Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Sailing in Croatia, View from Above: Stunning Video from 45 Degrees Sailing

January 31, 2023 - And suddenly it is summer again, and time for sailing in Croatia. A spectacular video from the air by local specialists 45 Degrees Sailing. Meet the Croatia they love - wow!

One of the things I love about Croatia is that its sheer diversity attracts so many different people with different passions, who then become experts and artists in their niche.

I am not a sailor, but I seriously could be tempted by the incredible work of Nick Hathaway of 45 Degrees Sailing (and I am talking just about his videography, the feedback from his sailing tours is nothing less than outstanding).

So pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine and dream of summer on the water in Croatia. What a gorgeous video and promotion of Croatia! Full details about the video below.

CROATIA IN 4K Video UHD - Relaxing Music with Sailing and Coastal Islands.

Flying Over Croatia in 4K with 45 Degrees Sailing See islands Šolta, Hvar, Badija, Brač, Vis, Bisevo, Zečevo Towns of Komiža, Vis and Stari Grad

Adriatic Sea and Dalmatian Islands Dobrodošli u Hrvatsku. Welcome to Croatia.

We bring to you Croatia in 4K video UHD. Set to relaxing music, fly over Croatia like a bird and see the islands Šolta, Hvar, Brač, Badija, Vis, Biševo, Zečevo. Peek from up high at famous attractions like the Blue Cave (or Modra Špilja as it’s known locally) and the Monk Seal Cave. Get a panoramic experience of the quaint coastal towns of Komiža, Vis, and Stari Grad. Enjoy this rich aerial perspective of the Adriatic Sea and Dalmatian Islands.

This is the Croatia that we love. And we want to share Croatia with you in 4K. Get lost in the relaxing music of the back track and transport yourself into our 4K video footage.

Filmed with Drones:

DJI MAVIC2 Pro (Buy DJI Mavic 3: https://click.dji.com/AAJ7626Gsf6pm2d...)

DJI Mini2 - Courtesy of AdriaticHero (Buy DJI Mini 2: https://click.dji.com/ACOwHfz4jG1xsRl... )

Filmed and Edited by Mahina Hathaway and Nick Hathaway, 45 Degrees Sailing Drone:

DJI Mavic 3: https://click.dji.com/AAJ7626Gsf6pm2d...

Come sailing with 45 Degrees Sailing! Check us out at: http://www.45degreessailing.com/

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Winter Sailing in Croatia: Huge Op, Industry Ready But Adriatic Empty

November 16, 2022 - Last January, a sailor from New Zealand spent 8 days with his boat from Kastela to Lastovo for an unforgettable winter sailing in Croatia experience. He saw one other boat in over a week. A look at why the winter sailing in Croatia opportunity is one that is golden, and with an industry keen to get involved and develop. 

Sometimes one has to be so far out of the comfort zone to notice the very best opportunities... 

Back in March, I received an email invitation requesting a meeting from a Croatian yacht charter booking software company with a global audience inviting me to speak at their conference in November. We met for a coffee, liked each other, and agreed to work together. I was a little distracted by other things at the time and did not really think about exactly what I would present, but I knew it would be good exposure and networking for TCN (just how good I found out at the actual conference), and anyway, it was 8 months away, so there was plenty of time to plan for it. 

Eight months can pass by incredibly quickly if you are not paying attention. 

A few weeks before the conference, I was asked to give the title of my presentation, which was to be Croatia and sailing-related, and informed that I would have a 50-minute keynote slot, which is longer than I have ever spoken in public. I may know a lot about Croatia, but as I don't sail, swim or even like the sun, the panic began to settle in. 

Comfort zones?


I decided to look at my strengths, take advice from my sailing friends at 45 Degrees Sailing, and try and come up with an angle which would be a little different. And so the presentation Croatia, Digital Nomads and Winter Sailing was born

It was an absolute hit at the conference, and my inbox has been busy ever since, with charter companies and other sailing-related businesses keen to discuss the opportunity of winter sailing in Croatia. And the more I talk to people, the more I see that here is another golden opportunity for Croatia which is being totally ignored. 

Croatia and the tourism and sailing stereotype

Let's start in the comfort zone - talking about Croatian tourism. The stereotype is still that Croatian tourism is essentially sun, sea, and summer, and the same is true for sailing the beautiful Adriatic Coast and its thousand-plus islands. The Instagram images of life on the water during a Croatian summer are among the most beautiful on the planet. 

But the stereotype of the Croatian coast in the winter could not be more different. There are hardly any boats in the water, and much of the coast, especially the islands, close down for the winter months. Developing winter tourism in general, never mind winter sailing, is a challenge. 

It was not always that way. When I wrote an article last year asking why Split did not have winter tourism, the discussion got very lively indeed, especially when I published an interview with a British tour rep based in Split back in the 1980s who told wondrous stories of flights all year and Americans flying in to Dalmatia for 6 weeks in January.  You can read the full interview here - Croatian Winter Tourism in 1990: Full of Life! Tour Rep Interview

This led to a TCN initiative, the Split Winter Tourism Roundtable, which brought together the key stakeholders from the public and private sector to explore ways of extending the season and bringing in flights. Read more in Split Winter Tourism Roundtable Meeting Minutes & Action Plan. Progress has been made, and a year later, KLM is now flying 12 months a year to Split from Amsterdam, and the roundtable committee is in discussions with a low-cost airline to bring in an additional 81 flights from London, Paris and Amsterdam either side of the existing flight schedule. Things are starting to move. 

A key finding at the roundtable discussion, however, was that there was little point in putting on flights if everything was closed and there was no content for visitors to enjoy. As such, the second roundtable focused on winter tourism content providers, which is when I first became aware of the winter sailing opportunity, as Nick Hathaway of 45 Degrees Sailing outlined his vision of the winter sailing in Croatia opportunity. 

It was the first time I had heard anyone discuss the winter sailing opportunity, and it was this presentation and concept which was to save my ass for my keynote speech. We will return to Nick below shortly. 

Digital Nomads - the new kids on the block

One gradual but increasingly relevant change in the mix in Croatia and its tourism has been the rise of the digital nomad and remote work culture. Nomads are not interested in 2 weeks on the beach in peak season, but they often come out of season, for longer, in search of community and authentic experiences. They work through the laptop by day from anywhere in the world, and they want to experience different cultures and experiences once they leave their 'office.' And they need a community. 

Last year, 5 digital nomads took part in the World Championship of Olive Picking in Postira on Brac. They had a wonderful time, raving at the authentic experience. A week later, the James Bond movie was shown in a vineyard outside Zagreb, with guests sitting on straw bales with blankets, eating roast chestnuts and drinking young Portugiesac wine. While talking about that opportunity with the regional tourist board director, she suggested I go truffle hunting in Turopolje, just outside Zagreb. 

And then it hit me - Croatia was the capital of authentic (and often unique) experiences, all over the country, 365 days of the year. 

