Chartering a yacht in Istria and Kvarner:
Istria, the largest of the northern Adriatic islands between Trieste and Rijeka, and Kvarner in the north of the country, are both an excellent sailing destinations.
Istria is characterized by green hills and wonderful Venetian architecture. Don’t miss the picturesque old town of Rovinj, the Basilica in Porec and the majestic amphitheatre of Pula.
Pula is the largest city in Istria, as well as the yacht chartering centre. Its best marinas are Marina Veruda and ACI Marina. Other places to explore are Medulin, Rovinj, Porec, Icici, Lovran, Medveja, Moscenicka Draga, Opatija and Umag in Croatia, as well as Koper, Portoroz, Piran and Izola on the Slovenian side. The region is often used as a base for trips to the islands of Kornati and Dalmatia in the southern region.
Along the East coast towards Starigrad is the Kvarner Bay with wonderful beaches, well organized marinas and interesting small coves.
In the north of the bay is the island of Krk, a unique island with a rich history, lots of nature and beautiful cliffs. We recommend seeking out Marina Punat, which is tucked away in a natural harbour. Other marinas are located on the islands of Cres, Pag and Rab.
Other places of note are the Blue Grotto in Lubenice, the fantastically secluded anchorages of Premuda, Silba, Olib and Molat islands, and the idyllic beaches of Susak.
Wind and Weather: The area is mild in summer but otherwise rather mixed during the off-peak season, with wind and precipitation. For families, the best time to visit is in the summer, or try spring if you’re a more experienced.
Difficulty: In summertime the mild Mistral makes sailing conditions easy, but in spring and late summer the stronger Bora comes in from the northeast.
Navigation: You need to be mindful of islets and rocks near the coast. Spring tides partially up to 1m, due to the larger tidal range in the north. Particular attention is required in capes and passages, which can be home to fast currents.
Ports and anchorages: Ports are fairly close to each other, which makes for easy sailing. Be aware cheap berths often get booked up early in the high season and many marinas do not distinguish between high and low season. Pay attention to strong westerly winds, as some berths are not well protected.
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.