I’ll be honest about it: sailing in Croatia isn’t cheap. However, you don’t have to be a millionaire to hire your own boat and set sail for unknown destinations! Sure, costs are higher than backpacking around Southeast Asia. And probably also more expensive than backpacking around East Europe, though I have no personal reference as I haven’t done that (yet;-).
That being said, sailing around Croatia is awesome and definitely worth the money. The islands are spectacular, the water is a beautiful deep blue and very clear, there are wonderful bays for snorkeling and the historic villages are possibly the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.
Curious how much a week on a sailboat will cost you? Check out the budget breakdown infographic below.
Croatia travel budget: important facts and figures
• I sailed around Croatia with my husband, parents and parents in law. All expenses mentioned are for the six of us together.
• I quote prices in €. The currency in Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK) but I converted all expenses to euros. The exchange rate I used was 7,5HRK for €1.
• I spent 1 week in Croatia and during that week the total expenses were €2965. Because there were 6 people this comes down to an average of approximately €500 per person for a week (€71 per person per day).
• The costs mentioned above include all expenses in Croatia but exclude our plane tickets.
• The trip started and ended in Split, you can find our 1 week itinerary around the Central Dalmatian Archipelago here.
Obviously the biggest expense is the rental fee for the boat. We rented the boat during the last week of September, the rental fee was €1765 in total.
My parents owned a sailboat for years, which is why my dad picked the boat. He definitely knows his stuff, our boat was great! It was a Sun Odyssey 45 DS, very spacious and the sails were good. Even though there wasn’t that much wind, we still hit 7knts on an early morning sailing half wind.
Note: we didn’t need a skipper because both my parents have their boating license. If you want to go sailing in Croatia but have no previous sailing experience, don’t worry, that’s possible too! Check out Lauren’s post about going on a yacht week in Croatia with a skipper.
Harbors are terribly expensive in Croatia! You are charged by the length of your boat and pay for every meter. And those fees are no joke… We paid the most in the town of Vis, a night at the quay set us back a whopping €77! Considering you already technically paid for your bed that sure is a lot of money for a toilet and some hot water…
Luckily it wasn’t that bad every day:
• Night 1 ⇒ we stayed in Split where the boat was moored in its home harbor and there were no additional harbor fees we had to pay.
• Night 2 ⇒ we docked at Stari Grad, a cute as a button town but also rather expensive. A night at the quay of Stari Grad cost us €68.
• Night 3 ⇒ we anchored in the bay of Budikovac for free.
• Night 4 ⇒ we docked at the quay in Vis town, €77 for a night.
• Night 5 ⇒ we spent the night with our boat safely tied to a mooring in the bay of Vis and Kut and weren’t charged a single Kuna… I’m not sure if that’s always the case of if the harbor master just forgot to collect his fees.
• Night 6 ⇒ we stayed at the marina of Vrboska, another beautiful town. We got a 20% discount because it was an ACI marina (as is the harbor in Split where the boat is usually usually moored). The costs for a night with discount were €60.
• Night 7 ⇒ we tied the boat to a mooring in the lovely bay of Lučice, €33 for a night.
Given the fact that we pretty much motored our way everywhere because there wasn’t much wind, €70 for a week of petrol is really cheap! I am used to spending a lot more money on gas during a trip, particularly on my beloved road trips… We calculated that the boat used about 2 liter per hour, not bad! Petrol was about €1 per liter during my trip.
Motor for inflatable dinghy
This is definitely an optional expense, we choose to pay €100 for a little motor for our inflatable dinghy because… well basically because we were too lazy to row.
Unfortunately not really optional, tourist taxes;-). Though it really wasn’t that much, about €40 for 6 people for a week.
Food, drinks & groceries
The total expenses for food came down to €750 for a week, about €125 per person. It would be an understatement to say we ate a lot during our trip: freshly brewed coffee at a sunny terrace, crispy and fragrant bread and sweets from the bakery, homemade ice cream from a nice little parlor, delicious wood oven pizza at a cute restaurant, some old cheeses, wine, beer and cider from the supermarket and so on…
Three nights out of seven, we ate in restaurants (in Stari Grad, Vis and Vrboska). The other 4 nights we bought groceries in the supermarket and cooked our own meals on the boat.
So that’s it, these are the costs for a week of sailing around Croatia!
Budget saving tips for sailing around Croatia
There are some ways to reduce the costs of a week of sailing in Croatia:
• You can definitely save money on food because this wasn’t something we skimped on. Cooking your own food is cheaper than eating out.
• Another way to cut the costs is to rent a boat with 8 people instead if 6. You could easily sleep on the boat with 8 people (2 would have to sleep in the saloon instead of a cabin) but that would reduce the costs per person.
• If you choose to row your inflatable dinghy that will save you a couple of euros as well.
• An finally, anchor for free in secluded bays instead of at the expensive quays in the island towns.