Friday, June 21, 2024

Sailing in Croatia. “Discover the Enchanting Beauty of Croatia’s hidden gems and Crystal Clear Waters”


Exploring the world of sailing in Croatia can be overwhelming, given its vast expanse of unmatched beauty and abundance of idyllic islands. Did you know that this stunning Mediterranean gem is home to over a thousand islandscrystal-clear waters, and picturesque coastal towns steeped in history? This guide will equip you with essential tips – from planning your trip and choosing the right vessel to explore prominent Croatian destinations for an unforgettable sailing experience.

Ready for an adventure into paradise? Stay on board.

Key Takeaways

  • Croatia offers a vast expanse of unmatched beauty and over a thousand islands, making it the ultimate sailing destination.
  • The best time to sail in Croatia is from April to September, with each season offering unique weather conditions suitable for different types of sailors.
  • Choosing the right vessel is essential for an unforgettable Croatian sailing experience, whether it be a sailboat, catamaran, motorboat/motor yacht, or gulet.
  • Understanding and complying with Croatia’s nautical tourism tax is crucial when planning your sailing trip.
  • Vis Town, Dubrovnik, Korcula Town, Stari Grad, Lucice Bay, Milna Town, Komiza Town,

Planning Your Croatian Sailing Trip

To plan your Croatian sailing trip, consider the best time to sail, choose the right vessel, and understand Croatia’s nautical tourism tax.

Best Time to Sail

The optimal sailing season in the Adriatic spans from April to September, offering varied weather conditions perfectly suited for every type of seafarer who wishes to sail in the country’s crystal-clear waters.

May and June grace sailors with light to moderate winds, establishing an inviting atmosphere for cruising along the Croatian coastline. If a laid-back holiday is what you’re after, July and August offer calm waters ideal for water sports or simply basking under the radiant sun amidst tranquil anchorages.

Experienced sailors looking for a thrilling adventure can take advantage of the strong winds present during September and October. Regardless of when you choose to embark on your sailing vacation in Croatia, untouched beauty awaits as you explore a thousand islands scattered across Croatia’s stunningly unspoiled shoreline.

Choosing the Right Vessel

A crucial element of your Croatian sailing holiday is selecting the right vessel, as each offers a unique experience. Sailboats provide an authentic and leisurely journey along the historic Croatian coastline.

They’re perfect for relaxed exploration but require someone with sailing skills or a hired skipper. On the other hand, catamarans are spacious and stable vessels—ideal for families or larger groups desiring speed and stability without needing advanced nautical expertise.

Suppose you crave an adrenaline-fueled adventure on crystal-clear waters; in that case, motorboats/motor yachts offer just that—with options to pilot them yourself if experienced or hire a skipper for peace of mind.

If pure luxury is what you seek during your cruise Croatia trip, consider Gulets; these Turkish-style motorsailers allow you ample space to unwind while anchoring at tranquil anchorages amidst thousand islands where swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed.

The yacht charter in Croatia experience ranges from exhilarating fine-tuned control to laid-back cruising—all dependant on your chosen vessel at numerous marinas situated across cities like Split and Dubrovnik, among others.

Understanding Croatia’s Nautical Tourism Tax

Navigating Croatia’s nautical tourism tax is essential in planning your Croatian sailing trip. A 2021 implementation, this levy requires all sailors to prepay and carry proof of payment during their sailing adventure.

The cost of the tax is determined by two variables: the vessel length or the number of passengers on board.

Known for its calm winds and a thousand miles of coastland dotted with historical ruins, Croatia provides an unforgettable sailing experience. To better appreciate its beauty without running afoul of the law, it’s important to understand and comply with this new taxation rule.

The proximity of over a thousand islands makes for a safer and more convenient voyage – provided you’ve settled your dues under the Croatian nautical tourism tax mandate.

