Monday, 27 June 2016
A seven week trip around the Croatian coastline and islands has been highly informative. After several years of very little change and just the odd new marina popping up every now and then, things are hotting up. In the last few weeks we’ve visited almost every marina featured in our Croatia Cruising Companion (and that’s all of the marinas along the Dalmatian Coast and on the islands), and many of the bays and ports. In some ways, very little has changed; in other ways changes are more significant.
Refreshingly we found that not every bay is now the subject of a concession with mooring buoys; some are still open to all to anchor in for free. We also discovered that a substantial amount of those precious EU structural funds are being used to improve beaches, walkways, squares and quays. And sometimes local authorities are going it alone to improve their ports and harbours.
Seaplanes are occupying precious space in some busy ports but making connections much easier for holidaymakers visiting islands. Elsewhere, for example in Šibenik, which was expected to be the next destination to host seaplanes, local objections seem to be winning at the moment.
Most of all we found a huge amount of investment in the marina infrasture with the widespread renovation of older facilities and the building of several new ones. Some time ago we told you about Marina Trogir, pictured, which is already operating at good capacity levels with more investment to come. We’ve also told you about the relatively recent Baotić Yacht Club Seget nearby, which is now a veritable hubbub of activity on a grand scale, compared with the small group of buildings we first saw in 2009 just after it first opened and before all phases were complete.
The completion of these two marinas now means that the number and choice of berths in the highly popular mid Dalmatian town of Trogir has increased substantially. Existing ACI Marina Trogir is next door to Marina Trogir and of course Trogir Riva (the town quay and promenade) has always been popular with superyachts.
So, now that all those projects in the melting pot for so long have come, or are coming, to fruition, and after catching up properly with all the local industry experts, it seems like an ideal time to update the Croatia Cruising Companion and bring out a new edition. We’re lucky enough to have a new publisher prepared to invest in exactly what the Croatia Cruising Companion needs to bring it bang up to date, continue to meet the high expectations of its readers and do justice to one of the best cruising grounds in the world. And, although we originally wrote and designed the CCC uniquely to suit Croatia, and meet our desire to make it the best book of its kind on the market, we’re delighted that its no longer held back by being part of a series, albeit the flagship and best seller of that series.
For earlier postings on the two Trogir marinas, follow the links below :-
Baotić Yacht Club Seget Soft Opening
Marina Trogir Opens on Trogir Shipyard Site
Thursday, 24 March 2016
It was bound to happen eventually. This majestic building in Zadar, once the home of the Maraska distillery, is apparently destined to become a 5 star, 120 room hotel. Next door there will be a luxury residential complex and a commercial zone including shops, restaurants and bars.
Dogus Group, who own three marinas in Croatia, including the flagship D-Marin Mandalina Marina in Šibenik, announced recently they will be investing €80 million in the project which is due to start later this year and take approximately one year. Dogus does not have a marina in Zadar city centre itself though it’s difficult not to suppose that they must have their eyes on Zadar Marina which lies right next to the Maraska building and could probably do with some new investment.
Dogus opened a new hotel at D-Marin Mandalina last year and, this year, will also be upgrading facilities at nearby D-Marin Borik and D-Marin Dalmacija Sukošan.
Zadar is a rising Croatian star. Ten years ago it was little known as a tourist destination and pretty hard to find a decent choice of hotels. Now, thanks to its own special charms and Ryannair favouring its airport, its attracting more and more visitors. For nautical tourists, however, it’s always been a very special destination with a marina that’s right in the heart of everything.
Sister blog Croatia Online has many postings on Zadar and here are a few, in chronological order – oldest first – which will give you an idea of just how much (or how little?!) some things have changed:
Monday, 14 March 2016
Ok, I know Montenegro is not Croatia but it does have a habit of stealing the limelight from its neighbour! Montenegro has a tiny coastline but some of it, particularly the Bay of Kotor, is spectacular, and it is here you will find Porto Montenegro and plenty of other superyacht marina activity. Small though it is, Montenegro has the distinct advantage of being able to offer Croatia’s amazing cruising grounds as part of its package. It has deliberately focused on the luxury end of the nautical tourism market, with considerable success, and now offers the world’s largest superyacht berth at 250 metres (820 feet), much bigger than the world’s largest yacht….so far!
Have a look here - Porto Montenegro - for the full story and to see how fast and how far the marina has changed since the photo above, taken in 2012.
Monday, 22 February 2016
Most, but by no means all, of Croatia’s 50 plus marinas have, by now, decided on their prices for 2016. Regular nautical visitors to Croatia will know that the pricing structure varies from marina to marina – some daily, weekly, monthly and annual rates include things like water and electricity and some don’t; some have discounts for multiple days stay and/or throw in additional services; some have slightly different dates for each season; size categories can vary, some price rises take effect in January, some in April etc, etc. Almost all charge at least 50% extra for catamarans. The variations can make comparison between marinas quite difficult but if you read the small print carefully the marinas are normally quite good at spelling out exactly how much it costs for each service.
State owned ACI have 22 marinas if you include the new marina in Slano which is due to be ready for the 2016 season. Their prices and price structure vary from location to location but the following examples will give you an idea of what you might be in store for if you prefer to spend the night in these marinas.
In ACI Marina Vodice, a 12 metre boat will cost €72 per day in the main summer season (1.7 to 31.8 inclusive) and €66 a day the rest of the year. In ACI Split a 12 metre boat is €90 a day from 1.6 to 30.9 inclusive and €78 per day the rest of the year. If you go to ACI’s website - ACI Marinas – you can look at each marina individually, or if you follow this link - ACI Marinas Price List - 2016 you can print out 26 pages of 2016 marina prices!
Below are three examples (and direct links in brackets) of prices amongst the indepent marinas, though in typical Dalmatian fashion they are quite a few who have yet to publish 2016 prices as at today’s date of 22.2.2016.
All are daily rates for 12 metre boats.
Marina Tribunj (Tribunj Prices): 1.7 to 31.8 €97; otherwise €73
Marina Frapa (Frapa Prices) 1.7 to 31.8 €89; otherwise €67 (effective 1.1.2016)
Marina Kornati (Kornati Prices) all year - €66
And finally, below are links to postings on similar exercises we have carried out in previous years.
