Insider guide to Croatia.

Some of the most experienced charter Captains in the Burgess fleet give us the inside-track on the cruising grounds must-visit anchorages, beaches and bays. From old favourites to new ideas, whatever you want, there is something for everyone in Croatia’s compelling cruising grounds, now that Croatia has reopened for charter.

Don't forget too that all these yachts and many others are signed up to our free cancellation policy, so you can book with confidence. Ask your broker for more details.

Absolute seclusion

Blessed with nearly 2,000km of coastline and more than 1,200 islands, Croatia has some of the most impressive coastal scenery in the entire Mediterranean. Superbly set up for cruising by nature itself, the topography is genuinely spectacular, with nature reserves and even rivers ideal for mini-expeditions by tender.

A beautiful bay with Dubrovnik visible in the distance
A beautiful bay with Dubrovnik visible in the distance

Cruise to Split, Hvar (top) and Dubrovnik, taking in the wide variety of historic sites along the way.

The waterfront at Koiza, Vis Island
The waterfront at Koiza, Vis Island

On your way there, perhaps anchor off a small island such as Vis, or one of the several remote island sanctuaries where one will rarely see another soul.

Watersports galore

The huge appeal of Croatia is that with so much coastline and so many islands you are almost guaranteed to be able to find somewhere idyllic and isolated whenever you choose look for seclusion.

Bays and coves galore in Kornati National Park
Bays and coves galore in Kornati National Park

Captain Graham Smart aboard the 36.2m (118.8ft) METSUYAN IV recommends the Kornati archipelago located in the northern part of Dalmatia. Known for their deserted beaches and natural wilderness, the protected and mostly uninhabited islands, islets and reefs within the Kornati National Park offer sheltered bays in which to drop anchor. 'The warm water and calm bays are superb launch pads in which to learn all manner of water sports,' says Captain Graham. 'For her size METSUYAN IV also offers a hard to beat arsenal of tenders and toys, great for exploring nearby coves.'

Croatia's most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, near Bol on the island of Brač
Croatia's most famous beach, Zlatni Rat, near Bol on the island of Brač

Captain Jacques Heymann aboard the 73m (239.5ft) TITANIA recommends the island of Brač for watersports. Croatia’s most-photographed beach, the breathtaking 500m Zlatni Rat near Bol on the south coast, has a ‘golden horn’ that juts out into the sea, changing shape, depending on prevailing conditions. 'Directly in front of the Zlatni Rat, where the wind builds as it passes through the narrowest part of the channel, conditions are perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing,' recommends Captain Jacques. 'For stand up paddleboarding, visit sheltered Sutivan on Brač’s north coast, or go sea kayaking along the island’s shore to discover hidden coves.'

The secret cove enveloping Stiniva beach on Vis Island
The secret cove enveloping Stiniva beach on Vis Island

Along with her many watertoys, including scuba diving equipment and an extensive waterpark and inflatable slide, TITANIA is also a certified RYA Training Centre and has two qualified jetski instructors within the crew. Captain Jacques also recommends Brač for diving. 'Off the island you will find phenomenal diving and snorkelling spots,' he says. 'Alternatively, the waters surrounding Vis offer excellent diving opportunities, including two ancient Roman shipwrecks and numerous other wrecks from later periods up until the Second World War.'

National parks

Located in the far south, the island of Mljet slumbered through the centuries unnoticed. Even the Venetians passed it by, so no grand harbour towns developed here. Captain Martin Shairp aboard the 70m (229.7ft) JOY has been cruising the Dalmatian coastline for a number of years.

One of the saltwater lakes hidden among the dense pines in Mljet National Park
One of the saltwater lakes hidden among the dense pines in Mljet National Park

He recommends stepping ashore to discover the stunning Mljet National Park, where dense pinewoods conceal two interconnected saltwater lakes. 'You can hire bicycles and pedal around the lakes’ perimeters,' he says.

The vivid waters of Odysseus' Cave on Mljet
The vivid waters of Odysseus' Cave on Mljet

The 54.2m (177.8ft) TALISMAN MAITON is another yacht available to charter in the Adriatic. At her helm is Captain Robert Smith who recommends anchoring to the south of Mljet to explore Odysseus’ Cave. 'Take the tender and visit the cave around midday, when the water is a stunning cobalt blue and perfect for swimming,' he says.

