The Ultimate Guide To Sailing Around Croatia's Islands

updated on
January 2, 2023
The Ultimate Guide To Sailing Around Croatia's Islands

Croatia is a beautiful country with stunning islands. If you're looking to get a few hours of sailing in, Croatia is the perfect place to start. There are many different islands to choose from, and each has its own set of attractions and amenities. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day on the water or an adventure, Croatia has something for you.

Croatia has a lot to offer, both geographically and culturally. If you're looking for an amazing place to explore and holiday, Croatia is worth checking out. From the stunning Adriatic seaside towns like Istria and Kvarner to the bustling city centres of Zadar and Split, there's plenty to see and do in Croatia. This guide will explore sailing in Croatia and what you'll get from the sailing experience.

The Best Time To Sail In Croatia

Many people wonder what the best time is to visit Croatia. In terms of sailing, May through early October will get you the most sunshine in Croatia. This is also when most of the sailing events and festivals occur. If you're looking for a more quiet time to visit, Croatia's off-season runs from November through April. During this time of year, it can still be warm and sunny, but it can also be cold and rainy. Whatever your preference, there's plenty to see and do in Croatia.

The best time depends on your preferences, but the peak season goes to July and August. The weather is hot and sunny, the sea is warm, and there are plenty of festivals, events, and celebrations. You can also enjoy the regatta season that falls between the end of April till the end of October. Most people visit during this time due to the friendliness of the Adriatic winds.

Generally, the best time to sail in Croatia would be at the end of May and June. The temperatures are in the mid-70s Fahrenheit, and the wind is strong enough to drive your sailboat across the water. The sea winds are just enough for a decent sail, and the temperatures are pretty exciting to swim and explore. Even better, the bays are not full, giving you more privacy. By the end of June, you should be able to find pretty exciting spots in the marinas and great charter offers. Take advantage of the beautiful Croatian coastline, where you can find hundreds of islands, coves, bays, and waterfronts during this time.

The Different Types Of Sailing Possibilities

While there are many ways to sail around the Croatian Islands, some have been more preferred than others. Let's look at a few of them.

Renting A Yacht

This may be the most popular way to sail in Croatia. Fun and relaxing, sailing with friends or family make it a great summer activity that can also be entertaining.

When sailing a chartered yacht in Croatia, you have many options, including bareboat, skippered or crewed yachts. Don't forget to ask what is included in this type of charter, as you don't want to find out that your charter only has two hours of sailing per day! Another tip would be asking what the beach budget is because you might need to pay extra if you wish to anchor by the beach and not just sail by it.

When choosing between skippered and bareboat charters, remember that something still needs to get done on a boat, no matter how small or big it is. A small boat will definitely require more work than a big one. If you are not an experienced sailor, bareboat yachts are usually the best choice because you won't need to worry about anything else but to enjoy yourself.

You can also choose a crewed yacht, which is a lot more expensive, but also gives you a lot of great benefits that both skippered and bareboat yachts don't. You will always have a skipper on board to take care of the navigation and teach you if you are not experienced sailing. They can give you the best directions since they know the area very well. You can also rest assured that your yacht is safe because there will be someone to look after it 24/7 while you are on land or in your villa.

Croatia offers charter options for both beginners and more experienced sailors, as well as for a variety of budgets, so you're sure to find one that fits your needs.

Sailing From One Island To Another

When chartered yachts are docked in one port, they can still offer land transfers to their clients. This means that you can have the luxury of sailing from one island to another without needing to move your yacht again! Most yachts can accommodate 2-6 passengers, which makes it an even better option if you want some alone time or just need to make sure that there is enough space for your group. This can also be a great way to see the coast of Croatia and get to know its beauty even more.

Sailing With Friends

If you have a boat booked for your vacation, sailing from one island to another can provide beautiful scenery and is a great way to spend time with friends! It might not be as luxurious as the first option, but it's still a great time for everyone involved! If you don't have a boat, you could choose any charter option you want. There are plenty of Croatian yachts available in different ports around the country.

Understanding The Cost Of Sailing In Croatia?

While the costs are varied from one person to another, here are the common fees. You will have to pay for the yacht charter fees and marinas and port fees. The price ranges from €90 to €110 at the season's peak.

You will also need to pay for anchoring under private concessions. Depending on your boat's length, the fee could be anything varying from €10 to €40.

The other expenses will be food and groceries in the marinas and harbours. While they are more expensive than the normal shops in the city, you will have a pretty nice experience across the Coastline. All this depends on your budget and spending.

Entry to national parks, national heritage areas, and protected areas will also cost you a few Euros depending on the destination.

