Croatia is a popular tourist destination, known for its unique Mediterranean landscapes and affordable resorts. And with over 1000 miles of mainland coast plus a further 2500 miles from her many islands and islets, the best way to discover Croatia is by sea.
Chartering a boat isn’t a caper reserved only for billionaires—it’s far more straightforward and affordable than you might think. Whether you’re sea-savvy or still wet behind the ears, Borrowaboat keeps the process simple. You can make a fuss-free digital booking of a wide range of yachts, motorboats and catamarans with the option of a skipper too.
With a boat charter you can truly customise your own itinerary and discover hidden coves and beaches unreachable by any other means. Lovers of the sea will relish in the fact that your boat doubles as a pontoon from which you can readily dive into the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.
The various Croatian archipelagos can be extremely popular, especially during the high season, which runs from mid June to mid September. The exclusive use of your own vessel allows you to escape the throngs of the most frequented destinations and travel routes, and creates a luxury experience with privacy for you and your family and friends. A skipper from the area is likely to be a fount of local knowledge too, to really make your holiday unique.
Croatia lays claim to over 1000 islands and islets—the second largest number in the Mediterranean after Greece—so it can be a difficult task to narrow your holiday schedule down. Here are a few highlights which you should try to include in your plans.
The Middle Adriatics
Including Hvar, Mljet, Korcula, Brac and many more—each with their own personality and charm—the Middle Adriatics in central Dalmatia are some of the more popular spots in Croatia’s repertoire, and justifiably so. Set sail from the country’s second city, Split on the mainland—a vibrant mix of old and new—to Šolta just 9 nautical miles away.
Šolta is a quieter destination than its neighbouring islands with numerous sleepy coves. You’ll not be hard pressed to find your own private oasis to dip in the cool waters. Most of Šolta’s beaches are pebbly so you might prefer to sunbathe on deck.
By sea you’ll want to spend time in Maslinica’s marina, sail into the sheltered harbour at Stomorska and explore the many bays of Šolta’s south coast.
The Pakleni Islands to Hvar’s southwest provide your best beach options. Don’t leave before you’ve had a mud bath at Soline Beach near Vlaka. Centuries ago there stood a Roman spa on the very same spot. You can check out the ruins before basking in the healing mineral properties of the bay.
The shallow waters extend for quite some distance so this is a great chance for kids and non-swimmers to enjoy the water. You’ll also be thankful for the shade provided by your boat because the shores are quite exposed to the sun.
The Zadarian Islands
Lying just west of the eponymous Zadar city, this special group of islands are among the most beautiful in the Adriatic. Dugi Otok, literally Long Island in Croatian, is the seventh largest of them and provides some of the best snorkelling you could hope for.
It’s almost 30 miles long but only 3 miles across at its widest and features many interesting natural characteristics. Drop anchor in the impossibly turquoise waters of Sakarun Bay and accompanying beach, noted for its white sands.
Just off the north west tip of Dugi Otok lies the wreck of an Italian cargo ship, Michele, that sank in 1984 with no casualties. This makes an interesting place to investigate with your snorkel or paddle board; mornings are the best time when it’s quieter.
You cannot visit Croatia without spending some time at the famous ancient walled city of Dubrovnik at the country’s most southerly point. Historically known as Ragusa and initially under the protection of the Byzantine Empire, the region has changed hands several times over its long and colourful timeline.
The architecture reflects its many facets, from baroque to Renaissance to Gothic, the Old Town demands a full day of meandering on foot, the best way to uncover its many hidden gems. Depart for the Elaphiti Islands, a quieter archipelago than some of Croatia’s hotspots but no less stunning; Lopud, the second largest, is known for its sandy beaches, most notably the bay of Šunj.
A cruise to Dubrovnik can be an ideal way for those who will be excited to explore some of Croatia’s interesting islands. Depending on your preference, you can opt for different itineraries, which will give you a chance to admire Dubrovnik’s Old Town charms, visit ancient monuments and sail along Malta’s rocky coastline. With such amazing experiences on offer, it is clear to see why these glamping trips through Croatia are so highly sought-after.
Šipan, around 9 miles from Dubrovnik, has some remarkable fish restaurants serving the best of the day’s catch. The Blue Cave on Koločep Island is a magical place to swim and snorkel, and the nearby white sand beach creates the perfect respite from the morning’s activities.
If you’re not quite in a position to buy your own yacht—and let’s face it, who is?—escape the commercial group tours this summer and create an unforgettable holiday with your own private boat charter in Croatia.