Sailing in Croatia

The long Croatian coast with all its peninsula’s bays, islands and archipelago’s make it a perfect destination for a sailing holiday. You can book an organized trip with one of the many travel agencies that specialize in sailing trips, from a day to weeks and from a small boat to larger boats, you will find the perfect match for you. Besides organized sailing trips you can also visit Croatia with your own sailing vessel!

Sailing - Croatian Adriatic sea

photo ©EMRE d.o.o.

An ideal and the most popular destination for a sailing holiday in Croatia are the southern Dalmatian islands. In about a week you can sail from energetic and lively Split or historic Dubrovnik around the plentiful islands and islets. Or you can make a trip from Split to Dubrovnik so you can visit both cities and have the opportunity to add an extra few days at the start and/or end of your sailing trip.

Many trips include stops at popular places like Hvar town and Brač, but you find more rest and quiet on the island Šolta or on one of the green Pakleni Islands. Vis is farthest of from the coast and is recently becoming a very popular destination but it still retains it’s exclusiveness, here you can visit the magnificent Blue cave. More to the south you can visit the national park Mljet with its natural wonders. But there are hundreds more islands for you to explore and feel like you’re alone in the world and relax on the pristine beaches, paddle or swim in the shallow crispy blue water and go snorkelling to sea fishes and other sea life.

You can sail in the Adriatic from May to the end of September. In the busy summer months, July and August, you will have lot’s of sunshine, warm weather and the sea temperatures are also warm. Before and after the sailing season many restaurants and facilities are closed so it is best to plan your visit well.

There are many companies that rent sailing yachts with a skipper so you can relax and enjoy your holiday but of course you will be given the opportunity to do some sailing to, but without the trouble of finding routes, mooring places, attractions and places to eat local food. Select your yacht well according to your wishes as there is a great variety, from old small quarters with shared bathrooms to the most luxurious settings.

Sailing - Croatian Adriatic sea

photo ©EMRE d.o.o.

Experienced sailors can rent their own boat or visit with their own sailboat. Listed below are some of the regulations applying to sailing in Croatian waters to keep in mind.

You have to take the shortest route to the nearest port open to international traffic, when entering the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia

  • to carry out border control formalities
  • to obtain the relevant official vignette
  • to verify crew and passenger lists

If the vessel has arrived in Croatia by road, or is moored in a port or other approved location in the territory of Croatia, you are obliged to obtain an official vignette and to verify the crew and passenger lists, in the Harbours Master’s Office, or a branch office before setting out to sea.

The official vignette is obliged for a vessel of more than 3 m in length, or less than 3 m in length with a total propulsion power of 5kW or more, this also includes water-crafts like jet-skis.
The official vignette is not needed for a vessel using only paddles or oars, regardless of its length, like a kayak, beach canoe, or pedal-boat.
The official vignette is not needed for a vessel in storage in a port or other approved place in Croatia.

The official vignette, which is valid one year from the date of issue, must be displayed on a clearly visible location on the vessel.
The counterfoil of the vignette must be adhered to the vessel’s list of persons.

The following documents must be carried by a vessel sailing in Croatia territorial waters:
– official vignette
– verified list of crew and passengers, except for vessel that have no facilities for extended stay, like bunks
– verified list of persons who can stay aboard the vessel, e.g when changing crew
– proof of seaworthiness of the vessel
– proof that the skipper of the vessel is able and qualified to command the vessel
– proof of third party insurance
– proof of ownership, or the owner’s authorization to use the vessel

the list of persons does not include persons that stay on the vessel while the vessel is in harbour or at anchor, or children below 12 years of age.

Sailing - Croatian Adriatic sea

photo ©EMRE d.o.o.

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