Another significant cost in Croatia is the fuel expense. While it depends on your consumption and engine, you can expect to spend around €70 to €200 every week in the country.

The Winds In Croatia

Winds in Croatia are often quite different from other areas of the world. As such, you need to stay away from the following winds if your trip is reliant on sailing. The most important winds are Sirocco, Bora, and Jugo. These all have adverse effects on your sailing experience, as they can provide a great deal of damage to your boat or even make it impossible to sail altogether. You don't want any of these conditions to ruin your time in Croatia.

Sirocco Wind (Most Common)

A sirocco storm is a hot, dry wind that blows from the Sahara Sea. It usually has fairly high speeds and can be very unpredictable. The sirocco wind is known for causing fires because it tends to dry everything out too much! It also causes sandstorms! This is a very dry and hot wind, so this means that you should be careful when choosing where you go in Croatia if you are using your boat. The wind usually arrives in the spring and autumn seasons, which is the best time to be sailing in Croatia!

Bora Wind (Regional Storm)

The bora Veliki is a storm that blows through Croatia during the winter months. It has some very high speeds and is very intense! This isn't a great wind for your sailing trip, as it will disrupt your meal plans and make any areas you visit too cold for any sunbathing. The proper name for this wind is bura, but it isn't used all too often, so you won't be hearing it. Be careful of this wind if you plan to travel by boat around Croatia during the winter months!

Jugo Wind (Most Violent Wind)

The jugo or Južna Jadran is a south wind that blows from Africa between October and April every year. You can expect to see some very bad weather that will damage your boat and even sink it during this time! The winds will be accompanied by rain and hail, so you should avoid them at all costs. You also will have to deal with the possibility of sandstorms as well. This is a pretty rough wind and one that no one wants to deal with in Croatia.

The Maestral (A NW Wind)

The maestral is a northern wind that blows between November and May. This means that you will find very mild weather in Croatia most of the time. It is the best sailing wind in the country. It begins blowing at 10 am and is strongest at around 2 pm to 4 pm.

Sea Temperatures

The sea temperatures in Croatia are generally nice for swimming during the summer months, even though they can get pretty cold in the winter! If you are planning on travelling by boat during this time, it is best to bundle up so that you don't catch a cold or catch any other illness. It is generally safe for children to swim too, as long as they have life vests. They can cool down and splash around without much of an issue.

How To Choose Where To Go And What To Do There

Focusing on the Adriatic coast, choosing over the 1000 islands and islets can be quite a tough question. The best way will be to explore the entire Croatian coast and experience its special charm. Every island is beautiful and has its uniqueness. As you sail around with friends, it is crucial that you carry your camera to capture all the beautiful moments on the Adriatic coast. Considering they are over 1000 islands to discover, you might want more than a fortnight to explore them fully.

How To Choose The Best Islands To Visit In Croatia

The Croatian coast is divided into different islands. This section covers the different divisions such as Istria, Dalmatia, South Adriatic, and North Adriatic.


Istria is one of the main Croatian tourist destinations. There are relatively many things to do as you sail from one island to another. Often considered a gateway to Italy, Istria is referred to as the 'Land of Romanticism' intended with its castles, stilt houses, and beautiful landscapes. There are five main islands in the Istrian region - Pula, Poreč, Rovinj, Šibenik and Vrsar. Here are some of the places you must visit:

North Adriatic

North Adriatic is the main tourist destination in Croatia. It comprises major island groups: Krk, Kvarner and Cres, also part of the famous Adriatic Sea. They are linked by regular boats to other major islands like Hvar, Dubrovnik and Korčula. There are plenty of wonderful beaches with crystal clear water. Some beaches are Sokac, Potočari, Plitvice Lakes and amazing Plitvice National Park. Being one of the most expensive areas in Croatia, North Adriatic is very popular with tourists.


Dalmatia is on the east coast of Croatia, extending from the Adriatic Sea to the Sava River. With many smaller islands like Korčula and Mljet, you find plenty of wonderful beaches along this coastline. The scenery along this area is breathtaking, with limestone cliffs, white sand, and clear blue waters.

South Adriatic

South Adriatic is the largest area of Croatia, covering the entire cost along the Mediterranean coast. It includes major cities in southern Croatia like Zadar and Trogir. This region has some of Croatia's most beautiful natural scenery, with green hills covered in vineyards and olive trees. While at the national park, you will explore nature, including wild animals such as ibexes, bears and wolves.

Final Thoughts

Are you still confused about where to visit during your Croatian experience? Well, the most crucial thing is that you book a yacht. You can book it for at least two or three weeks, so you have ample time to sail the whole Croatian coast.

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