Any1 paddling in Croatia? need info

Looking to paddle the 1200 islands along the coast of Croatia for 3weeks+ and wondered if anyone here has done this?

Did you rent a kayak there? From who? Experience with that company etc.

Any route suggestions would be a plus.

Thanks for your help.

Few years ago

– Last Updated: Jun-28-11 3:23 AM EST –

on the Grabner folding kayaks website there was a report on trip in Croatia. This what I'd suggest, btw - get a folding kayak. Folks at will tell you more. Higher initial investment and more luggage pain with traveling (at least one more bag), but MUCH less pain with everything else. Familiar boat with familiar performance and where you know that all the gear would fit. Especially if such distant travel is possible again in future (not necessarily to Croatia). With rental kayaks you DON'T know what you will get. Though, in places like Croatia I would still coordinate the route with some kayaking agency, especially if you travel alone. Croatia is not Baja or Everglades - some beaches look secluded, but there is no wilderness. Highway is hugging the coastline for the most part, and all islands worth camping are populated. People have been living on Mediterranean for thousands years before the Columbus and even before Christ, so what would you expect...

The owner of rental outfit will probably speak some English, but locals in villages won't. If you don't speak some Croatian (or Serbian, basically same thing), don't expect locals to understand you. When they do know any other language it's usually German, but don't count on that either.

A few years ago I went there
I finally got to Croatia with my family after waiting 40 years to make the trip. It was all I expected - and LESS. Let me tell you why:

  1. no sandy beaches - all those white beaches in the pix are marble rock
  2. hard to get reliable info, even when there, and it’s not a language problem either - just a remnant of the communist culture that you don’t give or get info
  3. Tito eliminated the cultures in an effort to eliminate ethnic hatred, but all he succeeded in doing was wiping out the more interesting aspects of the local people
  4. most of the sights and cities have less than you would imagine to do, even though there are thousands of years of history there.

    I know this sounds like a harsh judgment, but I’m being honest here and I’m an experienced traveler.

    Here’s the upside for what you propose:

    a) the water is drop dead gorgeous! I said then and I’d repeat now that if you’re on the sea in Croatia you have beautiful visibility and good sailing most of the time in summer.

    b) the countryside is scenic, correctly depicted in pix of the area

    c) they say they have over 1000 islands, and whether you go over them by air or through them by ferry, it’s quite true that they do, many of them uninhabited as well - and they can be rather close together

    d) the trip you imply is far less of the washed out Euro-touristy venues, so you might very well have a magnificent experience and will certainly see what few outsiders ever do.

    Don’t expect cheap. Croatia was deemed expensive, even by the Euro-zone tourists when I was there. Don’t expect cuisine; local meats and fish are cheap, good and plain, and except for a couple of local cheeses, that’s about it until you find better Italian food there. Don’t expect souveniers or art - ain’t much of that there left. Don’t expect logical local travel: roads are good, if narrow, but bus and ferry travel have very odd schedules and are done by private companies that don’t complement one another or coordinate; no trains in most places and plane travel is funky. Don’t expect luxurious accommodations, mostly fading communist era block hotels and locals do better with rooms to rent in houses.

    If all this still sounds like your cup of tea, then on the water you’ll have a good time. The yachtsmen, sailors and divers love the place with good reason. I just like to make sure that people who go there have more realistic expectations of what is and is not available.

had a friend just come back…
send me an email w/ your email address and i will link you up.

Correcting myself
I said earlier that folding kayak is a higher initial investment. Not necessarily. Those waters are mostly sheltered - in summer anyway, and considering short distances between islands. IMO, inflatable folder like Inova Helios is an adequate vessel for these conditions, and it costs under around $900. 3-week rentals may easily cost the same - and you don’t get top keep the boat, naturally. Packs in one bag. Somebody at FKO forum (nickname Paddlesheep) has been paddling it on Pacific Northwest (BC), and it gets windy there at times, so I don’t have qualms as to its seaworthiness. That is - if you’re really interested in paddling trip with more independence and less cost. OTH, if it’s a sightseeing trip with only occasional paddling at some places - then rentals is a better way.

thanks so far for the info
Thanks all for the info;

I have been in contact with this company here:

There are set up for expedition style etc with gear, long distance plans/itins, and web site has some amazing photos. I didnt realize what a fantastic sea kayak location it is with 1244 islands and many are deserted.

The company said they would rent to me without a guide since I’ve been paddling for 35 years etc and have done some extended solo trips as long as 6-months etc. I’ve been in a few folding kayaks, yes they are great having your own boats but i worry about the bottom durabilty on coral and marble rock. When i paddled the coast of Thailand last year I would never have survived a single day had i used a folding kayak, in fact the coral nearly destroyed the plastic Perception kayak I was using. Anyway…the company looks they they have “ok” kayaks and Im not into making any speed record…just to paddle and explore the coastline, see some of the remote fishing villages, an occasional city. Camp out most nights then do the occasional courchsurfing or guesthouse to shower and explore a town/resupply etc. I dont consider myself a tourist but rather a traveler. Ive traveled through many not so comfortable places and all with language barriers and I found them to the be the best experiences I’ve had and so distorted as how the media and current news may portray some of these place. Anyway…Plans are for february…which is NOT the tourist season so they will be few and more quiet area. Thanks for the info.

Why winter? I’d check on the weather and sea conditions at that time of year, particularly if you’re thinking of camping on isolated islands. They can be VERY isolated, as in uninhabited very often. Sea conditions might not at all be the beautiful ones I saw in summer.

You may be setting yourself up for an uncomfortable and bleak trip, with an emphasis on the latter!