Have you ever wondered what the difference between sailing in Greece and Croatia is? You’ve probably seen thousands of beautiful photos with crystal clear waters, historic towns and villages, pebble and sandy beaches and romantic sunsets, but still unsure about which one to choose for your next sailing holiday?
Don’t look any further, we’ve got the answers!
Did you know that Croatia has more than 1200 islands, including cliffs, islets, and reefs? Yes, that’s right!
Here are the top 3 regions to keep in mind:
Croatian Islands are pretty close to each other so island hopping is our recommendation. Brač and Vis have picturesque bays, restaurants to die for and amazing beaches. Hvar is one of the most popular party places and you shouldn’t miss out on the breathtaking Pakleni Islands. Whether you want to party, relax, or get active with activities like hiking and mountain biking, there really is something for everyone in Croatia.
Greece has more than 2000 islands. The Greek coastline is the 10th largest in the world so there really is a lot to see. A one-time trip to Greece will definitely not be enough.
Let’s take a look at the 5 Greek sailing regions and their "highlight" islands:
There are so many choices, extraordinary volcanic beaches in Santorini, Mykonos and its fantastic nightlife and Corfu with the beautiful historic fortresses. Choosing where to sail is not an easy choice but don’t worry, Yacht4Less yacht charter experts will be delighted to guide you to the right Greek destination matching your needs and preferences.
Are you a beginner sailor? If the answer is yes, keep on reading as Greece and Croatia are the countries you want to be sailing in first. Both have sailing conditions ideal for first-time sailors and beginners.
Greece and Croatia have a warm Mediterranean climate with temperatures getting up to 30’c during the day, and 24’c during the night in July and August. Days are long, winds are predictable and not too high, and rain is rare. Keep in mind however that each country has their famous ‘wind’.
While sailing in Greece, try avoiding sailing areas where the Meltemi is strong. Meltemi is the most famous Greek wind, strongest in July and August and is mostly present in the Cyclades and Dodecanese. The Meltemi blows from the North and North-West, and it usually blows between 4-6 Beaufort but could reach up to 7 or 8, especially during sudden gusts. Usually, the wind starts in the early afternoon and dies out at sunset. As a beginner sailor, we recommend you keep to more sheltered sailing areas such as the Saronic & Argolic Gulf. The Ionian islands are also usually very easy to sail around.
Bura is Croatia’s most famous wind. It usually won't last longer than a day during the hottest and most popular sailing months, July and August. If you plan to sail in April/May or October, then we advise you to check the weather reports regularly and if Bura is predicted, see if you need to alter your route to make sure you are safely moored while the wind is strongest. More advanced sailors may be able to do some island hopping while enjoying the exhilarating sailing. During these pre- and post-season months, bura can reach up to 9 on the Beaufort scale. If you are an adrenaline lover and enjoy active sailing, you should definitely keep an eye out for North Dalmatia (Kvarner Bay and the Velebit Channel).
Picture this: you and your friends are on a beautiful catamaran in the middle of a turquoise bay, soaking up the sun, sipping your cocktail, chilling and enjoying life. Sounds like a dream?
Costs which you need to consider to make this dream come true:
The price of a sailing yacht or catamaran is slightly more expensive in Greece than the price of the same model in Croatia. Of course, this can vary, but in general, prices are higher in Greece. The most expensive months in both countries are July and August. Prices are lower in June and September when the weather and sea are still warm. Keep in mind that your Yacht4Less yacht charter consultant can help you get the best prices for both countries no matter your preferred dates, just send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it comes to marina and harbour fees, Croatia is more expensive. You will most probably pay each night in a marina or smaller anchorage, whereas in Greece the chances of finding a free overnight location to free swing are extremely high. Mooring fees at town quays are usually minimal in Greece, although they are slightly increased compared to previous years. Croatia is becoming very modern and the coast is well developed. High-quality marinas and facilities, as well as buoys to moor overnight, cannot be missed. On the contrary, however, food and fuel are usually more affordable in Croatia. So when you draw the line: in the end, your total costs will pretty much be the same in both countries.
Curious whether you need to learn a bit of Croatian before arriving? No need! Croatians speak English perfectly. Even the older generations on the islands will be able to help you out. Feel free to ask the locals where shelter is best during bura, where to eat the best fresh fish, recommendations for hidden gems and bays etc. They will be more than happy to help.
To impress them you can learn a few Croatian words. You already know bura, good job!. Remember fish - riba, wine - vino and thank you - hvala. The locals will find this very cute.
Greeks will try their best to help you out in English. Even though more than half the Greeks speak English fluently, a bit of Greek will for sure come in handy when you are on an island or a local bay that is not a popular tourist destination. The most important Greek words you need to know: thank you - efcharisto, fish - psári and wine - krasí.
If you are more into island hopping, planning a shorter holiday and would like to visit a unique coastline in the Adriatic, then Croatia is the way to go. If you have a longer holiday in mind, want to explore different islands and bays & love pristine, sandy beaches, then Greece might be the better fit. Perhaps flight availability and pricing to some of Croatia's (Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik) and Greece's (Athens, Kos, Rhodes, Preveza, Corfu, Skiathos or Volos) biggest airports may also play an important role in your decision.
So, is Greece or Croatia better for a sailing holiday? I think you will agree with us when we say that there is no correct answer. The awesome thing is that you cannot go wrong either way. Don’t wait any more, pick your destination, contact Yacht4Less and get ready for an unforgettable experience on board.