10 Practical tips for a relaxed sailing experience in Croatia

1. Book your holidays early 

There are numerous early bird discounts, most of the bareboat charters are still available and you get to pay by installments. Balance is 50% at the booking and 50% one month before departure. 

2. Hire a Sailboat or Catamaran 

Croatia is a Mediterranean country with the tradition of welcoming sailors. The sea, the sun and the rugged landscapes left a remarkable impact on the islanders, their unique culture and laid-back easy going philosophy.

If you want to blend in and feel this land's true heartbeat, hire a sailboat or Croatia catamaran charter instead of a motor yacht. Not only, that the sailors are considered cooler, sailing is more natural, cheaper and also the most authentic way of travelling.

3. Take your trip in summer months 

High summer on Adriatic might be busy, but the weather is simply glorious. Considering the Croatia weather conditions, you will hit the spot, if your book the trip in July or August. The streets are buzzing the traffic is heavy, but the weather is perfect. It might get bit crowded in marinas and restaurants, but you can always find a quiet place to moor. Check the weather before your departure and pack accordingly. Please read about what to pack for your sailing trip.

4. Book at least a 1-week sailing trip

In the peak season months, you can rent a Croatia yacht charter for the duration of 7 days from Saturday till Saturday. However it is possible to take a 2-week sailing trip or even short 3 or 4 day tour in the off season. But if you want a relaxed sailing cruise and really feel the body and soul of Croatia, then take a one-week tour.

5. Choose a reliable sailing agency in Croatia

Ask your charter agency for the exact price quote and specify the inclusions you would like to have for your trip. Don't let the unexpected extra costs surprise you. 

6. Keep things simple 

Don't over pack and rather take a soft duffel bag instead of a hard suitcase. Double cabins in a sailboat or catamaran are bright and spacious, but they can get uncomfortable when 2 large suitcases are blocking your passage. Don't forget your passport, ID and take enough cash. Although you already prepay most of the inclusions, there are still some extras you have to pay at spot (fuel, provisions, tourist tax, marina fees, national parks, transfers and eating out). Exchange enough local currency KUNA at the official bank before your embark!

7. Set your destination 

Focus on a specific area or a destination in Croatia. There are four main destinations nearby major Croatian airports with good flight and road connections: Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. To explore one area should be enough for 7-day tour and leave the others for next sailing trip. If you like one place or island more, you can stay there longer. Sailing itinerary is entirely flexible. It is possible to take a 2-week tour and discover more places.

8. Check in and check out

Please stick to your check in hours, unless you ordered an early check in. Your yacht needs to be prepared and cleaned before your embarkation. It has no sense to fry on the hot sun in front the charter office. If you arrive early, rather go for a swim. There are beaches close by every marina. Check out is usually after 8 AM the next Saturday. It is recommended return to marina on Friday before evening for the underwater inspection.

9. Keep your sailing distances small

If you are not an extreme sailor, keep your daily route within 30 Miles distance (4-5 hours sailing a day). It is difficult to visit all the best spots within a week, so take time to enjoy and make your vacation a valuable and memorable experience. In the morning calm, is better to take a nice swim and just chill while waiting for the afternoon wind. Simply follow the weather and accept the precious gifts from unspoild nature.

10. Rationalise your provisions 

Fill the boat lockers with enough food and supplies that you might need. Stock up before embarkation, when you still have enough time. Grocery is cheaper in the markets outside of your base marina and can be more expensive on the islands.

Sometimes the charter companies offer to buy the supplies for you beforehand. The islands you will visit have limited supply, but you can always buy bread, water, beer, fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. Bring enough bottled water and don't forget paper towels, garbage bags, toilet paper, sponges, washing liquid, coffee, various snacks.

Hire a Croatia sailboat charter or...
Charter a Catamaran
Take your trip in summer months
Don't over pack and bring the essentials
If you desire, You can always participate in sailing
Best sailing itinerary Split Croatia
Sailboat Cuisine

Do I book a skippered or a bereboat yacht charter in Croatia?

Bareboat or a crewed yacht charter?

1. Hire bareboat yacht charter if you are experienced sailor with a valid license 

2. Take a skippered yacht charter and hire a knowledgeable Croatian skipper

I recommend that you book a skippered option. There are over 1000 islands and islets along the Croatian coast. In combination with specific weather conditions, it is quite difficult to navigate even for skilled sailors.

Taking a local skipper is the most relaxed and hassle-free option. And don't worry, your itinerary is flexible even with skipper aboard. These guys and girls know the area, the weather and the best sailing spots. Plus you gain more free time to explore, relax, party or just chill on your 7-day tour.

There are plenty sailing vacation packages available, and you will definitivelly find one to suit your needs: honeymoon trip, activity sailing holidays, family tour culinary trip or luxury sailing holidays

Remember to pack light

Don't miss out these islands/places on you sailing holiday in Croatia

  • Pula sailing trip  -  Unije island, Brioni and Kamenjak wildlife park, Mali Lošinj village, Lubenice village on Cres island, Ilovik island, Venetian towns of Rovinj and Vrsar in Istria
  • Zadar sailing trip -  Kornati islands, Silba island, Primošten town, Kaprije Island, Skradin and Krka waterfalls, Saharun beach on Dugi Otok island
  • Split sailing trip  Island Vis, Pakleni islands and Hvar town, Island Brač and Veli Rat beach on Bol, Stari Grad on Hvar island, Biševo island with famous "blue cave
  • Dubrovnik sailing trip -  Korčula island and Korčula town, Mljet and Lastovo wildlife parks, Island Šipan, Town of Cavtat and ancient town of Ston on Pelješac.

Some basic phrases in Croatian language

- POLAKO (Easy, slowly or also take it easy)

- BOK (Hello and also Bye)

- MOŽE (O.K.)

- ŽIVJELI (Cheers, when drinking)

- KONOBA (traditional family-owned restaurant with locally grown and produced food)

- DOBAR TEK (Enjoy your meal)

- AJMO (Let's go)

- HVALA (Thank You)

- MOLIM (Please)

- DOBAR DAN (Good Afternoon)

- NEMA PROBLEMA (No problem)

- MOGU LI PLATITI (Can I pay?)

Croatian is basically complicated language to master, but the locals love it when visitors to their country make the effort to learn some of these phrases. Sometimes these phrases mean more then just a translated word. In some cases they express your general mood or a state of mind. If you are in emergency or distress, don't worry. The locals will be happy to help you out. 

5 basic ethical guidelines for sailors

1. Respect the sea

2. Keep the environment and the sea clean...and your boat tidy

3. Always try to help other sailors when in distress

4. Follow and respect the local maritime rules and sailing procedures

5. Don't talk about politics or religion aboard. There are so many better topics.

Written by Rick Baker, Southampton UK

Sailing is all about sharing good time with other people
Keep the sea and environment clean

Explore Croatian coast on these beautiful yachts