Rather than focusing solely on the beach and the summer, why not work with this emerging trend of remote worker staying longer, often out of season, looking for community?

The concept of CROMADS was born, a platform that focused on presenting Croatia's authentic experiences through the eyes of digital nomads to digital nomads, with five key pillars: natural Croatia, adrenaline Croatia, traditional Croatia, gourmet Croatia, and 5-star Croatia.

I first presented the CROMADS concept at Digital Nomad Week, based in Bali, last year.  

If we could show just how alive the Dalmatian coast actually was, and how many things there were to do (even locals would be surprised), then that community could be built, and the season extended, especially if we had success with the flights. 

In order to show that there was life, we started to build experience videos. Looking for a community in the winter - check out the weekly Nomad Table in Split each Friday.

Nothing to do during the winter on Dalmatian islands? I persuaded Nick and his family to give up a weekend in early November and spend it on Hvar in the rain. 

They were very dubious, but came back ecstatic - the Peskafondo squid and big game fishing championship was among their best experiences during their time here. Check it out below.

In just two videos, the perception of Dalmatia in winter is changed. Imagine a whole platform documenting all the opportunities and experiences. Croatia, your safe, authentic, lifestyle destination.

Winter sailing in Croatia - meet Nick


Somewhat ahead of me in the winter tourism opportunity, especially related to sailing, was Nick Hathaway, a Kiwi in Kastela and Trogir, who has been running his own luxury sailing charter business for six years. Unlike the majority of the industry, he sails (and swims) 12 months a year. He cannot believe how fantastic life is winter sailing in Croatia. One of the best and most diverse places in the world for sailing, he has the entire Adriatic to himself.


Back in January, in order to showcase the opportunity, he took his cameras and his drone and set sail from Kastela to Lastovov and back via a number of islands, documenting the beauty and the different sailing conditions. 

He saw one other boat on the water in 8 days. 

I am not a sailor as I mentioned earlier, but Nick is passionate about winter sailing in Croatia because it offers all sorts of sailing conditions, and with so many islands to choose from, one can almost select the type of sailing you would like to do when looking at the weather. Heading out into the water in New Zealand exposes you immediately to the open sea. 

The Royal Yachting Academy has about 100 centres for courses to train skippers. According to Nick, some 85% are in the UK, and the well-heeled wannabe sailors of Kensington are happy to drive three hours to UK sailing courses, where they return with a certificate after a week. 

Travel just a little bit longer to Split, and spend a week where, in addition to the certificate, you come home with a spectacular experience and a lifetime of memories. 

Pioneers such as Nick know where the magic lies, and which restaurants will open - it truly has the potential to be a stunning hidden gem in the sailing calendar, and at a time when almost all boats are out of the water.

Just how many boats are out of the water Nick explained in his latest video on winter sailing, including footage of a week-long flotilla he ran along the Dalmatian coast and islands last month.  

They had the Adriatic pretty much all to themselves.

Tourism used to work well in winter in Croatia, and little has changed since then, except that the offer has improved immensely. Winter flight baby steps are being taken, there is a new community of remote workers looking for activities, and many more would come if we could show people the magic we have here. With a little investment, more restaurants and other service providers could be persuaded to be open to grow this initiative. All the ingredients are there, apart from organisation and implementation.

Conference reaction to the winter sailing in Croatia opportunity

My presentation (you can find it below, one day I will learn to tuck my t-shirt in) was over, and I felt relief. Total relief. I had survived. Almost exclusively due to Nick's winter sailing initiative and excellent videos. Thanks, mate.

But then the strangest thing happened. Conference participants approached me to exchange business cards and express their interest. I have 40 boats in Zadar doing nothing in the winter, I would love to join an initiative. I have 80 in Sibenik. We have boats all over the coast. We have lots of boats in Turkey, but we would be very interested in getting involved. 

How do we meet Nick, and how do we move this forward? 

Is anyone brave enough to join a roundtable initiative for winter sailing in Croatia?

How indeed?

Having been heavily involved in the digital nomad visa and general promotion, as well as the Split Winter Tourism Roundtable, I can clearly see how we can move this forward quite easily, but I don't think that Nick and I should do that alone, especially as we are not Croatian. So if anyone is interested in getting involved in this initiative, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Winter Sailing Initiative. 

As for Nick and the sailing, check out the excellent 45 Degrees Sailing.  


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Monday, 7 February 2022

Over 10,000 Boats in Croatia Removed from Vessel Register for Unpaid Fees

February 7th, 2022 - Some of the affected boat owners claim to have paid all the required fees and had their vessels removed from the register regardless

At the end of last year and early this year, many fishermen and private vessel owners in Croatia were unpleasantly surprised to receive notices informing them that their vessels have been removed from the state Vessel Register. Reportedly there are tens of thousands of vessels that have been affected by this decision, as their owners have allegedly failed to pay the necessary fees for the past two years, reports Glas Istre/Marcello Rosanda.

However, most affected owners claim to have not received any bills or notices regarding the said fees in the first place, raising the question as to what actually happened and who is responsible for the outcome.

While some boats were removed from the register for justifiable reasons, most were not, the main reason for the latter being the unpaid fees for the use of maritime property and for the prevention of sea pollution. Many bizarre cases followed, such as in Pula, where some boat owners claim to have paid all the required fees and had their vessels removed from the register regardless.

‘The most bizarre thing about this case is that people didn’t receive the bills at all, nor any notices. It makes it seem as if the port authorities had deliberately dragged this out until the situation led to a mass removal of vessels. Instead of sending warning notices or starting enforcement proceedings, they immediately removed people’s vessels from the register. To make matters worse, some of them are now unable to re-register their vessels because, according to certain regulations, their boats are considered too old. The Republic of Croatia encourages fishermen, it wants to help this sector through the means of an operational programme for maritime affairs and fishing. There are efforts to improve the fishing flora and energy efficiency, to introduce new products and protect traditional fishing, which makes one wonder why the port authorities, i.e. the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, would counter these positive efforts for such a banal reason’, said biologist Neven Iveša for Glas Istre.

Iveša has a PhD from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb and teaches at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Pula. As one of the vessel owners affected by the removal from the register, he recently filed an appeal at the Administrative Court in Rijeka.

Article 6 of the Ordinance on Compensation Fees for Navigation Safety stipulates that the fees in question are to be paid according to the invoice issued by the Ministry within the period specified in the invoice. The vast majority of boat owners have reportedly never received such a bill, meaning there was no basis to make a decision to remove their vessels from the register.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Docking Stern-to in Croatia - Part One (VIDEO)

January 19, 2022 - Docking stern-to is a technique typically used in many non-tidal harbours. It means that more boats can be accommodated in a smaller area, and eliminates the need for multiple pontoons. It is often referred to as ‘Med mooring’ due to how common a practice it is in Mediterranean countries. And it is often an unfamiliar practice to many sailors from other countries outside the Med. In countries like Greece, Med mooring is usually done by letting your anchor out before going astern to the local town dock or quay.

