Sailing in Croatia

Your essential guide to sailing in Croatia

Tino Prosenik interview: cool as ICE
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Tino Prosenik interview: cool as ICE

Standing at around 188 centimetres tall, when Tino Prosenik, CEO of the International Charter Expo, smiles down broadly at you, the expression covers the whole of his face and feels somewhat likes the sun's rays radiating upon you. This, despite the at times sombre tone of his words regarding the current and future state of sailing in Croatia, which has the world's largest charter boat industry.'The industry has been doing well for ten years,' he says, 'but this is the second year of decline. The full season is starting to show gaps. July and August were never an issue before now. But because it's the most expensive time and it's known discounts will become available outside of these times, it has become the weakest link.'Prosenik never looks less than satisfied, even as he goes into greater detail about the downturn, its causes and the frustrating absence of measures currently in place to halt the decline. Perhaps his optimism stems from the fact that we are on the eve of his International Charter Expo, the world's largest business to business event within the sphere of charter sailing? Perhaps. But as a man who relishes new challenges, as evidenced throughout his career, you get the feeling that at this, his seventh such event, he is firmly within his comfort zone. Prosenik's optimism is surely then also a result of the fact that, despite a gloomy forecast and certain frustrations, he can see only positive outcomes for the future of charter boat sailing in Croatia.Prosenik

A captain's advice to sailing in Croatia
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A captain's advice to sailing in Croatia

Mark Russell is a captain with over two decades of experience at sea. He has sailed the waters in and around Croatia many times. He is a dual UK and USA citizen and enjoyed many years as a recreational sailor. He completed a degree in Marine Biology and was formerly a professional diver and diving instructor. He began working on luxury yachts as a diving operations manager, then as a crew member and now takes the helm as captain.Mark RussellI've been working on Luxury Private Charter boats for over 12 years now, but I've been at sea for more like 20. I know pretty well the route from Budva, Tivat and Kotor in Montenegro, up to Trogir and Split in Croatia, taking in Korcula, Miljet, Hvar.Mljet National Park Mlijet is lovely, a national park. It's nice and quiet. Hvar is really a party place, but the advantage of seeing it by boat is that it also has lovely little islands close by and they're nice. Korcula is one of my own favourite spots, a stunningly well preserved Venetian town. It's great for kitesurfing there, they have some strong winds there, sometimes dangerously strong actually. You can find some really, really good white wines all around there. Trogir is absolutely beautiful, for me the best preserved medieval city in Europe. It's also very close to the airport, so it's easy to travel at the start or end of any sailing trip. Split is also beautifully well preserved, but obviously a great deal bigger. There's quite a lot going on there. Dubrovnik is great to see, bot

Five brilliant Dubrovnik boat trips
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Five brilliant Dubrovnik boat trips

Dubrovnik may be one of the hottest destinations in Europe at the moment, but there’s no getting around the fact that, in peak season, the city really suffers from its popularity as a cruise port. The solution? Visit Dubrovnik in spring or autumn. You can hit the waves on one of these excellent boat trips, admire this stunning coastal city from the sea, then return late in the afternoon to enjoy a sundowner. This article is sponsored by Dubrovnik Tourism Board and Croatia Full of Life.

Croatia sailing etiquette
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Croatia sailing etiquette

If you’ve been sailing before, you’re probably already aware of the rules of the sea, but if you’re a first-timer, there are some important things you need to know before embarking on your trip. A sailing holiday is very different from a holiday on land and a large part of that is the etiquette you're expected to observe when on board. Don't worry! It's not a daunting list or difficult to remember, and once you're aware of the rules and have a bit of experience under your belt, most of it you'll see as common sense. But, until you've been introduced to the codes of sailing, there are some rules you won't be able to guess on your own. So, here are the five most important rules for you to learn. RECOMMENDED: Time Out's guide to sailing in Croatia.  

Four fabulous Croatia sailing routes
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Four fabulous Croatia sailing routes

Crystal-clear waters and hidden beaches that bask in the shade of scented pines. Incredibly well-preserved medieval towns and Roman architecture. Kilometres of pristine beach, sheer rock cliffs that suddenly stop to reveal calming, sheltered bays. Vibrant cities, romantic hamlets, shoreline bars and restaurants. World famous nightclubs and music festivals plus some of the best opportunities to catch big fish like tuna anywhere in Europe. These are just a few of the experiences you could sample if choosing to holiday in Croatia. With a coast that never seems to end, speckled with thousands of islands, undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore Croatia is by boat. Hiring a gulet yacht from Goolets offers you the opportunity to do so in groups of 8 to 36 people at a time. It's the perfect option for a family or group holiday of a lifetime or a business-based excursion which you and your accompanying travellers will never forget. With so many things to do, there are multiple options you could choose on such an excursion. Here are four suggested tour itineraries, tried and tested by local experts from Goolets that will ensure you get the most out of any sailing holiday in Croatia.

Sailing in Croatia: a beginner's guide
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Sailing in Croatia: a beginner's guide

To explore Croatia by sea is to reveal its true secrets. Croatia has it all - the range of sailing options, the spectacular scenery, the unspoiled bays, the myriad islands and, most importantly, clear, calm and clean waters around them. Europe's finest sailing playground is a little over two hours from London. It's affordable, relatively safe (at sea and on shore) and contains a diversity of destinations for sailing routes that are amenable to all. Novice sailors can charter a boat with a qualified skipper, potter around the islands, and find out as much, or as little, about sailing as they'd like. Those who are serious about learning to sail, or improving their skills, can take a course at one of the sailing schools. Sailors of varying abilities, wanting the security and bonhomie of a group, can join a flotilla holiday. If your party includes someone with a skipper's ticket there's a multitude of charter options, with yachts and motorboats, while high rollers can take a fully crewed luxury yacht, classic or contemporary, and cruise the party hotspots.

