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Learn to Sail in Croatia

This is our most popular holiday. Learn to Sail Holidays are run as part of our flotilla programme in Croatia, so you have a full flotilla holiday while training. These fun holidays are ideal for

  • total beginners wanting an introduction to sailing.

  • singles, couples, groups and families

  • existing crew members or dinghy sailors wishing to improve their sailing and get qualifications.

  • Participants get a Log Book to record what is covered, with course completion seals added at the end of the relevant sections. Internationally recognised basic skipper qualifications are available, for anyone interested in these.

  • Holidays run from April to October and flight exclusive prices start from £330/395€ per person per week plus an on site cash payment of 500kuna pp (about £55/65€) to cover direct yacht costs, mooring fees, fuel, tourist tax etc.

HOW THE PROGRAMME WORKS

Yachts are available from 1700hrs on Saturdays, but an earlier or later arrival is not a problem as there is no sailing until the following morning. On arrival you will be shown on board your yacht when you get to meet your instructor and the rest of the crew. You will be shown everything you need to know for living on board for the night and then left free to go off and explore locally with the rest of the group for the first evening.

The following morning, starts with a comprehensive briefing for the entire flotilla. This is an excellent time to see the entire group together for the first time, and you are introduced to the plan for the week.

Your first hour or two will be spent exploring your yacht, peering in lockers, trying on life jackets and sorting out provisions for the week. Breakfasts and Lunches are usually taken on board while most people take evening meals in local restaurants, but you have full use of the facilities on board should you wish. All shopping is done in local shops and markets, and you can either choose to operate a small kitty for onboard meals with others, or do your own thing as you prefer. Preparation of lunches as with cleaning up and tidying of the yacht is to be shared by all.

Once everyone is organised, usually between 10.30 and 11.00 you will prepare to leave port.  The rest of the morning will be spent getting everyone familiar with the main safety aspects of life on a yacht, the workings of the engine and handling under power, the sail controls and generally establishing everybody’s existing experience. This will all be done as you slowly make your way towards your first lunchtime stop and swim of the week.

The afternoon will be spent sailing as you are let get the feel for the yacht in its natural environment.  By the time you reach port on that first afternoon a lot of the mystery of sailing will have disappeared and you will be ready for a cool drink.  A shower and freshen up is normally followed by a group get together at a local restaurant for those interested in this. This is the perfect chance to unwind and discuss the day’s activities with the other members of the group.  Sleep is normally never a problem after the first day !!

The pattern for the week will now have been set.  The day will start with a short briefing and most yachts will have left by about 1030hrs.  Mornings tend to have lighter winds making them perfect for practicing and teaching.  We will have lunchtime stop most days unless we have a particularly favorable wind and everyone wants to keep going. The brisker afternoon winds make for great sailing and evenings are spent in port.  We do not arrange group meals every night so people just get together among themselves and wander off to try out different restaurants and explore the different locations that we visit.

The area we sail in has an indented mainland coastline, historic towns and cities, lively tourist resorts, two National Parks and probably more small islands in easy reach of each other than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. In a sailing week we visit a combination of the above, allowing you to get an authentic feel for the country while having a great sailing holiday. It is a perfect area for Learn to Sail Holidays, and there is always time to explore locally and the whole emphasis is on learning by doing, hence our use of the word ‘tuition’ rather than ‘school’. Where possible we try to keep the obligatory distances between ports no more than 12 to 20 miles allowing all day to get there.  This gives maximum flexibility, as with the multitude of small islands available to sail around, we can always make the route as long as we want, while still providing plenty of variety and training opportunities.  This is what makes the programme equally suited to novices who just want a sailing holiday with instruction, as well as those who want to develop their skills further and train to be a skipper.

