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Best Time to Sail in Croatia

With beautiful weather throughout the summer months, is there a best time to visit when planning your vacation in Croatia? One of the world’s most popular cruising destinations, the sailing season in Croatia runs from April through mid-October when the weather is generally best. During this time there are some months that are better than others, depending on the type of trip you’re looking for.

The best time for sailing in Croatia is from April to October. The shoulder season of April through to around mid-June, as well as late September and October, brings fewer crowds and opportunities to be surrounded by nothing but the endless blue of the sea and the Dalmatian islands. Other periods bring perfect winds for sailing under the warmth of the sun, while others are ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

Breaking it down into pre-, high, and post-season for cruises in Croatia:

  • April and May are considered the pre-sailing season in Croatia, with steady winds, a chilly sea, and long days.
  • The summer months of June, July and August are the peak season for sailing trips when it’s quite warm on land and at sea, with the water very pleasant for swimming, while winds are low. This is usually the best time for sailing Croatia — regardless of whether you’re using a traditional ship or a catamaran yacht.
  • September and October, the low season for visiting Croatia for sailing trips, bring shorter days but the sea is still warm from those higher summer temperatures, and winds are steady.
Sailing in Croatia in April

Sailing Croatia in April

April is early in the pre-season for sailing in Croatia, which means you’ll typically get some of the best prices for your trip. This is a time to go for savings as well as for strong and steady winds for a more authentic “true” sailing experience around the Dalmatian Islands. If you’re flying into the country, you can often find discounts on airfare too.

That said, this isn’t the time for swimming as the sea temperatures tend to be rather chilly. Instead, you will spend most of your time sailing during the day and taking the afternoons and evenings to go wine tasting and exploring the towns. April is ideal for sailing around Croatia whilst avoiding the crowds, as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to experience sailing the Adriatic at its fullest.

Temperatures in Croatia in April

Air Temperature:   16* C/ 61* F                          Sunrise:  05:14

Sea Temperature:  15* C/ 59* F                                Sunset:  18:46

Sailing in Croatia in May

Sailing Croatia in May

A May sailing excursion in Croatia falls in the pre-season, so you can still find discounts on airfare and yacht rates, but this is the month when the season really gets underway. Temperatures in Croatia in May are warming up and getting even hotter as the month progresses. The days are getting longer and the winds are steady, but they won’t be as strong as they were in April. This can be a great time to visit Croatia on a private yacht vacation, with more sunshine and little to no crowds. Because of this, it can be regarded as a shoulder season in Croatia. You may be able to swim in warmer sea temperatures too, although you’ll want to bring your wet suit.

Temperatures in Croatia in May

Air Temperature:   20* C/ 69* F                                 Sunrise:  04:37

Sea Temperature:  19* C/ 66* F                                Sunset:  19:24

Sailing in Croatia in June

Sailing Croatia in June

June marks the beginning of the peak season for Croatian cruises, which means prices are starting to go up for yacht charters, but it won’t be too crowded yet. Things are starting to liven up, however, and the sea will be warm enough for swimming without a wet suit for most. This makes it a great time for sailing in Croatia as you get to visit the coastal towns as they wake up for a busy summer. Visiting Croatia in June means you get to experience some of the longest days of the year, so you’ll see more with plenty of time to enjoy sailing and take advantage of afternoons and evenings to explore the ports and beyond.

Some great cities to visit along the Croatian coast are Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik. June is a great time to moor up and explore the wonders of these cities in Croatia and allows you to stretch your legs after being on the water.

Temperatures in Croatia in June

Air Temperature:   25* C/ 77* F                                 Sunrise:  04:13

Sea Temperature:  21* C/ 72* F                                Sunset:  19:52

Sailing in Croatia in July

Sailing Croatia in July

July falls in the heart of the peak sailing season in Croatia which means you’ll pay high season prices, but this is also when rain is rare, with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. The sea temperatures will be perfect for swimming now, while the winds are pleasant and warm. The weather in Croatia in July is ideal for being on the water, plus it’s also the best time to relax on the stunning beaches and soak up the sun. This is a great time for a relaxed sailing holiday in Croatia. One of the best places to visit while sailing in Croatia in July is Vis Island. While the tourist crowds will be here too, our expert skippers have the local knowledge necessary for working around the busiest times so attractions are still enjoyable. This makes it still comfortable getting around Croatia, especially on a private yacht. If you want to enjoy water sports, July is ideal not only for swimming, but standup paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling too.