Here in Croatia, we do it a little differently. Many marina’s and town quays put down large mooring blocks with mooring lines attached to the blocks that are tied to the dock or quay. These lines are designed to be fixed to the bow of the boat to provide stability, while the stern of the boat will be secured to the dock by stern-lines. This arrangement allows the lines to be adjusted so that the boat can be secured a safe distance away from the dock, while also being close enough for those on board to step on and off using the plank that is usually provided with charter boats. 

Docking this way is easily the most stressful part of most sailing holidays here in Croatia. Especially if there is a cross-wind blowing when the skipper is at the helm maneuvering the boat. Out here in summer, we often see (and hear!) many high-tension docking situations. Lots of shouting. A fair amount of swearing. And even sometimes, damage to the boat itself. It’s a scary sight when you don’t understand what’s going on.

And docking stern-to doesn’t have to be such an intense high-pressure process. The team at 45 Degrees Sailing has put together a  couple of videos that break down the steps of docking to demonstrate where the critical moments are, and where you can work slowly to ensure that your boat and crew are safe at all times.

Today, we are going to share with you a birdseye view of what stern-to docking looks like in a marina. This video was filmed on a drone in Marina Kaštela by Nick from 45 Degrees Sailing. The boat is being docked by marina staff and Nick talks you through what the skipper and crew are doing throughout the docking process, as well as highlighting the effect that the wind is having on the boat as the skipper manoeuvres it into place on the pier.


Watch out for Part Two in this series, where we will share a video showing how a team of two manage stern-to docking on a town pier.

For more information about sailing in Croatia, check out Total Croatia, Sailing in Croatia: Your One-Stop-Shop for everything sailing.

For more about Travel in Croatia follow TCN's dedicated pages -  Travel.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Family Sailing Holiday, Croatia - Sailing With Children

1 August 2021 - It’s a sailing holiday in Croatia with the family. The sailing, sea air, and sun will be great for the kids, and there are some special considerations to make when sailing with children on board - especially toddlers. It also means a little extra planning and forethought, so here are SIX things to think about when planning and preparing to go on a sailing holiday with the kids:

 IMG 6741

Life jackets (PFD or personal flotation device)

While most charter companies will offer children's PFD, most do not have the correct sized PFD for children under 5 years old. Some may and it is always a good idea to check with your charter company to see what sizes they have in stock. If you have a toddler, it is highly recommended to buy a PFD that you know fits from a local supplier. When looking for a PFD for a baby or toddler, there are a few things to consider.

- A crotch strap is a NECESSITY in any personal flotation device for a child, as it prevents the PFD from riding up over the child's head. 

- Think about comfort. Kids love to wiggle out of anything that they are restrained by that is digging into them or scratchy and uncomfortable. If their PFD fits them snugly and comfortably, then they are far less likely to fight you about wearing it.

- A wide V-shaped neoprene crotch strap won’t ride up as easily, and contoured panels, adjustable drapes and neck support will all contribute to a much better fit.

- Fit is important in keeping a child's head above water, so do not get a too-big PFD thinking he or she will grow into it.

- CE approved: All European life jackets must carry the CE mark.

- Make sure that this is all checked and fitted before you leave home, so that you and your baby are well prepared.

A good tip is to actually introduce the PFD to your child as a plaything well before you step on-board the boat. This will help your child create a positive association with the PFD before the sailing holiday even begins!


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Safety Netting

Another safety feature that you can choose to have installed is safety netting. This is an add-on that most charter companies offer for an extra charge. What this means is that netting is installed down each side of the boat on deck, tied to the lifelines and stanchions. This means that small animals and children are far less likely to slip on the deck and fall overboard. And yes, “far less likely” and not “impossible” because nothing is 100% effective. It is strongly recommended that children are always under adult supervision when moving around the boat, whether safety netting is installed or not!


Sun Protection

If you are thinking of a sailing holiday during the peak months of summer, protecting your child from the sun should be a priority.  Ensure that the boat that you are on has plenty of shade to sit/sleep/play in. Shade is always a much better sun safety strategy than simply relying on sunscreen. And with the sun also reflecting off the water, be mindful that your baby will likely soak up more than their usual amount of Vitamin D, and all that goes along with that. Don’t forget to pack plenty of your preferred brand of child-friendly sunscreen. Make sure that you have a good full-coverage sun hat!


Water Water Water

Children dehydrate FAST. Much faster than adults. So it’s important to keep a strict eye on how much your wee one drinks. Having a bottle that bub can constantly drink from is going to keep the little one hydrated, and water can easily be flavoured naturally with local fruits. Good advice for adults and children alike, staying hydrated can actually help you avoid seasickness too. Which is always a good thing!

 IMG 6522

Play and Toys

An amused baby is much easy to sail with than a bored, cranky baby. Bringing a couple of favourite toys from home (make sure that they are waterproof and not too precious, just in case they end up in the Adriatic!) is a great way to help keep your child appeased and amused. Having a foldable or inflatable paddling pool that you can fill up and have in the shade of the cockpit is also a fantastic and safe way to keep your child occupied during long passages or hot days. Making sure that there is at least one safe play space for your child on the boat that you are chartering will make everyone’s sailing holiday much more enjoyable!

And don't forget water toys! An inflatable water float is great to help your child feel safe in the water. Stand-up paddleboards are also great water toys that kids and adults alike can use as giant floats. NOTE: If you do buy an inflatable toy, please make sure that it is firmly secured when not in use so that it does not escape and end up floating in the Adriatic Sea.


Trust Your Skipper

Your Skipper is in charge of the boat and thus, in charge of the safety of your family on-board. If you have additional crew on-board, ensuring that they are child-friendly can make or break your holiday. Extra eyes to watch out for bub, extra hands to make sure that any dangerous lockers are locked up or to catch bub if he/she is old enough to start climbing. There is a myriad of situations where the more baby minders on board, the better for everyone’s sanity.

If you can arrange to talk with your skipper prior to your trip. You should feel comfortable asking your Skipper and crew questions if you are unsure of anything. The more comfortable you are, the more at ease your child is going to be, so having a good crew is a must!

 IMG 9683 copy

Of course, there are many more aspects to consider when traveling with a child. Booking with a crew who specializes in families with small children can help to alleviate a lot of stress and worry. 45 Degrees Sailing are one such company that love to have small children on-board!  Small details can often make a huge difference in the success of a sailing holiday with small children, which Nick and Mahina from 45 Degrees Sailing know well!

Check out their Youtube channel for testimonials, like this one from David and Katherine Liola and their three kids.


If you have questions on anything sailing in Croatia, feel free to ask below in the comments or check out Total Croatia, Sailing in Croatia: Your One-Stop-Shop for everything sailing.

If you’re looking to experience an amazing family sailing holiday that keeps you wanting more, find more details here about 45 Degrees Sailing

For more about Travel in Croatia follow TCN's dedicated pages on Travel.


