Your guide to choosing a sailing route in Croatia
Planning to Sail Croatia? One of the first steps in planning your sailing Croatia holiday is choosing the route that is right for you.
It’s been long known that Croatia is a cruising paradise, perfect for sailing. The Adriatic Sea is the most indented section of the Mediterranean Sea on the continent of Europe. In its present shape, it was formed by the rising of the sea level by 96 meters following the last ice age in the Pleistocene period, when valleys and basins were submerged, and the dry land emerged as elongated islands, separated by sea channels. The Croatian Adriatic coastline is 1,777 km long and occupies most of the eastern Adriatic shoreline.It is only 526 km from the most northerly to the most southerly point as the crow flies, but due to many bays and coves, it is among the three most indented shorelines in Europe. The elongated islands extend parallel to the shore, separated by channels, and counting the island shorelines as well, the total is 5,835 km, which is almost three-quarters of the total Adriatic shoreline. In terms of its length, the Croatian shoreline is the third longest in Mediterranean, after Greece and Italy. Due to its indentation and geological structural characteristics, this type of shoreline is known in the expert literature as Dalmatian. This guide to sailing Croatia will help you decide the best charter area for you. Beginning in the North-East of Croatia, close to Rovinj or in Croatia’s ‘Pearl of the Adriatic‘ also known as Dubrovnik you’re blessed with a big range of choice as to where to sail in Croatia, and where to stop along the way. The Adriatic Sea is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 173 meters. The north part is shallower than 100 meters, and the deepest part (1,228 m) is in the south (known as the South Adriatic basin). Average sea temperatures in the summer months are between 22 °C and 27 °C, and the lowest temperature is in winter, from the shore (about 7 °C). Salinity in the south is 38‰, which is higher than the world average, though this decreases towards the north. Tides are higher in the north (up to about 0.8m) than in the south. The sea current enters the Adriatic along the Albanian coastline, and flows along the Croatian coastline, restricted by the islands, in a northwesterly direction.
The clarity of the seawater in Croatia
The clarity of the seawater rises from around 20 meters in the north to a maximum of 56 meters in the south and is greater in the open sea than by the shore. The seawater reflects different shades of blue, depending on position. In general, the Adriatic Sea along the Croatian coastline is characterized by a particular clarity and intense color, which contributes to the uniqueness of the landscape, along with the picturesque shoreline. There are fishing grounds (white and oily fish) offshore and off the outer islands, while the water is rich in different types of crustaceans. Red coral can be found in habitats at greater depths. The natural beauty and picturesqueness of the Croatian coastline are accentuated by the mild Mediterranean climate, with between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of the sunshine per year, which makes it one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe.
There are 718 islands and islets, 289 rocks and 78 reefs along the coastline, so Croatia called the ‘land of a thousand islands’.
Although the islands amount to only 5.8% of the total surface area of the country, their importance for the geographical identity of the country is much greater. Most are limestone, like the coast. The exceptions are the outer islands of Jabuka and Brusnik, which are volcanic in origin, and the sandy island of Susak. About fifty islands are inhabited (most have several settlements), and according to the population census of 2011, 132,443 people live on them. Although island life is traditionally linked to the sea (fishing, sailing, boatbuilding), each inhabited island is a miniature cosmos in itself.
Its position on the long, indented Adriatic coast, with its unique archipelago, has enabled Croatia to engage in maritime travel and trade since ancient times. Among the Slavic countries, Croatia is the only one whose maritime and Mediterranean orientation has become deeply rooted in the traditions and daily lives of its people.
In accordance with the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, Croatia holds sovereignty of the part of the Adriatic Sea which belongs to its coastline, internal sea waters and territorial waters (about 31,000 km²), and in 2003, declared an Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone, which covers a further 23,870 km²
Popular Croatian sailing routes in Croatia
3 of the biggest destinations for those on sailing charters in Croatia, are the areas surrounding the Kornati, Split-click for more & Dubrovnik, each offering you something different.