Croatia flotilla holidays offer the chance to sail in stunning scenery with good winds and a mixture of town harbours, marinas and anchorages (often with buoys) to greet you at the end of the day.
Ability: Some previous experience is best. Skippers certificate essential.
Vibe: Harbours, marinas, anchorages. Fishing ports and historic towns. Coastal & island sailing
Yachts: 32 to 50+ feet, 2 -5 cabins
Airports: Split, Zadar
The flotilla holidays in Croatia mainly sail the central and northern Dalmatia coast, from the Kornati Park down to the islands around Split. It’s mixture of coastal sailing and island hopping with stops ranging from quiet bays and fishing villages to historic towns.
Croatian flotillas are ideal for those with some previous sailing experience. Though I’ve known beginners tackle Croatia without adverse results, you’ll need to do some navigating and winds can be a little strong and gusty, especially in summer. The central area, with the benefit of more islands to provide shelter, is slightly easier sailing than south around Dubrovnik
The Croatian climate will appeal to those who like it a little less hot, its more northerly position making it cooler than Greece and Turkey. As a result, the operating season is shorter – from May to September.
The number of Croatia flotillas has reduced in recent years. This is more to do with changing regulations which make it hard for overseas operators to run yachts in Croatia, than because of any decline in interest. It is also essential for the skipper to hold a recognised qualification – it’s the law and checks are made! Of course skippers can be hired for those without qualifications.
If you’ve previously sailed in Greece or Turkey, Croatia flotilla sailing has a surprise in store. Mooring fees are routinely charged in marinas, harbours and even on mooring buoys and can seem expensive (though compared to Italy or France they’re a bargain)!
Charges are based on yacht size so the larger your yacht the more you pay. Even a small yacht can incur marina fees of £40-£50 a night and with most flotillas you don’t have the option of seeking out a cheaper anchoring option, as you would on a bareboat charter. Charges are less in harbours and on buoys and of course these costs are offset by the fact that flights to Croatia are usually cheaper.
In return, you will usually get shore power, toilet and shower blocks and often a restaurant, so Croatia flotillas are ideal for those who like their creature comforts. Not all marinas are featureless concrete monstrosities either – some are little more than a pontoon built around the edge of a bay.
Whether you’re drawn by the stunning scenery, the historic buildings or the excellent sailing, Croatia flotilla holidays have it all. Don’t leave it too late though – this is and international charter destination and our European friends don’t all book at late as we Brits tend to.