IMG 6377

Friday, 23 July 2021

Learn to Sail & Learn to Sail Holidays in Croatia

June 27, 2021 - Do you want to learn to sail? Why not look into learn to sail holidays in Croatia

Thousands of tourists each year are drawn to the Adriatic Sea, chartering boats and hiring skippers so that they can spend a week (or maybe more!) out on the water enjoying the crystal clear water, picturesque bays and charming towns and ports of the Croatian islands with friends and family.

So, what if you, are not a seasoned sailor, and you want to get to a skill level where you don’t have to hire a skipper?

Can you make a start towards learning to sail yourself?

And can you do it in Croatia?

The answer is YES! 

 IMG 7353

Why learn to sail in Croatia around the Adriatic islands?

Learning how to sail gives you the ability to get out on the water and enjoy a special freedom that is both relaxing and stimulating. The Adriatic is the ideal place to learn to sail due to three key factors:

1. The sheltered position of the Adriatic Sea and the close proximity of the Croatian islands

2. The weather systems

3. The wide range of vessels available to charter

The sheltered position of the Adriatic Sea between Italy and Croatia means that you do not get deep ocean ground swells like the ones that are produced in the open ocean. The close proximity of the Croatian islands to each other also means that there is more flat water and more sheltered passages. This provides a safe and varied learning ground, while also being uncrowded and interesting to sail.

The topography of the mainland and the islands creates varied weather conditions that can be conducive and challenging to any level of sailors, from beginners right up to expert.

Being a popular charter destination, there are many different sizes and styles of vessels, from small cruisers and racers, to family-sized catamaran and spacious monohulls, to the even bigger and more challenging sailing craft.

 DJI 0920 copy

What options do I have for learning to sail in Croatia? 

There are so many options for learning to sail in croatia and here are the three most sought after options:

You can opt to jump on a course with other students and learn to sail with a trained instructor. Courses such as  RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper are hands-on, fully immersive programs and you will be issued with a certificate upon successful completion.

You can also choose to supplement these courses with extra time spent on the water with a bareboat charter and skipper option. This is a great option that gives you the ability to take along your family or friends! If you hire a skipper who is also an instructor, you can still learn plenty of sailing skills whilst everyone else on-board enjoys their sailing holiday. Ensure that the skipper you hire is equipped to teach and you can turn your sailing holiday into extra hours learning to sail too!

Ultimately a private seven day learn to sail, sailing holiday option. As a package you reserve your all-inclusive private yacht, with crew and bring along your family or group of friends. Private tuition means you don’t have to share a boat or time with your skipper or with people you don’t know.


Examples Of Courses

- Competent Crew Course (5 days)

For those who would like to learn to sail and become active crew members rather than just passengers. Experience living, sailing, cooking and sleeping on board for five days and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew – without you the sails won’t go up and the boat won’t be steered. A fantastic practical sail training course with a Competent Crew Sailing Qualification at the end. 

- RYA Day Skipper Practical Course (5 days)

Learn to skipper a short passage with an instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t. This is a great introduction to sailing and is the pre-entry level and the minimum requirement for chartering yachts in many locations around the world, couple it with your VHF license and you’re off running. Pre-course experience is required for this qualification.

- RYA Yachtmaster Preparation + Exam

The Yachtmaster preparation course is not designed to teach you sailing skills for the first time. The aim of the course is to polish and improve sailing performance and skills to meet the qualification. Before Booking Yachtmaster Prep Weeks it is essential that you satisfy all pre-requisites of mileage and make sure your experience and completed courses have been fulfilled prior to booking.  


When Is The Best Time To Learn

That’s not an easy questions to answer. Every one’s circumstances are different and each season here in Croatia offers different kinds of weather along with different challenges that teach you and help reinforce different skills. And here we summarise the seasons from our perspective living in Croatia.

- Winter

Winter is the least sailed season in Croatia. And for those wishing to spend time on-board learning to navigate and learning weather systems, winter is ideal. Even the coldest winter days are great on the sea. It is not really warm enough for swimming. Great winds, and very often bright sunny days make winter sailing one of our favourite activities.

With many villages closed during the off season, meals are cooked on-board. With so many well-hidden and protected marinas, bays, ports, and islands very close to each other, you can enjoy in unspoilt nature and experience the true colours of Dalmatia. Donning wet weather gear and thermal layers is highly recommended! Having the right gear and safety equipment is a must during the winter season. 

- Autumn and Spring

Autumn and Spring are also great seasons to learn to sail in. You do need to ensure that you have an instructor/skipper who is very familiar with the very strong bura winds that blow from the north-east. These winds can be very dangerous to the inexperienced and learning how to manage volatile weather systems like the bura can teach sailing students valuable lessons.

The weather is warmer than winter and without the sweltering heat of summer, making a much more comfortable trip for all on-board. Ports may or may not be open and there are far less boats out on the water, providing plenty of space and opportunity to practice manoeuvres such as docking stern-to, coming alongside, picking up mooring balls, anchoring and many other skills required.

- Summer

Summer is, of course, peak tourist and charter season. Ports are full, island villages are bustling with tourists and the weather tends to be much calmer, meaning that there is less wind and lots of fuel is often used to make-way between islands. We generally do not recommend learning to sail in the heat of summer and of course part of 45 Degrees Sailing Premium tours you have the option of sailing as little or as much as you choose during your 7 day sailing holiday around the islands.


Do I have to be studying for a qualification to learn to sail?

No you don't.  Specializing in informal private sailing tuition for couples, families and groups of friends, 45 Degrees Sailing offers fantastic ‘Learn to Sail’ winter experiences, making the most of Croatia’s quiet winter. If you're looking to go sailing just for fun without the pressure of achieving a qualification, or maybe you already have a qualification and just want to gain some miles and experience while having fun with family or friends. Then this is a great winter holiday choice for you.

All ages and abilities can join in and get involved sailing the yacht whilst enjoying time together relaxing in the sunshine, exploring the islands and sailing in the usually clear, calm waters.

Private Tuition: Grab your family or group of friends and reserve your all-inclusive private yacht. Private tuition means you don’t have to share a boat or time with your skipper, with people you don’t know.

Cabin Tour Options: This option is for parties of one or two and only available from November-April on selected dates. This offers all the benefits of an all-inclusive private yacht charter, for the price of a one double en-suite cabin.

What ever options you choiose, the best way to learn to sail is to JUST DO IT. 

Book it now and make it happen!

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How long does it take to learn to sail?

Learning to sail is different for everyone and it depends entirely upon you.

How long it will take you to learn to sail is ultimately a question of how much you need to know before you consider yourself a sailor. How much you need to know will depend entirely on what you want to be able to do it a sailboat.

