Croatia is among the best boating locations in the world.
The richness of historic ruins along the coastline and on the islands appeal to explorers, plus the closeness of the islands and calmer winds make it easier and safer to travel. You effectively have a thousand miles of coastline and over a thousand islands to explore!
When to Embark
The busy season is summer, from June to September, when temperatures are high and the water is warm. During these months, the marinas, cities, and some of the islands often are packed with travelers. If you’re looking to travel during this time, it's best to book well in advance. The sea conditions in Croatia can vary depending on the time of year. In the summer, the seas are typically perfect for boating - calm and clear. Looking to beat the crowds? The off-peak months of April, May, and October are a great choice. The weather is still great (just not quite as hot), yet there are fewer crowds.
Areas to Travel
Croatia has a long coastline and several islands, making it a great destination for boating. Some of the best places to explore are the Dalmatian Coast and Istria on the northern shore.
The Dalmatian Coast includes islands like Hvar, Korcula, Vis, and Brac, which are all conveniently accessible and only a half-day apart by yacht. This area is fantastic for people of all ages since there are so many things to do and easy for boaters to explore because of its well-traveled, well-established routes. Keep in mind that Dubrovnik and Split have daily dockings from several cruise ships in July and August, so these months can be quite crowded.
The southern coast is home to several national parks, including the Kornati Islands National Park and the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and nature exploration. In addition to its natural beauty, the Dalmatian Coast is also rich in cultural and historical sites. The region was once part of the ancient Roman Empire, and there are many ancient ruins and landmarks to explore, including the ancient city of Split, which is home to the well-preserved Diocletian's Palace. With its historic towns, isolated beaches, and secret coves, southern Dalmatia is described as a maritime paradise.
Croatia's northern shore is home to Istria, the biggest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. It still heavily draws on Italian food, language, and culture after being a part of Italy from 1919 to 1947. Travelers frequently stop at coastal towns like Pula, Rovinj, and Porec. The region has a long and varied history, with influences from the ancient Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Venetian Republic. There are many ancient ruins and landmarks to explore, including the ancient city of Pula, which is home to the well-preserved Pula Arena.
Istria makes up for the lack of nightlife and accommodation options with its isolated beauty and native culture. Enjoy fantastic day trips, including wine tasting and bicycle tours, exploring tiny villages, have farm-fresh meals, and discovering the interior region.
Destinations to Visit
Located on the central Dalmatian coast, Split is home to the Diocletian's Palace, a well preserved ancient Roman palace that dates to the 4th century. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second-largest city in Croatia, known for its charming squares, rich cultural and historical heritage sites, and the beautiful beaches of Bacvice, Trstenik, and Kasjuni.
HVAR AND BRAC
These two islands are located just off the coast from Split. Hvar has several beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters including Dubovica, Zavala, and Sveta Nedjelja. Known for its nightlife, Hvar is home to a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants, that offer a range of music and entertainment options.
Brac, the largest island in Dalmatia, is known for its olive groves, marble quarries and for its beautiful beaches. The island is also home to several historic buildings and cultural attractions, including the Blaca Monastery, which was founded in the 16th century and is now a museum.
KORNATI ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The distance between the island of Brac and the Kornati Islands National Park is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) by boat. This cluster of over 140 islands is a must-see destination with beautiful, rugged landscapes, rocky cliffs, clear blue waters, small fishing villages, and uninhabited islands.
The city of Dubrovnik on the southern Dalmatian coast is a beautiful well-preserved medieval city with a rich history and cultural heritage.
THE ISTRIAN PENINSULA
In the northwest corner of Croatia, Istrian offers picturesque towns, wineries, and olive groves. Visit Rovinj, a charming town with narrow streets, colorful houses, and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Explore the caves at Škocjan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with underground rivers and waterfalls, then visit the small hilltop town of Motovun to enjoy its panoramic views and try local wine and truffles.
Lastly, visit the Brijuni Islands, off the coast of the Istrian Peninsula, with picturesque beaches, hiking trails, and historic ruins.