Today’s photo is of Tribunj Marina back in 2010 - not that long after the pink marina building in the background was finished. The wooden boat in the foreground is a replica of a traditional fishing boat - the Gajeta Falkuša – and you can read more about that on Croatia Cruising Companion - the Gajeta Falkuša although unfortunately Lifejacket Adventures is no longer around.
Below is an extract from the feature we wrote for this year’s Superports, a Boat International annual guide to superyacht marinas around the world. It’s good to see Croatia taking such a large chunk of the space dedicated to news for the year ahead!
State owned ACI runs 21 of Croatia’s fifty plus marinas. Dubrovnik, Split and Korčula are favourite locations, as is Pakleni, close to Hvar town, and Vrboska also on Hvar island. ACI Marina Skradin is popular, not just for its proximity to the spectacular Krka water falls, but also for its rare combination of salt and fresh water. In Istria and Kvarner, in northern Croatia, ACI Marinas Pula, Opatija, Umag and Cres all have their special attractions including Pula’s magnificent Roman amphitheatre and Opatija’s grand villas and promenades.
ACI’s latest investment programme started with the replacement of all the pontoons at ACI Marina Cres, work which is now complete. Soon, a twenty second marina will be added to the network with the completion of a new marina in Slano, near Dubrovnik, which will cater for yachts up to 25 metres in length. In autumn 2016, work will start on ACI Marina Opatija to extend the marina and provide 42 dedicated superyacht berths for yachts up to 60 metres or more. Next will be a major extension to ACI Marina Dubrovnik to provide an additional 45 berths for superyachts, and a reconfiguration of the traditional stone building on site, an old summer palace, into a 5-star boutique hotel.
ACI Marina Pomer, for smaller yachts, is having a major facelift, due for completion by summer 2016, and ACI Marina Rovinj, also currently for smaller yachts, will undergo an extensive reconstruction and upgrade of facilities, starting in late 2016, which will provide 22 berths for yachts between 27 and 30 metres and should result in it becoming ACI’s flagship and first five anchor marina, as categorised (and rarely awarded) by the national regulating authority.
Also on the agenda for 2016 is the roll out of a gastro project which started in 2015 with the grand opening of “Navigare”, a newly-refurbished restaurant in ACI Marina Milna on the island of Brač. Key elements are a modern interior design concept and consistently high catering standards focusing on traditional local cuisine with a modern twist. ACI Marinas Pomer, Cres, Slano, Žut and Piskera are next in line for a gastro makeover that will eventually be introduced in all 22 marinas.
Also in Croatia, D-Marin continues with an impressive program of upgrades and improvements to its marinas. Their flagship superyacht marina, D-Marin Mandalina in Šibenik, has 79 dedicated superyacht berths out of a total of 429, can accommodate yachts up to 140 metres in length and continues to receive the highest industry accolades. In July 2015 D-Resort Šibenik opened in the heart of D-Marin Mandalina and features a luxury hotel with 63 rooms, six suites and three exclusive villas with private pools. There’s also a spa, gym, shops, four bars, and two à la carte restaurants. In summer 2016 there will be a new Beach Club with VIP cabanas, an additional swimming pool, open air fitness and beach food court. Just along the coast, Croatia’s largest marina, D-Marin Dalmacija is adding an exclusive Beach Club with restaurants and a kids' area, as well as a Piazza with pub and fashion stores.
In central Dalmatia, independently owned Marina Kaštela, was a rare new marina for Croatia in the noughties. Superbly located just five kilometres from Split airport, close to the historic city of Split and a short sail or ferry ride from the alluring islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, it’s a popular base for superyachts. In contrast to the bright lights of Split and Hvar town, the immediately surrounding area is classic traditional Dalmatia – stone houses, family restaurants, tucked away beaches and historic castles. The closest castle (kaštel), just a short walk from the marina, was built by nuns and is probably the best of the handful of castles in this cluster of villages collectively known as Kaštela.
In 2015, Marina Kaštela added the Nautic Restaurant above the reception area in the main building, which, with space for over 300 guests, should make it popular for weddings and other events and will take the pressure of the existing restaurant. 2017 will see the opening of an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness centre, pizzeria and sailing club. Further improvements planned for the future include a 200-ton travel lift, on site pump-out system and a hotel and congress centre. The 420 berth marina features modern equipment, up to 400 amp power and depths of 8 to 10 metres alongside the breakwater dedicated to superyachts. The marina owner has always taken his community responsibilities seriously and sponsors a number of local organisations as well as hosting on site a smaller marina for local boats, and a rowing and sports club.
Another piece of good news from Croatia is the roll out of European Coastal Airways’ affordable sea plane service with scheduled flights that make connections along the coast and between the islands much quicker and easier. De Havilland Twin Otters carrying up to 19 passengers whizz owners and guests from an international airport to their destination island in minutes. Currently, Split is the main hub for flights to the islands but there are also connections from Zadar, Pula, Rijeka and Ancona in Italy, with more to come.
Thank to ACI Marinas for today’s photo of Marina Palmižana on the island of Sv Klement near Hvar island.
And if you’d like your own copy of Superports 2016, here’s the link: Boat International EStore - Superports 2016
Monday, 25 January 2016
Independently owned Marina Kaštela was a rare new marina for Croatia in the noughties. Superbly located just five kilometres from Split airport, close to the historic city of Split and a short sail or ferry ride from the alluring islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, it’s a popular base for superyachts. In contrast to the bright lights of Split and Hvar town, the immediately surrounding area is classic traditional Dalmatia – stone houses, family restaurants, tucked away beaches and historic castles. The closest castle (kaštel), just a short walk from the marina, was built by nuns and is probably the best of the handful of castles in this cluster of villages collectively known as Kaštela.
In 2015, Marina Kaštela, near the Dalmatian capital of Split, added the Nautic Restaurant above the reception area in the main building, which, with space for over 300 guests, should make it popular for weddings and other events and will take the pressure of the existing restaurant. In 2017 Marina Kaštela will have an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness centre, pizzeria and sailing club. Further improvements planned for the future include a 200-ton travel lift, on site pump-out system and a hotel and congress centre. The 420 berth marina features modern equipment, up to 400 amp power and depths of 8 to 10 metres alongside the breakwater dedicated to superyachts.