Highlighted Sailing Destinations in Croatia

Croatia offers a variety of stunning sailing destinations, including Sesula Bay, Vis Town, Dubrovnik, Korcula Town, Stari Grad, and Lucice Bay.

Sesula Bay

Sailing in Croatia

Sesula Bay is a hidden gem nestled along the southern Adriatic coast, making it an idyllic sailing destination in Croatia. Surrounded by stunning islands and crystal-clear waters, Sesula Bay offers a lovely setting that is perfect for experienced sailors seeking tranquility.

This charming bay is part of the suggested sailing itinerary from Split to Dubrovnik, allowing travelers to explore beyond the well-known cities of Croatia. With beautiful anchorages and breathtaking landscapes, Sesula Bay provides opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxation.

Situated in Solta, known for its scenic atmosphere, Sesula Bay is truly a must-visit location for those looking to experience the beauty of sailing in Croatia.

Vis Town

Vis town, Franciscan monastery and harbour, Vis Island, Croatia
Vis town, Franciscan monastery and harbour, Vis Island, Croatia

Vis Town is a captivating sailing destination in Croatia that offers a unique blend of natural beautyrich history, and vibrant culture. Situated on the island of Vis, this scenic harbor town welcomes sailors with its crystal-clear waters and stunning beaches.

As one of the highlighted sailing destinations in Croatia, Vis Town has something for everyone. Diving enthusiasts can explore the famous Blue Cave, while food and wine lovers can indulge in outstanding restaurants and local vineyards.

With a rich history dating back to ancient times, Vis Town boasts Roman ruins and charming fishing villages waiting to be discovered. It’s no wonder that Vis Town is a popular choice for yacht charters in Croatia due to its scenic atmosphere and exceptional offerings for an unforgettable sailing experience.


Photo of Dubrovnik Harbor in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia, Europe
Photo of Dubrovnik Harbor in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia, Europe

Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is a historic city located along the stunning Croatian coastline. This attractive destination is famous for its medieval stone walls, which enclose a plethora of cultural and historic sites.

Dubrovnik has gained international recognition as one of the filming locations for the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” The city offers an array of opportunities for sailing enthusiasts, with its proximity to the Elafiti Islands and Korčula.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik showcases breathtaking islands, such as Mljet and Šipan. Additionally, visitors can indulge in mouthwatering gastronomy experiences in nearby Mali Ston, known for its town walls boasting Europe’s longest length, while Veliki Ston produces high-quality salt to add that extra touch to any culinary adventure.

Korcula Town

Aerial view of Vela Luka town on Korcula island, Croatia
Aerial view of Vela Luka town on Korcula island, Croatia

Korcula Town, often referred to as a “mini-Dubrovnik,” is an enchanting sailing destination in Croatia. With its Venetian influences and stunning architecture, this historic town offers a charming and pretty setting for sailors to explore.

Not only is Korcula Town associated with highlighted sailing destinations in Croatia, but it also holds historical significance as the birthplace of Marco Polo. As part of the suggested sailing route from Split to Dubrovnik, this island paradise features stunning beaches and crystal-clear blue waters that are perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

With various marinas and docking options available, Korcula Town is a hub of activity for sailing enthusiasts looking to soak up the lively atmosphere filled with restaurants, bars, and shops.

Stari Grad

Aerial sunset view of Stari Grad, a town at Hvar island, Croatia
Aerial sunset view of Stari Grad, a town at Hvar island, Croatia

Stari Grad, located on the beautiful island of Hvar, is a must-visit sailing destination in Croatia. With its well-indented beachfront and stunning anchorages, it offers a unique and memorable experience for sailors.

This historic town is steeped in Mediterranean tradition and boasts a rich cultural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins that surround Stari Grad, immersing yourself in its fascinating history.

While leisurely sailing along the coast, take in the breathtaking views and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere this charming town has to offer. Don’t miss out on sampling the culinary delights of Stari Grad, where traditional dishes are infused with local flavors.