Sailing in Croatia: what to pack
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Sailing in Croatia: what to pack

You're about to embark upon your first tour of the Croatian coast and its islands. But if it's your first time on a sailing holiday, just what should you expect? And what should you bring with you? Well, truth be told, a sailing holiday is a lot like a beach holiday and your bags will look remarkably similar once packed, although there are a few differences that it's worth bearing in mind.Perhaps the first thing to remember is it's likely you're going to be exposed to the sun perhaps even more than on the standard beach holiday. The best place to enjoy a sailing holiday is not below deck but on it. That means you're going to have to be careful of the sun; there's nothing worse than being forced to hide from the sun when you don't want to, but must, because your pink skin needs a break. Therefore, think about high factor sunscreen, even if your usual strength is significantly lower. Also, think about bringing a hat that will shelter your face from the sun, but pack the right kind of hat; a fast moving boat heading into a breeze can create enough wind to remove a loose fitting hat and many a poor choice has been lost overboard. If you are unfortunate enough to get sunburned, you'll be needing some high aloe vera-based after-sun lotion for a speedy recovery of your skin. Although our top tip for sunburn is to first coat yourself in high-fat natural yoghurt, until it dries completely, then rinse it off with a cold shower, before then applying the aloe-vera and letting it sit on t

Sail away
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Sail away

I’ve never been sailing before. How do I get started in Croatia and how much will it cost for a family of four? Croatia is one of the best places for beginners of all ages to sail. The climate is good, the waters are clear, you’re never very far from land and shelter, and there’s a huge variety of coastline and islands to visit. Central Dalmatia – arguably the best of a great choice of Croatian cruising grounds – has around 30 reputable charter companies to choose from, including some with international offices. The price varies substantially, depending on when you go, what kind of yacht you choose, where you start from and what kind of discount you can negotiate. Some charter companies will also do a deal that includes flights and transfers. A Bavaria 37 yacht provides ideal comfort for a family of four – two cabins for the family and one for the skipper – and you should budget for a weekly basic charter cost of between €1,300 and €2,500 depending on the season. You’ll also need to allow €120 per day (plus food) for your skipper, €100 for a one-off compulsory boat clean, and the cost of diesel and marina/mooring fees. One of the more centrally based luxury marinas will cost you between €30 and €72 per day for this size of yacht, depending on the season; a town harbour perhaps fifty percent less and an anchorage considerably less still.  You will receive discounts on the charter for the second week and may be able to negotiate additional discounts in a competitive market, p

The best places for swimming, diving and sailing in Croatia
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The best places for swimming, diving and sailing in Croatia

Croatia’s greatest asset is its thousands of kilometres of coastline. The water is among 
the clearest and cleanest in Europe, making watersports of every type possible and 
popular. Whether you want to float atop the Adriatic or explore beneath it, read our guide to the best places to dive, sail and swim in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Croatia.

Sailing in Šibenik
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Sailing in Šibenik

Something of a late-bloomer, Šibenik is growing out of the shadow of its more popular Dalmatian siblings. The restoration of its four fortresses and the construction of a shiny new marina and hotel complex are deftly transforming the fortunes of this small city: Šibenik has rocketed from a quietly industrial port town to the region's most promising destination. Šibenik offers everything you could want from an Adriatic holiday: unhurried streets, ancient city walls and pellucid waters. Compared with neighbouring Zadar, its marina is blissfully uncramped, and the city is far better connected to the myriad of islands and islets that define this landscape. The surreal Kornati archipelago, a scattering of bone-dry islands surrounded by translucent waters is a short sail away. Šibenik is establishing itself as an increasingly competent destination for gourmands, with a small but high-yielding crop of fantastic restaurants. Recent Michelin Star winner Pelegrini has pushed Šibenik's food scene onto the international stage. For something more casual, the family-run Barun has long been a favourite with locals out to impress their new date/in-laws/business associates. The interior is as classy as the view – antique chairs, smart tablecloths and plenty of greenery. It's tempting to paint Šibenik as a sort of Cinderella figure when it comes to tourism in Dalmatia. Some of its most attractive monuments took a battering during the war, and its romantic city centre is locked in by an indu

Find epic things to do in Split and the islands with UberBOAT
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Find epic things to do in Split and the islands with UberBOAT

Each summer, swarms of tourists descend upon Split, the main departure point to the islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis. No longer just a gateway to the illustrious islands, Split’s popularity has mushroomed into a tourist industry entirely of its own being. And it’s not hard to see why.  Split’s dazzling array of antiquities set a wonderful contrast to its vibrant street-life and contemporary restaurant and bar scene. The beating heart of the city, Diocletian’s Palace, is a maze of ancient cobbled streets lined with thoroughly modern restaurants, bars and businesses. It's what makes Split so seductive: you’d be hard-pressed to find a more handsome example of urban living in Dalmatia. With the arrival of UberBOAT – an on-demand speedboat service that’s just as easy as hailing a cab home after a night out, you can take in all the city has to offer at your own pace – before jaunting off to the sparkling pearl necklace of Adriatic islands Šolta, Brač, Vis and Hvar. Once you request a boat for between eight and 12 passengers, the app guides you to a nearby pick-up point where your captain will be waiting. There are two services to choose from: you can glide off to the nearby islands, or book your boat for a half or full day's worth of adventuring. The fare for the transfer from Split to Hvar on an 8-passenger speedboat is HRK 2,600, while a larger speedboat that fits up to 12 passengers is priced at HRK 3,300. With the half-day or a full-day option, you can design your own it