Monday, 27 April 2015
This is how Slano looked when we first wrote our Croatia Cruising Companion. In fact, until recently, not much had changed. Now, however, ground has been broken on a brand new marina being built by state owned ACI. “State owned” needs explanation as ACI has a significant minority “public” shareholding in the form of Turkish group Dogus Marine Croatia. And, if the Croatian Marina industry is having to follow the path of, for example, the Croatian shipbuilding industry then it may be that the state won’t own a majority in ACI for much longer. So perhaps Slano and other investments currently being carried out or contemplated by ACI is part of bigger plan to prepare the group for full privatisation?
Slano will be the 22nd marina in the ACI chain and the first new marina to be built by them for over 20 years. It strengthens ACI’s offer in Dubrovnik county to three (existing marinas are in Dubrovnik and Korčula) though it has to be said that, despite the attractions of the eponymous cities, this is a far less attractive cruising area than the Split and Zadar regions, not least because it has a much smaller number and variety of islands. However Dubrovnik and Korčula marinas are often full so this will ease demand there. Unfortunately, though, it will not be able to help too much with the growing demand for berths for ever larger yachts as the 200 berths are only designed to accommodate yachts up to 25 metres in length.
Covering over 60,000 square metres there will be a reception, premises for associated businesses such as yacht maintenance and repair, a restaurant with a terrace, and an outdoor pool. Eco friendly landscaping will hopefully mitigate the visual impact of the new development and infrastructure required which will of course include access roads and parking.
Slano itself has a good beach, the bay is well protected and it has long been popular with flotillas who have made good use of the existing facilities (lazy lines, electricity, water, tourist office, bars, restaurants, etc) for many years. The marina will no doubt bring back cosmopolitan life to a town that was badly damaged in the Homeland War, with an earthquake in 1996 causing further destruction, though none of the after effects of these incidents was obvious when we last visited.
Monday, 15 September 2014
Croatia has something for everyone. If you want to party, as well as enjoy the sailing and the scenery, then have a look at this account of how to do it with style!
Thanks to the Travelettes for the photo too.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
As regular readers will know, Trogir is one of our favourite places and was our first home when we moved to Croatia in 2002. Close to Split airport, it has a life all year round as well as being a popular tourist destination for its UNESCO protected medieval walled town, its cobbled streets, a plethora of shops, cafés, bars hotels and restaurants, and its wide Riva (seafront promenade) lined with luxury yachts on one side and more cafés, bars and restaurants on the other.
Unlike Dubrovnik, Trogir did not lose its soul to the mass purchase of old stone houses by foreigners and that’s part of the reason for Trogir’s still very “local” feel and all year round ambience. A school on the Riva and an active shipyard, across the way on Čiovo island, are two others.
There have been rumours for many years that the school’s prime location makes it a key target for various tourism projects but, so far it has managed to resist. And we are delighted to see that the now privatised shipyard in Trogir is making the most of its assets by building on its history as a shipyard, as well as embracing the opportunities of nautical tourism by turning some of this prime site into a deluxe marina. We originally shared a landlord with a Finnish neighbour who was working at the shipyard. He told us that Finland has been doing business with the shipyard for many years so it’s no surprise to see that the owners of the newly privatised Brodotrogir are Finnish group Kermas who see the new marina as part of a wider strategy to diversify and modernise the activities of Brodotrogir, thus ensuring a sustainable future.
Marina Trogir should be ready for visitors by the end of June and will have 170 berths for yachts up to 120 metres in length, with a further 30 berths to follow by 2018. Modern, 5-star, purpose built, facilities will include 24/7 security, shops, bars and restaurants, and, of course, repair and maintenance facilities including lifting services on floating docks for yachts up to 8,000 tonnes.
Trogir already has one marina in town, owned by state run ACI. However location, and the fact that it was built when the average size of yachts was smaller, means it can generally only handle smaller yachts. Superyachts have traditionally berthed alongside on the Riva but there’s only space for a handful and the channel can get quite busy, particularly when the cruise boats are loading and unloading their guests, so they should be particularly happy about the new marina.
Another alternative is the relatively new Yacht Club Seget, roughly opposite Marina Trogir, on the mainland, in the peaceful village of Seget Donji. In fact if you look at the photo on the following posting - Croatia Cruising Companion - 2011 Marina Prices – you can see the pontoons of Marina Seget, just to the left of the solitary tree. The new Marina Trogir lies on the tip of the peninsula across the channel but bear in mind this photo and posting are a few years old!!
For more information, check out the following links:
And just for fun, for the historians amongst you, you might be interested to read what we said about the Croatia shipbuilding industry way back in 2006 on sister site Croatia Online!
Quite a lot has changed since then!
Today’s photo has been kindly sent to us by Marina Trogir. Good luck to them with their opening and we’re sure their presence can only enhance Trogir’s reputation as a luxury yachting hub and all round idyllic Croatian destination. And keep an eye on owners, Kermas, as we’re expecting to hear plenty more exciting news from them before too long!
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Readers who want to relax and let someone else do the skippering might be interested in the following report on a luxury Gulet holiday in Croatia. Telegraph Travel - Croatia By Gulet
However, if you want to make sure your skipper takes you to the places that might suit you best, it will pay to do a little research in advance. And what better way to do that than by reading our Croatia Cruising Companion!
Today’s photo is of Bol on Brač island. In the foreground is the local harbour where you can moor. In the back ground is Bol’s famous beach, probably the most popular and photographed beach in Croatia!
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
We’ve met quite a few expats and UK residents who keep their yachts in Croatia and even more who have holiday or permanent homes on the islands. If the new project for affordable seaplane connections to the islands happens, as promised for summer 2014, then perhaps the island marinas will become more an easier option for annual berths and regular visitors will be able to get to their homes a lot quicker?
See Croatia Online for the full story.
Today’s photo is from a jet airline from London to Split, looking over somewhere not far from Luka Telašćica
Monday, 12 May 2014
Our latest update on Croatian marina prices is well overdue so here it is!
