Today’s featured operator is Nada, based in Trogir in the heart of Croatia, where she runs boat rentals. Nada shared her local secrets with us, revealing where to go for a truly amazing Croatia sailing holiday, what islands to explore and how to make the most of your time in Croatia!

Hello Nada! To start, would you mind telling us where in Croatia you are based?

Sure! My company is based in Trogir, which is only 15 minutes from Split Airport, the second largest city in Croatia and we can call it the capital of Dalmatia, the region on the south of Croatia. We have two bases in Trogir, in SCT Marina in Trogir and Marina Baotic, both of them are walking distance from Trogir city center.


What is the best period to visit Croatia?

Well, it depends on what you prefer! If you're expecting relax, no crowds and easy sailing, we can recommend the low season, like May or late September/October, since in high season all boats are out and the marina is full, but there are also much more festivals during the high season. So it depends on what you want, and also on the budget, because prices of course are much lower in low season. 


So, what itinerary is best for a group of young people that want to have fun at night?

Well, from Trogir in 7 days they can visit the most attractive islands for young people, like Hvar, famous in the world for its parties, also Vis Island, or other islands like Korcula and Mljet are more for relaxation. So they can combine - two or three days partying, and the rest of the week they can just hang out. These islands are really close to each other, so they only require two or three hours of sailing, maximum.


What itinerary do you recommend for families?

Well, for a family this tour would also be great - Hvar is famous for its parties, but on the north there are also some small ports like Stari Grad or Jelsa, which are not crowded, they're quiet, perfect for families. The same on the island of Vis, besides marinas there are many bases where you can spend the night, so they don't need to go to the marina, they can just anchor in a safe base. 


And what about very active people?

There are many options! For surfers, we suggest the island of Brac, especially around Bol, it's famous for windsurfers and kitesurfers. On the island of Vis they can also do some hiking, actually that can be done on all the islands, but if they're really keen on sports there's Bol, and on the south side of Hvar they can also go climbing! There are high cliffs on Hvar, it's a real extreme sport. And also on the peninsula of Peljesac there's really good kitesurfing. 

And naturally there are 'relaxing' sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, that can be done everywhere. 


Croatia is getting more and more popular. As a Croatia local, do you think there are still any beautiful islands that are not well known?

All of them are known, because we have more and more visitors every year, but there are some islands that are quite distant from the mainland, and people don't manage to reach them in one week - for example, the island of Lastovo and Mljet, because for all people sailing out of Split the furthest they go is to Korcula, so they find it hard to go to Lastovo or Mljet in severn days. 


Let's talk about food on board. What kind of food do you offer?

Many of our guests like to cook for themselves, but we can offer as an extra the services of a chef and a hostess, and they can prefer any food the clients want. We don't have fixed menu, they can talk to our hostess and chef and they can prepare what they like. In any case, there are all kitchen utensils on board - usually people make their own breakfast and lunch, and go out for dinner. 


Is it possible to rent a boat without skipper? What are the rules to be respected?

Yes, of course! Most of our bookings are bareboat. All our boats can be rented either as bareboat, or as crew - just the skipper, or skipper, hostess and chef. 

If clients want to rent bareboat, they need to have a sailing or skipper certificate, that must be accepted by the Croatian Maritime Ministry, and VGF licenses are also obligatory. There's a list of accepted certifications from all over the world, so clients can find out if their license is ok or not. 


Tell us a Croatian tradition, maybe from Dalmatia not many people know of! As a Croatia local, you must know many!

Our tradition is really rich. Some places like Trogir were established by the Ancient Greeks, some 3000 years ago, and there are many festivals. For example, a few days ago we had a festival of the protector of Split City, Saint Domnius, and during that day people from nearby towns visit, go to processions, go to church, just stay out meeting friends and having coffee. Every village has its own tradition, it's very hard to mention only one!


Now, let's talk about diving and snorkeling locations!