Lucice Bay

Sailing in Croatia | Lucice Bay

Lucice Bay is a hidden gem among the highlighted sailing destinations in Croatia. Located on Brac Island, it offers a scenic atmosphere with crystal-clear waters and tranquil anchorage. This bay is the perfect spot for sailors seeking a peaceful experience away from crowded tourist areas.

Surrounding Lucice Bay, you’ll find charming towns like Milna, known for its Roman ruins and beautiful marina. With its stunning architecture influenced by Venetian traditions, Brac Island adds to the beauty of Lucice Bay and makes it an ideal location for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring underwater marine life.

Whether you’re sailing on a sailboat or cruising on a motor yacht, Lucice Bay promises serenity and natural beauty that will captivate any sailor.

Milna Town


Milna Town is a charming destination that should be on every sailing enthusiast’s radar when exploring the beauty of Croatia’s shoreline. Located near the picturesque Lucice Bay on Brac Island, Milna offers tranquil anchorages and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

The town itself exudes old-world charm with its stone buildings and narrow streets, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Known for its fresh seafood, you can indulge in delicious meals prepared using locally caught fish or even buy your catch directly from the fishermen selling it in town.

Milna also boasts Marina Frapa, a highly acclaimed marina that offers mooring buoys on both sides of the bridge. From here, you can easily explore nearby attractions such as diving centers or venture further to discover Dragon’s Eye Lake for a unique underwater experience.

Komiza Town

Komiza Town, located on the charming Vis Island, is a must-visit sailing destination in Croatia. With its stunning beaches and exceptional restaurants, it offers the perfect blend of relaxation and indulgence.

But Komiza Town isn’t just about lazing on the beach – it also offers fantastic opportunities for diving enthusiasts to explore the famous Blue Cave and discover an underwater world teeming with marine life.

What makes Komiza even more appealing is its proximity to other popular sailing destinations in Croatia, such as Split, Hvar, Brac, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. So if you’re looking for a charming coastal town with plenty of activities to enjoy both on land and at sea, make sure to include Komiza Town in your Croatian sailing adventure.

St Clement Island

St. Clement Island, located in the breathtaking Pakleni archipelago, is a hidden gem that offers a remote and peaceful setting for sailing enthusiasts. This island is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot to relax and soak up the sun.

One of the highlights of St. Clement Island is its famous 15th-century chapel, adding a touch of history to this pristine paradise. With its tranquil anchorages and scenic atmosphere, St. Clement Island truly embodies the beauty of sailing in Croatia’s captivating shoreline.


Maslinica Hrvatska Croatia

Maslinica is a must go destination located on Solta Island in Croatia. With its idyllic beachesolive groves, and locally made products like olive oil, honey, wine, and schnapps, it offers a charming waterfront area with restaurants, bars, and shops.

Accessible from Split, Maslinica is a popular place to spend the night while exploring Croatia due to its scenic atmosphere. It’s also known for its crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, which makes it perfect for beach lovers and those looking to relax by the coast.

Olive oil enthusiasts can also taste and purchase locally made products, including honey and wine unique to this region.



Skradin, a charming town located in Southern Dalmatia, is a hidden gem for sailors exploring the Croatian shore. Known for its Venetian architecture and romantic streets, Skradin provides a beautiful backdrop for your sailing adventure.

As part of the suggested route from Split to Dubrovnik, Skradin offers easy access to historical stops and national parks in the Kornati Islands. Beyond famous cities like Dubrovnik, Skradin serves as a gateway to lesser-known spots in the Southern Adriatic, ensuring an unforgettable and unique sailing experience.

Surrounded by stunning anchorages and pristine sand and pebble beaches, this destination is perfect for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s beauty. Notably, Skradin is home to the Mediterranean’s highest waterfall – Skradinski Buk – adding an element of natural wonder to your journey.


