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Sailing in Croatia

So, you want to sail in Croatia, but you don’t know the who, what, where, when, or how?

In this article, among other things, you can find how to choose the best boat for you, when to sail, and how much such a beautiful trip will cost you. Besides that, you will read where the best harbors you can begin your journey from are. Lastly, there are some ready-to-go sailing itineraries for you!

Sailyachts on the coast in Gornje Selo, Croatia

Sailing in Croatia

Don’t you worry, pretty much anyone can sail in Croatia. Due to the low wind speed, and then being able to navigate from sight only, makes it an easy place for beginners to set sail.

Even if you finished a sailing course five minutes before going on the boat in Croatia, you will be able to sail! Of course, you’ll have to be able to sail independently. If that is not the case just yet, there are plenty of great skippers that would love to teach you, as well as show you the beautiful cities and bays.

To sail in Croatia you need a valid Navigational and VHF license. In case you do not have that, you can always rent a yacht with a skipper. Usually, skippers are locals that can give excellent information regarding the surroundings and activities in that area. If you choose a skipper, that could cost you anywhere between 80 to 150 euro’s a day, and keep in mind you’ll have to cook for them and they need their own cabin.

What boat should I choose, and how?

There are two types of boats for you to choose from, Monohulls or Catamarans. As the name suggests, a monohull has only one hull.

A Catamaran, as seen in the picture below, has two hulls.

Catamaran on water

A Catamaran has the advantage of being more stable, which is nicer if you’re sailing with children, and if you get seasick.

On the other hand, a monohull is easier to maneuver than a Catamaran and is also cheaper for the same amount of space.

If you still don’t know which one you want, contact our charter experts!

Sail yacht vs. Cruiseship

The environment will thank you for going sailing instead of joining a cruise. The bigger the ship, the more pollution, of course. According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), every passenger of a cruise ship emits 225kg CO2 daily!

If you want something a little more luxurious than a normal sail yacht, you can rent a Catamaran!

When is the best time for sailing in Croatia?

The best time to go sailing in Croatia is out of season, in May, June, and September. The water is colder in May as opposed to later in the year, and the temperatures of the water can come to 29 degrees celsius in September/October!

Croatia has a sea climate, just like the Netherlands. There isn’t much wind in Croatia, usually between 5 and 20 knots.

Croatia does have stronger winds on the open sea. The Bora, a colder North-East wind that blows from the mainland to the open sea, that usually happens in winter. The Bora isn’t as strong in the summer, which leads to a cooling effect on the hotter days and good wind for sailing. And there is the Jugo, a warm South-East wind that creates clouds, rain, and low air pressure. You can even feel this wind come up to three days in advance!

How much does sailing in Croatia cost?

This depends of course on different things, how many people are joining you, how big the yacht is, for how long you’re going, etc.

For example, you and four other friends want to go sailing. You choose a yacht without a skipper, because you already know how to sail, and with two cabins. You can enjoy a week on the beautiful water for only 400 euros a person. There will be additional costs of groceries, fuel, and the price to berth. It will cost about 60 to 150 euros a night to berth your yacht in Croatia. However, some restaurants have their own berths that you can use for free when you eat there!

Drone shot of sail yachts in harbor in Croatia

Which route is best for me?

The nice thing about renting a boat with or without a skipper, is being able to decide where you want to go, and when. Within reason of course. But where do you start? Below is a list with popular harbor cities in Croatia where you can start. These harbors are chosen because of their distance to the airport and their facilities.

And will you go in a car or an airplane? Both are possible, but take parking costs into consideration.

Starting place

If you want to go sailing in Croatia, there are different harbors where you can start. For example, we start from Zaton with our flotilla. You can get to these harbors by car or airplane and taxi.

Pula

Sky view of the city of Pula, Croatia

ACI Marina Pula

This slightly more luxurious harbor is in the heart of Pula, where you almost feel royal just standing. You’re at the edge of the city, it only takes a 5-minute walk to be in the city center. Take in the beautiful historical sights, delicious food, and the wonderful view of the Romanian Amphitheater from the harbor itself.

  • 5 km from Pula Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a restaurant, a bar, a spa, and free WiFi.

