The summer is still in full swing and many people are still in search of the best sailing destination. Are you among them? Are you dazzled by the number of options? Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, France or maybe Malta?…Which place attracts you most? Every destination has its unique charm however it is not a secret that Croatia and Spain are the biggest yacht charter centers in the Mediterranean. For this reason would like to ofer you the comparison of these destinations to make the choice of your next sailing holiday destination easier.

Sailing in Croatia

Croatian bay

Croatian bay

  1. When?

The best period for a  yacht charter in Croatia is between April and October. In summer the average temperatures remain at the high level and can reach about 35 °C. As about the sea temperatures, normally they stay at the level of 26°C in the high season. During this period there are plenty of entertainment activities, however, always it’s possible to find a nice quiet place to relax far from the daily stresses and loud discos. Already in March you will be pleased with the light spring sun gently touching your face, but always pay attention to the weather forecast because some rains are not rare also.  So called Indian summer starts in September or October depending on the year. So, it becomes the perfect time for all those dreaming about stable calm temperatures and pleasant weather. If you want to discover the charming authentic beauty of the Croatian coast in winter, make sure you bring some warm clothes with you because sometimes the temperatures can drop to the quite low level with an intense wind.

  1. Where?

There are many magnificent cities in Croatia. A choice depends on the route you want to follow. Popular charter bases include Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir and are well-known for their modern ports, where you can find a wide range of useful services for the most effective navigation in conjunction with an assortment of yachting facilities. In general, the opportunities for sailing holidays in Croatia are endless that makes it a unique spot for the nature and history fans. Croatia is becoming more and more popular and the growing interest attracts there more and more visitors from all over the world. With aBoatTime you can go to discover plenty of Croatian towns despite the three mentioned above. Among them are Biograd, Pula, Zadar, Murter, Tucepi, Krvavica. Each place provides an authentic set of touristic places of interest for sightseeing, nice restaurants and boutiques.

  1. License requirements

In order to be able to navigate in Croatian waters, skippers must obtain a special yachtmaster’s certificate (or a license for navigation), issued according to the local Maritime legislation. This document permits to sail in similar waters in a number of European countries as well. Please pay attention that navigation licenses obtained by foreigners in Croatia are recognized in Croatia but not in their country of origin. Another important fact is that licenses by the authorities of the former republic of Yugoslavia have to be reissued by the competent authority in Croatia. All those skippers who do not have this kind of license have an opportunity to apply for a navigation test where they should show their knowledge of the basic navigation rules, meteorology and some similar topics. If they pass this exam successfully, they will be granted with a temporal license covering the duration of their stay in Croatia.

According to the local Maritime legislation, foreign vessels must take the shortest route to the nearest port or harbour suitable for the international traffic. This condition is relevant in a case when you rent a yacht somewhere in a foreign country and would like to sail and stay in coastal waters in Croatia. Arriving there, it’s necessary to register with the authorized body and apply for a authorization to sail on the Croatian maritime territory.

  1. Activities

Among the most popular leisure activities in Croatia are encountered mountain biking and trekking (preferably in autumn and spring due to the high summer temperatures). In the high season you can enjoy its variable watersport activities such as diving, snorkeling and a windsurf. Kayak, rafting,canoeing, hiking are very popular all over the country. If you tend to spend more quiet holidays, beach volley or jogging can be a perfect choice for you. In general, think that Croatia mentally can be divided into two parts – beaches and mountains that makes an idea of the typical activities and sports you can practice there.

  1. Other features

For sailing along the Croatian coast you will need to do a transit-log – is a document containing information about the yacht and the crew. To put it simple, a transit log is the amount that has to be paid in a port and it includes navigation permit expenses, light dues and other port taxes. At the same time, there are no other costs to be paid.

If you are planning to visit any of the neighbourhood countries such as Montenegro, Greece and Italy, feel free to do it because you won’t need any additional documents due to the fact that transit log is widespread around all the Adriatic region. Also, one of the main differentiating factors of this destination is a huge amount of islands and islets along the extended coastline. So, if you prefer to discover several of them and just sail moving from one to the other, Croatia could be a perfect choice! Moreover, sailing in Croatia permits to enjoy the perfect sailing conditions the main part of the year and to discover the rich history of the region, where the present interlaces with the old history that goes back for several centuries. The sea in this part of the Mediterranean is not very deep, with around 20 metres along the coastline on average. Only moving towards Dubrovnik the sea becomes slightly deeper. Local lagoons and bays are well-protected from the wind and storm. The sea is considered to be one of the most transparent in all the Mediterranean. Water transparency can reach about 50 metres in depth. Moreover, on the Croatian coast there are no major rivers so the sea is very clean. Due to the small depth, the water is warmer. The fauna is varied and there you can find a wide range of mussels, sea urchins and other types of sea inhabitants.

Sailing in Spain

Spanish marina

Spanish marina

  1. When?

July and August are considered to be the most popular monthsfor a yacht charter in Spain. However, please keep in mind that during this period the average temperatures in the main part of the Iberian peninsula are quite high. In general, Spanish climate can be described as temperate. As an alternative, go to explore wonderful Spanish shores in the late spring or early autumn when the weather is smooth and pleasant.

  1. Where?

Spanish culture varies so much depending on the part of the country. Moving from the North to the South or from the East to the West, you will find plenty of charming places such as Barcelona, Alicante, Denia or Malaga to mention some of them. At the same time don’t forget about the Balearic and Canary islands. There you can find more than 20 well-equipped Marine resorts that provide all the basic services and a set of additional options in order to make your sailing travel as comfortable as possible. Spain is a unique country full of opportunities for a discoverer and perfectly suitable for an unforgettable sailing trip.

  1. License requirements

In order to navigate independently (bareboat charter), you will need to get a special license “título de recreo” issued by any official sailing school or by one of the Autonomous Communities. This document can be obtained only in a case when an applicant has passed the exam successfully. The level of difficulty varies according to the size and parameters of the vessel. A further condition is a good level of Spanish. Also, you will need a medical certificate. Concerning the exam, it includes the following parts – safety, navigability and boats mechanism. Please keep in mind that it’s always better to find out more details in a local port due to the several differences among Spanish regions. However, some international sailing licenses can be applied in Spain. For example, International Certificate of Competence or the RYA Yacht Master Certification.

  1. Activities

The main water sports include windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing, parasailing, jet skiing and water skiing. Moreover, especially active adventurers can try snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. Spain is a perfect place to practice sea activities due to the different shores. On the Atlantic ocean the waves are significantly higher whereas the Mediterranean part implies quieter water surface. So, whether you’re going to discover mysterious cliffs or want to relax on a nice beach, Spain has it for your disposal!

  1. Other features

Sailing in Spain implies a smooth coastline and quite significant water depth that in some places can reach the level of 2000 metres.Therefore, the local bays are less convenient for snorkeling and swimming than in Croatia. Moreover, on average the visibility of the water is not the same as in Croatia where in the majority of places you can see a varied seabed. However, the cultural program and entertainment on the Spanish shore is considered to be a bit more varied. Roughly speaking, Spanish lifestyle is much more intense. In Croatia the landscape is more rural and more suitable for those nature fans in search of tranquility.