The waterfalls of Krka National Park
The waterfalls of Krka National Park

The Krka National Park is another of Croatia’s finest natural attractions. The Krka River stretches almost 50 miles from the interior mountains to the sea near Sibenik and boasts a number of waterfalls and canyons with some awesome walking trails and swimming spots to discover.

Take a dip in the cooling waters at Skradinski Buk in Krka National Park
Take a dip in the cooling waters at Skradinski Buk in Krka National Park

'Just a few miles inland from Sibenik there is a swimming hole at Skradinski Buk,' says Captain David Cherington aboard the 59.3m (194.6ft) MEAMINA. 'Probably the best known and most spectacular of the waterfalls along the river, you can swim right beneath the cascading water.'

Beach heaven

When it comes to beaches Croatia has some of the finest and probably also the widest variety. The island of Rab, for example, has more sandy beaches than any other place in the whole of the Adriatic (along with many rocky beaches).

Rab Island in north Dalmatia has a plethora of sandy beaches
Rab Island in north Dalmatia has a plethora of sandy beaches

Captain Michael Conway aboard the 65m (213.3ft) ILLUSION recommends this most northerly island in the Dalmatian archipelago for families. 'There are around 30 sandy beaches in all, as well as plenty of picturesque coves,' he says. 'Rab’s crystal clear, warm shallow seas make it an ideal anchorage offering something for everyone in the charter party to enjoy.'

One of the hundreds of beguiling bays in Pag Island
One of the hundreds of beguiling bays in Pag Island

Lying south of Rab, the island of Pag boasts the longest coastline in the Adriatic. At 170 miles long, it offers the waterborne plenty of opportunity to discover secret coves, peaceful bays and deserted beaches.

Cultural highs

The islands are amongst the prettiest in the whole of the Mediterranean partly thanks to the well-preserved medieval towns with their ancient stone walls and red-roofed buildings. There are opportunities to step ashore and explore on just about every island as well as the medieval cities along the mainland. Time it right and avoid the tourist crowds as you discover ancient towns with beautiful architecture located within ancient walls.

The fortified medieval town of Korcula
The fortified medieval town of Korcula

'Korcula offers a 13th century symphony of cream coloured stone churches, cobblestone streets and perfect town squares,' says Captain Pier Paolo Ercini aboard the 39.6m (129.9ft) SIMA. 'And, of course, the ancient medieval city of Dubrovnik, which is known for its city walls, cannot be missed when cruising the Dalmatian coastline,' he says. 'Early evening is the best time to walk the city walls when the temperature cools and the pink light glows on the city’s ochre rooftops.'

Wander the city streets of Split and the huge palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the largest and best-preserved Roman palace in the world
Wander the city streets of Split and the huge palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the largest and best-preserved Roman palace in the world

'Having spent the past 10 years visiting Croatia each summer, the Dalmatian coast is by far one of  my favorite cruising grounds,' says Captain Mike O’Neil aboard the 61.3m (201.1ft) KATHARINE. 'It is a perfect blend of exquisite natural beauty, endless watersports destinations, numerous cultural and historic attractions, and a vibrant restaurant and night life scene. Some of my favorite destinations include Rovinj, Skradin, Kornati National Park, Hvar, and in particular Korčular which is an amazing gem of a destination, along with the Orebic and its surrounding winelands.

'A visit here is not complete without enjoying a traditional Croatian lunch and wine tasting at the Korta Katarina winery and villa. And of course Hvar Town - the Dalmatian Coast’s version of Saint-Tropez. It may not be celebrating its vibrant nightlife scene this summer, but nothing can take away the cultural scene of this picture perfect town.'

Seclusion awaits in Croatia, like here in Kornati National Park
Seclusion awaits in Croatia, like here in Kornati National Park

Fringed by translucent waters and endowed with unspoilt nature and architectural glories, the best way – in fact the only way – to explore the more than 1,000 islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is by yacht. Contact your Burgess charter expert for more information on the fleet heading to these stunning waters.

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact your Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: LondonMonacoNew YorkMiamiSingapore or all other locations.

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