Croatia Sail vs. Turkey Sail
What’s not to love when sailing along smooth crisp blue waters with a bar and chef's on board. If Sailing Croatia or Turkey isn’t on your bucket list……we think it should be! The hardest questions are: Which route do you want to take?
And more importantly.....Where should I do it?
Luckily we have done both. Sailed Turkey and Croatia and both trips at least, twice!
We did them 8 years ago and again this year so we feel like we can compare the two and help you choose.
We have broken it down to try to make an easier decision for you. Of course each individual has different wants, needs, budgets and ways of traveling. Everyone’s experience varies with so many contributing factors. But this is our personal experience and we have done it more than a couple of times. We looked at various companies and chose this time to go with Go Croatia Sail and Go Sail Turkey. This is not a paid or sponsored blog by the way.
We chose these trips with the same variables in mind and wanted private rooms above deck, with an ensuite and aircon (where possible). For us this came down to which company looked really good and offered these facilities for the best price and overall value, and we think we chose well!
Both sails have highs and lows, let’s get to it and break it down.
What is it you're looking to get out of this trip?
First of all what type of a person are you? Did you want to wind down and fully relax whilst soaking up the sun? Or would you like more of a mixed bag trip? chilling during the day, partying by night, until the sun comes up and reviving from the night before with those well needed swims in the ocean?
A lot has changed here between the 8 years we sailed here. Whether or not Game Of Thrones had a massive influence on the old town of Dubrovnik and made it a hot travel destination. It is a crazy and busy place in the summer. Prices for everything have shot through the roof in the last 8 years! If you are looking for a savvy sail, Croatia is not for you.
There are a number of sail companies. Between us we have sailed Croatia with 3 different companies so we have some knowledge of how they generally run. Every boat holds a certain amount of passengers and also has different types of sleeping arrangements on board. Some rooms will be shared rooms below deck, down in the noisy, humid hull of the boat. Others will be private rooms, above deck with a private ensuite and wait for it….aircon. Each room and route will play a difference to how much YOU the consumer, will pay.
As you’ll find on the internet, you can pay a ridiculous amount and go all out! Go as large and extravagant as you please, there are no limits here. There’s serious amounts of money getting thrown into some beautiful, extremely large boats in and around Croatia. Seriously CRAZY money!!
If you are more of a party animal and have the money to spend, lash out and spoil yourself in Croatia. What’s not to love here? You get long sunny days, great bars, a party atmosphere, cold drinks from the boats bar up on the roof and ample opportunities to meet new friends and make new memories.
You set sail each morning and hopefully make it up in time for breakfast (it's actually hard to do). Majority of the nights, you will pull into a harbour and park side by side numerous other boats following the same route as you. The benefit is, if you meet someone onshore one of the first nights and make friends, if you are traveling the same direction, you’ll have the opportunity to catch up each night on land and hit all the local bars and tasty restaurants.
Which route will you take?
The hard decision of a one way Split to Dubrovnik or possibly reversed?
Or Dubrovnik return? (Dubrovnik to Split and back). Or Spilt return? Hmmm...
How long will you sail for?
We think the shorter route or the 3 to 4 day trip which is normally a one way trip is too short. Yes, you will get a taste of what the incredible islands in Croatia has to offer, but you’ll go hard, partying the whole time and more than likely, those days will just blur into one. Then you'll need a holiday from your holiday. For us doing the full, one week, one way was the best trip to do. All though we have recently done the 1 week return trip from Dubrovnik to Split and back. We found you will spend way more time in transit rather than the swim stops and have a painfully long turn around time, in the heat, in Split.
The swim stops are BY FAR the thing we went back for. You’ll be tempted every day to leap off the boat in the deep blue water. So if you can, booking a one way trip from Dubrovnik to Split (or reverse) was our choice for Croatia Sail. This will give you ample time for swims whilst also having time to blow off some steam on the islands at night. You’ll get the whole feel of the amazing Croatian islands.
With these mixed sail trips, what plays a mega part on whether or not you will have a good time, is whose going to be on board with you? How's the diversity of the boat going to be? Will I find my future husband/wife on board like we did? But that's another story. You’ll get a wide mix of people from all over the world. Some companies nail matching the “like minded” people together on boats but you never know who’ll be joining you onboard your voyage.
