Sunday, 30 November 2008

Šibenik In Winter

This photo shows the view from land, over the rooftops of Šibenik Old Town. The way out to sea is to the left of the yacht in the background. Heading to Šibenik, once you've negotiated the well controlled channel, you'll be greeted by a magnificent view of the Old Town and its UNESCO protected Cathedral.
Šibenik has a regatta every year to celebrate St Nicholas Day on 6th December so we'll be bringing you news from that next week.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Skradin, Near Šibenik

ACI's marina in Skradin is a very special place to moor your boat. It's not just one of the very few Croatian marinas that is in fresh, rather than sea water, but from here you can explore the River Krka and its waterfalls and the delightful town of Skradin itself. In July and August it gets very busy as many of the organised trips to the waterfalls, by boat, start from here. Its popularity as a tourist destination has given rise to a number of good restaurants, one good hotel and a number of apartments to rent, mostly closed in the winter, but off season is the best time to explore the town away from the crowds.

We'll be covering more of the onshore attractions on our sister site, Croatia Online and of course you can read more about it, including how to get there, in our Croatia Cruising Companion (page 107). In brief, head up the Krka estuary past Šibenik and it's about 8 miles upstream.

Today's picture shows the view of the town and marina from the road bridge. Sailing to Skradin you will be approaching from the left of the picture and will see the tall church tower in front of you and the marina to port. The marina has 153 berths with water and electricity and an overnight berth for a 12 metre boat will cost you €49, increasing by 10% in July and August. Many people choose to winter their boats here because of the fresh water - annual berths are therefore hard to get but cost €2,67o for a 12 metre boat.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Kornati Islands

We've just spotted an article, ostensibly about sailing, in the Independent back in October, in the Home and Garden section of all things! Whilst it does major on the vegetation, or lack of it, there are some extremely vivid descriptions of the scenery which most people, including ourselves, normally describe in just a few words as stark or lunar.

Follow this link - It's a good read!

Look out for our next posting on the unique attractions of ACI's marina in Skradin - we've been exploring there today and there's plenty of news.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Cost Of Cruising Croatia

We've mentioned Miggy and Neal's blog before - they've been cruising Croatian waters this year but are now "resting" in the Ionian Island of Lefkas. Their most recent posting is a round up of their year's sailing which makes very interesting reading. Although they stress that the benefits far outweigh the difficulties, they did mention a couple of problems specific to Croatia. Here's an extract below:
The principal difficulties that we have experienced during our travels this year have been:
Getting camping gaz refills in Italy and Croatia
Lack of internet access in Croatia particularly WiFi
Expensive marinas, quays and cost of living generally in Croatia
Overcrowded moorings during the July and August mania
The WiFi situation seems to be improving with several marinas now offering it but, if you're prepared to invest about £80 you can get a "web and walk stick" from T-com which you top up on a pay as you go basis. It's extremely simple to use - just plug it into a USB port, connect, and you're away.
As far as expense is concerned, Croatia is no longer the bargain it was, particularly the marinas which have increased their prices by 10 to 20 per cent each year for the last three or four years. Despite that, they're still pretty competitive compared with other cruising areas. Town moorings are normally about half the price of marinas and there are still plenty of anchorages which are free - all are detailed in our Croatia Cruising Companion. To give you an idea of current marina prices, ACI, the market leader with 21 marinas, charges €41 per day for a 10 metre boat moored in its Split marina and €100 a day for a 20 metre boat. The price increases by 10% in June and September, and 20% in July and August. Most of their other marinas are similarly priced except generally there is a 50% reduction between November and February inclusive and the summer surcharge is generally capped at 10% in July and August.
Croatia is a victim of its own success as far as overcrowding in the summer is concerned though the Italians have, for many years, sailed over en masse in August. However if you pick your stops carefully and avoid the flotilla routes and more popular areas you can usually find somewhere but, as Miggy and Neal found out, it often means heading to your destination a bit earlier in the day in the high season. September is one of the best months to sail as the water is still warm enough to swim (and sometimes, like this year, in October too!) and the crowds have gone. May and June are also good.
Thanks to Miggy and Neal for a fascinating read - link to for the full story.
Today's photo is of a boat moored at Kaštel Lukšić, near Split, one of Croatia's mooring bargains though it's not suitable in all weathers.