Sailing in Croatia

Yacht Charter in Croatia

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Yacht Charter in Croatia

Boat rental in Croatia from 280 EUR.

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A wide variety of sailboats and yacht charter catamarans make Croatia an excellent location for sailing and boat holidays. In Croatia, you can hire a sailing yacht or catamaran as a bareboat or with a skipper. You’ll appreciate the mix of sailing and luxury if you plan to rent a catamaran in Croatia.

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The largest destination for sailing holidays in the world is Croatia. You will visit hundreds of beautiful islands in Croatia using a charter yacht. Seven months a year, the weather conditions in the Adriatic Sea are ideal for sailing. The water is crystal clear in the anchor bays. Distances between the islands are mild and the safe waters are suitable for family or friends to spend a sailing holiday. Guests can choose from more than 3,000 sailing yachts and motorboats for hire for yacht charters.

Sailors find hundreds of well-developed marinas aligned like pearls on a chain along the rugged Croatian coast. For nautical tourism, 300 boat charter companies provide experienced boat hire services. The boat rental rates in Croatia are the lowest in the entire Mediterranean, thanks to competition. Authentic local cuisine helps holiday-makers to enjoy the Mediterranean Diet’s full flavor.

World heritage sites such as Zadar, Split, Korcula, and Dubrovnik, the Venetian cities, are incredible to visit on a boating trip. A stunning coastal scenery, an incredible past, and a great infrastructure are combined in Lovely Dalmatia.

Why is Croatia so famous for vacation sailing?

There is the beautiful clear water of the Adriatic Sea, first of all. The shoreline is mainly rugged and consists of pebble beaches, so the sand generally does not fog the water. The magnificent Venetian architecture that stems from the long period that Dalmatia and its ports were under the control of the Italian city state-mostly between the 16th and 18th centuries-adds to this. This part of Croatia is so undoubtedly desirable because of the combination between unspoiled nature and Renaissance architecture.

The famous heart-shaped ‘Galesnjak’ island near Zadar

The famous heart-shaped 'Galesnjak' island near Zadar


The coastline of the Croatian Adriatic is 1.777 km long. As the crow flies, it is only 526 km from the most southern to the most northern point, but it is among the most indented shorelines in Europe. This means that Croatia has a total of 5,835 km, including the islands’ shorelines as well. Therefore, it constitutes three-quarters of the total coastline of the Adriatic. With several small islands, there is a multitude of bays and archipelagos. To be precise, along the coastline are 718 islands and islets, 289 rocks, and 78 reefs. Of these, 48 are permanently populated and host medieval charming cities. This is also why Croatia is quite aptly referred to as the ‘Country of a thousand islands.’

Aerial view of the Kornati Archipelago Sailing Paradise

Aerial view of the Kornati Archipelago Sailing Paradise

Besides this, some of the most modern ports can be found there. The charter fleets of yachts are very well run. For very little money, you can expect a high level of quality of service. From over 300 charter companies, you can pick from about 3,500 bareboat charter yachts. The largest charter cruising area in the world is Croatia. Within reach, there is always a safe harbor and the climate is mild. The winds are mild and therefore best suited for family sailing vacations. And if you’re chartering a yacht in Croatia, you’ll also be able to enjoy the light, healthy local cuisine, the view of the lush green vegetation on the beach, or some of the attractions in Krka National Park, such as the massive waterfalls.

Some of the most significant yacht charter figures for Croatia:

  • Location: North-eastern Mediterranean Sea, on the East Adriatic Coast
  • Capital: Zagreb
  • Length of coastline: 1,777 km
  • Coastline including islands: 5,835 km
  • Largest islands: Cres, Krk, Brac, Hvar, Pag, Korcula, Dugi Otok, Mljet, Rab, Vis, Losinj
  • Population: ca. 4,225,316
  • Climate: Mild, Mediterranean
  • Country code: +385
  • Main charter bases: Pula, Zadar, Sukosan, Biograd, Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Dubrovnik

In addition to the above factors, the Croatian coast is relatively easy to reach from Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and Serbia by car or coach. This makes it more versatile to schedule a boating vacation since you don’t really have a flight.