Zlarin Croatia

Zlarin is an enchanting island that deserves a spot on any sailing itinerary in Croatia. Located in the Adriatic Sea, Zlarin is known for its beauty and intriguing history. What makes this destination truly special is its association with red coral, which has been harvested here for centuries.

As you explore the island, you’ll be captivated by its charming fishing village atmosphere, lush olive groves, and crystal-clear waters, perfect for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Kornati National Park nearby or take a stroll through Zlarin’s quaint streets lined with traditional stone houses.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Zlarin offers a truly unique experience while sailing in Croatia.

Lavsa Island

Lavsa Island, located on the amazing Adriatic coast of Croatia, is a true hidden gem for sailing enthusiasts. As one of over 1,000 islands in Croatia, Lavsa offers a dream destination for those seeking a tranquil and idyllic getaway.

Accessible from Split, one of the major starting points for yacht tours in Croatia, Lavsa Island boasts crystal-clear waters and secluded coves that are perfect for diving and exploring. Not only does Lavsa offer stunning natural beauty with its olive groves and scenic beaches, but it also produces local delicacies such as olive oil, honey, wine, and schnapps.

As part of the Pakleni archipelago, Lavsa Island provides visitors with an opportunity to escape the crowds and enjoy a remote and peaceful setting during their Croatian sailing adventure.


Rogoznica, Croatia view from the sea
Rogoznica, Croatia view from the sea

Rogoznica, a charming resort town steeped in history as a former fishing village, is a hidden gem along the Croatian coastline. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, this fantastic destination boasts stunning sunset views over its deep sheltered bay.

With an inviting waterfront area filled with restaurants, bars, and shops, Rogoznica offers visitors the chance to indulge in fresh seafood caught by local fishermen. The town is also home to Marina Frapa, a renowned marina that attracts sailing enthusiasts from all around the world.

Diving centers in Rogoznica provide opportunities for underwater exploration in protected areas, while adrenaline junkies can enjoy cliff jumping at Dragon’s Eye Lake. Rogoznica stands out as an excellent choice for sailing adventures and promises unforgettable experiences amidst its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Suggested Sailing routes

Explore the stunning Croatian shorefront with our suggested sailing routes, including a 7-day journey from Split to Dubrovnik and a 7-day roundtrip from Split.

7 Days From Split To Dubrovnik

Embark on a breathtaking 7-day sailing voyage from Split to Dubrovnik and experience the best of Croatia’s stunning shoreline. Starting in the vibrant city of Split, known for its Roman ruins and lively atmosphere, you’ll set sail towards magnificent Hvar Island, where you can explore charming towns and indulge in delicious Croatian cuisine.

As you cruise along the Dalmatian islands, make sure to stop at Korcula Town, the birthplace of Marco Polo, with its Venetian influences and ancient architecture. Continue your journey towards Dubrovnik, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” where you will be enchanted by its medieval stone walls and captivating Game of Thrones filming locations.

Along this unforgettable route, expect crystal-clear waters, tranquil anchorages, and a glimpse into Croatia’s rich history and natural beauty.

7 Days Roundtrip From Split

Embark on a thrilling 7-day sailing adventure from the vibrant city of Split, Croatia. This roundtrip  will take you to some of the most enchanting destinations along the Croatian coastline and Dalmatian islands.

Begin your journey by exploring the stunning island of Hvar, known for its idyllic beaches and lively nightlife. Sail further to Brac Island, where you can relax in the tranquil anchorage of Lucice Bay and indulge in swimming or snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

Continue your voyage to Korcula Town, steeped in history and Venetian influences – don’t miss out on visiting St. Mark Cathedral and learning about Marco Polo’s connection to this ancient town.

What to Expect On Board

When sailing in Croatia, you can expect a wonderful experience on board your chosen vessel. Whether you opt for a luxurious yacht charter or a traditional gulet, you’ll be treated to comfort and convenience throughout your journey.

