Croatia yacht charter offers a wealth of islands to explore. The winds are good and the climate is a little cooler than Greece or Turkey. And if you like your sailing civilised, the facilities ashore are great. You’ll love a Croatia Bareboat Charter.
There are now over 50 marinas along the coast, augmenting the many harbours and anchorages. Indeed some marinas are more like harbours being no more than a single quay. Others are huge, taking hundreds of yachts each.
Ability: Some previous experience
Mooring: Marinas, town quays, some buoys & anchorages
Navigation: Not hard but some needed
Sailing: Interesting, various wind systems
Vibe: Civilised sailing, good facilities
Getting there: Easy for Dalmatian coast, harder elsewhere
Regardless of size, the marinas provide those luxuries that some bareboat charterers consider essential, such as shower blocks, shops and restaurants. So if you can’t bear to be parted from your hair dryer, Bareboat Charter in Croatia is for you!
There’s good reason why there are so many marinas – there are an awful lot of charter yachts! Always popular with the German market (being within driving distance) it has more recently become a favourite with Russians.
Enthusiasm amongst Brits has perhaps waned a little in recent times, partly because for those used to sailing in Greece or Turkey the mooring fees can be a bit of a shock, partly because flight options have reduced, making it hard to access bases far north of Split. However, the most popular area, the Dalmatian coast is well served by UK flights including regional departures.
You should not be deterred – there is some beautiful sailing on offer and the scenery is much lusher than more southerly Med destinations.
Those who like the temperatures a little less hot will love it too though it’s certainly not cold. It does make the season a little shorter though, with most sailors preferring the May to September period rather than April to October as in much of Greece or Turkey.
Croatia bareboat charterers can choose from a great variety of boats, both in age range and make. Those staples of the charter industry from Bavaria, Beneteau and Jenneau are all there of course but you’ll also find Elans, Hanses, Grand Soleils, Salonas and more, in far greater numbers than in say Greece or Turkey.
The Croatian coast has not suffered the high rise hotels found elsewhere in the Mediterranean but is lined with towns large and small. Some rely more heavily on tourism than others but you’ll never be short of a restaurant or bar to sustain you. You will never be short of provisions either and unlike say Turkey, there’s no real need to plan stops for shopping – you’ll find enough along the way.
Once out in the islands some of the destinations are more villages than towns. In the past many existed for local agriculture and fishing but passing sailors provide a welcome boost to the economy.
For those interested in history or architecture, past invasions by the Venetians and Ottomans have left plenty to explore and the beautiful national parks should not be missed.
From time to time you might find yourself in that odd form of settlement, an isolated marina. Though many marinas are in or on the edge of towns there are some in the middle of nowhere. Unless you’re prepared to jump in a cab, your eating and drinking options are then restricted to those the marina provide, at the prices they set. They’re not usually unreasonable but it’s much the same experience as in a large hotel chain – they all look much the same and you could be anywhere. There are far nicer places to stop.
Croatia must have more bareboat charter bases per mile of coast than anywhere on the planet. There are dozens of then, some home to just a single fleet, others huge affairs. This does have the advantage of spreading everyone along the coast, reducing the chance of you finding your chosen itinerary has been adopted by 50 other yachts.
The yacht charter operators range from large companies to family concerns. A number have quite similar names so if you’ve had a recommendation make sure you don’t get confused.
Dubrovnik serves as the main base for the southern Dalamatian coast. The central area is covered not just by Split (where the marina is not especially large) but nearby bases such as Trogir and Kastela which are actually nearer to Split Airport than Split is!
Heading north east along the coast there are yachts at Marina (yes it’s Marina marina)!, Rogoznica, Kremik and Sibenik and we’re still less than an hour from Split Airport. A little further north are the main bases for northern Dalmatia; Murter, Biograd, Sukosan and Zadar.
Zadar has it’s own airport with flights from Stansted, East Midlands and Liverpool. Unfortunately, none of these currently operate on Saturdays so most UK travellers will have to enter through Split. To reach the more northerly bases serving Istria and the Kvarner Gulf, such as Pula, Punat and Mali Losinj, UK sailors will need to make even more of an effort. No matter – there’s enough great sailng to keep you going for several years on the Dalmatia coast without needing to tackle these.