Prices continue to rise steadily though not exorbitantly. Perhaps of more significance to those that prefer to spend their nights in quiet anchorages and bays, rather than marinas, is that it is becoming increasing challenging to find good sheltered bays that are not now under concession and where fees are therefore due. However these fees are still normally considerably less than marina prices.
Croatia now has over 55 marinas, well spaced along its coastline and around the islands. with the highest density in Dalmatia, its sailing heartland and the area covered by our Croatia Cruising Companion.
In general these marinas are all of good quality and with a similar standard of essential facilities – relatively easy access to electricity and water from most or all berths, lazy line moorings, toilet and shower blocks, etc. Many of the older marinas have regular upgrades and of course the newer marinas have mostly installed the latest technology. Still rare, though increasing, is the availability of modern pump-out facilities. A few marinas have geared themselves towards the superyacht visitor but many can accommodate larger yachts though it is advisable to check depths and availability in advance.
ACI, the state owned chain of marinas, celebrated its 30th birthday in 2013 and owns 21 marinas providing over 6,000 berths. 17 of these marinas are open all year round. There are a couple of other smaller independent chains of marinas but most of the rest are independently owned.
Comparing marina prices in Croatia is not particularly easy as there are a wide variety of different deals and different methods of charging for eg electricity and water. We’ve supplied a few examples below to give you a general idea but there are a few things to bear in mind when budgeting for overnight stays at marinas.
1. Almost invariably the quoted price per day/month/year changes depending on the season, the length of stay and, of course, the size of yacht.
2. Some marinas include “normal” consumption of electricity and water in the price quoted and some charge separately. Sometimes you’ll need to buy tokens for electricity and water and sometimes usage will be metered.
3. There is normally an additional charge of at least 50% for catamarans and trimarans.
4. Some marinas will give, for example, the third day free if you’ve already stayed for two consecutive days.
5. It is rare for eg toilet and shower facilities to be charged for separately.
6. Lifting in and out and other repair and maintenance facilities will normally be charged separately.
7. Some of the busier marinas may be quite strict on when you can arrive and leave and may, for example, charge extra if you arrive before 2 pm.
8. Yachts that are part of a charter fleet may attract eg a 20% surcharge.
9. Check whether parking fees are applicable if you are planning to leave your car at a marina.
10. Quoted rates normally include VAT at 25% and tourist tax.
11. Advance reservation of a berth may incur an additional fee and is not always easy/possible.
The examples below are the basic fee per day for transit visits for a 10 metre (33 foot) monohull yacht:
a) ACI Marina Split – one of ACI’s busiest marinas and at the upper end of its pricing scale:
October to May inclusive - €62; June & September €68; July and August €73. “Normal” consumption of water and electricity included (eg not boat washing or filling tank from empty)
b) ACI Marina Žut in the Kornati islands – open April to October inclusive:
01.04 to 19.06 and 13.09. to 31.10 - €46; 20.06 to 19.07 and
23.08 to 12.09 - €46 to €49; 20.07to 22.08 €55
c) Marina Kaštela, near Split (privately owned)
d) Marina Frapa, Rogoznica (pictured)
July and August - €74; all other months - €57
Hopefully the above will give you an idea of what you might have to budget for and what questions to ask. If you can sail out of the main high season then it’s obviously generally a lot cheaper, a lot easier to find a berth and the waters are not so crowded.
If you’d like to get an idea of how current prices compare with those of three years ago then have a look at our 2011 posting on the same subject Croatia Online - 2011 Marina Prices
Friday, 9 May 2014
Readers will be pleased to note that a new marina is about to open in the hugely popular destination of Trogir and we'll give you more news of that in due course.
In the meantime thanks to the many readers who have contacted us for help sourcing our Croatia Cruising Companion book and we are pleased to report that it should again be widely available in the UK now. Once we know where it is available elsewhere, particularly in Croatia, we will let you know. However, in the meantime, please check before making a special journey to any of the Croatian sources listed in the link above right. Thanks also for the many helpful comments and kind words we’ve had from those who already have the book.
We’re pleased to report that the Croatia Cruising Companion is straight back into Amazon’s top ten for all travel and holiday books on Croatia, currently sitting at number 5. We’re pretty sure its continued popularity with land based visitors to Croatia, as well as nautical visitors, is partly down to its unique detail on, and comprehensive coverage of, the Dalmatian coast and islands.
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Cavtat is one of Croatia’s most popular harbours, especially amongst the superyacht fraternity. It’s close to Dubrovnik International airport, does not attract the same crowds that Dubrovnik does, has some great fish restaurants and has that very traditional Croatian feel. Part of its very relaxed ambience is down to the fact that it has not been over developed, or even developed very much at all!
That might all change a little, hopefully for the better, when the Čista Luka Resort project goes ahead just a short distance away from Cavtat’s main bay. Translated into English as the Clearpoint Resort Project, the blueprint specifies a three-phase master-planned five star resort, residential and marina development covering approximately 100,000 square meters of land, with approximately 68,000 square meters of waterside area dedicated to the marina. A large five star hotel, 80 room boutique hotel, residential villas, town homes and apartments, restaurant and retail outlets are all part of the plans.
The marina is expected to provide 200 berths.
For more information on the project link to Dalmi Resorts - Cista Luka Project
To read what we said about Cavtat in an earlier posting link to Croatia Cruising Companion – Cavtat.
For those interested in Croatian pronunciation, the phonetic spelling for Cavtat is “Savtat” (a soft “c”)!
Monday, 5 August 2013
Follow the link immediately below to read the story of how Wall Street Journalist Jonathan Gornall falls in love with Croatia after chartering a boat from Kremik Marina, near Primošten.
Today’s picture is of Maslinica on the island of Šolta. The red tiled building in the foreground, surrounding the swimming pool, is the luxury boutique hotel Martinis Marchi. You can read more about that in a posting we put up in June 2012 - Newly Refurbished Marina On The Island of Solta – and, with no disrepect to the hotel at all, you’ll find out in Jonathan’s article why it’s the first time he felt sorry for “folks in a five star hotel”!
