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Croatia is well known for its beautiful coastline and crystal blue waters, so there's no better way to see it than by boat. We find out about the best nautical destinations to explore by boat.

Sailing holidays are a huge tourist attraction in Croatia with many different options from traditional Gulet boats to modern sailing yachts. Gulet boats are common across Croatia, Greece and Turkey and come in all shapes and sizes. The classic wooden hulls and twin masts are truly iconic and offer a great luxurious base to explore from.

Most boats disembark from either Dubrovnik and Split and offer a variety of private charter or group cruise options. These are also key destinations for flights and travel into Croatia.

Some of our favourite destinations include -

Zadar
An ancient city with Roman and Venetian ruins. It's a pretty vibrant place and has the now famous Sea Organ which is like a giant harmonica which is played by the motion of the sea.  It also has a giant solar-powered dancefloor! There are also many top quality fish restaurants within the city walls.

Rovinj
A lovely old town which looks stunning from the sea, with all the houses tightly packed right down to the seafront and a huge church spire, make for some amazing photos. The town can get a little crowded in the summer months, so a boat moored up is the perfect sanctuary from the hords.


Hvar Island
This is a lovely island which also boasts many summer resorts. It's got a fort on the hilltop and the lovely port town of Hvar. There are lovely beaches, and great clubs and bars. It's also the ideal base to explore the nearby Pakleni Islands which also have great choices of coves and beaches.


Korcula
Another typically rustic town is Korcula with it's medieval towers and town squares. This is a much quieter location away from the masses. If you are fortunate you may get to see the famous Moreska sword dance which is performed throughout the summer months.

Mljet
This is a lush and green island and considered one of the most beautiful of the Croatian islands. Famous for its wines, olives and goats cheese there's lots to like about this place. It also has a National Park on the North West of the island which is also a very popular destination for travellers.


Top tips
The sailing season starts in May and runs through to the end of September. This can be a rather abrupt season so check with your operator before travelling out of season as many places may be shut.

Steer clear of Dubrovnik when the large cruise ships are docked. They chuck thousands of people out onto the streets when they visit and make the place very overcrowded. Your captain should know when the cruise ships are scheduled, so do be sure to check it out.

Gulet's come in all shapes and sizes and whilst they may all look much the same, the variance can be quite dramatic. As with any charter or cruise boats the quality of the cabins and onboard services can alter lots from boat to boat so be sure to shop about for the best options for your needs. There are mainly three different categories, Standard, Deluxe and Luxury and all these come in various sizes.

Make sure you book with a reliable operator with a good reputation and experienced crew. Whilst sailing in Croatia is relatively safe, the sea can be unpredictable at times and it pays to be in good hands.

Gulet cruises are also a good opportunity to party and meet new people, so do check with the provider to make sure the type of service they offer fits your expectation. Don't book on a party boat if you were hoping for some peace and quiet.


Croatia sailing destinations
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