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Croatia Surfing Guide

Croatia’s spectacular blue Adriatic coast is a fine destination for windsurfing.

Anyone can learn to windsurf, regardless of age and fitness level, but you do need decent winds, which are a result of local physical geography and prevailing weather conditions. Depending on the size of the board and sail, ideally beginners should start with gentle winds of around 5-7 knots, while more experienced surfers will relish gusts of up to 25 knots. The dominant winds on the Adriatic are the chilly bura (northwest), the warm jugo (south), and in summer the thermal mistral (blowing off the sea towards the land). Also bear in mind that kite-surfing is growing in popularity – according to experts, it’s easier to learn than windsurfing, but less safe.

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Bol, Brač island, Central Dalmatia

Croatia’s top windsurfing destination, Bol lies on Brač’s sunny south coast, backed by the Vidova Gora mountain. “The mistral speeds up in the channel between Brač and Hvar, due to the Venturi effect,” says local windsurfer Goran Skelin. Bol is a relaxed little village with a magnificent beach, several big modern hotels and excellent sports facilities. On summer mornings, a light eastern wind blows, making it ideal for beginners, while the afternoons see the mistral start, making the sea surface choppy with no swell, perfect for professionals. Bol hosts many fun-board windsurf championships, such as freestyle and slalom, in winds of 12-25 knots.

Bol

Big Blue, Borak beach, Bol, island of Brač, Central Dalmatia

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To reach Bol, fly to Split, take the airport bus to town, then catch the fast catamaran from Split port, direct to Bol on Brač.

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Viganj, Pelješac peninsular, South Dalmatia

Like Bol, Viganj lies in a sea channel (between Pelješac peninsular and Korčula island) where the winds accelerate. “Viganj is great for surfing because it’s very safe and family-friendly, with steady wind and almost flat water - everything is windsurfing or kite-surf related, with cycling and SUPs too,” says Ales Komocar, from WaterDonkey.“The best period is mid-May to mid-September, when we get the thermal mistral wind from 1pm until sunset, at 14-25 knots.” Non-surfers might go wine-tasting at Pelješac’s esteemed vineyards, or visit Korčula town, with its medieval stone alleys and Venetian-era buildings, across the channel.

Viganj

Water Donkey, Viganj, Pelješac peninsular, South Dalmatia

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To reach Viganj, fly to Dubrovnik, hire a car and drive northwest up the coast to Viganj (137km).

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Premantura peninsular, Pula, Istria

Up in Istria, the flat rocky Premantura peninsular offers excellent windsurfing conditions – it’s sheltered from the north but gets good winds from the east and west.“In summer, we have the benevolent mistral from noon onwards – it’s light and perfect for beginners and we have plenty of safe bays,” says Lovro Barbalić of Windsurf Station. “We also have reefs, with waves of 2-3m breaking here.”Windsurf Station offers wind-surf and kite-board tuition and rentals. While in Pula, be sure to visit the Arena (Roman amphitheater), that hosts open-air summer concerts, and taste the Istrian delicacy, tartufi (truffles).

Premantura

Windsurf Station, Skoljić beach, Rt Kamenjak, Premantura, Pula, Istria

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To reach Premantura, fly to Pula, then drive 10km from the city center down to Istria’s southern tip.

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Neretva delta, Ploče, South Dalmatia

A lesser known location, now gaining popularity, is the Neretva delta near Ploče.“Neretva is great, because we have stable thermal winds of 17-22 knots most summer days and warm shallow sea,” says Ivica Odak of Neretva Kiteboarding.“Neretva is also much cheaper than most of Croatia for apartments, food and drinks.”The region is best known for its fertile fields and orchards, separated by geometric drainage channels, which supply most of Croatia’s open-air markets with fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. From here, you can take an excursion up the Neretva Valley to Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Neretva-delta

Neretva delta, Ploče, South Dalmatia

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To reach the Neretva delta, fly to Dubrovnik, hire a car and drive northwest up the coast to Ploče (118km).

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Jadrija, Šibenik, Central Dalmatia

Near the mouth of the narrow channel leading to Šibenik, on Srima peninsular, Jadrija is a bathing establishment from 1922. It’s also a fine windsurfing venue, as it’s exposed to various winds, suitable for beginners and professionals.“We get the mistral most of the time during summer, while in the autumn and spring, we get the jugo, with big waves, and the gusty wild offshore bura,” says Katarina Rajčić of Mali Viganj Windsurf School. Nearby attractions include Šibenik old town with its fortresses and cathedral, the waterfalls of Krka National Park, and the rocky islets of Kornati National Park.

Jadrija

Jadrija, Šibenik, Central Dalmatia

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To reach Jadrija, fly to Split, hire a car and drive northwest up the coast to Šibenik (60km), then catch a taxi-boat from Šibenik waterfront.

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Last edited: April 10, 2019

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