- Croatian coast is beautiful
- Party atmosphere
- Some rooms have aircon
- All you can drink water
- Tour guide on board (most companies)
- Cold beers poured from boat bar (depending on boat selection)
- Breakfast & lunch included in price
- Possibly meeting your future partner
- No swimming equipment on a lot of boats - BYO (snorkels, floats etc.).
- Not as many swim stops (they vary on boat schedules with harbour docking times).
- Sometimes there are extra costs involved with transport to and from boat to land.
- Beers/drinks onboard are pricey
If you are looking for a trip to relax, get plenty of sunshine, sleep under the stars at night or have that much needed time to reflect on life, Turkey sail is what you’re looking for. The staff on board the sail boats will make you feel right at home. The packages include ALL meals on board, so all you have to do is check in, throw on the swim wear and chill the F out!
Of course, each experience differs with a whole number of factors: Who else is on your boat? Who is the staff on board? What time of season are you sailing? What did you want to get out of this trip? After doing this trip now 3 times over the years, Sailing Turkey is still our choice of the two. Don’t get us wrong, we love a Croatian party, but we are travellers and always keep in mind: How much value are we getting out of each experience and how would we rate/recommend these to others?
As far as bang for your buck goes, sailing Turkey is on point.
Picture this: Waking up to the breakfast bell chime ringing, leaping overboard into the turquoise water, climbing back on board with salty dripping hair to find a great local spread of Turkish cuisine laid out for you and your new shipmates to dig into. Don’t worry for those of you that have dietary requirements, they will sort you out and make sure there’s something everyone can eat. There are plenty of vegetarian options when it comes to tasty, fresh local food.
As you're lying on the deck, it’s a great time to start tucking into that book you have been carrying for weeks in your bag without having time to get into. Those that don’t read can enjoy the views from the deck, watch the day drift by and keep your eyes locked on these views, dripping in natural beauty.
Which trip should I take?
Same as Croatia there are alternative routes as where you can jump on board and start your voyage. For us all times we did the Fethiye to Olympos route (west to east). Fethiye is easy to start from, having a local airport not too far away at Dalaman and bus it in from there. You can also take a short ferry ride over from Rhodes in Greece if you are tying it in with a European summer trip. See what suits your plans. Also having the trip end in Gokkaya Bay, you’ll get transit included to get you to Olympos. There’s an airport not too far away in Antalya. It’s easy to catch buses to there.
How long should I sail for?
We highly recommend doing the sailing trip for 4 days. It is enough when you are just relaxing and taking it easy. Go for the week if you have the time/funds. For us, 4 days of sailing is nice when you are chilling and you get a good feel of what Turkey sail is about. Like I said earlier, you have everything laid out for you. You don’t have to think much, with all meals included and your trusty captain driving the boat. The one thing you will need to think about is which time is a decent time to crack that first ice cold beer? It’s 5pm somewhere right? Haha.
What time of the year should I go?
We have done this sailing trip in the middle of summer, towards the end of summer and at the very end. We recommend doing this trip towards the end of summer. The prices are less and it's not stinking hot, but still perfect weather for swimming and laying out in the sun all day. The end of summer was also great weather but we noticed many restaurants and shops had already closed in the towns - not a big deal but nice to have some atmosphere when looking around. If you are wanting an adrenalin rush, there is possibilities of paragliding at Oludinez beach. It looks incredible!
- Great value
- Swimming equipment included
- Stunning coastline
- All meals included
- Amazing food and you don’t have to think on board
- Can sleep under the stars
- Really chilled but can make a party depending who’s on board
- Not as much information on board not having a tour guide
- Rooms were hot without aircon so sleeping under the stars was most peoples choice.
So there you have it. As you can see, sailing both Croatia and Turkey make for incredible experiences and we have made amazing memories and lifelong friends on both trips. There is a reason we came back and did them both again this year.
Turkey for the win
There is a reason Nath has done this sailing trip twice and Mel three times now... And we will for sure, be back!