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Picture lively cosmopolitan towns interspersed with quiet harbours, beautiful Venetian architecture, perfectly clear water, gentle sailing winds and more islands than you could visit in a year. Could Croatia be the perfect sailing destination? Quite possibly. Yes, it's that good.

Croatia has exploded onto the European and world travel stage in recent years, with visitor numbers booming. Foremost amongst those 'discovering' Croatia is the nautical community, as word spreads about the 'world class' sailing experience on offer.

For ease of reference, we separate Croatia into two general sailing areas - The Dalmatian Islands and the Kornati Islands. From Split, which has the main airport on the Croatian coast, the Kornatis are north and the Dalmatians are south. Each offers a very distinct yacht charter experience, so it is important to understand the characteristics of each before booking a charter to Croatia.

The southerly Dalmatian Islands offer a more cosmopolitan experience, with larger islands supporting larger villages and towns. It's not all party time though, there are still plenty of quiet bays, smaller villages and destinations well 'off the beaten track'.

The northerly Kornati Islands, in general, is a quieter and more intrepid sailing experience, with hundreds of uninhabited islands and an area awarded national park status purely by virtue of its outstanding natural beauty.

Bottom line is, if you want a bit of nightlife, head south. If you crave peace and tranquility, head north.

Recommended sailing destinations in Croatia

It is difficult to pick the very best sailing spot in Croatia, as there are so many.