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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

Dubrovnik and Islands

Lastovo, Korcula, Hvar, Vis

North of Trogir

Istria Peninsula

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 06-Dec-2007

Cres, Krk, Rab, Pag, Losinj

Kvarner Bay: Cres, Krk, Rab, Pag, Losinj

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 05-Aug-2007

Brac, Solta, Split and Trogir

Popular bareboat charter area.I have not seen Split yet, but Trogir is wonderful, and very close to the airport if picking up or dropping off guests. Remember to add guests to your LIST OF PERSONS.

Howard [ Just Imagine ] 25-Jun-2007

Croatian Formalities (Formalities)

When obtaining the official vignette (sticker) the skipper of a vessel who intends to change crews during sailing in the Republic of Croatia is also obliged to provide a list of persons who will be staying aboard the vessel during the validity of the official vignette (sticker), with the total number of persons listed not exceeding a double capacity of the unit capacity of the vessel increased by 30 %. (Actually works out quite generously to about 18 or 20 persons/year for a 10 meter boat)

The list of persons does not include those who are staying aboard the vessel when it is in port or at anchor (i.e. Visitors onboard in port or at anchor, who do not actually sail with the boat, need not be added to the list). The list of persons can be provided in full when obtaining the official vignette (sticker), but it can also be provided successively, at the latest during the first embarkation of the individual persons included in the list. If the list of persons is being filled successively, it must be verified in the Harbour Master's Office, or branch office, as such persons are entered in the list. The number of changes related to persons provided in the list is not restricted.
If the skipper of a vessel does not intend to change crew during his stay in Croatian waters and during the validity of the official vignette (sticker) he has no obligation to report to the Harbour Master's Office, or branch office.
Note: The list of persons does not include persons that embarked outside of Croatia (i.e. the original crew).
Children under 12 can be excluded from the list of persons.


The skipper of a vessel entering the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia by sea is obliged to take the shortest route to the nearest port open to international traffic, in order to perform border control formalities, to obtain the relevant official vignette (sticker) and for verification of crew members at the Harbour Master's Office, or branch office.
The skipper of a vessel which is brought into Croatia by road, or which is moored in a port or in some other approved location within the Republic of Croatia, is obliged to obtain the official vignette (sticker) and to verify the list of crew members, in the Harbour Master's Office, or a branch office, prior to setting out to sea. The official vignette (sticker) is not obligatory for a vessel the length of which is less than 2.5 metres, or with a total driving power of less than 5 KW. The official vignette (sticker) must be displayed in a visible location on the vessel, and its period of validity is one year from the date of issue.
A vessel sailing into the Republic of Croatia must carry the following original documents:
The official vignette (sticker) Verified list of crew and passengers
Verified list of persons staying aboard the vessel (for vessels which intend to change crew during sailing in the Republic of Croatia).
Proof of seaworthiness of the vessel
Proof that the skipper of the vessel is able and qualified to command the vessel
Proof of third party insurance (for vessels with a driving power exceeding 15 KW)
Proof of ownership, or the owner's authorisation to use the vessel.
By obtaining the official vignette (sticker) the following dues will have been settled:
Fee for safety of sailing Fee for using facilities ensuring safety of sailing (lighthouses, buoys, etc.)
Fee for maritime information chart Administrative fee.

Read more here


Howard [ Just Imagine ] 05-Feb-2010

Exchange Rate

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Howard [ Just Imagine ] 09-Apr-2009

VIPme Broadband (Internet)

Internet access in Croatia

179 Kn for the USB dongle from any VIPNET store. Sometimes in high demand locally and often out of stock.

Also need to buy a recharge voucher (from Vipme store or any tobbaconist) for an additional 200Kn. Once activated, recharge the 200Kn voucher on the VIPME web page and the go to selct options and select the 500MB for 200Kn option.

The software installs automatically from the USB stick when you connect it to your laptop. You can hear the USB stick install as a drive first, then uninstall itself and install the USB cellphone and WiFi by the tones on your computer, each time you connect. 

This gives you GPRS and UMTS access with good coverage almost all over Croatia, with exceptions in some outlying islands for 1 month. The 500MB limit was more than  adequate for our email, weather and normal browsing needs.

Howard and Jayne [ Just Imagine ] 21-Aug-2009