What are Croatia’s most visited ports and marinas?

You should go to the following big harbor towns for your boating experience: Pula, Zadar, Sibenik, Sukosan, Biograd, Sibenik, Trogir, or Dubrovnik. You can sail along the coastline of Dalmatia or jump around the islands. The distance between the southern part of Dubrovnik and the central Dalmatian city of Zadar is 155 nautical miles.

Harbour view of Split, Croatia’s second-largest city

Harbour view of Split, Croatia’s second-largest city

7 km south of Zadar, Marina Sukosan has an impressive 1,400 moorings and provides several facilities, including many dry docks. There are 750 berths in Biograd’s spacious Marina Kornati in North Dalmatia, and Marina Mandalina in Sibenik, for instance, has room for 350 yachts up to 100 meters long.

There are three marinas to choose from if you head for Split. Just southwest of the historic center, the ACI Marina Split has 364 moorings for yachts up to 80 meters long. Located in a luxury hotel complex 8 km south-east of the city center, the Mariana Lav hosts 74 boats up to 40 m in length. Finally, 7 km from the airport, the Marina Kastela has 400 berths for yachts up to 100 meters long.

The quaint fishing village of Mali Ston on the island of Pelješac

The quaint fishing village of Mali Ston on the island of Pelješac

You have every hand full of the multitude of islands to choose where to go for your charter sailing yacht in Croatia. There is Hvar, which is perfect for a party, but it also has a beautiful old town to visit and an impressive fortress. Korcula also has an impressive old town and there is a magnificent national park with lush greenery and crystal clear lakes in the surrounding Mljet. At the entrance to Krka National Park, with its many huge waterfalls, lies Skradin. You can then cruise north to Krk, stopping at Brac, Losinj, Korcula, and several more interesting islands.

The magnificent historical port town of Korcula

The magnificent historical port town of Korcula

Kornati National Park, with around 140 islands in the northern part of Dalmatia, is another hugely popular destination. It is the Mediterranean’s most dense archipelago. Only designated bays, some of which are fitted with mooring buoys and some with restaurants, are permitted to moor. The ACI-operated Marina Piskera on the south-west side of Otok Piskera, which is open from April to October, is another mooring option between the islands in the park.

In Croatia, when is the right time to sail?

The Northern Adriatic Sea’s sailing season runs from April / May until September. In the south, between Split and Dubrovnik, until the end of October, you will enjoy fine and dry weather.

The prevailing winds in the Adriatic during the winter (October-May) are the Bora and the Sirocco. The Maestral will reign in the summer months. In general, however, summer just brings mild winds. There are also several elongated islands that are separated by channels and run parallel to the sea. For family charter holidays, the cruising grounds are therefore very protected and completely stable. The outer islands contain the sunniest part of the world, e.g. Korcula and Hvar. Here, a whopping 2,700 sunshine hours are recorded per year.

A brief overview of Croatia’s sailing weather with the example of Split:

  • Average wind speeds: 2-4 Beaufort
  • Main season: May – October
  • Month with highest average temperature: August, 29.8°
  • Month with lowest average temperature: January, 15.4°
  • Month with highest average precipitation: December, 113 mm
  • Month with lowest average precipitation: July, 28 mm
  • Months with most sunshine hours: July, August 13 per day
  • Months with least sunshine hours: December, January 5 per day

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

In Croatia, boat rental rates are currently the lowest in the Mediterranean. In the low season, from 800 Euros per week, you will find a small sailboat with 2 cabins for 4 passengers. This is not going to be a brand new voyage, of course. The average weekly charter price for a sailboat with 3 cabins is around €2,000. You have to pay between 4,000-6,000 Euros a week for a new 40-foot catamaran. You can hold 8-10 people on such a spacious and comfortable vessel. If you do not have a skipper’s license or are unable to navigate yourself, you can agree to pay a captain a fee of EUR 150 per day.