Some people have an affinity for the wind and the sea, and catch on surprisingly quickly. While for others, it takes longer and seems much more of a hard road. In your learning process the most important things that can determine how long it will take:

  • Experience, Exposure, and/or Research
  • Your Preferred Learning Style
  • Geographic Considerations
  • Exit/Re-entry Requirements
  • Your Sailing Goals

Of course, every geographic location has unique features that you’ll need to be aware of in order to safely navigate those waters. This is also true for Croatia, sometimes it’s as simple as remembering that there is a log or rock to worry about if you approach the dock from a certain direction.  

At other times it involves currents, changes in wind direction and speed, traffic on the water,. If your environment is simple, you will be able to get out in a boat and learn by trial and error fairly quickly. If your location presents some serious challenges, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready for them.

If you’re fortunate enough to be learning in an environment that is low-pressure, you can get right down to business. If your craft is docked at a busy marina, you’ll also spend time getting comfortable with getting in and out before you can say that you’ve learned to sail.

  • Tips To Learn The Ropes Faster

Practice plays a big part in sailing, similar to learning to drive a car. You have many options on theory-based material available to you, how to record in your logbook and build your nautical miles. Ultimately, it is the combination of hands-on experience and studying the theory that will help you to really consolidate your learning and give you the confidence to go it alone when “qualified”.

The best tips we can give you to help you through the process are:

  • Have theory-based material on hand to read, refer to and back-up what you are learning practically
  • Figure out your learning style and what environment you learn best in so that you are in the best environment possible for your learning.
  • Ensure you have an instructor that you trust and feel comfortable with, as opposed to someone you know that can sail. Sailing and teaching others to sail are two very different skills.
  • Get online and join groups. From time to time experienced captains search for mates for sailboat transfers or regattas, where an extra pair of hands comes in useful.
  • As with any learning, the best way to learn is through hands on Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.


  • Mile Building

If you have a good theoretical base and you still feel insecure to get out on the water, then mile building in Croatia is for you.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to practice theoretical knowledge in one of the most beautiful places in Europe, along with a great opportunity to undergo invaluable sailing practice under the guidance of professional skippers, as well as gaining an unforgettable experience.

Maybe you’re only planning on learning enough to handle a day sail by yourself in familiar waters. Don’t be surprised if, before long, you’re looking at larger craft and longer journeys. Once you know the basics, the world will be your oyster.

 Learn to Sail1

  • Our Recommendation

There are a range of English-speaking options for learning to sail here in Croatia. Our recommendation for you to check out is Yacht Sail Training.

Yacht Sail Training is located in Marina Kaštela, between Split city and Split airport, and is a really convenient spot to simply fly in and jump on-board. Their aim is to help anyone transform their life by accessing the world’s best learning experience on and off the water in the most idyllic Adriatic Sea in Croatia.

Check out their offerings here: https://yachtsailtraining.com/

If you have questions on anything sailing in Croatia, feel free to ask below in the comments or check out Total Croatia, Sailing in Croatia: Your One-Stop-Shop for everything sailing.

If you’re looking for informal, private sailing tuition for couples, families and groups of friends, read more about 45 Degrees Sailing fantastic ‘Learn to Sail’ winter experiences here.

For more about sailing and travelling in Croatia follow TCN's dedicated pages – Travel | Lifestyle

All photos supplied by Nick Hathaway, 45 Degrees Sailing.

Day Sail 2

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sailing Yacht 'A': an Early Morning, Long Lens Encounter on the Adriatic

October 13, 2019 - An early morning and long lens encounter with one of the most talked-about boats on the Adriatic this summer, Sailing Yacht 'A'.

TCN is delighted to welcome Fritz Gotschim to the team. Fritz, a passionate sailor, runs the successful Bay Express magazine and app for sailors, and he is never far from the water. One early start a few weeks ago provided a wonderful and tranquil early morning view of one of the boats of the summer, Sailing Yacht 'A'.

It happened on the way to Biokovo Nature Park. And it became a trip to the source of wonderment, the perception of the beautiful and the special, something that Croatian tourism may not quite succeed in: bringing its otherness onto the world tourism stage like an opera. Only that nothing needs to be staged. Everything is already there, everything is ready on stage, only the curtain is not raised by anyone, the audience are satisfied even with a small gap through which they look at the stage. They leave money there and that makes the locals happy, even if it could be more. 

What you see is enough for the tourists, compared to other countries, but does not show anything special about what is necessary to become a sustainable global brand. This remains largely behind the curtain.

And in winter, the curtain is closed, opaque, so to speak, at least in Dalmatia. The money from the summer will be enough over the turn of the year, one says on stage. And by the way, what could you do about it? Nobody comes in the winter.

But now to the trip, one of many in recent years, which should keep me busy for a long time.

No more motorcades, as in the high season, which meander south from Split on the Makarska Riviera and demand a full concentration of motorcyclists, if one wants to take advantage of the two-wheeler. This is the time to focus sometimes on what's off the road. Not often you can see the coastline of this Riviera from the curvy main road, it is mostly covered by houses or green or lies too steep below, and if you see it, then you do not have a second, because the next turn needs attention.

Only the opposite island of Brac is almost always visible.

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An hour and a little more than 40km driven, much faster it is not even with the bike, the anticipation rises to the first part of the route with a really good view. After leaving the town of Pisak behind you and taking the road in a long, gentle right turn over 200 meters, you can look at the beauty of this landscape more than a second and you also see the parking lot in time. You can stop and enjoy the view of the massif of Sveti Jure, which borders the steep Makarska Riviera.

It was everything as always, magnificent nature in the early morning and the clear backlight emphasized the backdrop of the rugged mountain. The bura blew and made the view wide and detailed, here she was clearly felt, then it was again held by Sveti Jure.

As soon as the long right turn came to an end, just before full attention had to return to traffic, the gaze caught a strange silhouette on the water, the size of which did not quite match the presumed distance. But then the curve was already over and the now parallel to the road running coastline did not clear the view.

The focus was now defensive driving, to use every free-looking outlook in search of this silhouette.

An expectation of excitement set in, which reached its climax after 5 kilometers, when the view for the first time was released on the largest motor glider in the world. It was in front of Brel, very close to the coast, with its 100-meter-high masts with the unmistakable, characteristic shape. With a draft of 8 meters you can only get close to steep coast lines.

Immediately to the right at the next opportunity to stop: Grand Opera, this motor glider "A", owned by the oligarch Andrej Melnichenko, who divided the professional world with the look of this yacht: the boat designed by the famous Philippe Starck is far from what is commonly called nautical. And that is why it attracts attention all over the world, no matter where the yacht anchors. Also because the design required technical solutions that did not exist before.

Bill Gates and others were here in Croatia with yachts this summer, there were photos of the yachts, which were very similar to each other. But talked about people, not about the ships.

Before Brel it is the other way round, everyone knows the ship, no one can pronounce the name of the owner correctly.

