Published by Eldin Basic (TpMBA)
10 minutes read
What is going on in Croatia most recently !?
The country has joined the Euro first and foremost and for many a traveler, there is no more currency exchange worries or carrying Kuna (HRK) around. This West Balkan country has now joined Western Europe officially too. How, you may ask ? Well, for a start, its in European Union (EU) for almost two decades and from 1st of Jan 2023, when the country made Euro its main currency, it also joined the Schengen area. This is the area covering most of Europe, central and Western at least and includes 23 countries (out of total of 27 in the EU) that have officially abolished all passport and any other types of border controls. As a result, investors are rushing to Croatia and big projects such as LNG Terminal on island of Krk are getting priority treatment.
Superyacht charter versus development of other industries and projects
What’s with the Croatia yacht charter or specifically luxury and superyacht charters you may ask!? Well, nothing much has changed since last year as VAT/PDV remains 13% for now and choice of yachts available for private yacht charter holidays has not increased by a huge numbers just yet. However, if you start looking at other signs of change, you can see them everywhere. Johnson&Johnson have brought the latest, 3rd generation of laser eye surgery to the country, which promises removal of dioptry, or need to wear glasses or lenses, in as short as 17 seconds, with recovery lasting only a few hours. Rimac, that famous Bosnian who thanks to his Croatian heritage moved his riches to Zagreb surroundings, has become part owner of both Porsche and Bugatti, some of the most famous supercar names in the world. He has brought investments into the country worth billions, directly and indirectly, and little towns such as Donje Selo or Sveta Nedjelja near Zagreb are developing fast.
When it comes to yachting, Rovinj has always been a great destination for summer holidays and yacht charter parties alike. It is now, finally one may add, a luxury motor yacht Mecca for everyone who is anyone in Europe and amongst fast cruising boating public. If you own or are keen to charter a 60-80ft luxury motor yacht, one place to look for is ACI marina Rovinj for sure. Dining has become exclusive, events are available during the whole summer and services are increasing by the day. Istria as a whole is quickly developing into new Tuscany with wine tasting and olive growing becoming a highly branded industry.
Down South, Dubrovnik is now probably a summer destination No1. in the World and everything there is on another planet when compared to the rest of Croatia. Direct flights from USA are available for the first time ever and all tourist brochures around the world mention Dubrovnik, if not Croatia. That said, the rest, including Rovinj is fast catching up. Properties in Croatia are now at a premium and all new developments mostly aim at 5-star clientele, who are looking to buy a villa from 500,000 Eur onward or luxury apartments and pethouses from 250,000 Eur onward. Mind you, you are going to hit a jackpot if you find anything below 200,000 Eur with 2-bedrooms, sea view and with luxury amenities. Some have started to compare the Dalmatia to Amalfi coast, Istria to Tuscany, and Dubrovnik to South of France indeed.
Back to yachting, as we know, sailing was always about escapism, safe and secluded anchorages, little to no crowds and some sort of exclusivity. You can still get all this. You just need to look a bit more for it and avoid last two weeks of July and first 3 weeks of August though. With 1000+ islands, some quite remote, albeit accessible for yachting community, that’s the paradise you will be seeking.
Islands of Croatia
As a yachtee, you will want to head out into the sea and islands such as Korcula come to mind first. Far enough from the coast to ensure crowds stay away for most part of the year, Korcula is exclusive enough to attract many visitors that create fabulous atmosphere on this spectacular location. Korcula town and Lumbarda are simply stunning for cultural explorations or nights out. Rugged as most other coastal areas in Croatia, Korcula is mesmerising. Sandy beaches may not be many around, but you will want to jump off board anyway and as soon as you have found your own paradise or secluded anchorage.
Those on superyachts or motor yachts, will want to go even further and Lastovo archipelago is probably just the right choice. With few developments and restaurants, it is a location for the connoisseurs and those keen on diving, snorkelling or big game fishing experiences. De-luxe private BBQ parties on one of the islets surrouding Lastovo is a dream come through for all who have made it and can turn up on a superyacht in Croatia, looking for that special experience with their loved ones. Dubrovnik from here is only a few hours cruise and remote islands of Vis and Bisevo, with its famous Blue Grotto or Plava Spilja is not far away either. National Park Mljet does attract huge number of tourists throughout the year, yet is is so peaceful, natural and beautiful that it should be on your radar too. These are all so called, Split islands or locations you would visit en route to Dubrovnik. With Brac and its famous Bol beach and Hvar known for high-end nightlife, beach clubs and celebrities you can round up your spectacular Croatian mega yacht itinerary.
Further North, 150 islands of Kornati archipelago, or Pag and Dugi Otok are different kind of locations, as they are even less developed or at least with less 5-star hotels, resorts and exclusivity. If you are not a party animal, not keen on Michelin star restaurants, high prices and over the top show offs, but are keen on total escapism, tranquility or even a bit of remoteness or primitivism, these are the islands for you. Pag has the famous Zrce beach catering for youngsters who party all day, every day, but if you avoid it, it’s just a spectacular windsurfing destination. Greatest choice of yachts may also be found in the towns around, Sibenik, Zadar or Vodice and Biograd and adding famous locations such as Krka Waterfalls and fast developing town of Rogoznica to your itinerary, could round up a spectacular North Dalmatia sailing plan for any kind of yacht charter client.
No. 1 Yachting Destination?
Whatever your choice, Croatia is increasingly becoming destination No1 for sailing community, event though one can argue that it already is. For a start, its probably a sailing destination with most charter yachts in the Mediterranean, at least those from 35-55ft. Admittedly, France, Greece and Italy are likely still more popular luxury yachting destinations with greater number of superyachts and definitely mega yachts. Indeed, mega yachts above 200ft are still a rare sight in the Adriatic and giga yachts, those that may cost from 500,000 Eur + per week are hitting the Dalmatian coast only if the owner is on board in most cases. If you are keen on being one of the first to turn up on one of the biggest yachts, maybe it’s time to consider your choices. Yachts up to 150m and with price tage of up to 2 million Euros per week can be chartered in the Adriatic on request. For those with acceptable megayacht budget, yachts such as Rocket One, the 37.5m/121ft Gulf Craft superyacht may also be readily available with rates from 150,000 Eur / week.
Whatever your plans in terms of superyacht charters or luxury yachting holidays in the Mediterranean, Croatia should be playing big part in your discussions. Split, Zadar, Pula and Dubrovnik airports have flights from all major cities around the World and airport transfers in most cases last less than 30minutes. When booking a mega yacht or any other type of luxury yacht, you will also get a special treatment, cocktail or champagne welcome drinks and friendly yet professional superyacht charter welcome. Luxury yachts can be booked throughout the week, and not only from Saturday to Saturday, and access to Slovenia, Gulf of Trieste and Venice in Italy or Montenegro in the South is available on most yachts.
Get hooked up; come to Croatia and bring your Euros with you.
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