Temperatures in Croatia in July

Air Temperature:   29* C/ 84* F                                 Sunrise:  04:31

Sea Temperature:  26* C/ 78* F                                Sunset:  19:45

Sailing in Croatia in August

Sailing Croatia in August

Similar to July only slightly warmer, August is also the high season, bringing the crowds while the prices for yachts will be at their highest of the year. As a general guide to sailing around Croatia, this is a wonderful time as the sea temperature is idyllic for those unforgettable swims and enjoying the wide range of other water sports on offer. This is one of the best times for diving in Croatia, which can be a perfect addition to a sailing trip. The weather in Croatia in August is some of the finest of the year, perfect for sailing the Adriatic waters. Reservations are generally a must, but with a local skipper at the helm, you’ll be able to take advantage of that knowledge to make the most of the time you have, visiting ports during times that aren’t as busy. August is also an excellent time to explore Croatia’s hidden gems, where you’ll find stunning natural beauty and blissful solitude.

Temperatures in Croatia in August

Air Temperature:   31* C/ 87* F                                 Sunrise:  05:08

Sea Temperature:  26* C/ 78* F                                Sunset:  19:16

Sailing in Croatia in September

Sailing Croatia in September

September falls early in the post sailing season, with prices for yachts starting to dip back down once again. Discounts on airfare are possible too, especially later in the month. While the days are getting short, September tends to be a wonderful time for sailing in Croatia as the sea is still plenty warm for swimming while the weather is consistently pleasant bringing lots of sunshine without getting too hot and the wind are just starting to pick up again. On the shore, you can enjoy activities like cycling across the gorgeous Croatian islands.

Temperatures in Croatia in September

Air Temperature:   25* C/ 77* F                                 Sunrise:  05:42

Sea Temperature:  23* C/ 72* F                                Sunset:  18:04

Sailing in Croatia in October

Sailing Croatia in October

October is post-season time, with Croatian cruises starting to wind down and the crowds are thin to non-existent. This month also brings lower prices for yachts making a sailing week much more affordable. While temperatures in October drop, you’ll still see plenty of sunny days with steady winds and the sea is usually still warm enough for swimming. October is a great time to visit Croatia as you can enjoy a perfect mix of sailing, sightseeing and other activities. For example, October is the ultimate time to go hiking and cycling, taking advantage of Croatia’s beauty to the fullest. This is the best time to sail in Croatia if you’d like a more varied trip and want to avoid the peak summer crowds.

Temperatures in Croatia in October

Air Temperature:   21* C/ 69* F                                 Sunrise:  06:18.

Sea Temperature:  18* C/ 64* F                                Sunset:  17:13

FAQ's about Sailing in Croatia

Do you need a sailing license in Croatia?

Croatian law states that at least one person on your vessel must possess valid navigational and VHF licenses. Thankfully, our expert skippers are not just qualified but also have a plethora of local knowledge to make sure that you have the best sailing experience.

Is Croatia a good place to sail?

Croatia boasts a stunning coastline, azure waters and over 1000 islands to explore, which makes it one of the best sailing destinations in Europe. There are so many coves and islets to discover, each with its own unique atmosphere. Whether you want to visit coastal villages and discover authentic Croatian culture or explore the secluded beaches and lagoons to find your own slice of paradise.

Is sailing better in Croatia or Greece?

Both Croatia and Greece are excellent destinations for a sailing trip. They both have a variety of remote and popular islands that you can visit on a charter which will make your experience much more dynamic. Both destinations are also steeped in history, with ancient ruins and castles to explore while you’re docked at port.

However, those seeking consistent winds and larger sailing areas would be better suited to a sailing trip in Greece. Nevertheless, Croatia offers excellent mooring facilities as well as vibrant towns renowned for dynamic nightlife.

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