Family sailing vacations in Croatia
You might think it foolhardy at first to confine your family to a boat for a vacation. Maybe it seems unsafe, or perhaps you’re worried your children will get maddeningly bored on board. But in many ways, sailing vacations are perfect for families. On bareboating and flotilla vacations, you set your own pace and your own schedule. You can stay as a close-knit unit and have a floating home all to yourselves. You also don’t need very much kit – so you can pack light, even with a bigger brood. Best of all, you only have to unpack it all once and yet you can still travel around and see all the destinations you want.
The water is warm, clear and utterly inviting – but the shore is calling, too. Which first, snorkelling straight off the boat, or pottering over to the beach?
As you set out sailing off the Croatian coast, kids will be happy helping out on deck, and especially helming (steering the ship’s wheel). Lunch breaks are when the fun really starts for kids: put the ‘toys’ in the water – rent a paddleboard and kayak, and throw in the novelty inflatables. Next, all pile into the tender (the little inflatable dinghy that comes with your boat) and run it ashore, aiming for a beachfront cafe. Croatian food is kid-friendly – proximity to Italy, and lots of Italian tourists mean that even the most locally-run of restaurants often have easy things like pizza and pasta on the menus, as well as stunningly fresh seafood.
Our Croatia sailing family Vacations
Flotilla sailing with kids
Flotilla sailing can be great with kids, as there are often other families in the fleet. In the evenings when you're safely docked on the town quay, kids can keep each other entertained whilst the grown-ups swap dramatic retellings of their day’s sailing. Can’t sail, but want to learn all together? Croatia is the perfect place to go on a 'learn to sail' flotilla. A skipper will join you on board during your sailing and show you the ropes – and they’ll get the whole family involved. It’s a great sport to learn together, and the Adriatic coast is a forgiving place to start.
Special considerations for sailing with kids‘Safety first, safety second’ is a sailing mantra. Stick to a few safety basics with your kids and it should be plain sailing. Your boat will be equipped with proper safety equipment, but there are special items that can make kids feel extra safe. First, on flotilla and bareboat trips you can ask for your boat to be fitted with a safety net around the side to stop anyone accidentally falling in. You’ll need to ask for this to be fitted in advance, but it should put your mind at rest when people are roaming around the deck. Next you need to make sure your children are wearing lifejackets or buoyancy aids on board, and a harness. The harness can be clipped securely onto points on the deck so child and boat do not part ways unexpectedly. Make sure jacket and harness are properly fitted and comfortable, so your children will wear them without complaint.
If you'd like to chat about Croatia sailing or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Age restrictions for sailing with kids
Some companies have a lower age limit of four years old for sailing trips with children. Some flotillas have no age restrictions on who can come on their trips, though you may need to bring your own lifejackets to fit children under the age of four. You also may want to bring your own snorkel masks, to make sure everyone has one that fits. Your children will need to be over the age of 16 to operate the dinghy, and never left unsupervised in it if they’re under 16.
More about Croatia sailing
Croatia’s a great place to sail, with great weather, wonderfully clear water, and over 1,200 islands. All in all, these shores are a sure-fire sailing vacation hit. Find out more in our Croatia sailing vacations guide.
Croatia’s long coastline and numerous islands provide plenty of sailing opportunities. Check our map of where to go sailing in Croatia and put these destinations into your chart plotter.
It might have a reputation as an easy sailing area, but Croatia is no crèche. If you’re an adventurous sailor, then you can have a fantastically rewarding bareboat sailing vacation in Croatia.
Croatia is a flotilla sailing capital – vying with Greece as one of the tops spots for this fun group activity. Enjoy well-serviced marinas, safe ‘line of sight’ sailing and, of course, lovely weather, too.
The sailing community is a friendly bunch and they don’t hold back on useful tips. We’ve collated the best words of advice for sailing in Croatia both from the experts, and from the travelers themselves.
Sailors love the oceans more than anyone. It’s not uncommon for them to pick up sea debris as they sail along, or be passionately anti-pollution. Be a responsible sailor and learn about Croatia’s local issues, too.