Over the last six years we've been lucky enough to experience most of what Croatia has to offer, particularly at sea. We've also had the chance to speak to a vast number 0f experts, drawn from all corners of the sailing world - visitors and locals alike. Foreigners sailing Croatia for the first time are, on the whole, spellbound by the Dalmatian Coast and Islands. Local mariners wouldn't want to go anywhere else, and trained skippers, after many years of nursing foreign charter visitors, still seem to revel in their guests' enjoyment. Here's our understanding of some of the aspects that qualify Croatia as a world class sailing destination.
In Dalmatia, you can easily visit 4 or 5 islands on a weeks's charter. You're at sea, but never very far away from land and passage distances are short.
There's something for everyone within relatively close distance - party spots, deserted bays, cultural and historical sites, upscale venues or rustic restaurants.
There's a port for the occasional storm always close at hand. Flat waters can quickly be traded for rough seas. It's a sea faring nation with the infrastructure to suit and a geography that is designed for optimising safe enjoyment of the Adriatic.
4. Good Climate
5. Clear Waters
Enough has been said and you can read all the cliches on the internet. If you're travelling to Split from London on a clear day, sit on the right hand side of the plane (left is not quite so good) and see the outline of the islands descending into the bottom of the sea.
It's in the Dalmatian blood - there's an odd rogue wherever you go but if you behave as good and discerning guests, you're likely to be well rewarded.
7. Living History
You can sail right up to, and sometimes into, cities with a vast wealth of history, that are treated with respect rather than reverance. The history continues rather than being set aside as a spectator sport.
Traditional folk music or international Dj's - pick your spot. Better still to just pick a location and be surprised.
9. Serious Sailing
There are a huge number of regattas and competitions, mostly off season, and they are taken very seriously.
10. The Islands
You can get a taste of all that Croatia has to offer in a week or two, but you won't know it properly until you have come back several times. The inhabited islands still have a vibrant life inland, that is still almost totally undisovered. You can miss a lot chasing an itinerary from port to port.