Recently I went sailing in Croatia with Sunsail holidays around the Dalmation coast from Agana. I was given the opportunity to learn how to sail a yacht and I became addicted straight away. Sailing in Croatia is definitely a trip of a lifetime and has everything you want from a holiday on the water. You can sail between the stunning bays and marinas, and visit ancient ruins and UNESCO sites. Or, visit the many hidden beaches, lagoons, and coves that are Instagram-worthy.
If water sports are your thing then try your hand at paddle boarding, kayaking, or snorkelling. The best bit is that sailing in Croatia is flexible, you can take a chartered boat or hire one independently (with the right training).
Croatia is a stunning coastal paradise in Europe, known by many as the new Ibiza. If you’ve always wanted to visit Croatia, I suggest sticking around to find out why sailing is a perfect holiday for you.
Why sailing in May and June in Croatia is perfect
An ideal time for sailing around Croatia is in May or June, which falls under the pre-tourist season for excellent airfare and yacht rate discounts. You’ll get insight into popular sailing destinations, where to book and find a yacht, and activities to prepare for an unforgettable Croatia sailing holiday.
The weather is pleasant and sunny and the temperature can reach high 20 degrees C. It makes it ideal for water activities, swimming, or just sunbathing on the boat. I went sailing in Croatia during mid May and it was so hot, that I got burnt.
⇒ You can check what is currently required to enter Croatia before travelling from the UK and the rest of the world.
Sailing in Croatia With Sunsail
Croatia is one of the best sailing destinations in the world. This is due to its crystal blue waters, a coastline dotted with medieval architecture, and the calm, warm weather perfect for sailing. With all that said, you’re probably ready to set sail, but not too sure where to begin.
This is where Sunsail comes in, a company that specialises in bareboat yacht charters, skippered, and flotilla holidays. Sunsail offers excellent opportunities for sailing enthusiasts from top class fleets to the world’s best sailing destinations.
The sailing company boasts a large selection of yachts and catamarans in both Dubrovnik and Marina Agana. Offering guests an unforgettable sailing holiday depending on what you want from your trip. You can check here for more information.
Sailing in Marina Agana
Sunsail has two main bases in Croatia that they use for the catamaran or yacht charter sailing holidays. Our base was Marina Agana, a moorings area with a beautiful 16th-century fortified tower. It is just a short drive 19 km from Split international airport.
The small town is located on the Adriatic Highway and is a great location to explore the Dalmatian Coast. The area is dotted with over a thousand islands such as Hvar, Šolta, and Brač, which are all only a short boat ride from the marina.
There is a reception at Marina Agana where you will sign in for your charter Sunsail boat. Some of the facilities at the dock include a toilet and shower, ATM, and a nice restaurant that looks out to the tower.
The opening times are from Sunday to Thursday between 8:30 and 16:30 and on Fridays and Saturdays between 8:30 and 19:00
Sail with the Sunsail Lagoon 464 Boat
My home was the Sunsail 464 catamaran and our captain was Ivan, an experienced local sailor. The yacht was designed to guarantee a smooth sail along the Croatian coast. It was built with comfort, convenience, and space in mind, allowing guests to be able to enjoy a spacious onboard experience while on holiday.
The cabins were much bigger than I thought they would be. Mine had a comfy double bed, ensuite bath, and some cupboard space. The rooms also come with UBS Port for charging your necessary equipment.
You could bask under the Mediterranean sun on the fly level sun pad or kick back in the spacious cockpit as you steer from islands to village docks. Amenities on board include air conditioning, a skipper cabin, a generator, and a first aid kit.
You can sail Croatia independently or join a flotilla holiday with the 464 cabins. Find out more about the yacht’s layout, the number of berths, cabins, and more on their website.
Milna island of Brac
Why not visit the stunning Milna village and Marina Kanarija on Brač Island? It is situated on the western side of Split-Dalmatia County and was our first sail stop in Croatia.
The area is well known for its gorgeous natural landscape, leisurely atmosphere, and olive oil production. It is also an ideal destination for those who love sailing, scuba diving, and swimming.
The village itself is a little gem, we docked in the marina just in time to watch the vibrant colours changing in the sky for sunset. Then went for dinner along the waterfront in a local restaurant called Palma. It definitely was the perfect start to our sailing trip in Croatia.
- Milna village is a great base for the night if you want to visit the famous Golden Horn
Wine tasting at UNESCO protected Stari Grad Plain
What better way to spend a night, than getting off the boat and experiencing a local wine tasting on the UNESCO Protected Stari Grad Plain. This is an activity that you should add to your Croatian sailing itinerary. Plus it is a great way to support a local Croatian business.
Stari Grad is a town on the northern side of the island of Hvar and is one of the oldest in Europe. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its ancient Greek inspired agricultural landscape that has literally remained intact since it was colonised.
If you’re looking for a culinary experience, you’ll have many top-quality restaurants to choose from. We spent a pleasant evening at Hora Hvar restaurant/Farm located in the middle of the Stari Grad Plain.
All their food and wine are organically grown from their land. We did a local wine tasting and ate a traditional peka dinner while watching the sunset. It was pretty sensational, just sitting there taking it all in with a glass of wine. They also have a small museum and gift shop with products from the farm.
Another great option is doing a full day tour from Hvar, which takes you to Stari Grad to do a wine tasting.
Mountain Bike Riding
Mountain bike riding is a popular sport especially now that you can get electric bikes, allowing everyone to join in. My first time electric Mountain bike riding was in Spain and I have been hooked ever since. A cycle in the Dalmatia region would grace you with over 3,000 km of trails for the avid mountain biker. Do this exciting activity while on your sailing vacation in Croatia to see more of the country.