Friday, 12 July 2013
The hot news is that Croatia is now a member of the EU and that should make the paperwork a little easier! Old news is the fact that Croatia continues to emerge as one of the best cruising grounds in the world – over 1,000 islands islets and reefs, a Mediterranean climate, charming locals, great food and drink, excellent facilities, fascinating history and a huge variety of architecture, culture and entertainment. There’s something for everyone, it’s relatively safe, at sea and onshore, and the cost of living won’t blow the budget. If you’re chartering it’s a buyers market though it is still best to avoid the very high season when all the continentals drive to northern Croatia and sail in fleets down to Dalmatia.
Below are links to some of our earlier postings that might help you enjoy cruising Croatia better:
And for an up to date guide to marina prices, have a look at the ACI website. State owned ACI run a chain of 21 marinas along the coast and on the islands, providing over 6,000 berths with a high standard of facilities. You’ll find information and prices for each marina. Prices vary according to length and season. There are web pages in English but you do need to know what the days of the week are in Croatian to understand that price list fully so here they are.
Ponedjeljak - Monday
Utorak - Tuesday
Srijeda - Wednesday
Četvrtak - Thursday
Petak - Friday
Subota - Saturday
Nedjelja – Sunday
I’m pleased to say that I got the spelling right, before I double checked as it’s been a few months since I used them!
Today’s photo shows the view from our favourite Pizzeria in the lovely and UNESCO protected town of Trogir, near Split.
Monday, 18 June 2012
It’s a gorgeous unspoilt island, very close to Split - full of olive groves and secluded bays, and great for spectacular sunsets, particularly in the west facing bay of Maslinica. It was in Maslinica that we spent most of our time as we’d been invited to come and take a look at the newly refurbished Martinis Marchi hotel.
Once a castle, with intermittent use as a 50 bedroom hotel, it was very tasteful restored, with no expense spared, to provide just six expansive luxury suites. Now, finally, the marina attached to it has had its own makeover and is ready to receive visitors in style.
Facilities include showers, reception and a café as well as access to the hotel restaurant. The breakwater of some 90 metres in length, with a red light at the end, protects 50 full service berths for yachts up to 30 metres in length. Larger yachts can moor on the outside of the breakwater.
Follow these links for more information about Šolta and Martinis Marchi:
Croatia Online - Šolta, Martinis Marchi
Croatia Online - Šolta In Pictures
Croatia Online - Šolta The Island Of Olives Croatia Online - Šolta Island: Orientation
Croatia Online – Šolta Sunsets
Sunday, 6 May 2012
According to Istanbul’s Hürriyet Daily News, the Turkish Doğuş Group has just acquired 100% of the shares of Marina Dalmacija and Marina Borik from Croatian businessman Zdenko Zrilic, and plans to invest 17 million euros in modernising the marinas.
“Our aim is to develop an international chain of marinas under the umbrella of the D-Marin brand and to expand Doğuş Group service quality to a broader portion of the Mediterranean,” said Doğuş Group Chief Executive Officer Hüsnü Akhan in the company press release.
Doğuş Group already has a substantial investment in Croatia’s first dedicated megayacht marina – Marina Mandalina in Šibenik and owns a handful of successful marinas in Turkey.
Marina Dalmacija, next to the lovely village of Sukošan, near Zadar, is Croatia’s biggest marina, and one of its newer ones. It reminded us of a scene from thunderbirds when we first saw it. Marina Borik is also relatively new and tucked away in a tourist area just north of Zadar.
Having assisted in a few marina investment projects ourselves, we know the challenges foreign investors face when investing in the Croatian Marina industry and have nothing but admiration for Doğuş.
For more information try the following links:
Today’s picture is on Marina Borik
Thursday, 29 March 2012
A few weeks ago, Wolfgang contacted us after enjoying reading the Croatia Cruising Companion and thought we and our readers might be interested in another great tool to help make the most of Croatia’s anchorages. We were and here’s what he told us!
“The Croatian Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure (MPPI) provides a Concession List that lists the official licensed Nautical Anchorages in Croatia. Since this list is not very handy to use aboard, I created a little piece of software that adds the information and coordinates of the Concession List to a Google-Map. I also write a Blog about news regarding this Map.
You can find the Google-Map here: http://www.wosamma.at/bojenfelder/map.php
You can find the Blog here http://anchoragesincroatia.blogspot.com "
And we’ve just checked Wolfgang’s blog again and it seems he’s now developed an App!
Thank you Wolfgang and we’ll try and keep up with you!
Today’s photo was taken at Smokvica Vela
Monday, 14 November 2011
We’ve just come across what looks like an excellent choice of routes for a one design yacht rally next summer. Sail World plan a flotilla event around some of our favourite and less discovered parts of Croatia including Zadar, Šibenik and the Kornati islands. All are covered in depth in our Croatia Cruising Companion and, in this area, you can be sure of spectacular scenery, challenging sailing, and the best of Croatian culture, history and architecture.
Read more about the trip on Sail World's web page.
Read more about the area on the following pages of sister site, Croatia Online :
or browse through this site and Croatia Online for a real taste of what to expect.
Today’s photo was taken at sunset in Zadar. The world renowned civic architect, Nikola Bašić, based in Zadar, designed the Greeting To The Sun, powered by photo voltaic cells, to accompany the haunting sounds of its neighbour, The Sea Organ, powered by the waves. In the distance, just a hint of what you might expect on Sail World’s sailing trip.
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Whilst it’s still not possible to get duty free fuel in Croatia itself, there are now two great options on either side.
To the north, Camper and Nicholsons’ Porto San Rocco was granted permission, in June 2010, to sell duty free fuel to leisure craft. Located in the Bay of Muggia, within the Gulf of Trieste, 15 miles north east of Croatia, the position of Porto San Rocco in the northern Adriatic makes it very accessible to those cruising the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Even better for those who berth their yachts in Istria, a convenient drive from Germany and Austria, and then head south to Croatia’s sailing heartland. Vessels must leave the EU within eight hours of bunkering which, of course, poses no problem! With Trieste’s airport just a 45 minute drive away, it’s also a great spot to pick up guests or change crew. For more information link to Porto San Rocco’s website.
To the south of Croatia, just beyond Dubrovnik and Cavtat, there’s Porto Montenegro whose September 2010 berth extension also came with duty free bunkering and quite a lot more. Self styled as the “New Port of Cool” there’s no doubting Porto Montenegro’s appeal both in location and facilities. For more information link to Porto Montenegro.
