With arguably the most beautiful coastline in Europe and dotted with over 1,000 islands, Croatia is truly a sailor’s paradise.
Wherever you choose to spend your sailing holiday you won’t be disappointed, but here are our top five destinations in this Adriatic oasis.
Starting in the north, you have Istria and Kvarner. Within easy reach of both Slovenia and Italy and serviced by two international airports, this region is a great starting point for a Croatian sailing holiday.
Istria and Kvarner
If you want to get close to nature, the sea around the Lošinj-Cres archipelago archipelago is a Marine Protected Area, the first such area for dolphins in the entire Mediterranean. If you take a crewboat charter or lease a yacht from a company such as Yacht Base. There’s the waters around the island of Cres to discover - the island is home to an eco-project protecting endangered species such as the Griffon vultures.
The major cities of Opatija, Pula, Rovinj and Porec offer the best of Istrian cuisine, but there are also plenty of secluded bays and traditional villages to explore.
To the south of Istria is the region of Zadar. An area firmly in our top five for its large choice of marinas, charter boats, welcoming people, excellent food and ideal sailing conditions thanks to the meastral winds.
Dotted with old fishermen’s villages, the area is serviced by Zadar airport, and gives you easy access to the Kornati and Krka Falls National Parks and Telascica Nature Park.
“On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown his work, and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath”, wrote George Bernard Shaw. And when you organise your charter boat with Yacht Base and visit this area, off the coast of Zadar, you will understand what he meant - it’s the most tightly packed archipelago in the Adriatic, with 147 islands, islets and reefs.
Kornati National Park is also easily reached from the ibenik region. Located in the centre of the Croatian Adriatic, between Zadar and Split, the ibenik coastline allows sailors to combine the tranquility of Zadar with the more urban surroundings of Split.
Its indented coastline, partly created by the Krka River, is among the best in the Adriatic, and lies just 10 nautical miles from the dramatic travertine falls of the Krka National Park.
Famous for its historic city as well as its coastline, the region of Split is the urban, cultural and transport centre of Dalmatia. The area offers excellent locally produced food and wine and is in easy sailing distance from the popular islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis and Korcula. It is also possible to organise one-way charters from Split to Dubrovnik.
Last, but certainly not least, is the stunning city of Dubrovnik. One of the most attractive and famous cities in the Mediterranean, Dubrovnik is packed with historical buildings, outstandingly preserved natural monuments and beautiful scenery.
The bays, beaches, steep cliffs and numerous wooded islands will keep you occupied for days, but if you do feel like exploring further afield, the fjords of Montenegro are only a short sail away.
So there you have our top five destinations to guarantee you a sailing holiday you'll never forget.