Why Sailing is the Best Way to See Croatia

best way to see croatia

Everyone wants a fantastic holiday experience

What is the best way to see Croatia? When you travel to a new country you want to know what the best way to see it is.

So you do your homework…

Travel forums and social media are packed full of people asking the same questions time and again. Wanting advice on itineraries and schedules from those that have been before. What to see, how to get around. Whether they are trying to pack too much in or can squeeze in a stop at x on the way to y.

Making the most of your vacation

This makes sense. Vacations are short and time is precious. Furthermore, they are not cheap – you work all year to reward yourself with a break. You want your vacation to go seamlessly and to make the most out of it. No one wants to have a holiday that was ‘alright’, you want one that will live on in your memory for a lifetime. Sustaining you until the next vacation opportunity arises.

It takes all sorts

So in this article, we will explain why we believe that a sailing holiday is the best way to see Croatia. No matter what sort of ‘holidayer‘ you are, or what your interests are, we think a yacht charter will make everyone happy.

What is the best way to see Croatia?

What do we mean by the best way to see Croatia? As well as seeing the sights this means appreciating the lifestyle, meeting the people, finding out about the culture and customs, enjoying the food and drink. To delve into Croatia and fall in love with it you need to appreciate the pace of life.

Appreciate the pace of island life during your holiday to Croatia

All-inclusive hotels do not give a good feel for a country

We can all agree that staying in an all-inclusive hotel is not conducive to getting to know the area you go to. By very definition, everything is supplied, so there is little impetus for holidayers to leave the boundaries of the hotel. Often, these hotels are large multinationals that give little back to the local economy.

Although all-inclusive hotels may be good value or at least enable you to pin down your vacation budget, they could quite easily be anywhere. It is like going to Berlin and sitting in an Irish bar. If you want to fully experience Croatia, to get a feel for life there, you need to go a bit more native. So maybe moving around is the best way to see Croatia…

A whistle-stop tour leaves you exhausted

Touring Croatia intending to see all the sights can also backfire. It is not necessarily the best way to see Croatia. If you pack the itinerary too tightly it ends up being just a tick-box exercise that leaves you exhausted and needing a holiday to recover! All that traveling and moving around, one day here, two days there. Packing and unpacking. Never really having time to stop and appreciate anything. Although at the end of it you might have ticked off a few national parks, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, maybe even a couple of hours on an island, what did you manage to achieve and see in detail?

Don’t lose focus – see less but enjoy all the details!

Accept that the best way to see Croatia is not to try and see it all in one go. You will fall in love with this country and look forward to return trips, so take one area at a time and do it well. The Dalmatian coast alone has at least three vacations worth of sight seeing!

Tricky travel plans

Croatia is lacking a decent train service. During high-season, the roads are busy, especially near the borders. The idea of being able to see all of those ‘must-see’ places in one visit without spending the whole time traveling is logistically very challenging. To get to Dubrovnik by road you have to cross two borders – into and out of Bosnia Herzegovina. Hours of your holiday that you will never get back. We strongly advise against getting a coach between Dubrovnik and Split during the high season. Tourism is booming and the mainland is becoming overloaded with crowds.

Limit your stress – hectic holidays help no one!

If only there was a way of traveling around without having to pack and unpack or wait in queues… where the journey is an enjoyable part of the experience… Surely that would be the best way to see Croatia?!

Croatia Full of Islands

There are two sides to Croatia: the mainland and the islands. Both have great things to do and see and you should spend time on each. Spend a couple of days on the mainland after you arrive, but don’t overlook the islands. You will need a week sailing around the islands to see them properly. Then when you are back on land again you can have another couple of days visiting another area before you return home.

You can skip straight to look through our recommendations on the best way to see Croatia, or read on to find out why.

A lot of Croatia is off shore

Croatia is a country full of islands. Although there is some debate as to the actual number, suffice to say that there are well over a thousand islands, islets, rocks and reefs. If you like your coastline, you will find that 70% of it is off-shore circling the islands. What is more, about 3,300kmof Croatia’s land is surrounded by sea. These islands float in beautifully clear territorial waters that stretch almost 19,000km2. So that is a sizeable proportion of the country that is unconnected to the mainland.

