Sunday, 24 May 2009

Croatia's Marmite - The Kornati Islands

When we interviewed a few of the movers and shakers in Croatia's sailing world (see Croatia Cruising Companion Recommended Reading below), two destinations recurred - Vis Island and the Kornati Islands.

Vis Island seems to get a universal thumbs up from everyone that knows it - untouched, plenty to explore inland, great food and hospitality, fascinating history, English ties.....

Comparing the Kornati Islands to "love it or hate it" marmite is brave - who wouldn't love their stark and bewitching wilderness, the seasonal rustic restaurants, the density and variety of islands and the crystal clear water? Part of the answer lies with those of a pragmatic nature trying to please everyone - though there are many lovely bays there are few child friendly beaches; the skipper and navigator will be busy counting off the islands and looking for the shallows and rocks; there aren't many places which offer much to do ashore, and over exposure to so much spectacular natural scenery can dim the senses after a while.

The Croatia Cruising Companion devotes many pages to the Kornati Islands in a conscientious attempt to identify every possible bay, anchorage, marina and port. It isn't for the Croatia Cruising Companion to try and second guess reader preferences but to make sure there is consistent and comprehensive information on all the many choices offered by the Dalmatian Coast and Islands. We referred to this in the introduction, as well as highlighting various destinations that might suit many differing tastes. However these blog pages, and Croatia's world class status as a cruising destination, have inspired many readers to make the time to share their experiences and preferences with us and we count ourselves very lucky to have such rich and valuable first hand content on this site.

As Croatia's 2009 cruising season accelerates into full swing, we hope readers will again make the time to tell us of their experiences and special finds. In the meantime here are a few readers' highlights from 2008:

Miggy and Neal review the costs of cruising Croatia
Ian Shaw explores Dalmatia with a fresh eye
Nigel Crouch names his Dalmatian highlights
Mike Forbes provides latest updates on customs clearance and regulations


Today's photo is of Opat on Kornat Island - we understand that the two rustic restaurants there are now both under common ownership.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Croatia Sailing Holidays - Recommended Reading

For obvious reasons, we'd clearly recommend the Croatia Cruising Companion as the best read and the most useful reference book once you have decided to sail Croatia's heartland - the Dalmatian Coast and Islands.

However if you're just thinking about a sailing holiday and want to know a little more about what Croatia has to offer, to beginners and experts alike, pick up a copy of Time Out's Magazine For Visitors' To Croatia and read the sailing feature. The 2009 edition of the magazine is hot of the press and widely available in Croatia, Ireland and the UK.

As author of the regular sailing feature this site's editor again has to confess to a vested interest. This year, however, we decided to base the feature on interviews with local experts - a charter company owner, the president of the Dalmatian skippers' association, a sailing school owner and the vice president of a company that is developing Croatia's first marina exclusively for superyachts in conjunction with international marina company, IGY.

These were the kind of local contacts we tapped into when we wrote the Croatia Cruising Companion and you will find their insights and tips enough to get you booking that charter holiday or sailing course immediately. Time Out's Magazine also makes for great reading in a wide range of other areas and its independent reviews on where to eat, drink and stay, are hard to beat.

We'd like to think that the Croatian Cruising Companion, as well as being a comprehensive nautical guide, is relatively unique in its onshore coverage of almost every feasible anchorage, port and marina, even on the most remote Dalmatian island. However, if you want to spend a few days onshore in the larger towns and villages throughout Croatia, inland and by the sea, you'll find a wealth of complementary information in the Visitors' Guide To Croatia. With Amazon currently offering the Croatia Cruising Companion at £17.49 (retail price £24.99) and Time Out's Visitors' Guide on sale at £5, it's hard to think of a better value investment to help you make the most of all aspects of Croatia.