Typical sailing vacations often bring to mind the warm waters of the Caribbean with its numerous islands in close proximity, creating the perfect opportunity to visit as many locations as time allows. But the islands of the Caribbean are extremely well-known, which also brings an abundance of tourists. Perhaps it is time to think outside the box, to travel to a unique locale a little off the beaten path: the incredible country of Croatia. In this article you will find our top 5 destinations to visit when sailing in Croatia.
Croatia, situated along the Adriatic Sea, has much to offer individuals seeking remarkable sailing vacations. A veritable Mediterranean paradise awaits intrepid travelers: incredibly beautiful waters, architectural structures awash with history, delicious seafood, and breathtaking landscapes at every turn.
Croatia is truly a sailor’s paradise.
The Croatian Islands
Croatia, located in Eastern Europe, is blessed with an extremely long coastline, falling alongside the Adriatic. With over 1200 islands, Croatia is an ideal sailing destination for travelers who enjoy island hopping.
The shoreline of the Croatian coast consists of a mixture of types of beaches, including sandy beaches, rock-strewn beaches and those with pebbled surfaces. Making for a picturesque variety as one travels up and down the coast. There are many dramatic views, as medieval-style villages seem to rise from the sea.
Croatia Sailing Charter and Boat Rental
Individuals seeking to charter a yacht are in luck in Croatia: there are dozens of charter boat companies in the region, offering a wide variety of types of sailing vessels and adventures. From fully crewed yachts to bareboat cruises, anyone who wants to see the islands from the ocean side will find a boat to suit their needs.
This is truly the best way to experience the islands of Croatia.
Where to Stay in Croatia
Visitors will find a wide variety of accommodations available throughout Croatia. Private hotels abound, but be sure to check the room rates for the season when the vacation will occur. Hotels may have as many as seven different rates, depending upon the season.
Visitors can find private accommodations, such as private rooms or apartments through local travel agencies or online. This type of accommodation is categorized into four different ratings.
The final type of accommodation is called sobe, which means staying inside a private home. This may be something as simple as a bed in the attic to a suite of bedrooms with a private bathroom.
Creating a Croatia Itinerary
Designing an itinerary ahead of time is of utmost importance in order to maximize the enjoyment of all that Croatia has to offer. By seeing Croatia through a sailing adventure, otherwise inaccessible islands will now be at hand, allowing the trip to be designed to suit the interests of the entire group. An ideal itinerary will include visits to sights such as the Old City in Dubrovnik, charming fishing villages that are found on many of the islands, and some of the rocky coves that dot the landscape. Each island is unique, and with so many to pick from, careful research should reveal the unique opportunities available in that particular region.
When working out the travel itinerary, travelers may want to give the island of Vis serious consideration. Vis had been closed off to foreign visitors until 1989, and it has retained its island vibe, providing tourists a window into Mediterranean island living. With some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, Vis offers visitors secluded coves and bays.
Another island to consider adding to that Croatian itinerary is sunny Hvar, renowned for its brilliant fields of lavender, wine and olive groves. Head for the south end of the island to find remote coves and quiet spots for swimming.
Near Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum is another locale that should not be missed. Here visitors can explore a Benedictine monastery founded in 1023. The island even boasts an inland saltwater pool similar to the Dead Sea.
Following our top 5 locations to consider adding to that itinerary.
#1 Bol, Croatia
The town of Bol, located at the end of the island of Brac, arguable boasts the most beautiful beach on the entirety of the Adriatic: the beach of Zlatni Rat. Its unique shape, coming to a point, makes this beach an ideal location for windsurfing as well. Zlatni Rat, with a golden pebble surface underfoot, extends approximately one-half kilometer into the Adriatic Sea.
While in Bol, don’t miss the Dragon’s cave. Reaching this cave involves a strenuous hike, so be prepared. It is worth it in the end, however, as the cave features very unique carvings that include angels and a large dragon. This jaunt requires advanced planning, as there is a guided tour at this location. The area around Dragon’s cave is a destination in itself, as there are historic ruins of monasteries to explore and appreciate. The view of the beach below is breathtaking: take time to enjoy the incredible surroundings.
Dubrovnik, a popular tourist destination, features medieval fortresses, Old Town (a walled city), a Baroque cathedral, Renaissance-era buildings, historic monasteries, and much, much more. The city of Dubrovnik has recently gained even more fame as the filming location for many of the scenic vistas seen in the television series “Game of Thrones”. The mountains provide a stunning background for photographs here. The historic walled city, with its architecturally significant towers and turrets, is not to be missed.
#3 Dubrovnik Beaches
The beaches in this area are varied, both in their vibes as well as opportunities they afford for adventure. Consider Copacabana beach, where one can go parasailing, rent a jet ski or play with water chutes. Nearby there are a couple of beaches for individuals who want to do a little nude sunbathing.
#4 Istria, Croatia
Istria is a heart-shaped peninsula, unique in that it is actually part of three different countries: Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Visitors will definitely feel the Italian influence, both in the food, the language and the architecture. Take time to tour a winery and attend an olive oil tasting to get a true sense of the area. This is also a great place to engage in some outdoor adventures, as it offers opportunities for rock climbing as well as parasailing.
#5 Dalmatian coast, Croatia
In order to fully immerse oneself in the culture of the area, consider sailing the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. 200 miles in length, the calm seas are conducive to sailing, and the hidden coves and deserted islands are an attraction too difficult to ignore. Sailing a vessel into an otherwise inaccessible cove is truly invigorating. It is sure to reveal picturesque villages replete with historic buildings, authentic local cuisine and unique natural features.
With so very much to offer, Croatia is truly a unique vacation destination that is, for now, relatively unspoiled and not overly saturated with tourists. Sailing vacations in Croatia are sure to create unique experiences that will generate memories to last a lifetime. Perhaps it is time to visit Croatia and discover the many unique experiences Croatia has to offer.