Do you love being on the water? Do you enjoy sailing or want to experience sailing? If you answered yes to any of those, I bet that a sailing vacation is something you would love. Imagine boarding your private sailboat, throwing away your to-do list, soaking in the sun and meandering through the islands. Bring your family, closest friends or invite an entire group and make it as relaxing or as active as you would like it to be.
Bareboat or crewed?
If you are a knowledgeable sailor with a proper license, chartering a boat without a captain and sailing it on your own is an option. You will often be provided with recommend safe anchorages and suitable itineraries.
Prefer to leave the planning, thinking about the weather, ports, navigation and more to someone else? Charter a sailboat ready with a captain on board as well as a private chef. This is our preferred version of a sailing vacation, even with a trusted sailor as my husband (don’t let that fool you, I am the captain at home ). Why? Having a captain on board familiar with the surrounding waters is always a plus. The crew is often a wealth of information on the places we are visiting almost acting as a guide. Having a crewed boat gives us the option to be as involved as we would like to be in the sailing, yet we can also relax, take in the sights, enjoy the breeze and be fully present with each other.
What type of sailboat to charter?
Choosing a type of sailboat will depend on your personal preference and what fits your group, your budget and availability.
Monohoals give you the true sailing feeling with keeling over, it is more maneuverable, they were built to slice through water effortlessly and they tend to swing less at anchorage.
Catamarans will be more stable, they provide more space both below deck and on deck, and their shallower drafts often allow you to anchor in shallower waters.
Croatia has over 3000 miles of coastline and is dotted with over 1000 islands! It is a sailors paradise. Explore beautiful secluded coves and charming villages, island hop, explore excellent snorkeling sites, go wine tastings and take in the rich culture and history. If you prefer a more active vacation, hiking, biking, rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding and other activities can easily be added.
Sailing is possible along the entire coastline, though the central and southern Dalmatian coast is the most popular. Where you choose to sail will depend on what you want out of the experience. Sail from Split, the second largest city, south to Dubrovnik and explore islands such as Hvar, Vis, Korcula and Brac. The journey will be full of history, culture and activities from wine tasting, hiking, biking, diving and more. If you choose to start further North in Zadar, add a stop to National Park Kornati, a sailor’s paradise with 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs and visit beautiful town of Skradin where the river Krka meets the ocean. Prefer a more Italian flare? Sail the Istra Peninsula and Kvarner exploring towns heavily influenced by Romans, Venetians, Republic, Byzantines and Italians - all leaving strong influences and a colorful history behind. Many locals still speak Italian and Ciao, a casual way of saying hello and good-bye, is frequently used in Istra and the rest of Croatia.
Late April through October are the best times for a sailing vacation in Croatia. Late April through June and September through October offer milder weather, calm seas and less crowds while most tourist attractions and businesses are open. The busy summer months of July and August offer beautiful weather, they are the warmest months and best for swimming. Summer is peak season so expect more people, though the beauty of sailing is that you can find secluded coves. Booking in advance, for the summer in particular, is highly recommended.
If you enjoy the outdoors, unspoiled nature and wind in your hair. If you appreciate the rich history and culture, welcoming locals and delicious food… then I am sure you would savor a vacation like this… Adventurous, fun-filled, refreshing and hassle-free!