Sailing holidays in Croatia

Sailing holidays in Croatia

The Ultimate Guide to Croatian Yacht Charters

A complete yacht charter guide for your next sailing holidays in Croatia.
Croatia is the main sailing representative of the Adriatic Sea and offers a wide range of sailing options for every taste.

In this sailing guide you’ll learn all about:

  • Top Yacht Charter Bases in Croatia
  • Sailing Weather Conditions
  • Where, when & how to get there
  • Suggested Itineraries
  • Prices for Yacht charters in Croatia

...and so much more. Keep reading!

If you are familiar with the Adriatic coast and the Croatian Islands and want to look at boat options for your next yacht charter? Then skip to:

Search listings: Boat rentals in Croatia


​​​​​​​Sailing Holidays in Croatia... at a glance

sailing croatia at a glance​​​​​​​

Thinking of spending your next sailing holidays in Croatia? Think no more. Croatia has everything! Yachting mode: ON.

Majestic walled cities with Medieval cobbled streets, ancient ruins, vineyards, forests, deserted coves and over a thousand islands to discover. 


Gentle cruising, island hopping and moderate winds will help you make the most of the three main sailing regions of Croatia. Book a Yacht Charter in Istria & Kvarner in the north; Zadar, Biograd, Kornati and the Dalmatian islands in the middle, and Dubrovnik in the South.

Let’s get started. 

 

Sailing the North Adriatic

Sailing Istrian Peninsula & Kvarner Gulf: Discover Pula

Sailing holidays Pula
Pula, Istrian peninsula, Croatia

Beautiful, unspoiled islands and home to some of the best beaches in Croatia. There’s an intoxicating mix of bustling coastal towns, deserted beaches and beautiful secluded bays to explore.

A Yacht Charter in Pula is the ideal way to explore the Istrian peninsula, a stunning cruising area with numerous unspoilt anchorages off the beautiful islands of Cres, Losinj, Krk, Rab and Silba.

 

Sailing in Pula: Where to start

The airport of Pula would be the best place to fly to; currently, there are many major airlines flying there, including low cost ones, from most airports in the UK and Ireland.
 

The main marinas that you can rent a boat in Pula and start exploring are:

 

Climate in Pula

During summer, the winds are generally light and variable from a north-westerly direction at 15 – 20 knots (17 – 23 mph).

Temperatures on average between 18-25 C and winds 15-25 knots. During October usually, the winds pick up and can be stronger.

 

Best time to sail in Pula

The best time for a Pula yacht charter is from spring to autumn, when you will be able to enjoy pleasant weather conditions and temperatures averaging between 18-25 C.

Of course, the summer months June to August are ideal, however, you can explore the shoulder months of May, September and October too for lower prices and to avoid the crowds. 

 

Sailing Vacation Tip for Pula

You have to try the local dish called “Peka”, a large metal baking dish with a bell-shaped dome lid, used to cook food in an open fireplace, with hot coals and embers placed on top of the dome for even, slow cooking.

Recommended Sailing Itineraries in Pula


7-day sailing route from Pula to Luka Knica

⚓ Day 1. Pula (check-in)

⚓ Day 2. Pula - Mail Losinj 34 NM

⚓ Day 3. Mail Losinj - Ist 26 NM

⚓ Day 4. Ist - Rab 30 NM

⚓ Day 5. Rab - Osor 22 NM

⚓ Day 6. Osor - Luka Knica 21 NM

⚓ Day 7. Luka Knica - Pula (Marina Veruda) 18 NM

 

14-day sailing route from Pula to Medulin Islands

⚓ Day 1. Unije

⚓ Day 2. Mali Losinj

⚓ Day 3. Premuda

⚓ Day 4. Veli Rat - Saharun

⚓ Day 5. Molat

⚓ Day 6. Island of Zverinac 

⚓ Day 7. Zut

⚓ Day 8. Zadar

⚓ Day 9. Island of Ist

⚓ Day 10. Olib - Slatinica bay - Novalja

⚓ Day 11. Rab

⚓ Day 12. Island of Krk - Punat

⚓ Day 13. Cape Kamenjak and the Medulin Islands

⚓ Day 14. Return to base for the Checkout

 

Sailing the Dalmatian Coast

Sailing holidays in Split
Split, Dalmatian coast: Sailing holidays in Croatia

If you are interested in experiencing all that Dalmatia has to offer, Split and Trogir are a great starting point. 

