In southeastern Europe, east of the Adriatic Sea, south of Hungary and north of Montenegro, sits the charming, crescent shaped country of Croatia. The weather along the Adriatic coast is moderate and Mediterranean. Seaside temperature are generally lower than inland. In northern Croatia, snowy winters are the norm.
More than one thousand islands, including the Dalmatian and Kornati island groups lie offshore, providing perfect opportunity to explore coral reefs, ancient shipwrecks and emerald green sparkling waters before mooring a houseboat overnight in a quiet cove. For those who crave exhilarating nightlife, there are ample clubs and entertainment possibilities on the island of Hvar.
Top sailing cities
Dubrovnik, Split Kastela and Trogir are top sailing cities on Dalmatian island. On Kornati island, sailboats, houseboats, catamarans charter boats and fishing expeditions embark from Biograd, Sibenik, Sukosan and Zadar.
Things to do
Rent a sailboat in Croatia and visit the alluring isle of Korcula to take in a traditional Moreska sword dance. Originated in Spain in the 12th century, the dance was devised as a public protest again Moorish invasion. Today, Korcula is the only place where the thrilling dance is regularly demonstrated.
From the harbor at Split, catch a glimpse of Diocletian’s palace. Better yet, dock your bareboat, disembark and tour the ancient ruins. Listen closely, and you may hear the beating heart of 4th century Croatia. For a festive summertime trip, sail a catamaran to the island of Pag. Here you find carnivals, creative artists and the yummiest sheep’s milk cheese in Croatia.
Sample fragrant lamb or seafood ipsod peke and dive into a bowl Dalmatian brodet fish stew or meaty pasticada. Croatian cuisine presents a strong Italian influence as it blends seamlessly with goulash and other dishes from nearby Hungary.
The multi-day run from Split to Supetar island and back is popular with local yachtsmen and visitors alike. The run from Palmizana Bay to Korcula to Zaklopatica to Sesula Bay is another that is well enjoyed by experienced sailors.
Three winds predominate Croatian sailing. Maestral winds tend to blow in the afternoon and calm around dusk. Landward blowing Sirocco, or Jugo winds blow stiffly and bring choppy seas. North to northeast Burin winds whip up before sunrise and calm shortly thereafter. Northwesterly Bora winds fill sails and provide fine weather for navigating Croatian islands and coastline.
Best time to visit
If sailing is your passion, visit Croatia in late spring or early autumn. July and August are great months for swimmers and snorkelers. Summertime is when the locals really cut loose and is an ideal time for celebrations.
How to get there
British Airways and Croatia Airlines fly into Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. Easyjet and Monarch Airlines offer flights from Europe to the capital city of Croatia. Visitors traveling from Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and France will be pleased to know that Air France, Lufthansa and KLM fly into the airport at Zagreb. From Italy, one may catch a ferry boat at Venice, Trieste, Ancona, Pescara or Bari to Croatia.