Yacht charter rates in Croatia vary by 40 percent between the high and low seasons. If you are fortunate, two to four weeks before the travel date, you could spot a highly discounted last-minute charter deal. Even, booking at least 8 months in advance is the best choice. This will mean that you can count on a good early booking discount when you still have a great range to choose from of the newest and best-fitted yachts.

What kind of boats are in Croatia for rental?

You will find the largest range of rental boats in the entire world along with the Adriatic Coats. Chartering monohull sailboats or catamarans are different choices. You may also hire a motor yacht or book a typical Gulet full-board cruise. You can also rent sailboats and powerboats up to 17 meters without a captain if you have a skipper’s license. This form of boat rental is called the “charter of bareboat boats.”

A luxury motor yacht in the renowned port of Hvar on Brac Island

A luxury motor yacht in the renowned port of Hvar on Brac Island

In addition, day charters or fishing boat rentals are available, usually for smaller powerboats between 5 and 10 meters in length. Usually, these boats are rented out each day.

You might opt for a flotilla sailing holiday or a cabin charter trip if you are new to sailing and enjoy group journeys. And last but not least, renting a crewed luxury yacht will make the dream of a perfect charter holiday come true.

Which of Croatia’s cultural and natural highlights are worth visiting?

If you want to go sightseeing, you might start with Zagreb, the capital. Then, of course, you will find even more charming old towns worth your time. Visit Sibenik, Zadar, and Trogir historical centers. Or, with its famous fortifications, go to Dubrovnik and take a cable car up the hill to enjoy some spectacular views. Split is lovely and has much more to sell than just the palace of Diocletian. And if you like ancient places, there is an amphitheater for you in Pula, founded by Emperor Augustus. Construction started in the year 2 AD and there are about 23,000 people sitting here.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest national park in Croatia. Thanks to its hundreds of waterfalls, the most impressive national park is the Krka. Without a doubt, seeing the 200 to 400 m high wall of water flowing down over 17 steps is one of the most captivating experiences in the entire world.

Walkthrough the beautiful national park of Plitvice Lake

Walk through the beautiful national park of Plitice Lake

In the Adriatic, the possibilities for water sports are infinite. Choose from kayaking, wakeboarding or water skiing, swimming, snorkeling, paddling, fishing, and more.

The old town’s nightlife in Hvar is legendary. A lot of celebrities flock to go dancing and clubbing there. Yeah, Pag-esp. Zrce beach-has gained a reputation as the Ibiza of Croatia. There are also fantastic swimming pools, roller coaster clubs, and much more.

In order to rent a sailboat in Croatia, do I need a sailing license?

You may need a skipper’s license or evidence that you have ample sailing experience in order to sail your own charter yacht in Croatia. Hiring a yacht with a skipper is the alternative. In addition, a radio license is required, which you could do in a crash course if you didn’t have any.

In Croatia, we help you to choose from 1,000 charter yachts according to your needs. You can find over 50 boat rental companies on our website. To get the best deals and compare boat hire prices, just use the YachtFinder. Only browse through over 200 recent client reviews to pick a quality boat.

Charter yachts moored in front of Island Primosten

Charter yachts moored in front of Island Primosten

All in all, this is why sailing is so extremely common in Croatia. We hope that when you go on your sailing holiday in this wonderful country, you now know a few important facts to bear in mind. Have a fantastic cruise!

Croatia Bareboat and Skippered Yacht Charter: Top 3 Companies

We have done some research and selected three of the best websites for booking a yacht charter for those considering skippered yacht or bareboat charters in Croatia, based on a number of factors, including the range of boats available, availability, company policies, additional services, and prior customer feedback.

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