Hiring a boat in Split offers two different sailing itinerary options, as you can either head to the Northern Dalmatian Islands and visit the famous Kornati National Park or sail south to the cosmopolitan islands of Brac, Hvar, Mljet, and Korcula.

On either route, you will find that Croatia has a little something for everyone. 

Spend your days enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean culture ashore, exploring tiny quaint fishing villages, and cosmopolitan cities ripe with ancient history. Or immerse yourself in nature. 

Take your time exploring Croatia’s rocky coastline, taking in the unique landscape, shrouded in knotty olive trees and lush pomegranate trees laden with treats.

 

Sailing Split & Trogir: Where to start & How to get there

When you rent a boat in Split, you can either fly directly into Split Airport or Zagreb and then take a regional flight to Split. You can get direct flights to Split from many European cities, however, for North American travelers, it is recommended to fly into a larger airport, like Zagreb. The national carrier, Croatia Airlines, offers several domestic flights daily.

You can also access Split by train, bus, or car. If going by bus, you can book through Arriva. For travel by train, book online with Interrail/Eurorail. If you are flying, Yacht4Less can arrange your airport transfers.

Transfer time from Split Airport: 10-25 minutes depending on the start point marina of the rented boat.

Weather conditions in Split & Trogir

During summer you can enjoy an average temperature hovering around 25 degrees Celsius. The sea will be a balmy 22 degrees, which is perfect for swimming and other water activities.

The average temperatures during the shoulder months (e.g. April/May) are around 13-23 degrees Celsius. The water is not as warm as summer yet, but it’s still nice enough to spend your days outside soaking up some rays. 

With regards to sailing conditions, you will find mostly light winds that get slightly stronger in the afternoon (up to 15 knots) and offer great sailing! By the evenings, the wind starts dropping off again. This helps charterers moor up easily, so you can rest easy and settle in for the night in comfort. Dominant winds in Croatia include The Bora (NE), The Sirocco (ESE to SSE), and the Maestral.

Best time to sail in Split

Split sailing is best between May and October. If you’re interested in escaping the crowds, you might consider booking in April/May as the weather will still be quite pleasant, but the tourist season is not yet in full swing.

Holiday Tips for Split: Licences, Mooring fees & Provisioning

For your boat rental in Split: if you’re doing a bareboat charter, you will have to have a valid sailing license and VHF/radio license. Check with your Yacht4Less charter consultant for a list of sailing licenses officially accepted in Croatia.

Croatia uses the Croatian “Kuna” for its currency. However, most places will accept credit and debit cards, and some places will even accept Euros.

For mooring during your yacht charter in Split, there are various options in the area, including safe bays where you can anchor for free and use your dinghy to get to the shore. We recommend using the MySea app or Dockspot to secure berths in advance. Or, at most marina’s are ACI marinas, you can book a spot with them online

Mooring fees should range between 20-110€ /night depending on the marina and size of your boat. Check out all your possibilities, including marina, port/harbor, buoy, anchor or restaurants’ moorings.

For provisioning during your yacht charter in Split, Yacht4Less recommends Jam Yacht Supply, an online grocery store where you can find everything you need from produce, meats, baked goods, and beverages. They cover all marinas in Croatia, and for any orders over 100 euros, you will receive free delivery!

Recommended Sailing Itineraries in Pula

7-day sailing route from Trogir to Maslinica

⚓ Day 1. Trogir (check-in)

⚓ Day 2. Trogir - Bobovisce, Brac Island 21 NM

⚓ Day 3. Bobovisce - Starigrad, Hvar Island 22 NM

⚓ Day 4. Starigrad - Vela Luka, Korcula Island 30 NM

⚓ Day 5. Vela Luka - Viz 24 NM

⚓ Day 6. Viz - Maslinica 25 NM

⚓ Day 7. Maslinica - Trogir 14 NM

14-day sailing route from Split/Trogir to Milna (Brac Island)

⚓ Day 1. Trogir or Split 

⚓ Day 2. Split

⚓ Day 3. Hvar (Hvar Island)

⚓ Day 4. Korcula (Korcula Island)

⚓ Day 5. Polace (Mljet Island)

