12 reasons to sail in Croatia during autumn

12 reasons to sail in Croatia during autumn

Considering an Adriatic escape in September or October? Discover why it's a fantastic choice.

Think summer and sailing are over? Think again! Croatia's Adriatic Sea is just hitting its stride in September and October. It's the savvy sailor's secret that the post-summer months offer a dreamy escape without the jam-packed marinas and beaches. If you're still on the fence about autumn sailing, we've charted all the reasons you'll fall in love with Croatia this season. So, are you ready to hoist the sails and catch the next wind to autumnal paradise? We hope to see you there!

1) Exceptional Autumn sailing in Croatia

If you're a sailing enthusiast, summer can sometimes feel like a letdown with its calm, windless waters that leave you motoring rather than sailing across the Adriatic. But autumn? That's a different story. With a higher likelihood of winds, early fall turns Croatia into a sailor's playground, offering the perfect conditions for skillful sailing and engaging sail work.

YACHTING.COM TIP: In case of light winds, as well as for practicing sailing skills and having fun, we recommend renting a gennaker. Want to know why it's a great idea to add this "chute" to your boat? Check out our 5 reasons to rent a gennaker.

gennaker ship

Sailing with a gennaker or spinnaker is an incredible experience.

2) Hone your sailing skills

If you're keen to level up your sailing abilities, there's no better time than autumn, particularly as October wanes. You'll likely encounter stronger winds, larger waves, and weather that calls for bundling up a bit. So dust off those sailing clothes hanging in your closet and set sail this autumn. Whether you're thinking of a going with a group of friends sea or want to refresh and improve your skills — perhaps inviting a professional skipper for added expertise — your options are limitless. While late autumn conditions can get a bit challenging, making it less ideal for a laid-back trip, it's perfect for those who seek an adventurous, sporty experience. But if it's an extended summer filled with swimming and sunbathing you're after, aim for September or early October.

3) Budget-friendly boat charters in Croatia

Alright, we won't be handing over a yacht for pocket change, but we can promise some tempting discounts during the off-peak season. With the peak holiday season behind us and demand dropping, charter companies are eager to maximize the use of their boats. In fact, it's typical for autumn charter prices to be substantially lower than those of the summer. So, why splurge in the summer when you can get a steal in the fall? Make the smart choice and charter a boat in Croatia during the low season.

4) Dive into the regatta scene: spectate or sail!

Autumn paints the Croatian waters with vibrant regatta colours. If you've yet to experience the thrill of racing and are hesitant to steer the helm, why not join a team or opt for a more casual regatta? The Adriatic, during these months, is a dance floor for both the intense nonstop and solo races, as well as the laid-back flotilla dashes that are all about the joy of sailing. If competition isn't your thing, then sit back and be a spectator. Trust us, there's magic in watching a sea filled with gleaming sails. Just remember to give those racers their space!

sailing boat regatta

Even just seeing the regatta is an experience.

5) The ever-warm Croatian sea

Even as summer fades, the sea is still beautifully warm in September and October with water temperature on the Adriatic ranging from 20 to 23 degrees — very pleasant and refreshing.

6) Sail with dolphins and whales

Come autumn, the Adriatic transforms into your own private oasis, devoid of the bustling boat traffic that marks the high season. But don't be fooled—you're not alone. The reduced marine disturbance makes it the perfect time to encounter awe-inspiring marine life like dolphins and even fin whales. So, be sure to check out where you can sail with dolphins or whales in the Mediterranean. And carefully read our 10 essential tips for respectful dolphin and whale interaction.


Everybody likes dolphins.

7) Discover Dubrovnik and Croatia's other gems without the crowds

If throngs of tourists and jam-packed bays are your idea of a vacation nightmare, then autumn sailing in Croatia is a dream. While towns along the Adriatic coast aren't deserted, they're certainly less congested than during the peak season. Never visited Dubrovnik, Hvar or Trogir? Instead of jostling with summer crowds, in the autumn, you get the chance to meander leisurely, soaking in their rich historical atmosphere. For some must-visit spots, check out our top 9 Croatian sights.

Dubrovnik without people

In the low season, even a popular tourist destination like Dubrovnik empties out.

8) Off-season prices for services

It's not just the rental of the boat itself that is affected by the off-season price. Did you know that Croatian restaurants have two menus, one for the high season and one for the low season? Similarly, the national parks offer better rates in the autumn and spring. Not to mention, exploring these national parks becomes an even more delightful experience in the cooler autumn months.

YACHTING.COM TIP: We write about national parks our article — The best of Croatia: an essential guide for sailors. If you want to know more specifically about Kornati, check out what you need to know before sailing in Kornati National Park.

9) Experience genuine Croatian hospitality

There's a secret perk to sailing in Croatia during the off-season, and while the locals might not openly admit it, it's unmistakably there. Whether it's at the marinas, cozy cafes, or elegant restaurants, you're greeted with warmer smiles and more attentive service. As the tourist season winds down, there's a more relaxed, genuine hospitality in the air. With the pressure to maximize the high season's profits off their shoulders, the locals seem to revert to their natural, welcoming selves. Sail in autumn and experience this firsthand – and don't forget to share your own experiences with us!

Croatian waiter

In the off-season, the locals appreciate the tourists more.

10) Festivals and events

Autumn in Croatia isn’t just about the tranquil sea and cooler breezes. The country comes alive with vibrant festivals, fairs, and lively markets that celebrate the season. And for the wine enthusiasts? The wine festivals are an absolute treat! Dive into the rich tapestry of Croatian culture by tasting exquisite wines from local producers, or take it a step further by visiting the vineyards directly, savouring the opportunity to converse with the passionate winemakers themselves. Wondering where to find the most renowned wineries in Croatia

Some of Croatia's 15 summer festivals and events even stretch into September, which one catches your eye?

11) Peaceful sleep

Does the summer heat often keep you tossing and turning, making you seek refuge in the cockpit, contending with the uncomfortable bench on the deck? Wave those restless nights goodbye when sailing in the fall. The sweltering heatwaves are a thing of the past, and in their place, cooler, serene nights take over. Most sailors find solace below deck, getting that deep, uninterrupted sleep without the need for air conditioning or fans.

12) Even a bad day at sea is better than a good day at the office

There is nothing to add to that. In short, it's always best at sea. Even the very next day post-vacation, we find ourselves daydreaming and eagerly awaiting the next maritime escape. Can you relate?

Have these tips convinced you to rent a boat in Croatia in autumn?

Autumn, spring, or summer - I'll handpick the perfect boat for you. Reach out to me directly.