One of the most beautiful cruising grounds in Europe. Hundreds of pretty anchorages and ports steeped in history.
The climate is dry and comfortable. Hot during the summer day, pleasantly cool, T-shirt weather in the evenings and even a little chilly in the early morning before sunrise.
There are very few mosquitoes and the yellow-jacket wasps seem quite docile and harmless if you ignore them, and manage to keep them out of your beer.
There are few sandy beaches, but the rock shelves and pebble beaches are a nice change. The water is crystal clear and mostly above 24 degrees Celsius.
Croatia used to be very inexpensive but is fast catching up with the rest of the EU, and many long-time cruisers complain bitterly about pricing. If you steer clear of the expensive marinas, with a few exceptions, one can anchor free almost every night. Many bays have moorings, at a fee, but usually I was able to find anchorage nearby that was free. I think, only twice I had to pay a fee (< 100Kn or €14) to anchor.
I have heard that it gets more expensive for boats over 14 meters, particularly in the Kornati islands. I would welcome input on this from other cruisers. Please add your comments.
Many of the anchorages are quite deep and you need a good 60 meters of chain, although I rarely used much more than 40 meters on my 20Kg Bruce copy anchor.
Some of the areas and anchorages, (especially up north) are very quiet and remote, and I was frequently the only boat around and sometimes only two or three other boats in an anchorage.
The local people are friendly, and most speak fluent English, having grown up with American sitcoms on the local TV with Croatian subtitles.
Other cruisers and charterers seem to be predominantly German speaking(German, Austrian, Swiss) in July, and more Italian in August and September. There are also many Slovenian charterers.
There is a lot of nudity on boats and beaches, especialy during the German influence, which tones down a bit as the Italians move in.
Restaurants serve excellent fish, beef and lamb and are not expensive by USA or continental standards. Pizzas are venetian style with a very thin, soft wet crust center.
One of my favorite lunches was Dalmatian ham, cheese, tomatoes, bread, and local wine.
The local beer is excellent and reasonably priced. I drank mostly Karlovachko lager.
Wines can be cheap, but vary in quality, even from bottle to bottle of the same brand. Often one can buy wine in the supermarket in plastic bottles, or bring your own and fill them from a spigot, very inexpensively. Sometimes you will be delightfully surprised, and sometimes a little disappointed.
The local cultures, scenery and flavors change as one moves north. I was advised to spend as much time as as I could in Croatia and and to go all the way North including the Istrian Peninsula. I spent from June 15 - September 3 in Croatia, had a wonderful time, and did not even see the big cities of Split or Dubrovnik. Well, you have to save something for next time.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 15-Jun-2007
Croatia is certainly a great place to cruise but it is getting more expensive. Our book - The Croatia Cruising Companion, covering the Dalmatian Coast and Islands - goes through each marina, port and anchorage in detail, including plenty of onshore information. We've also set up a blog www.croatiacruisingcompanion.blogspot.com
to obtain readers feedback and to provide updates. We've lived in Croatia for 6 years now and spent three years researching the book but we're still discovering new things. There's just so much to see and, though much of Croatia is gearing up in terms of its tourist offer, there are still hundreds of unspoilt bays and villages.Jane [ Croatia Cruising Companion ] 15-Jun-2007
Turkey Cruising Guide
Howard [ Just Imagine ] 14-Sep-2007