Beginners will be shown general rope work and how to, tie knots correctly, steer a boat under sail and power, handle the sails, mooring and anchoring, basic navigation, and all the things which lead up to an International Crew Certificate. Someone with prior experience will develop these skills further while learning more advanced techniques in order to get them up to a Skipper level. This is a particularly popular way to obtain the yacht sailing experience and basic skipper level certification needed prior to chartering a yacht on your own in the future. The Basic Skipper level certification can be either the IYT Flotilla Skipper or the International Certificates of Competence (ICC) for which there are some extra costs and requirements.  Please click the qualifications link for for further information. 

At the end of the week you will return to our base by about 1800hrs on the last day, which is normally a Friday, and you are free to leave any time after this. Most people have a last night out on Murter and leave the yacht by 0900 the following morning. 


"Hi Activity

My fiance Will and I, recently had a Learn to Sail holiday in Croatia with Activity. I just wanted to write and say that we were very impressed with the holiday and would definitely come back and do it again to get our skipper qualifications. Thanks also to you for all of the advice you gave us initially about planning the trip.

With kind regards Michelle"

Qualifications and Training

The training that we offer follows the syllabus laid down by International Yacht Training Group with Log Books for their recreational sailing programme's. The recreational training syllabus is ideal for organisations that teach in a holiday environment, and courses have wide international recognition.

It is very important that we ensure that any training that we provide, follows internationally recognised standards and and that we can issue appropriate, recognised certification.  Equally it is essential that we do not forget that many people choosing to do these holidays are often just looking for a fun holiday, where they can share with others and learn a bit about sailing in a structured fashion but do not want to be under any pressure to do any form of qualification.

The IYT recreational syllabus is a modular system which offers a very flexible approach, and we offer

  • International Crew Certificate for beginners or anyone just looking to learn some sailing while on holiday
  • Flotilla Skipper and International Watchkeeper a first level skipper course completion which is recognised as a basic skipper licence and allows you to skipper a yacht in many locations. This is the same standard as the ICC and can be awarded to people of any nationality, so it is particularly suitable for people that are not eligible to do the ICC simply because of Nationality issues.
  • International Certificate of Competence (ICC) This is a basic Internationally Skipper Certification and is very useful as it is widely recognised. The rules for issuing ICC's however are complex as they are laid down by UNESCE (a UN body) and so there are nationality issues about who we can and cannot issue ICC's to.
  • Bareboat Skipper This is a more advanced skipper certificate and this is suitable for anyone that is aiming to get qualified to a level where they can skipper Bareboat yachts themselves. This is not a course for beginners.

All previous experience and knowledge, however obtained, is taken into account, and beginners and those working towards one of the skipper levels can all be together on the same yacht. Those hoping to get to a skipper level should ideally have some prior experience and must complete an eLearning module for the theory before the holiday. Anyone hoping to just get to an International Crew level only has to come along and enjoy themselves and any necessary theory for that is covered as we go along.

Further detail on the qualifications, certification and eLearning can be viewed here


Where we sail

The Learn to Sail and Flotilla holidays are based from Murter in central Croatia. Murter is a small island joined to the mainland with a bridge, and is approximately mid way between the cities of Split and Zadar, and about 60 miles north of Split Airport and 50 miles south of Zadar Airport.

This area has an indented mainland coastline, Group with Log Bookswith historic towns and cities like Sibenik and Zadar, lively tourist resorts like Biograd, Primosten and Vodice, as well as numerous other smaller traditional towns and villages. Just off the coast then there is the largest combination of smaller and larger islands in easy reach of each other in the Mediterranean. In a sailing week we visit a combination of the above, allowing you to get an authentic feel for the country while having a great sailing holiday. The Kornati and Krka national parks are in also in this region, and because of the flexibility of distances, it is a perfect area for Learn to Sail Holidays.

Sailing winds are reliable and mainly from Force 2 to Force 6 and ports vary from marinas with full facilities to small out of the way places with simple traditional harbours.

