for charter, including sailing and motor boats and yachts, power boats, gullets, catamarans and mega yachts. Travel agencies and sailing schools organize sailing courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Sailing in North Dalmatia. A magical place for your sailing holidays in Croatia is the Kornati, a unique archipelago of 147 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs near Zadar in North Dalmatia. With the total surface area of no more than 70 km² they extend for 220 km² forming a labyrinth that is proclaimed a National Park. Many islands have cliffs that drop vertically into the sea, which looks fascinating from underwater, so you can dive right from your sailboat. In contrast with sheer rocks, there are quiet beaches, holm oak woods and fruit plantations on the main island of Kornat. Some islands are marked with historical ruins, such as Piskera with its 16th century church, Panitula with the remains of a medieval fort or Lavsa where you can find the 1st century Roman villae rusticae.
Sailing in Central Dalmatia. Island Hvar in the central Dalmatian Adriatic, together with smaller adjacent islands, boasts a wonderful starting point for sailing in Croatia. The contrasting landscape of limestone rocks, green woods, rich vineyards and vast fields of lavender, rosemary and sage makes a captivating view as you sail along. You can stop at medieval towns with historical monuments like Hvar Town with its hilltop Venetian fort.
The twenty Pakleni Islands that stretch south-west of Hvar abound with isolated beaches that are fringed by dense pine trees and rosemary bushes. The islands of Sv. Jerolim and Marinkovac have popular nudist beaches. Another famous beach is Palmizana on the island of St. Clement which has a modern ACI Marina for comfortable yachting in Croatia. The local waters are great for fishing as the sea is teeming with eels, breams, groupers and umbers.
Sailing in Istria. Nice sailing holidays in Croatia can be spent along the Istrian coast if you visit the fascinating Brijuni Islands that form a National Park about 7 km south of Pula. The 14 islands that are lavishly covered with evergreen woods of pines and holm oaks are a world of harmony, peace and natural splendour where you can find many lovely bays to moor at. The main attraction is Island Veli Brijun, once a favourite residence of Marshal Tito who brought many exotic animals here that can be seen roaming in a safari park. The island is rich in Roman and Byzantine ruins, which adds considerably to its singularity.