As a company, we are well aware that despite a slow relaxation of lockdown; many families will be reluctant to venture into overcrowded holiday venues which have led us to explore some summer possibilities which will keep you clear of the crowds.
I have been sailing around Croatia for the last eight years and I have answered some frequently asked questions below. For the most part, these apply to all of our sailing adventures, in and beyond Croatia.
Sailing in Croatia
With tourism accounting for 25% of GDP and a very low incidence on Covid-19, Croatia has been one of the first European countries to reopen its borders to international tourism. Fast becoming one of the most popular destinations, some of the coastlines have sold themselves to huge hotel developments and the resulting hordes. But make no mistake, it is still very easy to escape the crowds, and one of the best ways is by yacht charter.
Q. I have never sailed. Can I charter?
Very easily. Personally I would go for a catamaran which provides an extraordinary amount of space, is brilliant for children and will come with a skipper and mate who will do all the work. You can lend a hand, if you want, or just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Q. Do I have to pull ropes or cook?
This very much depends on the size of the boat and number of crew. With just a skipper, you would have to help going in and out of a marina; but if there is a mate then they do all the work and most of the cooking.
Q. I always thought sailing yachts were cramped and uncomfortable?
They can be, which is again why I would recommend a catamaran. For a family, the minimum I would suggest would be a Lagoon 450, which is 45ft (14m) in length but will have 4 double cabins, each with an ensuite bathroom and shower plus 5ft double beds and loads of storage. There will be air-conditioning and lots of water for showers.
Q. What is the coast like?
In short: gorgeous. You will stick to the islands, which number over 1,000 in total, and will come across literally hundreds of little coves where you can anchor and spend the night. There are often little family-run restaurants which you get to by dinghy or you can eat on board.
Q. Who plans our route?
Your skipper will plan the route but nothing is ever written in stone, as sailing is very much weather dependent. You starting and ending point will very much decide where you go. Remember: there will be a tip at the end for all crew.
Q. Will I get seasick?
That, of course, no one can promise. But in 8 years, we have never had anyone seasick on board; and that includes friends who were initially very apprehensive about sailing. Generally, the sea is very calm with light winds. Occasionally, the wind will increase a little but, with so many islands, you just tuck into a cove and swim.
Q. Is there anything to see and do other than just sailing?
The coast is littered with medieval towns. Split, which should be explored at the beginning or end, is famous for the Roman palace of Diocletian. But, in addition, there is Hvar and Korcula (both Venetian in origin) and, of course, the beautiful Dubrovnik.
Q. Is the sea warm?
Not only is it warm but crystal clear. Sadly not many fish around due to overfishing but, thankfully, in comparison to the rest of the Mediterranean and its neighbouring seas, there are no jellyfish.
Q. What is the food like?
Honestly? Repetitive. Most restaurants offer the same menu of BBQ fish and lamb; but after 8 years, we know the special places that have gone beyond family cooking. Those will be revealed when you book!
Q. Best piece of advice?
Fly into Split and out of Dubrovnik (or vice versa) and pay a little extra to have the boat taken back to its marina for you. You see so much more of the country and it is a perfect 7-day trip. Even better is to book a hotel for a couple of days at the beginning and end so you can fly mid-week (much cheaper) and gives you time to explore both Split and Dubrovnik at leisure.
Q. Are fuel and port charges included?
With most charters in Croatia, fuel and port charges are included in the cost of the hire. However, you may be asked to pay a cash deposit directly to your skipper on Day 1 of your charter to cover any incidentals. We will reconfirm any additional charges to you.
Q. Can I hire midweek?
During high season (typically June to September) all charters must begin and end on a Saturday. Off-season, it is more likely that we’ll be able to negotiate different lengths of stay.
Q. What more?
I have tried to answer a few questions which might spring to mind. Do not hesitate to email or call if you have others. I love talking about sailing in Croatia.
See some of our sailing holiday inspiration below or contact us to speak to our experts.