You can read more about our sailing area and routes here

Frequently Asked Questions

The yachts used for the Learn to Sail holidays are normally ones from our in house fleet and are 3 cabin yachts of between 34 to 39ft with a maximum up to six people and the instructor on board. You can view a selection of the yachts here

We get a full mix of all ages and both sex's coming on these holidays. Families are not mixed on board the same yacht as other adults, but singles and couples are mixed according to what seems to be the best fit.  Generally people on the shared yachts are in their mid twenties to mid fifties, but we have had people into their seventies.

In the main school holiday periods we have larger groups and get lots of families with children, taking yachts on their own as part of the flotilla. At this time then we usually have at least two yachts made up of singles and couples that are sharing each week. Outside of the main school holidays, then it is mainly all yachts of singles and couples, and smaller sized groups.

There is plenty of opportunity to socialize with others and we visit a mix of lively and quiet ports. Because of our balanced mix of people, you need not fear that you will be the only person on your own and totally left out, or equally that you have to stay up partying until the small hours every night (unless of course you want to !!)

There is no problem about traveling on your own as you are immediately part of a crew as well as part of a flotilla so there is a very good social side, and the courses are specifically designed for total beginners, or those just getting up to a skippering level.

These courses are all about learning to sail a yacht in a holiday environment.  Unless we are on a special trip, we always aim to keep the daily obligatory distance relatively short (usually five to twenty miles) so that we have maximum flexibility.  The yacht usually leaves port sometime after 1000hrs and then arrives in port around 1700hrs having had a stop in the middle of the day for an on board picnic lunch and a swim.  In reality we sail much more than just the straight line distance between ports, but the actual amount depends on the wind, how you are feeling on the day etc.

We normally aim to leave port each morning by about 1030hrs and then to arrive in the next location by about 1700hrs, having had a lunch time stop en route of about 2 hours. This allows loads of time in the early evening and the following morning to explore the places that we visit.

In addition the instructor will always try to juggle the different preferences of those onboard.  If you want extra time to explore a particular port, you can always remain behind on your own for an hour or two while the yacht heads off to do some sailing, perhaps some mooring practice etc before popping back in to collect you at a preset time.  Likewise you can always be dropped in early if you fancy a short day, and the yacht can go back out sailing.  This way we can mix those that want the maximum amount of sailing with those that only want the minimum.

The following applies to anybody sharing a yacht. All bookings are taken on a shared cabin basis unless you specifically book a single cabin and pay a supplement for this.  Couples or two friends traveling together will then share one of the double cabins. Singles will either be allocated a berth in the main saloon where there are single berths, or may have to share the forward V cabin with another person of the same sex.  In this regard, if you do not know what a yacht cabin is like, then think of it as being like the sleeping area of a small tent with standing headroom at one end.

If then a double cabin happens to be free, on the day it will be given to one of the singles.  Most weeks we have a few tuition yachts out so we mix and match the crews and yachts to get what appears to be the best mix.  Families or groups booking an entire yacht will sort out their own sleeping arrangements, but must leave one of the berths in the main saloon for the instructor unless they have specifically booked not to have him/her on board at night.

All yachts have an on board toilet and shower. The trips always start and finish in a marina with full toilet and shower facilities on the first and last nights, and then we usually use marinas or town quays with full facilities on 2 or 3 other nights of the week. In between then people can use the on board facilities. Yachts also have a Deck shower, and as people are swimming regularly during most of the season, on nights where we do not have facilities ashore, you can rinse off with fresh water using the deck shower. This combination of camping on the water and using facilities when they are available works very well, and avoids the mess of everyone trying to shower using the small on board shower.

Food is not included in the price. For groups and families filling an entire yacht, it is much more logical to leave you shop for whatever you want yourselves based on your own tastes etc.  There are  supermarkets near to our base where you can do a bulk shop before you leave, with good back up shops in most of the ports that we go to as well as local bakers and some form of fruit and vegetable market.  Most families  will tend to eat all breakfasts and lunches on board and then eat their main evening meals in local restaurants in the evenings, although they are of course totally free to prepare evening meals on board if they wish.

