CROATIA: The star attractions are still the beach holiday, city break and cultural tour. In those areas Croatia fit the bill. But numbers of companies renting a boat for sailing between the Adriatic islands are rising. We jumped on board the 50 feet long “Fiji” with skipper Niklas Engstrand in charge. Even if we were eleven strangers who met for the first time, we found sailing with an experienced Swedish skipper is a safe way to make new friends – even in strong wind. Engstrand has sailed the Croatian coasts for years and is running Croatia Yacht Club www.croatiayachtclub.se
Sailing the coast of Croatia, its rocky shores lapped by turquoise waters, gives you a personal shortcut to unpeopled coves, forgotten grottoes and crumbly outcrops with spectacularly sited antiquities. It’s also a voyage deep with history.
Sail away. This way of holiday is to hire a yacht for a gentle cruise around the Adriatic, stopping off at a different port each night. With over 1100 islands, islets and reefs, of which 66 are inhabited, this area offer everything from windsurfing to nudist beaches, remote bay with restaurant and organic wines to all-night parties. The most popular area is to cruise the Dalmatian islands of Brac, Hvar, Korkula and Vis.
Wine and dolphins. Sailing the coast of Croatia is about blue and crystal clear water, impressive scenes, friendship and adventure. Add dolphins, cosy communities, lot of fish and seafood and local wines at reasonable prices. During a day at the sea you can stop where you like, swim, snorkel or just chill out on the deck. Island safari is like pick your own private piece of heaven.
End of May I sailed with Engstrand and experienced all kinds of conditions – including a delicious lunch served on deck while the boat was stable on deep babor position. An exciting meal for all of us, but hardly for Chef Ida who cooked the food while “Fiji” followed the waves – and Chris Martin and Coldplay sang “Call it Magic”.
With or without? For experienced sailors, a one week boat charter from the Split area, sleeping ten, costs about 300 euro, excluding flights. July and August is definitely the high season, and the prices are related to demand of boats. On shore Croatia still offers good value so your holiday cash will go a bit further.
“Those who include hiring boat with a skipper reveal they make the most out of a sailing holiday. On the other hand this area is easy to navigate”, Niklas Engstrand says and recommend sailing in September as the best period, when temperature and wind are at the most perfect. All boats are equipped with internet access.
Places to visit. We sailed with Croatia Yacht Club from Marina Kremik in Split, and during four days and three nights visited islands of Solta, the fishing village Komiza, Ravnik, Maslenica and Trogir. Most impressing stop; the night at Sesula bay on Solta Island along with six boats, two houses and the one and only restaurant serving local specialities. Once here at the bay whitewashed with moonlight, stress melts like ice cream and mass-tourism is no more than a rumour.