The pristine and relatively untouched paradise

Throughout history, during periods of invasion, many of the citizens fled to the Adriatic islands. Life here is full of tradition and culture where you will see a different side to life on the mainland. Unlike much of the rest of the Mediterranean, the islands of Croatia are relatively untouched and pristine. Big hotel chains and overdevelopment have been held at bay. Only the biggest of the islands are connected by ferry services so if you want the freedom to enjoy and explore this water world then you need to travel by yacht.

Miss the islands and you miss the point

So to come to Croatia but not visit the islands is a mistake. You will be missing an important and intensely beautiful part of the country out. A trip to the islands should be central to making sure your visit to Croatia is the best experience possible.

hvar fortress looking towards the Pakleni islands

Is a sailing holiday in Croatia right for us?

Sailing holidays are so versatile and flexible that everyone can enjoy them, no matter what your age or interests. The best way to see Croatia is by allowing everyone on the holiday to make the most of their time. You can go on a voyage without the chores associated with traveling. No packing and unpacking, everything you need comes with you and you get to choose where to go and what to do. Go at your own pace, and change your mind whenever you like!

Endless possibilities, but let’s flesh one out…

Now you know that a sailing holiday is the best way to see Croatia. Moreoever, that sailing holidays are pretty much perfectly suited to all types of travelers. Next you should read up on some great reasons why you should go on a sailing holiday. But before you do that, we will sketch out our dream vacation ideas of the best way to see Croatia…

The best way to see Croatia in 10-14 days

Split to Dubrovnik

Get a mid-week flight to Split. Stay in the Diocletian’s Palace in Old Split. Enjoy the winding limestone streets of the old town, full of life and buzz. Walk up the Marjan Hill and test the Adriatic sea at the local beach. Maybe head to Trogir for a day to see this wonderful old town.

On Saturday, charter a yacht and sail down the coast towards Dubrovnik for a week. Visit Hvar, Korčula, Mljet and the Elaphiti islands. Arrive in Dubrovnik on Friday and spend a further couple of days exploring this wonderful jewel of south Dalmatia. Find out what our top 10 things to do in Dubrovnik are. Fly home from Dubrovnik and tell anyone who asks what the best way to see Croatia is!

Variations on a theme

Rather than heading one-way down the coast, there are also plenty of circular routes that you can take. Use the same methodology – arrive a few days before the yacht charter. Get a bit of mainland exploring in, acclimatize, get into the rhythm of life, do some shopping, see some of the sites. Then on Saturday, head to your base marina and sail off for an amazing week sailing around the islands. Return on the following Saturday when you have the opportunity to spend a few more days in another center before you fly home. Perhaps stay in Šibenik and visit the Krka waterfalls.

Depending on your budget, these mainland stays could be in anything from luxury boutique hotels nestled in the middle of the historical hearts of the regions cities, to handy good value AirBnB apartments.

Do you agree?

Let us know your thoughts, do you agree that this is the best way to see Croatia? How would you like to do it? Our team is here to work for you to tailor make a dream sailing holiday that suits you perfectly!

Next you should read about who should try a sailing holidaywhen the best time to visit is, and get some great reasons to come!

  • Tipping your crew on a sailing holiday in Croatia

    Tipping Your Crew… Why? How much? When?

    Why tipping your yacht crew is important In short, tipping your crew is important because they work really hard and deserve it. But perhaps you want a bit more of an informed discussion... [...]

  • Best time to sail in croatia

    When is the Best Time to Sail in Croatia?

    The best time to sail in Croatia You can sail along the Dalmatian coast from April to October but in this article we look at when is the very best time to [...]

  • APA

    AP-eh? Explaining APA

    In this article, we demystify the mnemonic APA (advance provisioning allowance). Read on to find out why you need to budget for it, what it includes and how much you are likely [...]