Croatia Sailing Vacation Tips & 3 Best Sailing Destinations

Croatia’s spectacular coastline, crystal-clear waters, and over a thousand islands make sailing holidays in Croatia an unforgettable experience.

With a feel of the French Riviera half a century ago, it’s a great place to visit by sea. While the weather is ideal during the height of the season, it’s possible to find tranquil anchorages on a Croatia sailing trip even in summer.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that will help you sail Croatia. This means that at no extra cost to you, The Travel Bunny will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you!

Where to begin your Croatia sailing vacation

croatia sailing split

Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, is a great place to start a yacht tour, since some of the country’s most famous and popular islands, such as Hvar, Brac, and Korcula, are only a short sailing trip away. Diocletian built his retirement residence here in the late 3rd century and the city itself dates back to that time. Some of the world’s most well-preserved Roman structures can be found inside the maze-like Split Croatia palace.

Where would you like to sail on our Croatia yacht tours? Read on to discover some of the best Croatia sailing destinations, from islands to towns along the Dalmatian coast that are popular among charter boat guests.

Best Croatia sailing destinations

croatia sailing sesula
Head out to Šešula during your Croatia sailing week

Šešula in Solta

There is nothing better than spending the night in the serene setting of a beautiful bay while exploring Croatia than the sea bay of Šešula in Solta. Across the river is the historic town of Maslinica, which has postcard-perfect views, picturesque beaches, and shops that sell local products like honey, wine, and schnapps. The calm, turquoise waters of the bay may be enjoyed from the deck of the boat as you relax with a view during your Croatia sailing trip.

Guests who dine at Šišmiš or Šešula restaurants will be given mooring buoys free of charge before setting sail. Booking in advance is recommended during the high season.

The history of the island’s famous Zinfandel and traditional vineyards can be learned at Kaštelanac winery, which offers pickup of local wine.

croatia sailing vis
Make sure to add Vis to your Croatia sailing itinerary!


During its time as a military base, Vis remained closed to the public for 40 years, leading to little development and plenty of unspoiled lands. You can explore Croatia by day sailing and arriving in Vis late in the afternoon.

There are military tours departing from Komiza and Vis Town, which feature spectacular nature and interesting history. Aside from its winemaking tradition dating back to ancient times, it also boasts local vineyards where wine can be sampled.

During peak season, you can reserve a berth in the large quay or moor your boat for a fee at the mooring buoys. You can rent a scooter or bicycle for exploring the winding roads, or visit Lipanović, one of the most popular wineries, just 10 minutes away on foot. If you’re sailing with Sailo on a skippered charter, it’s worth making a stop.

sailing croatia dubrovnik
When you arrive in Dubrovnik with a Croatia sailing charter, don’t head out to the small harbor!


Dubrovnik dates all the way back to the 7th century when it was called Ragusa. The historic Old Town is surrounded by stone walls dating from the Middle Ages, adding to the ambiance of its fabulous architecture. A high number of travelers of all types enjoy its ambiance today.

The town was once called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” by Lord Byron. The architectural wonder of the ancient town and turquoise sea has attracted many tourists in recent years to see where the series “Game of Thrones” was filmed. There are also breathtaking views of the old city center from the defensive walls. I could write several destination guides about Dubrovnik alone since there is so much to see and do!

When you want to rent a Dubrovnik Croatia sailing yacht charter, ACI Marina Dubrovnik and Marina Frapa are the closest marinas. They have all the essential amenities and are free for anchoring or mooring. The small harbor is off-limits, but the two marinas are within easy reach.

croatia sailing hvar
Hvar Island, one of the best Croatia sailing destinations

Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea

It’s no wonder that an increasing number of visitors are choosing to travel to Croatia, embark on a Croatia yacht charter, and enjoy a sailing experience every year. But with so many options, where do you go?

There’s no place like Croatia’s islands to tap into your sense of adventure and marvel at its beauty. If you have a passion for exploring the waters of Croatia, you are welcome, regardless of whether you are a trained skipper.

Discover more Croatia sailing destinations: 15+ destinations to see by boat in Croatia

How do Americans rent boats in Croatia? Do they need a boat license?

croatia sailing lessons

Croatia does not require a boat license if you have completed your American boat license. A valid nautical license is required for at least one person on board, according to EU laws. The license is also called an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

If you have one of the following US licenses in their original form, the authorities will accept either the USSA, which is issued by the US Sailing Association, or the ASA issued by the American Sailing Association.

You can rent a boat in Croatia with any of the following licenses:

  • Bareboat chartered boats
  • Bbareboat chartered yachts (up to 30 GT)
  • Boats for private use
  • Yachts up to 30 GT (Gross Tonnage) used for private purposes.

The ICC license should be held alongside a VHF license, which is a license to operate a radio on a boat or yacht. Before renting a boat, make sure you have a crew list with details about all the members of your crew, including their full names and passport numbers.

croatia sailing guide
Croatia sailing guide for novice and advanced sailors

Croatia sailing opportunities

Croatia boat rental license-free

Despite the fact that no license is required to operate a boat on international waterways, it is important to note that Croatian regulations prohibit anyone from operating any boat without a valid license. It is also possible to have an adventure-filled holiday using other options.

Croatia boat rental with skipper

A qualified skipper will take you on a boat trip without requiring you to have a license. This option is available to those without boat licenses (or to those who have boat licenses but need a break to experience the waters from a different standpoint). While your skipper navigates the open waters and takes care of the boat, you can relax and enjoy the view during the entire Croatia sailing vacation.

Croatian boat license courses

It’s relatively easy to get a boat license and become a skipper in Croatia if you don’t have a beard and a hook. In many academies in Croatia, you can take a boat license course. Each Croatia sailing course is 3-7 days long and includes theory and practical tests, depending on the type of license. You can sail through the Croatian islands at your own pace with these courses and become your own captain.

Sailo can help

It can be overwhelming, I know! Visit Sailo’s website or reach out to one of Sailo’s boating experts for assistance in finding the perfect solution for your holiday adventures.

About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Article published in collaboration with Sailo.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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