Chartering a yacht in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
On the mainland, Dalmatia begins south of Gradac and north of Bacina, and runs along the border with Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro to the end of the Bay of Kotor. As far as sailing goes Dalmatia is relatively easy to navigate.
Situated on a rising rock, lapped on three sides by the sea, Dubrovnik offers world renowned attractions and artistic treasures. In 1980, the Old Town (with its 60,000-inhabitants) joined the UNESCO World Heritage list. Simply wandering through its medieval looking streets is a treat in itself.
The international airport with its modern ACI marina is an excellent starting point for chartering your yacht. Only 680 meters off the coast, the island of Lokrum is popular with sun worshippers and nature lovers, thanks to its sandy beaches. Another popular destination are the Elafiti Islands of Haupinseln Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan – all of which provide wonderful places to swim, snorkel and relax.
Also easily accessible from Dubrovnik is the island of Mljet, whose National Park is well worth a visit and Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo. The island of Mljet – as well as being rich in culture and art – offers beautiful landscapes, numerous tiny, secluded beaches and bays, small uninhabited islands and breathtaking views. The island’s capital is also called Korcula and is typically medieval looking, surrounded by a wall, round defense towers and a variety of red-roofed houses. You’ll find a wide range of berths, most famously in the ACI Marina.
Ideal for exploring is the Peljesac peninsula with its azure waters and idyllic coves, as well as the small island of Lastovor, which is a perfect pitstop for sailors to take a break between Split and Dubrovnik.
Wind & Weather: During summer you will usually encounter the Maestral. And you often meet the pleasant Bora when the sky is blue. But the Bora on the other hand also indicates rain and bad weather fronts. The Sirocco usually blows outside the high season and from early fall you can expect high seas and bad weather conditions from southeast. A weather report is broadcast in the high season in several languages – including English – on channel 69. Midsummer can bring high temperatures, especially on land. The early season is characterized by moderate temperatures and fresh and cool nights. The preferred sailing season is from June to mid September. During the high season the ports can become quite crowded.
Difficulty: Fairly easy during the summer months. Otherwise, especially during the off-season, this cruising area should not be underestimated, primarily due to the strong Bora and Sirocco winds.
Navigation: Basic knowledge of navigation is adequate. Night passages are usually not a problem, as the area is well marked. Be aware of strong currents in narrow passages during Spring time.
Ports and anchorages: In bays and harbours, the speed limit is 5 knots or less. There are 43 marinas, mostly belonging to the ACI Club. Anchors or buoys are available to rent.
The ACI Marina Dubrovnik is beautiful, modern and open all year, with 450 berths. At the marina you will be guided by the staff to one of the berths. The service includes technical advice, security, overhaul of ship hulls and yacht repair and maintenance.
Interesting but far less comfortable is the city port of Gruz. You’ll find water and electricity but no sanitary facilities. Directly behind the quay wall is one of the main streets and a lot of traffic, even so, the few places get filled quickly.
ACI Marina Korcula is east of the city. In a small cove, ACI Marina Korčula offers moorings in the north which are protected by the breakwater. There are 120 places for yachts up to 12m in length, either right on the breakwater, on the quay or on the pier. You’ll find a petrol station, cafes, restaurants, supermarket and yards that will carry out major repairs.
Pomena Bay Harbour and its town, situated at the west end of Mljet, are well protected from the wind. They have excellent permanent berths. Electricity and water connections are available but water and food is limited.
Polace harbour is located to the north of Mjet in a large bay. The inner part of the bay offers good berths, as well as protection from the wind and sea conditions. Electricity and water connections are available and there is water and food at the restaurant on the wharf. There are also shops in Govedari, about 1.5 kilometers inland.
Regulations : The port authorities require you to be in possession of an official helmsman certificate or sailing license as well as a valid VHF certificate.
Getting there: The international Croatian airports of Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik are served by various charter operators as well as scheduled airlines from most major European cities.
Limitations: Limited availability of marina berths during high season – your galley should be well stocked.