For those that don’t want the hassle of clearing customs etc and/or prefer to do all of their sailing within Croatia, fuel is still cheaper than in the UK and the coast and islands are dotted with fuel stations. We detail them, port by port, in the Croatia Cruising Companion. Good news also that Croatia is finally paying attention to providing pump-out facilities though co-author, John Nash, of Marina Facility Solutions, has been banging that particular drum for more time than we care to remember! See our earlier posting on Pump-Outs for the situation as it was and keep an eye out for an update, here, soon.
Thanks to Camper and Nicholsons for today’s photo of Porto San Rocco, Trieste.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Berthing rates at Croatian marinas have been creeping up steadily since Croatia was rediscovered as one of the world’s best sailing grounds, now some years ago. With more than 50 marinas, over 1,000 islands, crystal clear waters and such a lovely way of life it’s a yachtsman’s paradise.
It’s still cheaper than many other places, including the UK, but a 10 metre berth will now cost around €50 a day and €4,500 per annum plus uplifts of between 10% to 75% in the more popular months. Some are cheaper and some much more expensive, usually according to demand and facilities. There are increasing variations in prices and it pays to shop around, if you can, though you will have limited choice for daily berths in July and August.
All of the marinas are pretty well equipped although the older ones have limited space for larger yachts. Some of them have been able to extend facilities and some of the new marinas are able to welcome superyachts with panache. The state owns just over 20 marinas - ACI Marinas. Most of the others are independently owned though there are a couple of organisations operating more than one marina.
We’ll be looking at individual marinas in more depth in subsequent postings but in the meantime, today’s photo shows the pontoons of Croatia’s newest marina Yachtclub Seget, near Trogir. Its pontoons are just to the left of the tree. On the peninsula jutting out to the right is Trogir Shipyard, surely also destined to become a marina before too long.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Those who have read our Croatia Cruising Companion and other writings on Croatia, will know that Croatia is a relatively safe place, on land and sea. At sea, you are never very far from a protected bay, and on land, you are surrounded by the people of a nation that, on the whole, need ASBOS as much as they need to learn about organic produce, ie not at all. Of course you need to observe the proper precautions, and the big cities hide a few reprobates, but compared to other European destinations, you can relax in this respect.
So why, you may ask, are we reporting on pirates?!
The town of Omiš, about half an hour’s drive south of Split, on the way to Makarska is one of Croatia’s undeservedly unsung destinations, as you will see on the latest posting on sister site, Croatia Online. It’s the heart of Croatia’s "Klapa" folk music, has magnificent mountain scenery, and perhaps most importantly of all, a fascinating and unique history as a haven for pirates, who greatly contributed to the wealth of the town.
Since our Croatia Online posting on Omiš, we have been reminded that the annual reconstruction of the Pirate Battle takes place on 18th August this year on the sea front, and it’s an occasion not to be missed.
Get a taste of it by following this link on YouTube.
Many thanks to Mr Joško Stella for the photo and information, and, readers, please rest assured that the risk of finding modern day pirates around Croatia’s shores is extremely remote!
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Six months is a long time in blogging and as you’ll see from sister blog, Croatia Online, we’ve not been idle. However that’s no excuse and apologies to our readers for the unusual gap in postings. The mountain of news and excitement to report has made our return to regular postings a little daunting but, as seadog and Croatia Cruising Companion co-author, John Nash, would say, just take it one step at a time.
So we’re bridging the gap with an extract of one of our latest nautical articles for Time Out’s Visitors Guide To Croatia 2010.
Croatia’s lovely Venetian cities are best approached by sea, its azure waters so much more refreshing in remote deserted bays, and its islands most revealing when you can come and go as you please, rather than be a slave to ferry timetables. To explore Croatia by boat is the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern living, but if you’re in Croatia to party that’s possible too.
Google on charter in Croatia and you will find plenty of top quality charter companies offering everything from standard sail boats, through motorboats and traditional gullets, to superyachts. Get into the fine detail and you will discover that it’s not as expensive as you might think, and it’s an opportunity open to all – from novices, with a skipper, to experienced sailors joining autumn regattas.
Ivica Benić, or Johnny as he is known to everyone, grew up in Australia but returned to Zadar, to pursue his dream. Some years and several thousand kuna later, his classic wooden gullet, MSY Dolin, has been loving restored. Built in 1946, Dolin was originally used for bringing wines from the islands and became one of Jadrolinija’s first passenger ships before returning again to cargo duties. Under Johnny’s watchful eye she was refitted from the deck up in 2008, leaving the glorious hull in tact. She’s now the perfect floating home for groups of up to 10, with 5 comfortable en-suite cabins, air conditioning and spacious well fitted common areas, plus a live in chef, skipper and guide (normally Johnny) who have separate accommodation at the other end of Dolin. For a cost of between €540 and €910 per person per week, depending on season and including half board, a group of 10 can live in relaxed comfort, with their itinerary and meals designed specially for them, and share in as much local knowledge, or enjoy as much privacy, as they like. For more information on MSY Dolin phone Johnny on + 385 (0) 23 331 340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many entrepreneurs like Johnny, exploiting Croatia’s natural assets in a style that suits modern travellers, but in harmony with its heritage. Some of his guests just want to mooch from bay to bay, some prefer to hang around the Garden’s annual summer festival and, last year, Dolin served as mission control for another exciting adventure, The Yacht Week Croatia. The Yacht Week now runs event based sailing holidays for all levels and in a number of destinations, but it all started in Croatia in 2006. Founder William Wenkel describes Croatia as “the mother of yachting…. few places, if any, can compete with Croatia, with its mix of climate, prices, culture and beautiful surroundings.” Up to 50 yachts, of all sizes and styles for every conceivable type of group and budget, follow an itinerary which includes after beach parties, live bands and DJs, regattas and much more. Price per person starts around €300 and heads steadily upwards depending on the yacht and amount of space and luxury each group requires.
And if you’re not ready to party all night but want a little bit more than idyllic bay after idyllic bay, try your own gastronomic tour or maybe a themed tour designed for you by specialist companies such as Hidden Croatia, Exclusive Sailing, or Secret Dalmatia.
