At LateSail we love Croatia, no matter how many times you go, there is so much to see and do and no two vacations are exactly alike. This eclectic nature is exactly what you would expect from a country culturally infused with Slavic, Venetian, Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Italian, Hungarian, Ottoman and Soviet influences. Not only is Croatia defined by her Historic thumb-print but also by her breathtaking beauty, from the National Parks to the archipelago of Islands dotted off her coast, Croatia, like her people, is welcoming, diverse and absolutely stunning.
Despite all this some people are reticent to visit this glorious country due to a misconception that Croatia is expensive and that your charter will be marred by spiralling Marina fees and tourist tax (which, although unavoidable, is only €1 per person / per day (children under the age of 12 go free)).
If you are staying in Marinas then you will not be able to avoid the fees, however we don’t believe the prices should be prohibitive to you enjoying the wonder of Croatia. Here is a rough guide to help you understand the costs you are likely to incur and a few little tips for you to consider in order to ensure you keep you costs down.
1. Croatian marina prices
Marina prices vary depending on the category of the marina, its location, the size of your yacht and the time of year. The highest prices are charged by the ACI Marinas, with the most expensive season being from 1st July – 31st August, so if you can avoid these dates then you would reduce your marina costs considerably.
To help you budget for your charter and to give you an idea of the maximum price you would pay for moorings, here is a guide to ACI Marina prices based on a 40ft monohull sailing in high season, in the most popular sailing grounds between Split and Dubrovnik (prices per day):
ACI Trogir: €77
ACI Split: €90
ACI Milna: €72
ACI Vrboska (HVAR): €70 (Monday to Thursday) €56 (Friday to Sunday)
ACI Palmižana (HVAR): €80
ACI Korčula: €79
ACI Dubrovnik: €81 (Monday to Thursday) €105 (Friday to Sunday)
It is a myth that Marina fees change from the price list depending on how busy it is and if you were just to use the ACI Marinas you can book your mooring in advance using the ACI Marinas website.
Other marinas in the region don’t charge as highly as the ACI Marinas so it is worth considering these as an alternative option.
2. Moor and eat at local restaurants
Away from the choice of mooring at Marinas, more and more restaurants are opening up moorings which you can stay at for free if you eat at the restaurant. Here are a few local restaurants that you may want to consider eating and mooring with:
Small local fishing harbours will also open up their moorings in the high season and will charge around two to five euros per metre length of your yacht, these do tend to fill up quickly so you will need to get in early.
In addition, you always have the rustic option of spending the night at anchor in one of the many beautiful bays Croatia has to offer which will cost you absolutely nothing or for peace of mind and a slightly safer anchoring option, you can latch onto a mooring buoy which will set you back one to two euros per metre length.
3. Start your charter in Split
Starting your charter in the Split region is one way of keeping the cost of your charter down, such is the volume of charter fleets and therefore competition in the Split region that we find offers are far better suited to picking up a great yacht at a great price than other bases where there is less competition. With numerous fleets located in several bases around the Split region we are able to find the perfect yacht to suit every taste and budget.
4. Anchor in the Kornati Archipelago
If you like the idea of getting back to basics and spending a few solitary nights at anchor then head north out of Split and aim for the Kornati Archipelago. This scattering of 140 islands, islets and reefs has been designated a national park since 1980 and is the ideal place to take in nature at its most unspoilt.
As you can imagine with that many islands, many of them inhabited then it is the perfect place to drop you anchor and avoid any mooring fees. Even the ACI Marinas are cheaper here, and ACI Marina Skradin is a must as it is the gateway to the Krka National Park famed or its magnificent natural waterfalls. A charter from Sibenik, Primosten or Rogiznica will be the prefect starting point to take on the Kornati Nation Park.
5. Don't forget your Kuna
Don’t forget your Kuna, although Croatia joined Europe in 2013 it is still currently trading in Kuna (HKR) which see your money go a lot further than countries trading with the EURO. Despite Boris Vujčić, Governor of the Croatian National Bank, aim to be in the Euro within the next two years in reality many Croatians believe it could be another decade before the Kuna is phased out – so it is definitely worth getting to Croatia while you get more bang for your buck!
When you are in Croatia eat like a local, much like the culture, Croatia’s cuisine is heterogeneous and takes its influence from its regional produce as much as its diverse history, high quality local food and wine are easily accessible where ever you go and is all very reasonably prices as nothing is imported, so put down the Cornish pasty and get stuck into some local fare.
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