The many warm winds of the Adriatic make Croatia a wonderful sailing destination and the seas off the coasts of the major cities serve as testament to that. Boats—from old-style schooners to luxury yachts to family cruisers—are a part of everyday life in Croatia.
If you are visiting anyone living in a coastal region of Croatia, chances are they have a boat or know someone who does. It is worth inconveniencing a friend for a day on a sailboat in Croatia. There may be nothing more relaxing and fulfilling than a wind-powered jot around an island for a day; poems have been written trying to describe the feeling.
For those blessed with a boat, or access to one, sailing the Adriatic is as simple as getting your vessel to the shining sea and voyaging to your heart’s content. If you are not so fortunate as to have a boat at your disposal, there are charters available in most ports in Croatia.
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Sailing is also the best way to make use of Croatia’s signature feature, its islands. Only a small percentage of Croatia’s 1,185 islands are inhabited, the rest are free to be enjoyed and explored by those with the ability to get to them. Sailing island to island is thought of as the best experience Croatia has to offer—the marquee vacation, but that prestige doesn’t come cheap.
Sailboat charters start around 1,200 Euros per week in the summer, but drop to 700 a week in the winter. Sailboats are more economical than a motorboat of a similar size or a yacht, but require real skill and experience to navigate safely through the crowded waters around harbors and ports in Croatia.
If sailing is your dream but you don’t know a boom from a keel, most charters allow you to hire a captain for the boat to keep you off the rocks and on the water. With more expensive boats, many charter companies require it.
For those without the cash to afford lodging and a yacht for a week, some of the yachts are big enough to sleep an entire family, and the cost will offset what you might have spent on one of the nicer hotels in Dubrovnik, Hvar, or one of the islands. If it’s still not within your budget, look at combining vacations with another family or group and splitting the bill.
If this option sounds like a possibility for your next trip to Croatia, check out Lord Yachting’s Sun Odyssey 54 DS. You’ll have to pack light, but with 12 berths there is probably room for your whole family and as many friends as you can get to join you sailing through Croatia’s thousand islands
A sailboat allows you maximum flexibility on your vacation. Not only can you enjoy all of the water sports and island destinations that few have ever explored, you can choose your own itinerary and change it on the fly—wherever the wind blows you.