Many thanks to The Yacht Week for today’s photo.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
As luck would have it, just as we finished our last posting on the subject of autumn boat shows in Croatia, NCP Marina Mandalina sent us some photos and a press release about their Adriatic Boat Show which took place in September.
Thanks to them for the photos and information – edited extracts below.
The Adriatic Boat Show 2009 [ABS] organized by Nautical Center Prgin, took place from 17th to 21st of September in Mandalina Marina. ABS actively promotes Croatian boatbuilding and the megayacht sector in Croatian nautical tourism and includes all types of new and used vessels – from small boats to mega-yachts – offering every sailor something according to his needs and interests.
The Show was visited by numerous lovers of nautical business, boats and the sea. Visitors took advantage of the opportunity to see 150 boats in the sea and 30 on dry docks, as well as a rich offer of various nautical equipment, outboard and inboard engines, sport and fishing equipment as well as clothing and diving equipment. As well as Croatian boat builders, also represented were the major world’s producers of vessels with brands Fairline, Princess, Sunseeker, Elan, Grand Soleil, Beneteau, Jeanneau, X-Yachts etc.
There was an excellent atmosphere throughout all five days of the boat show helped by those in front of and behind the stands. Despite a challenging business climate there were 12 percent more exhibitors than last year. Participants expressed appreciation for the event because of the number and diversity of vessels and equipment, the appearance of the overall exhibition area and the friendly attitude of the organisors towards exhibitors, journalists and visitors alike.
The key was the presence of Croatian nautical companies and the fact that the Croatian market continues to expand. There was high number of quality vessels offered by members of an established and reputable Croatian boatbuilding industry. Through the congress programme of ABS, Croatian boat builders have sent a clear message to the Croatian government asking for the immediate reduction of extra taxation on vessels up to 7 meters in length, as well as more regulation in the mega yacht sector.
The Adriatic Boat Show also this year took place under the auspices of the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Tourism, whose representatives attended the opening ceremony, and with the support of the City and Sibenik - Knin County.
The slogan of ABS - "the sea of nautical opportunity" – covers a wide range and offers a lot, so there is no doubt that visitors and exhibitors are already looking forward towards an even larger boat show – the 3rd Adriatic Boat Show – in 2010.
EXHIBITION AREA – 160.000 m2 – Marina Mandalina & Yacht Club
EXHIBITORS – 170
VESSELS – 180
VISITORS – 22.000
ABOUT NAUTICAL CENTER PRGIN
NCP Group gathers 10 different companies specialising in the nautical industry and is considered one of the leaders in the Mediterranean marine industry. Founded in 1995 as a yacht charter company, today, NCP has the most exclusive charter fleet in the region. NCP developed Mandalina Marina, which is the first mega yacht destination in Croatia, and NCP Repair Shipyard, which is recognized as a respected partner in refit, repair and maintenance of yachts up to 75 m in length. Further, Marinetek NCP is a producer of high quality Marinetek pontoons offering also an overall service for developing marina projects. NCP’s most recent project is the Adriatic Boat Show – an international nautical show of new and used vessels that puts emphasis on promoting Croatia as a mega yacht destination. For more information, please visit www.ncp.hr and www.adriaticboatshow.com .
NCP Marina Mandalina in Šibenik have already staged their Adriatic Boat Show, their second annual autumn boat show in Croatia. First to organise a boat show at this time of year was Marina Kornati in Biograd and this event is now in its eleventh year. This year it runs from 22nd to 25th October and is well worth a visit if you are in the area. It’s not a huge affair but there’s plenty to see and entertain. And if you do go there, co-author of the Croatia Cruising Companion, John Nash, has a stand there with a small stock of books so be sure to go and say hello. You’ll find him on the Marina Facility Solutions stand.
Readers of our recent posting on Croatia Online, about Biograd’s new hotel IN may be interested to see it in the background of this photo, taken at last year’s show when it was just a building site. Looking back at the other photos of the show, we were reminded that, in construction phase, it was called Hotel Inero. This explains a little of the new name which, you will see from the posting, is causing some confusion.
For more information on the Biograd Boat Show, link to Marina Kornati - Biograd Boat Show
Monday, 21 September 2009
When we researched and wrote our Croatia Cruising Companion (CCC), we did most of our sailing outside the high season, for obvious reasons. It’s not until you see a Croatian destination in and out of the summer season, however, that you get a real flavour for it. Thus, although we have been to Sv Filip i Jakov several times, it’s one of the few places that we had not seen in full summer swing until now.
As we mentioned in the introduction to this destination, on page 39 of the CCC, it’s a “compact, well-cared for settlement with a thriving tourist industry, centred around some large hotels on the outskirts of town”. However that only tells part of the onshore story – in the summer the pine tree fringed fields that we saw behind the long main beach, some of it sandy, become thriving and busy campsites with tents, caravans and mobile homes closely packed into their pitches, about four or five deep. Though that’s a few too many happy campers for our liking, it’s a good spot with plenty of shade and enough beach for everyone.
Amidst all the cafes, bars and restaurants of fairly standard offerings, La Habana, pictured, is a popular nightspot which draws local crowds as well as those from further afield. Cuban themed, the large terrace offers pizza slices, as well as a wide range of cocktails, whilst you sway to the rhythm.
As we state in the CCC, the harbour is only suitable for small craft with depths of up to 2 metres on the inside of the breakwater, up to 4 metres on the outside. So, if you’re in search of some nightlife, and want to escape the family crowd in Biograd, perhaps berth overnight in one of the two marinas in Biograd and take a short taxi ride to Sv Filip i Jakov, along with several other partygoers.
For more information on the village (and some very pleasant folk music) go to the Sv Filip i Jakov Tourist Board site.
For onshore news on nearby Pakoštane, follow this link to Croatia Online’s latest posting.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Agana Marina is situated in the quiet and picturesque village of Marina, at the end of the western inlet of Trogirski Zaljev (Trogir Bay). The marina used to be run by the municipality and there was a long history of dispute over ownership resulting in several amusing incidents that were probably far from amusing, at the time, for those involved.
It appears that all has now been resolved and the marina was sold to a private investor last year. Some changes have already been made including a new concrete pier, and there are others in the pipeline.