⚓ Day 6. Sipanska Luka (Sipan Island)

⚓ Day 7. Dubrovnik

⚓ Day 8. Slano (Mainland)

⚓ Day 9. Pomena (Mljet Island)

⚓ Day 10. Uble (Lastavo Island)

⚓ Day 11. Vela Luka (Korcula Island)

⚓ Day 12. Vis (Vis Island)

⚓ Day 13. Milna (Brac Island)

⚓ Day 14. Trogir or Split

 

14-day sailing route from Split to Dubrovnik

⚓ Day 1. Split - Krka (40 NM)

⚓ Day 2. Krka National Park-Kornati (28 nm)

⚓ Day 3. Kornati National Park-Telascica (9 nm)

⚓ Day 4. Telascica Nature Park- Solta Island (40 nm)

⚓ Day 5. Solta Island - Stari Grad (22 nm)

⚓ Day 6. Stari Grad - Hvar (14,50 NM)

⚓ Day 7. Hvar - Vis Island (13.50 nm)

⚓ Day 8. Vis Island - Lastovo Islands (38 NM)

⚓ Day 9. Lastovo Island - Korcula (21,50 NM)

⚓ Day 10. Korcula - Mljet (25 NM)

⚓ Day 11. Mljet - Ston (14,50 NM)

⚓ Day 12. Ston - Lopud (14 NM)

⚓ Day 13. Sunj Bay on Lopud Island - Dubrovnik (9 nm)

⚓ Day 14. Dubrovnik

 

Sailing Kornati Islands: the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea

Sailing holidays in Kornati Islands
Kornati Islands, Adriatic Sea | Sailing holidays in Croatia

With over 150 islands, the Kornatis are the largest archipelago in the Adriatic, and the perfect sailing playground for sailors of all levels. 

The Kornatis were beloved by the great author George Bernard Shaw, and he once wrote, “On the last day of Creation God desired to crown His work, and thus created the Kornati islands out of tears, stars and breath.” With natural beauty in abundance, it’s easy to see why he felt this way.

Cruise the deep-blue waters of the Adriatic with the stunning white rocky islands in the backdrop for a sailing holiday you’ll never forget. Totally secluded from the outside world, there are no ferries or public transportation to the Kornatis, and no way to get around without a boat. 

Also, since most of the islands themselves are uninhabited and part of the Kornati National Park, you can really find peace and unity within nature on our Kornati Islands itineraries

Search for dolphins at the wildest part of the park, the islet of Purara, or stop and admire the awe-inspiring cliffs on the outer side of the archipelago, and swim and snorkel amongst the spectacular sea creatures that call these waters home.


​​​​​​​Keep reading: Top 5 Reasons to Go Sailing in the Kornati Islands


Where to start & How to get there: Set sail from Zadar

You can start your boat trip in Zadar by flying into the Zadar Airport, which is well connected to most European cities. For any North American travellers, you may have to fly into Zagreb or Dubrovnik, or another European hub and then take a connecting flight to Zadar. 

To get to Zadar by car, we recommend flying to Split and then driving one-hour North. Once you get to Zadar, there are various marinas and smaller ports from where you can start your holiday in this area, with the most famous once being the Marina of Zadar. The marina is a mere 13 kilometers from the airport. 

If you would like help arranging airport transfers, contact your yacht charter broker today! 

Transfer Time from Zadar Airport to Marina of Zadar: 20 mins by car

 

Zadar Weather & Sailing Conditions

As with all of the Mediterranean region, the Kornatis follow the pattern of dry summers and mild winters.

Zadar is considered a top chartering destination, as it offers reliable winds from the North-west, with an average force of 2–5 knots. Winds will also die down at sundown, allowing you to enjoy a nice calm evening after a long day of adventurous sailing.  

The dominant winds in Croatia are north westerlies, which have an average force of 4 to 6 in-season.

Watch out for the ‘Bora’ north easterly which can catch you off guard if you haven’t checked the forecast.

Best time to sail in Zadar

The best time of year for sailing holidays in the Kornati islands is during the summer. Temperatures are usually around 25 degrees Celsius in mid-summer (July, August) and a little lower during spring and autumn. While the park is open year-round, the small restaurants inside the park will not be open during the off season.