The boats are well-equipped with modern amenities, ensuring that you have everything you need for a memorable trip.

On board, you can enjoy spacious cabins with comfortable bedsclean bathrooms with hot showers, and ample storage space for your belongings. Many vessels also feature common areas where you can relax and socialize with other passengers.

Some boats even have onboard chefs who will prepare delicious meals using fresh local ingredients.

During the day, as you sail along the Adriatic coast and between the stunning islands of Croatia, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun on deck or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters.

You can also try your hand at sailing under the guidance of experienced crew members or simply sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views.

In addition to providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience on board, many yacht charters offer various activities, such as snorkeling gear or kayaks, that allow you to explore hidden coves and secluded beaches along the way.

You may also have access to water sports equipment like paddleboards or jet skis if desired.

Overall, when embarking on a Croatian sailing adventure, expect nothing less than exceptional service, stunning scenery, and endless opportunities for relaxation and exploration both on land and at sea.

Get ready for an unforgettable vacation filled with beauty, tranquility, and adventure in one of Europe’s most enchanting destinations.

Day Sailing Trips

– Explore the beautiful Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, a natural phenomenon known for its mesmerizing blue light.

– Visit the charming fishing village of Komiža on Vis Island and indulge in fresh seafood at local waterfront restaurants.

– Discover the stunning Pakleni Islands just off the coast of Hvar, with their secluded beaches and crystal-clear waters.

– Sail to St Clement Island and immerse yourself in its peaceful atmosphere surrounded by olive groves and vineyards.

– Experience the majestic beauty of Krka National Park near Skradin, home to the Mediterranean’s highest waterfall and lush green landscapes.

– Take a trip to Zlarin, known as the “Red Coral Island,” famous for its thriving coral industry and pleasing scenery.

Preparing for Your Trip

When preparing for your sailing trip in Croatia, it’s important to familiarize yourself with travel advice specific to the country and plan accordingly.

Travel Advice for Croatia

When visiting Croatia for a sailing trip, there is some important travel advice to keep in mind. Firstly, it is recommended to plan your trip during the best time to sail, which is from May to September, when the weather conditions are favorable and the waters are calm.

Secondly, make sure to understand and comply with Croatia’s nautical tourism tax, which was implemented in 2021. This tax requires sailors to pre-pay and carry confirmation onboard their vessel.

Additionally, it is essential to choose the right vessel for your sailing adventure in Croatia. Whether you opt for a sailboat, catamaran, motorboat/motor yacht, or gulet, each type of vessel offers unique features and benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.

Furthermore, when preparing for your trip to Croatia, take into account any necessary travel advice specific to the country. For instance – if you’re planning on exploring cities like Split or Dubrovnik before or after your sailing holiday – be sure not to miss out on experiencing Croatian culture and food while roaming through ancient fishing villages and visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites with Roman ruins nearby.

Overall, Croatia offers an exceptional experience for those seeking a unique sailing vacation thanks to its stunning shoreline, thousand islands, crystal-clear waters, and tranquil anchorages.

With popular destinations such as Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar Island, and Brac Island boasts amazing views, ancient history, and delicious Croatian cuisine.

Make sure you plan accordingly by choosing the right time (May-September), understanding Croatia’s nautical tourism tax implementation (2021)

What to Do Before and After Your Sailing Holiday

Before your sailing holiday:

  1. Research the best time to visit Croatia for sailing and check weather conditions.
  2. Choose the right vessel for your trip, considering factors such as group size and sailing experience.
  3. Book your yacht charter in advance to secure availability during peak seasons.
  4. Obtain the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) if required.
  5. Pack appropriate clothing, including sunscreen, hats, and light layers for protection against the sun and changing weather conditions.
  6. Familiarize yourself with Croatian culture, customs, and etiquette to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience.
  7. Learn about Croatian food and wine to indulge in the local culinary delights during your trip.
  8. Make sure you have all necessary travel documents, such as passports, visas, and travel insurance.