Observed from a height of over 50 meters, from the slopes over Brel, the "Sailing Yacht A" presents itself in its otherness as nowhere else. Mostly it anchors one or two miles away from the land, even before Split you could not get close to it. If, then from the waterline and there comes the almost "opaque" design of the yacht into play: view yes, but insight: njet.

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Only those who step onto the fold-out balconies will be visible. A large armchair with a mask like backrest, placed in the corner of the balcony and apparently designed by Starck, plays ironically with what is seen.

On over 140m length or 8 decks you can hide well on this yacht, also in the stern of the hull, where under the waterline, near the propellers, a submarine-like cabin with large glass chests is installed. Oh, yes, a submarine should also be on board. Only the helicopter that can land on the foredeck will never go unnoticed.

I would like to take the lift from the dinghy garage to the main deck to take a look at the Sveti Jure.

After talking to the locals, a plan is made. Shooting in the morning light. The views that Brel offers are ideal. The yacht will stay for a few days, there is a family connection between the "A" and Brel.

The next morning is clear, the Bura does not give off any haze and so there is something like the Croatian light. Sunrise is about 6 o'clock, I got my point at 5.30 and watch the beginning of the day's work on deck, which is also partly executed with the help of a banal floor mop instead of special technique. But the lonely morning cleaner in the mild twilight on 140 meters deck and the massive mast constructions are great cinema. 

Always the special feature unfolds only in contrast and in the correct angle of view.

The next hour, until the sun comes out in full force behind the mountain, passes with change of attitude and never-decreasing fascination. In today's attention economy, I have one of the masterpieces in front of me.

Unmistakable, different, terrific in detail and in a team thought out by the builders together with the owner in all its facets. Boarding is not necessary to know that. Everyone sees this from the outside, especially through the long telephoto. The shipyard was not allowed to publish any footage. 

Only on boatinternational.com you can find details about the construction. 

You do not have to find the ship beautiful, you can call it a waste of money. But that's the way we humans are, we're looking for something special and some are creating something special and others have it, without many knowing it.

The "Sailing Yacht A" of the shipyard Nobiskrug is known by the whole nautical world, it has an aura of the special. Attention is sure, no matter where she anchors.

The situation is different with the sailing area where the "A" anchored last week. It's not completely unknown, it's special, yes, but not many people know about it in detail.

Apart from Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Hvar and maybe also Vis (with Mamma Mia is still a story of its own) hardly destinations have their own aura, which is perceived from the outside.

Of course, this is exactly what is interesting for superyachts, when their passengers are not so much noticed by the public in small port cities and can stroll around almost unnoticed. But even that would be a starting point to work out a tourist trait and to place it on the big world stage of tourism and to develop it into something special.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Testing Naval Myths: Do Women on Board Bring Bad Luck?

 August 13, 2019 - A snapshot of a sailing holiday around the island of Vis with new TCN writer, Dear Leader Joe.

I still clearly remember the advice my old mother gave me before I went sailing: “Eat a lot of cabbage so you don’t get scurvy!” Namely, everyone from my parents' sh*thole village is an expert in sailing. Magellan is nothing comparing to them. I could not explain to her that I wasn’t going on a trip around the world, just on a three-day cruise around Kornati. This year, she was sustained. “You eat at fancy restaurants, you sail and we’re supposed to starve! I mean who is paying for all that?” Father replied: “The CIA, woman! The CIA! They have destroyed half of the world, they will destroy him too!”

We decided to redo the entire Kornati trip, but this time we would sail for five days. The only thing we didn’t count on was the fact that this was the busiest nautical season ever on the Adriatic and it was nearly impossible to find a sailing boat for ten people. Four days before departure we still did not have a boat. I prayed to God and Allah to help me in this impossible mission. One of them must have heard my prayers because I accidentally stumbled upon a monoflot.com site and a charter agency Vishe Radugi. I contacted them immediately and got a very nice Russian owner Anna on the line. I don’t know why, but I immediately asked her how come she came to work in Croatia when everyone is running away and how did she even get here. She said: “What do you mean how did I get here? On a plane, of course.” She asked me for my name and I proudly said Josip. She said: “Ohh, comrade Stalin!” I replied: “Nope, comrade Tito.” I apologized right away for my country being an EU “errand boy“ and for introducing visas for the Russians and she gratefully said they had one more boat with only four cabins HANSE 445, but it could fit two more people at the saloon and that we could take it if we reserved it right away.

The boat was docked at the Kaštela harbor so we changed our route and chose Vis archipelago instead of Kornati.

From the first day we decided that there would be no discrimination on the boat. In that spirit, I allowed Ivana of Vishe Radugi Sailing to board my stuff. I knew there was a reason for the women to get equal rights. My job was to make sure all of the hard labour was done properly and I pointed out all those who were slacking.

(Ivana is boarding my Keilwerth saxsophon and B&O Beolit 17 speaker with a smile on her face. My job was to make sure all of the hard labour was done properly and I pointed out all those who were slacking.)

As soon as we entered the boat, I thought of an old village saying: “Women on board bring bad luck!” If that was true, we were heading for a Titanic type cataclysm because we had five women on board (SOS – PMS). We boarded all the stuff and sailed to the Stončica cove on Monday.

I was taking photos the entire time and when you’re on a rocking boat, looking at the camera screen is more dangerous than going to Syria for a summer vacation. I got sick after ten minutes. I heard a murmur in the background: “He’s got one foot in the grave!” My friends tried to comfort me by singing: “Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door…” I thought these might be the last photos I would ever take.

I started with an intro about women bringing bad luck. Along with my nausea on the first day, that theory was confirmed by the fact that in this crazy heat we lost all our water reserves on the boat. Why? Glad you asked. Someone (read: a girl) didn’t close the shower all the way and the water just poured out. We decided to go to Vis on Tuesday and fill up the tank. We ate some breakfast, swam a bit and arrived in Vis at 11 o’clock.

The beauty of the island was overshadowed by the fact that we were late to the harbor because they poured water only until 10am and told us to come tomorrow. If Keith Richards can drink wine the entire day, so can we. We didn’t let the lack of water on the boat ruin our good mood.

(The lack of water on the boat did not ruin our good mood.:) Photo: Flash.hr)

I did not strangle my colleague Krešo, also known as the king of anticorrosive protection, because of the lack of water, but because of the fact he provoked me with his new SEIKO wristwatch. I wanted to buy one for myself before heading to the coast, one that can go under the water, perfect for sailing, but I didn’t have the time and now I was stuck being jealous at Krešo like a true Croat and almost strangled him at one point.

After the crew has separated us, there was no choice left but to take a swim and for that we have chosen a beautiful port Biševo. We have decided to sleep over at this gorgeous cove and went to the restaurant for some pancakes before sleep. The owner has said there were so few people on the island outside the season that he goes around the houses in the mornings, checking if there is smoke coming out of them. If there isn’t any smoke, he knows that yet another islander has passed away.

That is my colleague Goran jumping on the photo below. He is a designer and an owner of the company ENDEM.HR. Naturally, he did not pay me for this advertisement, but you know, I am a good person so I thought I’d publish the man’s occupation.