Sailing Holiday Tips for Zadar: Mooring Options & Things to do

There is a variety of mooring options in this area, from large marinas and smaller ports to the many safe anchorages where you can just free-swing for the evening at no cost.

If you are on a tighter budget, you can use the marina facilities just to get water and electricity and then moor up at bays, using the dinghy to get to the shore.

Mooring within the National Park is regulated and only allowed in certain bays, including:

Stiniva, Statival, Lupeška, Tomasovac – Suha punta, Šipnate, Lučica, Kravljačica, Strižnja, Vruje, Gujak, Opat, Smokica, Ravni Žakan, Lavsa, Piškera – Vela Panitula, Anica on Levrnaka, Podbižanj, and Koromašna. 

For marina spots, check out th ACI Marina Piškera or ACI Marina Žut.

To sail the National Park, you will need a valid ticket. Should you plan a visit to the Kornati National Park (highly recommended), our advice is to pre-book as soon as possible. Prices are calculated according to the length of the yacht and tickets can be bought online.  

While sailing is allowed in the park, there are a few zones where sailing is prohibited.

Please be aware of those areas and avoid. Areas of strict protection include: 

  • areas around Purara islet, Klint and Volić reefs (1), 
  • Mrtenjak islet (2), 
  • Kolobučar islet (3) and 
  • Small Obručan and Great Obručan islets (4)
     

Lastly, while there are many breathtaking spots in the Kornati Islands, you really shouldn't miss the magnificent Krka waterfalls near Skradin.

Recommended Sailing Itineraries around Kornati Islands

7-day sailing route from Zadar to Zut

⚓ Day 1. Zadar (check-in)

⚓ Day 2. Zadar - Ravni Zakan 13 NM

⚓ Day 3. Ravni Zakan - Lopatica 18 NM

⚓ Day 4. Lopatica - Sali (Dugi Otok) 14 NM

⚓ Day 5. Sali - Brbinj (Dugi Otok) 10 NM

⚓ Day 6. Brinj - Zut (Liman Zut) 18 NM

⚓ Day 7. Zut - Zadar 18NM

 

14-day sailing route from Zadar to Veli Rat (Dugi Island)

⚓ Day 1. Zadar (Mainland)

⚓ Day 2. Biograd (Mainland)

⚓ Day 3. Murter (Murter Island)

⚓ Day 4. Kaprije (Kaprije Island)

⚓ Day 5. Zlarin (Zlarin Island)

⚓ Day 6. Primosten (Mainland)

⚓ Day 7. Gustac Island

⚓ Day 8. Katina Island

⚓ Day 9. Zut (Zut Island)

⚓ Day 10. Veli Iz (Iz Island)

⚓ Day 11. Brbinj (Dugi Island)

⚓ Day 12. Veli Rat (Dugi Island)

⚓ Day 13. Zadar Town

⚓ Day 14. Check out

 

Sailing the South Adriatic

Sailing Dubrovnik: the Pearl of the Adriatic

Sailing holidays in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, South Adriatic | Croatian yachting holidays

The epitome of the dazzling beauty of Croatia, Dubrovnik is an ancient walled city dating back to the 13th century, that is surrounded by lush nature and picturesque islands.

In 1979, the city was appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walled fortress, you will find an abundance of museums and historical sites, as well as a fabulous collection of wineries, breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. 

A yacht charter in Dubrovnik also offers over 1,000 beautiful islands, islets, and bays to explore. Out on the water, you’ll get a panoramic view so you can take in the splendor all around you.

Relax on the beach, wander the gardens at Lokrum Island, or explore one of the sleepier seaside towns. You could even visit the first underwater winery on the Peljesac peninsula!

Rent a boat in Dubrovnik: Where to start & how to get there!

There are various starting points for a Dubrovnik boat rental with the most famous being the ACI marina of Dubrovnik.

No matter which base your yacht is at, you can fly in and out of the Dubrovnik Cilipi Airport (DBV). Dubrovnik is a well-connected city and there are several flight routes from all over Europe. There are many low-cost flights from Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester.

The airport is about 10 miles from the city center. To arrange an airport transfer, speak with your charter broker! You could also take the airport shuttle bus for about 45 HRK, per person. 

Transfer time from Dubrovnik Airport to base: 10 to 40 mins depending on the base.