After your sailing vacation:

  1. Reflect on the incredible experiences and memories made during your sailing adventure in Croatia.
  2. Share your experiences with friends and family or through social media platforms to inspire others to embark on a similar journey.
  3. Take time to relax and unwind after an exciting trip by enjoying some downtime or planning future travel adventures.
  4. Explore other parts of Croatia not covered during your sailing holiday, such as the city of Zagreb or UNESCO World Heritage sites like Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  5. Consider extending your vacation by booking additional land tours in Croatia or neighboring countries like Italy or Montenegro.
  6. Review any photos or videos taken during the trip as a way to relive the beautiful moments spent sailing along the Adriatic coast.
  7. Stay informed about any updates or changes regarding regulations, travel advisories, or COVID – 19 protocols for future trips.


Embark on the adventure of a lifetime and discover the beauty of sailing in Croatia. Croatia is a true paradise for sailing enthusiasts with its breathtaking gulfs, crystal-clear waters, and countless islands to explore.

From historic cities like Dubrovnik to tranquil anchorages like Lucice Bay, this ultimate guide has everything you need to plan an unforgettable sailing trip to one of Europe’s most stunning destinations.

Get ready to set sail and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes Croatia one of the best sailing destinations?

Croatia is renowned for its breathtaking coastline, crystal-clear waters, and numerous islands, making it a dream destination for sailing enthusiasts. Its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture make it one of the top sailing spots in the world.

2. Which are the best sailing destinations in Croatia?

Croatia offers a wide range of fantastic sailing destinations, but some of the most popular ones include Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korčula, and Split. These destinations boast stunning beaches, secluded coves, and picturesque towns that are perfect for a sailing holiday.

3. Can I charter a yacht in Croatia?

Yes, yacht charters in Croatia are very popular. There are numerous charter companies that offer a wide range of sailboats, catamarans, and yachts for rent. Chartering a yacht allows you to explore Croatia’s coastline at your own pace and experience the freedom of sailing.

4. Do I need a license or experience to sail in Croatia?

If you plan to rent a bareboat (without a skipper), you will need a valid boating license or certificate of competency recognized in Croatia. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced skipper who will take care of navigating the waters for you.

5. When is the best time to sail in Croatia?

The sailing season in Croatia runs from April to October, but the months of July and August are considered the peak season. During this time, the weather is warm, and the sea is calm, making it ideal for sailing. However, if you prefer a more peaceful experience, consider sailing in the shoulder seasons of April-May or September-October.

6. Do I need a skipper to sail in Croatia?

If you have a valid sailing license or enough experience, you can rent a yacht without a skipper. However, if you are not an experienced sailor, it is recommended to hire a professional skipper who can navigate the waters and ensure your safety throughout the trip.

7. Which are some must-visit islands in Croatia?

Croatia is home to over a thousand islands, each with its own charm. Some of the must-visit islands include Vis, Brac, Hvar, and Mljet. These islands offer beautiful beaches, historic sites, and stunning natural landscapes, providing a unique sailing experience.

8. Can you suggest a sailing itinerary from Split to Dubrovnik?

A popular sailing route from Split to Dubrovnik includes visiting islands like Hvar, Korčula, and Mljet. You can explore charming seaside towns, relax on beautiful beaches, and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of these destinations. It’s advisable to plan your trip in advance and consult with local experts to make the most of your trip

9. Do I need a license or experience to sail in Croatia?

If you plan to rent a bareboat (without a skipper), you will need a valid boating license or certificate of competency recognized in Croatia. Alternatively, you can hire an experienced skipper who will take care of navigating the waters for you.

10. Can I anchor anywhere along the Croatian coast?

While there are many beautiful spots to drop anchor along the Croatian coast, following local regulations and respecting designated anchorages is important. Some areas may have restrictions due to environmental preservation efforts or the protection of marine life.

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