On Wednesday, we sailed to the Blue Cave. Unfortunately, we were left under the impression that the whole field trip to the cave was a “TAKE MONEY AND RUN” thing. I mean, the cave was really beautiful and worth seeing but for 70 kuna per person, we expected a bit more. We didn’t swim in it nor take enough photos because the guide kept hurrying us so that the other boats waiting in line could get in. It was just a plain “fast food” experience.

After the Blue Cave, we traveled to Komiža which we were, unfortunately, only able to observe from the deck and afterwards we went to the cove Zakamica to take a swim.

In the evening we anchored in Vis. We weren’t able to reserve a table for 10 anywhere because that was the day of the Yachting week event and everything was booked. We got drunk on the boat and skipper Neven drove us to the nearby bar in a dingy. Another confirmation of women being bad luck on a boat was his girlfriend Ana who took a romantic dingy ride with him when suddenly, in the middle of the channel, they ran out of fuel. Naturally, they didn’t even have a light. That was more stupid than Captain of Titanic’s decision to say: “Full speed ahead! F*ck the ice!” They were lucky to be noticed by a skipper who was also Neven’s acquaintance. He saved them in the last second.

On Thursday we sailed from Vis to the cove Milna to take a swim. We looked around the cove Rukavac, Mala and Vela Travna and the cherry on the top was a nice swim at the most popular cove of the island of Vis – Stiniva. The cove is around 600 m long and surrounded by tall and unreachable stone rocks. Towards the end of the cove, there are a few uninhabited fishermen houses which are, along with the cove, protected as a natural resort. The cove was as full as a Dear Leader's labor camp, but in spite of the numerous tourists and boats, this was one of the most beautiful places on the Adriatic which you must certainly visit.

In the evening we anchored in a lagoon of the Mali and Veli Budikovac island where we proved once again how women aboard are bad luck. Just before going to bed, the rope which we tied to the beacon has snapped and we almost hit another boat. If we were in the medieval ages, someone would surely be burned on a bonfire. Unfortunately, we are civilized people. I got up the next morning at 6 o’clock and jumped in for a swim. I swam to the nearest island and did my “number two” in the shallows when suddenly, a goat approached me. I thought to myself: “If I get up now, butt naked and with a goat in front of me, someone will accuse me of zoophilia.” Luckily, the goat left and I swam around the boat for an hour like an idiot because everyone was still asleep and the ramp wasn’t down so I couldn’t climb up on the boat.

On Friday we went to the cove Stončica, more accurately the restaurant Konoba Stončica. They did not have any bluefish available even though it was on the menu, their seafood was frozen, the soup tasted instant like and the waiter was extremely unkind. The general impression was more than desperate, but I will compliment on the meat which was very nicely prepared.

I had my saxophone with me, but I had no chance to play it. We have assigned music playing to my new B&O Beolit 17 Bluetooth speaker which I have bought specifically for this trip. Conchita Wurst has never sounded so good. We partied like those lively folks down at the retirement center.

We partied along the Bang and Olufsen Beolit 17 Bluetooth speaker.

The last evening of the trip we stayed at the Nečujam cove on Šolta. We got drunk on mojitos and other alcoholic beverages and celebrated our five-day trip in great style. Once again, as we were heading home, we proved that women aboard are in fact bad, bad luck. After we returned the sailing boat, the scuba diver found a plastic bag tied around our propeller and we had to pay a hundred euros extra for the cleaning. Actually, we went pretty well because the damage could have been even bigger.

All in all, it was an unforgettable experience and we are definitely coming back next year. I have to praise our lovely Anna and her employee Ivana who was always available to us. If you are interested in spending an unforgettable summer at the Adriatic and see all the beautiful beaches and islands, sailing is the right option for you and I can definitely recommend Vishe Radugi. All of the info you can find on their web page www.monoflot.com.

We proved that a woman aboard brings bad luck and five women…well that is a cataclysm. On the other hand, if they weren’t there, who would have washed all the dishes? EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING.

You can read more from Dear Leader Joe on his website, Flash.hr 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Is Anyone Having a Record Tourism Season in Croatia? Oh, Yes - Chris from Koda Sail

July 26, 2019 - As the Ministry of Tourism restricts access to the transparent and award-winning eVisitor statistics system and last available statistics pointing to another record season, many destinations are reporting the exact opposite. So is anyone having a record season in Croatia? Meet Chris from Koda Sail.

A few days ago, I posted on my Facebook wall that I was looking for any tourism businesses who were indeed having a record season to be featured on TCN. Although it is the peak season and people were busy, I was expecting a few replies. I have received just two replies, which you can read below (the offer is still open, details at the bottom of this article). The first interview I did with Ante Lacman of Hvar Tours caused plenty of discussion in certain circles

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And for the second, we head to the sailboats of the Adriatic to find out how Chris Tabone of Koda Sail is enjoying his summer. 

1. Briefly tell us who you are and what you do.

My name is Chris Tabone. Australian from Melbourne, with Maltese heritage. 39 years old, married with a 6-month-old son.
Early life worked as an Art Director in Melbourne until 29. Packed the bags and came to Europe to travel. Got a job as a tour guide with a Youth Travel brand and learned a lot about the Travel Industry. As an older traveller I saw there wasn't much out there for my age group, so started working on creating something different for the Young Professional age bracket of the late 20s to late 30s. Created Koda Sail back in 2015 and have had much success bringing like-minded travellers to Croatia, and now to Turkey and in 2020 to the Maldives. 
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2. We hear you are having a good season while many are complaining or a poor what. Tell us about that, and what are you doing differently? 