There are many good places. We also offer the opportunity to rent some snorkeling equipment, and if clients want to dive, we can organize with our partners in the diving schools, so our clients can have day trips with instructors, because we always recommend that, they know the location and where to go, they can also get all the equipment - diving suits, regulators, tanks, anything they need. For snorkeling, they can do wherever on the island, the water is crystal clear, there's a lot to see. 


Tell us your fave local spots!

Well, further islands have deeper sea than in the north side - you can't exclude them though, the snorkeling is amazing. Anywhere you go it's amazing. Specifically, for snorkeling there are a couple of places, but it depends on what they want to see - for example, we still have remains of bombers and boats from the First and Second World War, or some natural reefs. 


So, tell me a bit more about adventure.We mentioned diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing... any more?

If they want jet ski, they can also rent that on the islands, or rent it for the whole week and tow it behind. Mostly people who take bigger boats and catamarans take jet skis. We also mentioned climbing, then there's kayaking, paddleboarding, cycling, hiking...


What are good ideas from a day trip?

Another wonderful place, just 40 minutes sailing from us, there's a place called 'Blue Lagoon' - the water is maximum 2-3 meters deep, and it's really azure. It's on the side of the island Drvenik Veliki, people find it very interesting to stop there, just drop the anchor and swim, and maybe have lunch because there is a restaurant there. This a good site that's very near to us!

So in one day, with a sailing boat, a good idea is heading to the island of Šolta, there's a good marina, Martinis Marki, where guests can go for lunch, and then maybe stop in some bays, especially the blue lagoon. With a speedboat in one day they can get to Hvar or Vis, in just one hour. Sailing just to Solta, because it's an hour and a half each way - so unless they want to spend the whole day sailing, that's the only option. But maybe they want to sail, I don't know!


We were talking about food before. Is there a Croatian dish you recommend all guests to try?

I mean, the most famous is brujet, brodetto in Italian, with fresh fish, or also grilled fish, there's also pastizada with veal meat and gnocchi, it's really nice and tasty but for summer is a bit heavy! 


What do travelers need to know before heading to Croatia?

Just remember the Croatian currency is the Kuna, not Euro, we've had many episodes when people come and take euros, but they cannot pay in euro cash, just credit card. Other than that, there are not many regulations that people need to know, like culture or how to behave with people. People are very open and flexible, we've had tourism for 100 years, so we are very familiar with tourists and their habits. We should know their habits to know how to treat them. But of course, you can't walk around naked, or be drunk and too noisy - somebody might call the police if you are disturbing others. 

We've had clients from all over the world, even Japan, and really we don't do anything different - we just ask what kind of food they would like. Sometimes they want Italian food!


And what if someone has never been on a sailing or cruise holiday, what do they need to know about life on board before departing?

Usually the skipper gives them instructions at check in and explain some things, like how to use the toilet, because you can't really use it like you use it at home. The water is limited, and people should try and save it - yes, every day we stop at a marina and fill the tank, but it's always good to save water. Also, the skipper explains were the lifejackets are, what to do in case of an emergency, or if the skipper gets ill. They get all these info from him. 


Time to pack: what dotravelers need to take on board?

Of course, they should remember shorts, but it depends on the time of year - you also need a jacket, because even in summer it can get chilly in the evening at sea. But you don't need much - just something a bit heavier to use at sea. And for shoes we recommend sneakers. 


Do you just do private charters, or also organize group cruises?

We also have groups, especially from Sweden because our company is based in Goteborg. Next week we have nine boats going out, for a few days - this is easy for us to arrange in the low season. This is an all-inclusive trip, with a scheduled route, and restaurants are also booked. Depending on what out clients need we can organize a small flotilla, and also skipper training, sometimes people want to do courses and when they finish they have a skipper qualification!


Before saying goodbye, would you like to add something else about Croatia, about Dalmatia?

The distance from island to island is what makes Croatia a great sailing location. I mean, Greece is also amazing, but when you go sailing in Greece it takes a few hours to get from one island to another. So, this is our advantage. The marina facilities are also excellent, and quality always increases from year to year. And of course the weather in summer is always great, nice and warm, and the sea is never rough - so people can have, as we call it, nice gin tonic sailing!


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