For those sharing a yacht we pre stock the yacht with some basic provisions like tea, coffee, etc. On the first morning the instructor will provide some general guidance for on board meals, after which you then shop yourselves, adding whatever you want, i.e. favourite breakfast cereals etc. Most groups choose to run a small kitty among themselves to ensure that there is enough for each day. This system is the only way of ensuring that everybody's individual tastes, budgets and preferences are catered for, while still providing a structure so that you are not all "squabbling over who ate whose biscuits" , but are free to eat as you please. It is after all your holiday!!  Cooked breakfasts if required can be obtained from local restaurants and main evening meals are taken ashore, at your own expense, although you are totally free to prepare food on board if you wish.

In Croatia there are very good facilities for yachts such as marinas, national parks etc, but naturally there are fees for these.  Where a group or family are on a yacht on their own, we will advise you to allow up to about 1500Kuna for mooring fees for the week. Other costs like Yacht security insurance, end cleaning etc will then have been take care of when you booked the holiday unless specifically stated otherwise.

On shared yachts then you will normally pay an amount of about 500kuna to go towards all direct yacht costs on site like mooring fees, fuel etc, and this will be clarified at the time of booking.

If you have asked us to arrange airport transfers then price of these will have been clarified in advance. As a guide for singles these are 200kuna per person each way if you take shared transfers, and are less for families or groups filling minibuses or taxis.

There are then no additional costs apart from your own personal food and drink costs.

Shopping locally is done in local supermarkets and open air markets and this is no different to any other area in Europe with prices being about mid way between the cheapest and dearest countries, and similar to UK supermarket prices.

There is a very good selection of local restaurants and you can get things like a very good Pizza or Pasta dish from about £5/6€ equivalent, while a beer starts from about £1.50/1.8€. Fish and Steaks then of course are more expensive. As a guide singles should allow between £15/18€ to £25/30€ per person per day.

Families and groups of four or more are normally always on their own yacht with just the skipper and so there is no sharing with others. You decide who sleeps in which cabin, while the skipper will sleep in the main saloon at night. Subject to availability, we can sometimes arrange for the skipper not to sleep on board at night, but there is a supplement for this. Provided you book far enough in advance, we can often offer a choice of yachts to suit your preferences.

Couples or two friends travelling together will be booked on the basis that they are sharing a cabin unless you have specifically requested otherwise and booked single cabins and paid the relevant supplement for this. The yachts that we use for training on usually have three cabins plus the saloon, so there can then be up to four others on board, but there may be less. The instructor will then sleep in the saloon at night.

This holiday is very suitable for solo travellers. Solo Travellers can choose to book a single cabin and pay the supplement for this or equally can choose to share with a member of the same sex. On the yacht then there will normally be other Solo Travellers or couples or friends travelling together. In addition as we sail as part of a larger flotilla there are plenty of other people to socialize with from the other yachts in the evenings. Overall we get a lot of people coming on these holidays on their own, especially females as it is a very safe holiday. However we advise that you should not think of these holidays as a "singles type" holiday, but instead to think of them as a mixed group activity that is suitable for solo travellers.

There is no special level of fitness required, and anybody that is normally active and does not have any particular balance or mobility problems should have no problem. If anyone does have any specific issues then they can discuss these with us before booking.

Naturally we can never guarantee that all crews will all get along well all of the time. However as long as people are prepared to be a little bit tolerant, most issues can be dealt with before they become major problems.  Remember that your yacht will be sailing as part of a flotilla of yachts so socially you will not be limited to just the people that you are on board with.  Also one of our instructors will be in charge of the yacht at all times, and part of his/her job is to identify any potential personality clashes before they become issues and to look after everybody's interests fairly.

It is a condition of booking that everyone will have personal travel insurance. These yachts will remain in Coastal waters and are usually within six miles of land at all times, so any standard travel Insurance policy should cover you unless it specifically excludes sailing.