Dubrovnik weather & sailing conditions

zSummers along the Dalmatian coast enjoy wonderful temperatures between 21 to 28 degrees celsius. You will also have a very low chance of rain, and plenty of summer festivities! Summer is the peak season for tourism in Croatia however, so things could get busy. 

Dubrovnik's easy line-of-sight navigation is also accompanied by a warm climate and steady winds, making the area an ideal chartering destination for beginners and first-time sailors

There are eight winds that you’ll find while sailing the Adriatic. You will mostly find light southern or westerly winds of 5 -15 knots.

During the summer you can enjoy sailing with the westerly Mistral, that blows from the sea and reaches full force in the afternoon. Waves tend to be between 0.5 m and 1.5 m and the tidal range is quite small at just 40 cm.

Best time for a Dubrovnik sailing holiday

The best time to rent a boat in Dubrovnik is from May through August. September and early-October also offer a great opportunity to enjoy Dubrovnik.

You will still get some lovely weather, with temperatures between 21-25 degrees celsius, but without all the crowds. 

Holiday tips for Dubrovnik: Mooring, Anchorages, Provisioning & more

For mooring, during your Dubrovnik yacht charter, you will find an abundance of anchorages, town harbors and some modern marinas available to all charterers.

Mooring is very easy in the area of Dubrovnik especially in the organized marinas, where you can book berths in advance. Yacht4Less recommends the MySea app and Dockspot for online bookings. 

Some interesting anchorages to check out include: Skrivena Luka in Lastovo, Slano Bay, Šipanska Bay, Šunj Bay in Lopud, Zaton Bay, Rijeka dubrovačka, Lokrum, Tiha Bay, and Donji i Gornji Molunat 

There are no visa requirements for most travelers as Croatia is part of the EU. 

For your Dubrovnik yacht charter, if you’re doing a bareboat charter, you will have to have a valid sailing license and VHF/radio license. Check with your Yacht4Less charter consultant for a list of sailing licenses officially accepted in Croatia.

For provisioning, there are plenty of options. If you like to order groceries online, you can order with Jam Yacht Supplies, who will give free delivery for any order over 100 euros. Yacht Gourmet is another great option, offering many fine cuisine essentials. 

Also, as Croatia is known for its markets, you have the option to embrace the local food. Just get the most basic provisions at the start of your journey and stock up on fresh produce, fish, and meats along the way.

During your charter, you will find an abundance of local street markets and butchers to explore. 

Recommended Sailing Itineraries in Dubrovnik

7-day sailing route from Dubrovnik to Sipan Luka

⚓ Day 1. Dubrovnik (check-in)

⚓ Day 2. Dubrovnik -  Okuklje, Mljet Island 20 NM

⚓ Day 3. Okuklje - Polace, Mljet Island 10 NM

⚓ Day 4. Mljet - Korcula Island 17 NM

⚓ Day 5. Korcula - Pomena, Mljet Island 14 NM

⚓ Day 6. Pomena - Sipan Luka, Sipan Island 24 NM

⚓ Day 7. Sipan Luka - Dubrovnik 15 NM

 

14-day sailing route from Dubrovnik to Slano

⚓ Day 1. Dubrovnik

⚓ Day 2. Sipanska Luka

⚓ Day 3. Polace

⚓ Day 4. Korcula

⚓ Day 5. Hvar

⚓ Day 6. Split

⚓ Day 7. Trogir

⚓ Day 8. Komiza

⚓ Day 9. Vela Luka

⚓ Day 10. Uble (Lastavo Island)

⚓ Day 11. Pomena

⚓ Day 12. Sobra

⚓ Day 13. Slano

⚓ Day 14. Dubrovnik

 

Prices: How much does it cost to charter a yacht in Croatia?

It depends. There are many factors that can shape a yacht charter cost. Find below the cheapest yacht charter prices in Croatia today:

  1. Sailboat charter Croatia from £111 per day
  2. Catamaran charter Croatia from £130 per day
  3. Motorboat charter Croatia from £120 per day
  4. Gulet charter Croatia from £1747 per day

*disclaimer: Be aware that the prices change instantly every minute and there may be slighlty cheaper boat listings.
 

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  5. Sailing holidays in Montenegro
  6. Sailing holidays in France
  7. Sailing holidays in Malta​​​​​​​

 

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