Marina Veruda

This beautiful marina is not as close to Pula itself, but this makes it more peaceful and quiet. You’ll feel a nice breeze as you step out of the car or taxi. The marina stretches across a beautiful part of the Veruda Bay. A small ten minute walk will bring you to a village, with multiple hotels and delicious food.

  • 12 km from Pula Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a pool, a bar, a restaurant, a gas station, a dive club, a children’s playground, and a store.

Zadar

D-Marin Borik

This is a small, cozy marina outside of Zadar, away from all the busy places. You feel the peace when you step inside. This marina is surrounded by apartments and hotels, and little tourist attractions, that is why this is perfect if you seek to calmly step on your boat.

  • 15 km from Zadar Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a pool, a beach, a terrace with a beautiful view, a bar, a store, a Tesla charging station, and a restaurant.

D-Marin Dalmacija

This is one of the more significant marinas, closest to Zadar airport. You’re not directly in Zadar, but you are close to the picturesque village Sukošan. There is a gorgeous beach with clear water, right next to the marina.

  • 5 km from Zadar Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a store, and a beach club with a restaurant, a dive center, a lounge bar, and a kid’s club.

Trogir

Marina Boatić

This beautiful marina is next to Trogir, walking distance from a gorgeous little beach. Nearby are multiple small places to eat some great food, and you won’t see an overwhelming amount of tourists. You’ll feel like a local walking through those old streets.

  • 7 km from Split Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a restaurant, a lounge bar, a store, a fitness studio, and a pool.

ACI Marina Trogir

A lovely marina on the island Orkug Gornji, easy to get to by car or taxi. This marina is surrounded by many apartments and hotels, and you’re in the beautiful village with walking only ten minutes.

  • 6 km from Split Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a diving center, a wellness center, a store, a restaurant, and free WiFi.

Split

View on the harbor in Split from the mountains

ACI Split

ACI Split is further from the airport in Split, but the view on Diocletian’s Palace is definitely worth it. This marina has won the price “Tourist Flower – quality for Croatia” in 2017. Close to the marina are two great parks, with awesome views on the sea.

  • 26 km from Split Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a restaurant, a store, free WiFi, and a Tesla charging station.

Marina Kastela

This wonderful marina is close to the city, but far enough to feel the peace and quiet. With only a five minute walk you can dip your feet into the sand of a beach, and on the other side of the marina, there are all kinds of shops for you to let shop in.

  • 11 km from Split Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a restaurant, a pool, free WiFi, a store, and a cafe-bar.

Dubrovnik

View of Dubrovnik and the water

ACI Marina Dubrovnik

One of the most beautiful marinas in Dubrovnik, and it’s only 6 kilometers away from the old city center. This amrina has all facilities that you can wish for. Bsides that, the marina is surrounded by gorgeous woods, which is perfect for a nice long walk.

  • 22 km from Dubrovnik Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a pool, a restaurant, a store, a golf course, and free WiFi.

Marina Frapa Dubrovnik

This marina is in the heart of Dubrovnik, only a small taxi ride away from the oldness that is full of great places to eat. Relax at the pool with a mocktail, ór cocktail if you’re not behind the rudder.

  • 22 km from Dubrovnik Airport
  • Parking is possible
  • Facilities include a swim bar, a bar, a restaurant, and a Tesla charging station.

Zaton

Marina Zaton

Our own flotilla starts from this beautiful little marina. You get in the vacation mood the second you step out of the car. Take ten more steps and you’ll find yourself on your ship. Many other harbors in Croatia are luxury and massive, but here you feel quiet. The kids can go for a swim and within walking distance is a nice village with stores and terraces.

  • 71 km from Zadar Airport
  • Parking is possible

But where do you go from here? Take a look at out ready-to-go itineraries:

Sailing Itinerary Dalmatia

Dream sailing itinerary Zadar

Itinerary Dubrovnik

In case you’re doubting if you want to go sailing in Croatia, here are 10 reasons for you to do so anyway!

Corona

How do you go on vacation during Corona? Luckily, sailing is one of the safest ways to go on vacation!

Because you’re on the sea, you’re practically completely guarded against the rest of the world. The only contact you’ll have with other people is when going to the supermarket to do groceries. Or if you’ve run out of beer ;). As long as the country’s travel code is not red, you can pretty much go there. Do keep in mind your country’s rules for returning travelers.