Pending further progress however, it seems that the marina can only accept Croatia flagged yachts on annual berths, for the time being, though we are told that transit berths for all comers are available.
Ashore, the Croatia Cruising Companion mentions that Marina’s fortress tower is “now a hotel..recently changed hands… and needs to have a little money spent on it.” It looks like some investment has taken place but the jury’s still out on the end result – the English pages of the hotel website - are still under construction but the menu looks pretty swish and so do the interiors. Not too much else has changed onshore – a draconian parking system was introduced last year but was certainly not in evidence during our visit.
For more information on Yachting Sport Agana, to give Marina’s marina its proper name, click here.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
One of our first discoveries during our recent trip around the Croatian coastline and islands, was a new marina near Trogir. In fact we have been following progress closely for a few years but were delighted to find that Baotić Yacht Club Seget is now open for business, albeit to a limited extent until all works are completed.
Licenses and planning permissions take time in Croatia as they do elsewhere but the Marina is taking transit customers (those that want to moor overnight), and bookings for annual berths that will be available from April 2010.
The Baotić organisation already runs marinas in Dugi Otok and Baška Voda and has great plans for their newest marina in Seget just outside Trogir. A few toilets and showers are already available, as are the services of one of the few lifts in Croatia that can cope with catamarans. Indoor boat showroom, after sail club, swimming pool, restaurant, shops, service area, additional showers and toilets, and beauty centre should be available in spring 2010. For more information on this and sister marinas, check out the newly launched website Cromarina (English). For more on what Seget has to offer onshore, see our latest posting on Croatia Online.
We took today’s photo of the new marina on the way to Šibenik, from Trogir, along the windy road that leads to the fast inland road to Šibenik. Not far from Šibenik, this road also reveals a gastronomic delight which we’ll be featuring shortly on Croatia Online as sailors will find it difficult to reach. As the photo shows, the new marina is roughly opposite Trogir’s shipyard on the western tip of Čiovo island that’s closest to the mainland. To reach it from the east yachts will need to go around the south side of Čiovo Island, since the bridge that joins Trogir to Čiovo is too low for sailing vessels.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
A few weeks exploring the Dalmatian Coast and Islands have revealed a couple of great new finds and news of things to come. Reassuringly however, many sailors we have bumped into along the way, armed with their Croatia Cruising Companions, have confirmed our experience - the pace of change has been much slower than it was whilst we were writing the book and thus it still remains one of the most up to date and detailed sources of information for sailing Dalmatia and for all travellers wanting to explore some of Dalmatia's more remote islands.
We'll be back to work in a week's time, sharing our latest discoveries with you, and on sister site www.croatiaonline.blogspot.com.
Today's photo shows an expectant harbour master in Vrboska, Hvar, waiting for his next customer.
Monday, 17 August 2009
Writing a Cruising Companion, in any useful detail, with any diligence and passion, is a labour of love. Croatia made it a joy.
Keeping the Croatia Cruising Companion up to date, on this site and for the next edition, requires little more than a continuance of the original spirit and diligence, ie a lot more hard work!
There’s no lack of motivation from our rankings on Amazon, who seem to rate our book, over several months, way ahead of most other books on Croatia – land or shore based – so we’re celebrating another first place tonight, mindful that we’ve plenty to do to maintain the ranking in the months and year’s to come.
Monday, 3 August 2009
Regular readers will know that Sibenik’s Marina Mandalina features regularly on this site and Croatia Online. In February 2009, the international marina developer and operator, IGY, together with NCP (the original sole owners of Marina Mandalina), announced plans to add 65 megayacht berths to the existing 350 wet berths and 50 dry berths, transforming it into the new Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club – Croatia’s first dedicated superyacht marina.
The latest news is that they’ve been joined by Turkey’s Dogus Group, who will be both an equity partner and oversee the construction of the new development which is scheduled to include a yacht club, residential developments, resort accommodation, modern shopping facilities, dining and nightlife.
Excerpts from NCP’s press release are as below:
The signature “marina village” at the Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club is currently in the planning stages and will be further developed by Doğuş, IGY and NCP over the coming months. The project’s architecture will combine a contemporary Mediterranean style with public open spaces and gardens to provide an attractive setting for a balanced resort development. Buildings will be intertwined with cascading waterways while their juxtaposition will blend to create an architectural statement of visionary design and quality. All the upland elements will be situated topographically to take advantage of the natural elevated land, and, more importantly, to provide ceremonial focal entry points to the development.”
“We are pleased to align with the Doğuş Group, as we continue the development of the new Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club,” said Andrew Farkas, founder and chairman of IGY. “This agreement creates a very strong partnership comprising the foremost Croatian maritime brand, a leading regional conglomerate with a strong maritime brand in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the world’s premier marina developer and operator. Doğuş’ financial strength, as well as their tremendous expertise in construction and success with projects of a similar nature, make them an ideal partner alongside IGY and NCP in the Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club.”
“We are equally excited about this partnership and the economic benefits that it will bring to our community,” added Goran Prgin, president of NCP Group. “We welcome the Doğuş Group to Croatia and look forward to working with them to continue to position Dalmatia as the Mediterranean’s top megayacht destination.”
“The Doğuş Group is pleased to enter the Croatian market with such an exciting project and such tremendous partners,” said Ferit Sahenk, chairman of Doğuş Group. “We are actively engaged in similar projects in Turkey and are certain that with the involvement of IGY, NCP and Doğuş, the new Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club will become a showcase destination for the region.”
The Mandalina Marina & Yacht Club is one of the most complete, full-service nautical destinations in the region and encompasses not only the marina, but the NCP Shipyard with 24-hour assistance and technical services, NCP Charter with more than 60 vessels and the NCP Sailing School. Additionally, the facility offers nearby fuelling and on-site grocery for provisioning. The marina is situated in the scenic coastal town of Sibenik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
The marina will continue to operate normally while the development progresses and for more information visit the following sites:
Croatia Cruising Companion - Sibenik Regatta (if you look carefully at the photos you will spot NCP’s yacht)
Many thanks to NCP for today’s photo which shows the key partners at the signing ceremony, attended by the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesić. From left to right – IGY’s Mark Lande, NCP’s Goran Prgin and Dogus’s Husnu Akhan