We headed to the highest peak of the Brač (pronounced bra-ch) and took in the stunning views across the Adriatic Sea, before gearing up and decanting downhill 26km at a thrilling speed that would get any heart pumping and ending at the Golden Horn beach.
As an introduction to the Croatian terrain, you can take a 3hr electric mountain tour from Split. The tour includes a bike, helmet, and refreshments. Start at the old city markets where you can marvel at the wonderful historical architecture. Then venture up Marjan Hill where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the town, beaches, and offshore islands.
Another option is doing the Self-Guided E-Bike Tour in Hvar, which allows you to go at your own pace.
Go swimming at Golden Horn Beach
The Golden Horn is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coast and one of the most famous in Croatia. It is certainly one place you can’t miss while sailing in Croatia and one highlight on the Sunsail itinerary. The Golden Horn is also known as the Zlatni Rat, a beach that sits on the southern coast of Brac. The Golden Horn provides you with the most stunning sights of aquamarine waters and an opportunity for sunbathing and relaxing.
Once you have moored your catamaran, visitors can swim, snorkel or partake in water sports. There is also the opportunity to join in on events that take place on the beach throughout the year. When you’re hungry after all the beach activities, you can grab a snack at the nearby food market or head back to your boat.
We were able to go swimming in the clear turquoise water once we had finished our bike ride. We were lucky enough that the captain was circling the island, while he waited for us to return. Once we had finished he came and collect us in the dinghy and took us back to our catamaran.
Quad Biking on the Island of Hvar
A great adventure you can do on land while on your sailing trip in Croatia is going quad biking. Driving a quad is not only exciting but you can easily reach the old hidden villages and find secret beaches.
It also allows you to access the old small roads, away from the tourist areas, meaning you will see things that most likely wouldn’t while on your holiday. Don’t forget to take your GoPro with you.
We went quad biking from Stari Grad to the famous town of Hvar, where our catamaran was waiting for us to be picked up. It was so much fun, going along the cliffs, through a 1km small tunnel, and stopping at a stunning secluded beach.
You can book a 4hr Off-road Quad Safari Tour in Hvar, while your boat is moored.
Paddleboard in Vinogradišće Bay
Sailing with Sunsail gives you the opportunity to Moore in stunning bays in Croatia, like Vinogradišće Bay. Where you can go paddle boarding, swimming, or even kayaking in the clear blue water. There is also a small white sandy beach if you feel like going to shore and sunbathing.
Vinogradišće Bay is located on the island of Sv. Klement a boat ride away from Hvar. Its crystal clear water and nice seafood restaurants make it popular with smaller boats and yachts. On the mainland, there is a small selection of restaurants along the water and a national park around it that you can explore on foot around the bay.
This was my favorite spot to go for a swim while sailing with Sunsail in Croatia. I could have easily stayed there all day hanging out in that stunning clear water. How about doing a day trip to the stunning blue and green caves that look like they are going glowing?
Finish off your sailing trip with a stopover in Split
If you are flying into Split why don’t you add on a few days in the city? It makes for a great addition to your Croatian holiday and you can easily do it on either side of your sailing trip. Split lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is the second-largest city in Croatia. Meaning there are plenty of amazing things to do in and out of the water.
You can visit the vibrant city and marvel at the city’s architecture while learning about its 1,700yr history in the Diocletian Palace. Afterward, try local cuisine like Black Risotto (Crni Rizot) or Dalmatian Brodetto (Fish Stew) with a glass of local wine. Or, relax with a coffee at the Riva Waterfront cafes or visit the bustling promenade in the afternoon for sundowners.
For all those Game of Thrones fans, you are in for a treat, there is a 2hr tour that takes you around the sites used in the filming. Another day you could go swimming in one of the many spots scattered around the city. If you still have time, then I suggest taking a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is one of the most magical places that I have ever visited and the waterfalls are like nothing I have seen before.
Here is a list of other popular activities that you can book in advance for Split.
How to book your Sailing Croatia Sunsail holiday
If you’re ready for the charming Croatian coast, you can visit the Sunsail official site to book your holiday in advance.
You’ll also find more information about boating in Croatia, such as the yacht type if you want a skipper, details about the sailing conditions, and other vital information.
Self-drive cruise along the Canal du Midi France is another great option if you enjoy taking boating holidays.
Essential items to take Sailing in Croatia
Sailing Shoes (Deck shoes) – Make sure to wear good Sailing or Waterproof shoes that will grip the surface, especially when the boat is wet. I have a pair of Helly Hansen sailing and watersport shoes.
Sunscreen that’s oil free and water resistant and is preferably environmentally friendly. Tanning oil can stain the fabric on board and it is not good for the ocean.
Soft sided luggage or duffel bag and preferably waterproof for your items that you can fold up. Hard luggage will be hard to fit in your cabinets, due to limited space.
Seasickness pills, patches, or bands are perfect for those who get motion sickness, especially when the boat is moving through the waves.
Discover these other Mediterranean Destinations
How about reading some of these other interesting articles on other Mediterranean destinations in Europe.
- Dalaman Turkey – Top things to do in Oludeniz
- Malta & Gozo – Best things to do while visiting for a week
- Nicosia Cyprus – Free Self-Guided Walking Tour
Have you been Sailing in Croatia before? Where did you go and what did do? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
⇒ You can check what is currently required to enter Croatia before travelling from the UK and the rest of the world.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Sunsail holiday during my sailing trip. All views are my own and based on my own experience.
Information and Booking links
- If you are planning on staying in Split before or after your sailing trip, you can check availability for accommodation here.
- Here is a selection of walking tours in Split you can book and prices.
- I took a direct flight from London to Split with Easyjet. They also offer flights from other UK airports to Croatia.
- Book a transfer from Split airport to Marina Agana, which is only a 20mins drive away.