Croatia – The new trend in sailing holidays
Croatia is today recognized as one of the top European countries suited for sailing. Vessel renting dates from the 1980s, when Croatia was still a part of much bigger country – Yugoslavia. Despite the War of Independence, which happened in the first half of the 1990s, Croatia recovered remarkably well. After the war, government focused on re-building and building the marinas and promoting the quality services Croatian agencies and entrepreneurs have to offer. This resulted in tourism being Croatia’s key industry, making more and more money each year.
With it’s mild Mediterranean climate and pure sea, Croatia provides the top notch attraction for sailing. With it’s well-indented coast, counts 1244 islands, isles and reefs, but only 66 of them are permanently inhabited. On any of them you can dock with your vessel and enjoy the magical scenery of untouched nature presented in beautiful beaches and charming hidden coves, all surrounded by turquoise color of the Adriatic sea. The islands also offer charming fishing villages, historical anchors and countryside with beautiful olive plantations and vineyards that go together with wine cellars.
There are thousands of vessels available for chartering – from smaller marinas like Pula, Murter or Cres to the bigger, more popular centers like Zadar, Split, Sibenik and Dubrovnik. There are nearly 50 marinas available. There are many agencies (like this Yacht Charter Croatia) where you can rent anything from catamarans, powerboats and sailing boats to luxury yachts and gulets. Each of them can be chartered with a skipper for those without the required experience and valid nautical licenses. The bigger vessels can be crewed with captain, cook and hostess, depends on the needs of the guests.
Organized cruises offered in numerous boat chartering agencies commonly offer a week long adventure of experiencing the Croatian side of Adriatic coast. Usually they begin and end in bigger marinas like above mentioned Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar etc. But on the way you get to visit less-known tourist destinations, true pearls of Mediterranean Croatia, as well as many of Croatian National and Nature Parks.
At each stop there is the chance to explore ancient and/or medieval landmarks, pine forests, beautiful sandy or pebble beaches (some public and others secluded), unspoiled lakes in the heart of an island (salty ones can be found on islands of Mljet and Kornati and fresh water lake Vrana is located on Island of Cres). There is a plenty of time to lay down on the deck or on the beach to get some tan, or hide in the shade on the borders of pine forest during the hot peak of summer.
Everywhere you go, you can enjoy traditional Croatian cuisine, along with wide range of top quality wine offer. Dishes made from all kinds of local fish and other seafood, along with lamb are not to be missed. In most cases dishes are made from fresh ingredients. In some restaurants fish will be brought in front of you, so you can be sure it is fresh. Also, you have to try local delicacies such as olives, olive oil, figs, cheeses and prosciutto.
Although, at least on the larger cruisers, there is a full cooking service usually also offering traditional dishes, you would not want to miss lunch or dinner in traditional taverns, with their warm, family atmosphere, complemented with traditional musicians and delicious homemade cuisine.
If you are concerned about gaining few extra pounds from all this delicious meals, you can experience a more active holiday. You will discover that the Croatian coast is a paradise for divers and the preserved natural environment is ideal for those who love walking, hiking or cycling. Almost every island has a circular path around it, offering a picturesque experience of rough Mediterranean nature contrasted with smooth turquoise sea surface. Finally, if you are an adrenalin addict, you can try out rafting, parachuting, bungee jumping or paragliding.