I believe there has been a shift in tourism here in Croatia. The travellers are wanting different things so you have to keep it fresh. I've been working in Europe for almost 10 years now and see some companies still doing the same thing I saw them do way back then. 
I'm trying my best not to fall into the trap of just doing what is easy, and try to change things up and add new relevant things to my tours each year. For that reason alone I know my customers know they are going to get the best of what our destinations are offering. Listen to what your customers are wanting and make changes. 
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3. How do you think nautical tourism is developing in general. What are its strengths and what do you think needs to improve?
I think nautical tourism is on its way up, especially in the category of the smaller boats that we are using. 15 years ago it was all about the large cruise liners, but now we live in the Instagram era in which it's all about finding something smaller and unique. I'm not too sure what the numbers are on the larger cruise ships, but I've seen a downfall in the amount of those in ports such as Dubrovnik and Split, but a definite increase in the smaller boats. 
The strengths are the style of travel in general. Passengers are realising that you can see so much in one week and only having to unpack their suitcase once, vs bus/train travel in which there is so much wasted travel time. 
Improvements that I would like to see are at the ports, with them needing to accommodate the number of tourists coming in. 10 years here and I've seen nothing change at all. Same struggles for the captains, fighting for positions and docking times. Port fees are on the rise and nothing visibly has changed.  
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4. You also have a sailing operation in Turkey. How do Croatia and Turkey compare as nautical destinations? What does each do best, and what can they learn from each other?
Both Croatia and Turkey are fantastic locations for Sailing trips. They both have beautiful coastlines, with small bays and amazing locations for swim stops throughout the week. The differences are in the style of sailing with Croatia having larger boats and bringing in a lot more tourist numbers. The towns are all alive with locals and many things to see and do, whereas Turkey's coastline is a bit more rugged and it's all about the journey. Smaller boats in Turkey make the trips there a bit more intimate. The towns along the Southern coastline are smaller and less accessible which makes them feel a lot more local and cultural for our passengers. 
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What do each do best? I think Croatia has really compensated for what tourists want and have made those changes, whereas Turkey has stuck to what they know and kept everything as is. There is a fine line here where both destinations can learn from each other. 
As great as it is that Croatia has compensated for tourism, I feel that it has lost the charm I first saw here 15 years ago and you see less locals enjoying the towns and some actually avoiding them altogether, whereas in Turkey you can find locals side by side with you, interested in talking and integrating with the tourists. 
I know that in Croatia the 'party boats' have really put a sour taste in the mouths of the locals and they don't wish to integrate with the tourists, which is something I'm totally aware of and have been trying to bring back the level of respect with nicer travellers.  
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5. Are you happy with the direction of Croatian tourism in general? What suggestions do you have to improve it?

Overall I think Croatian tourism is great. I've been lucky enough to really get to know the locals and see year after year how tourism has continually changed. It's a country that has so much to offer for the tourist and the people here are passionate about their home. 
One thing that I think that could be a problem moving forward is the ever-increasing costs. Croatia used to be an affordable destination, whereas now the word is spreading that it's not as cheap to travel here as it once was. I'm afraid that this becoming a deterrent, and destinations like Greece and Turkey are now becoming those more affordable destinations. Something I'd like to see the government step in on and help the Tourism and Hospitality sectors to keep the tourists coming here.
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6. And, for our sailing readers, a couple of lesser-known places on the Adriatic to check out. 
North of Split is where our tourists need to be. Those that haven't been there only know about Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split, and without them on the itinerary then those tours would struggle to sell, but more education about the north and I think that will not only impress tourists even more with what Croatia has to offer, but free up those more popular destinations and make them more enjoyable to be in. 
You can connect with Chris via the Koda Sail website
Are you having a record season in Croatian tourism and would like to be featured in this series. Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject - Record Season. 


Saturday, 20 April 2019

The World is in Chaos, Escape, Book a Sailing Holiday in Croatia

April 20th 2019, it’s not too late to escape from the ‘real world’ for a bit, book a sailing holiday in Croatia.

Let’s face it, there is not much positive news around the world at the moment, or this is what the mass media would have us believe. What, with Trump, Brexit, climate change, and news being released that we are in the midst of a mass extinction… it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Maybe a sailing holiday in Croatia is just what the doctor ordered.

Last year, sailing in charter for the summer, almost every single person shared that they were feeling weighted by anxiety; the stress of the daily grind coupled with the state of the world in general. These were well-educated people, all successful in their various careers, feeling at a complete loss. Stepping aboard our yacht for the first time, everyone was excited but also apprehensive, everyday stress notably resting on their shoulders.

One of my greatest joys working on a yacht in private charter, is seeing the difference between people stepping aboard and then disembarking at the end of the week.

Our itinerary is based on our clients’ wishes and while some people come aboard with a list of ‘must sees’, it usually doesn’t take long for them to realise that this will not just be another trip of ticking things off the ‘bucket list’, it offers so much more. We oblige their initial requests, talk and inform along the way, but within a few days, most guests entrust the experience of their holiday to us – an honour we do not take lightly.

We love sharing the history and culture of Croatia with our guests, but more so, we love taking them to ‘off-the-beaten-path’ locations, and just allowing them to completely relax and immerse in nature. Slow mornings, with breakfast, hot coffee and fresh juice waiting. Anchored in a bay with nothing but the rhythmic beating of the cicadas’ chorus to fill the air. Diving directly off the boat into the crystal-clear turquoise waters, before we hoist the sails and catch the late morning breeze and find another spot to anchor for lunch. Fresh grilled fish, accompanied with a crisp glass of local wine – did you know Croatia has 132 indigenous grape varieties? Another swim and siesta, before we pull into the harbour of a quaint coastal town. Evening strolls, local restaurants, live music, ice cream… before happily toddling back to their home away from home. If this doesn’t sound like bliss, I don’t know what does.

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Photo credit: Mario Romulić

I could wax lyrical about the historical sites, the culture, nature, gastronomy of Croatia but more often than not, it is the simple moments that stand out for our guests. We had esteemed psychologists, actors, IT experts, people topping rich lists, tell us about the stress and drama of their lives and then we watched these same people succumb to the beautifully slow rhythm of a sailing holiday in Croatia. Those who had booked several activities in advance, eventually cancelled some of their plans and threw their itinerary out the porthole – content to just take each day as it came, allowing for whim and inspiration or just divine ‘nothingness’ (fjaka).

I am not advocating from running away from responsibilities and the reality of this world, but sometimes, we need a small retreat, an escape from life to be able to return to it invigored. And, I may be biased but, after years of travel, I still have not found anything that tops a sailing holiday in Croatia. Every single guest we have ever had, no matter how well-travelled, has inevitably told us that it was their best holiday, ever.

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Photo credit: Mario Romulić

Nature has an undeniable way of bringing us out of our heads, away from daily pressures and back to ourselves. And, a 7-day sailing holiday in Croatia is the best way to truly escape everything and immerse ourselves in nature and the present moment. You’ll wake up in peaceful bays, sail past the changing coastline of unique islands, swim in crystalline waters, watch every sunset and maybe catch a sunrise (which we highly recommend doing at least once).

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Photo Credit: Tash Peričić

I am lucky that I get to sail Croatia all summer. Yes, it is physically and emotionally challenging at times, but for the most part, I have nature to reinvigorate and inspire me. While I escape the ‘real life’ for four months of the year, it leaves me more inspired to connect and engage in a meaningful way off the boat. It keeps me connected to this world, knowing that we all need to do our part to make a difference, and it helps keep me grounded and put life in perspective – by only focusing on what matters. And, I believe that even if for only 7-days, this is what all of our guests get from their sailing holiday in Croatia.

At the end of every week, our guests stepped off our yacht – sun-kissed, with a spring in their step, a new glitter in their eyes and the weight of the world removed from their shoulders. I would like to think that they had more to give to their families and lives once they returned to the ‘real world’. We can’t be our best and give our all to life if our cups are empty.

Escape. Book a sailing holiday in Croatia to escape the stress of life – then return fully-charged.

For more stories like this, visit our dedicated Lifestyle Page, or Total Croatia Sailing.

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