Croatia is a member of the European Union lying along the Eastern Adriatic, 130 nautical miles across the turquoise Adriatic (Split to Ancona).
The picturesque Croatian Coast with its 1185 islands, islets and reefs just off the mainland, lives up to its reputation as being one of world’s most beautiful coastlines and marine national parks. It has 1,777 km of mainland coastline, and a further 4,058 km of island coastline is divided into 4 regions, the Northern Seacoast, Northern, Central and Southern Dalmatia.
Dalmatia displays strong Roman/Italian influences evident in the architecture and is the perfect place for cruising and exploring pristine beauty afloat.
The Capital of Dalmatia is the City of Split which sits by the Adriatic within the walls of The Palace was founded in 305 CE.The larger inhabited islands have a year-round population, that doubles in the summer season with the arrival of tourists and Croatians retreating to their summer houses.
There is increasing investment and development of marinas and other sailing facilities. Marine tourism is particularly strong in the Central Dalmatia region because of the attraction of numerous large islands off the coast near Split and national parks such as the Kornati Islands just to the north.
Croatia has eight national parks with pristine nature: Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Mljet, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Risnjak and North Velebit. Of these Brijuni, Telascia and Mljet National Parks are located on the sea and may be explored by boat.
Brijuni contains 14 islands and islets, having a total area of 36.3 km2. With its indented coastline and diverse flora and fauna, Brijuni is sometimes referred to as Heaven on Earth.
The Kornati National Park has a total area of 220 km2, comprising 89 islands, islets and reefs accounting for around 25% of the park’s area. The rest of the Park is a marine ecosystem. Within the Kornati National Park is the Nature Park Telascica, with lake Mir on the island of Dugi Otok. Towering cliffs following the west coast of the island guard open sea to Italy.
Mljet National Park is found in Southern Dalmatia and is often referred to as the most beautiful of the Adriatic islands. It is famous for its forests and a lake and St Mary’s, a Benedictine monastery from the 12th Century on an island in the lake.
Other islands such as Hvar, Brac, Korcula, Vis and Lastovo are also breathtakingly beautiful, with stunning coastlines, amazing landscapes and incredibly well preserved historical towns. The unspoilt Dalmatian Coast is referred to as the Mediterranean as it used to be.
Croatia, and especially the islands, have been long been a summer tourist destination. Hvar is often listed as one of the top 10 destinations to visit, such as by Lonely Planet in 2012. It is a magnet to the rich and famous on the super yachts seeking respite from the crowded more traditional ports of call in the South of France and Italy.
MARINAS & TOWNS
Mooring in Croatian islands is simple. There are a multitude of safe anchoring bays to drop anchor without charge. There are also many marinas, mooring buoys and fuel stations. Alternatively there are harbour walls to tie up to. Most of the islands have these facilities so the choice is wide. There are many marinas, some of them in coastal towns such as Trogir ACI marina, Split ACI marina, Dubrovnik ACI marina, Skradin or just on the coast like Marina Frapa near Rogoznica.
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Split is an urban town with 2,000 years of history. The Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace in what is now the centre of the town, and this is now this well preserved complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site. From Split you can sail to Trogir in less than hour, and this beautiful Venetian town with its labyrinth of narrow streets is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In all of the small coastal towns and cities will be found a great variety of domestic food and wine. Croatia is very proud of its wine making history, which was established by the Greeks, and its wines, famous for their quality, have won international awards. Fresh fish from the grill is on offer from almost every restaurant and small tavern. For oysters, the skipper should set sail for the town of Ston, North of Dubrovnik.
WEATHER IN DALMATIA
Croatia’s coastal summer season runs from the beginning of May until the end of October, with the peak from mid June until mid September. Sea temperatures reach 25 degrees, but most of the summer it is around 21- 23 degrees Celsius (75F), which makes the Adriatic Sea perfect for swimming.
During the summer, mornings and evenings are usually calm with light maestral winds often picking up in the afternoon. The multitude of bays and anchorages, offer wonderful places of shelter. During the summer there will often be a temporary family run restaurant, with great fresh fish and home grown vegetables even on uninhabited islands.
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