At sea, it is often decided spontaneously where the wind, desire and mood will drive ship and crew in the late afternoon. The marina is found, the lines are tight – and then? What awaits the newcomers in the harbor? Where is the best place to eat, what should definitely be seen? Is there a supermarket? Can you rent a rental car or a bike and take an extended excursion into the hinterland?
To all these questions gives the freshly published “district compass Croatia north” answer. Briefly, concisely and clearly on a double page ports, towns and islands are presented. Aerial photos of the area, which remind of Wimmelbilder, give a visual impression over the distances and help by illustrated prominent buildings with the orientation locally. A sketched compass star shows at a glance what the place has to offer – and what not.
The longer the needle of the compass, the more attractive the stopover on the cruise is for the respective criteria. Among other things, a distinction is made between free anchorages/moorings, excursions, sightseeing, dining out and on-site services. In addition, tips for easy clearing in and out and for charter customers.
The idea for this special district guide “District Compass Croatia North”, which in terms of content ranks between a nautical and a classic travel guide, comes from author and publisher Thomas Käsbohrer, who has been sailing on his own keel in Croatia for many decades.
In the SeaHelp interview, he reveals his personal insider tips for cruising along the coast between Koper and Kornati.
Who should definitely put the area compass Croatia North in the bookcase or pack it in his sea bag for the next cruise along the Croatian Adriatic coast?
The book is for boat travelers like me, who want to know what to expect before they even get to port. In addition, there are always the different preferences of the crew – a family with children often has different inclinations and needs than solo travelers. This particular district compass gave me the opportunity to summarize my local knowledge acquired in recent decades in a clear structure, quickly understandable and clear, for the different target groups.
A compass helps with orientation and shows in which direction it goes. What direction gives the precinct compass Croatia North?
When Bora or Jugo decree a port day, there is opportunity to explore the beautiful country. With the area guide you can quickly find out which attractive destinations are nearby and how to get there. Whether you are also mobile in the port and can rent a bike or car. Both are by no means available everywhere. The important thing is that you get the most out of a week under sail – whether you want to look at mosaics or prefer to taste the good local wine.
Since when do you travel Croatia under sail?
Shortly after the end of the Yugoslav war, I was in Croatia for the first time in the late 90s and again and again since then. I have seen how the country has opened up more and more, how the infrastructure has been improved and how tourism along the coast has become more and more important. I have come to love the country, especially the quiet hinterland and the many islands.
Do you recommend to plan a side trip to Slovenia?
The Corona pandemic has changed travel patterns a lot. Many travel with their own cars, from Germany and Austria in many cases you can be in Slovenia in the shortest driving time. Slovenia is also a good jumping off point for charters to enter the non-Schengen country of Croatia without traffic jams at the border.
How long did it take you to create the Revier-Kompass, or how many months of research?
The basic research spans the past 20 years, and the country has changed and developed rapidly. To that end, I have a good network of local residents, colleagues and sailors who have kept me informed of new developments. Of the 31 places and anchorages described, I have visited all but two regularly, the rating scale of the compass needle we have agreed in the team and our individual impressions and evaluation criteria with each other.
What should you absolutely know when planning a cruise in Croatia?
First and foremost, you should keep an eye on the weather and the sometimes very rapid weather changes. Croatia is not necessarily a beginner’s territory, especially in July and August can be violent weather extremes. The Adriatic Sea is very shallow off the Croatian coast with a water depth of just under 50 meters, the water is around 25 degrees in late summer, and mountains border the coast – a topography for a weather kitchen. Sailors will find here a fantastic sailing area, but sometimes there can be heavy rain, violent thunderstorms or tornados.
Is there a faux pas you should avoid in Croatia?
We must not forget that still our generation of Croats experienced a terrible war. People have a different history than us and are not only used to peaceful years of construction. Whoever runs a small konoba today may have been fighting thirty years ago. One often encounters a very different sensibility when talking to Croats about their borders and immediate neighbors.
And what not to miss in any case?
The many islands and islets are paradise. High on my bucket list are the Kornati Islands with its 89 islands and islets. The national park is a zone of tranquility that you should definitely treat yourself to. Even though I have been here many times, the beauty of nature always takes my breath away. And of course Cres, with its simplicity, is a picture-book summer delight. Even a twenty-minute walk from the marina to the old town harbor is pure relaxation; at times, time seems to have stood still here. There is little land tourism, little party and turmoil – who is looking for that, will find more from Central Dalmatia.
Then definitely the Krka – about 10 nautical miles you go up the river with the yacht, from salt water becomes south water. Here the world famous waterfalls await you. The national park is also visited by many land tourists, but to experience this beauty of nature from a boat always shows how rich our life is. Moreover, one of my favorite destinations is Murter, an island opposite Kornati.
And actually eaten in each of the restaurants noted as a tip to try?.
Not in each, but in many. For this I was helped by a local knowledgeable team. You can get a good grill plate almost anywhere along the coast, including fresh fish from the grill. But really excellent, special restaurants can be found only occasionally.
Which evaluation criteria are particularly important to you personally for a marina and anchorage?
I like to be on the water, but get grumpy if I just hang out on board and get nothing from the land and people. For the ideal trip preparation we have developed the compass star. Our tips and assessments are based on the typical daily rhythm of water sports enthusiasts. During the day we are on the water, in the afternoon we reach the next cruise destination and sometimes need the service of the marina, want to experience culture, relax on the beach, stroll or go out for a leisurely meal.
Personally, I want to move after the day at sea. Everything that offers our stopover is summarized on a double page. And to find out about current opening hours and prices, all the relevant keywords are underlined in an online-friendly format. You can find them all on Google Maps. So you can quickly filter out the best things for you and so on the water and on land to make the trip a particularly intense experience.
The Revier-Kompass Kroatien Nord is available from the publisher millemari as a book or eBook and costs as a paperback 24.95 euros and for eBook readers 19.99 euros.