The 2014 European Laser Senior Championships were held in the Dalmatian coastal city of Split in June. After a hugely successful event, the region showcased its enormous potential as a world-class laser sailing destination for water sports enthusiasts around the world. In this guide, we take a look at what this Adriatic region of Croatia has to offer to laser sailing professionals, as well as those with limited boating or sailing experience.
Laser sailing boats are designed to be lightweight and, although the Laser boat can be sailed by two people, in competitions the boats are sailed by just one person. The design of the boat is so versatile that in less than 4 decades since the first laser was designed, the format has risen to become arguably the most popular single-handed dinghy in the world.
Why Laser Sailing in the Dalmatian Region of Croatia is Such a Special Experience?
Laser sailing is one of the most popular forms of sports boat racing as well as leisure sailing in the Dalmatian region. Part of the reason why this is the case is that the waters around the islands are shallow, a condition which lends itself to the lightweight nature of laser boats. Moreover, lasers are some of the easiest boats to rig up and sail.
Even without a special focus on laser sailing, the Dalmatian coastal region of Croatia is a dream sailing destination. The region features such pleasant sailing winds as the Maestral (Mistral), Bura (Bora) and Jugo which make is easy to cruise and meander your way around the scenic region with its thousand-plus islands and rocky islets.
Set off on the Less Traveled Path Around The Dalmatians on a Laser
The pleasure of using a laser dinghy to explore the Dalmatians is that you can go absolutely anywhere you like. The small boat provides you with a ticket to lose yourself in the enigmatic region and explore the less traveled path to islands and coastal towns which rarely feature on tourist destination guides.
- Lopud, Elaphiti Islands
The Lopud Island is reputed to have been a weekend getaway for the aristocratic class who ruled over the then prosperous city-state of Dubrovnik in medieval times. Through the centuries Lopud faded from the limelight and today it is nowhere close to its pretentious past. The island is almost entirely uninhabited with less than 200 permanent residents. Those who live on the island mainly practice fishing and there are no cars on the island or other forms of modern infrastructure and conveniences.
Whether you love sailing or are just looking for an out-of-the-way retreat, you can set off to Lopud with your laser dinghy and experience hours of solitude and oneness with nature. Pick any of the footpaths leading from the jetty and it is likely that the only form of human life you will meet along the way are one or two fishermen languidly drying their nets after a long night’s labor.
- Kornati Islands
Sailing north of Skardlin you will witness the isolated and remote Kornati Islands break out of the water like magic mushrooms. Before tourism became a big attraction to the area, all the locals depended on was sheep rearing and beekeeping owing to the sparse vegetation on the islands. The largest island in the archipelago is Vrulje and the enchanting inlet with clear waters will welcome your laser for an excursion through the small township with its quaint stone houses and narrow streets. If your visit coincides with the summer high season, you will be in for a feast of home cooking prepared and served in makeshift restaurants known as konabas.
- Cavtat Seaside Town
Finish off your laser sailing adventure of the Dalmatians by visiting the seaside town of Cavtat close to Dubrovnik. There is an excellent marina where you will find space to dock your laser and enjoy hours sunning on the beach or swimming just off it. The town boasts a handful of very splendid restaurants where you will get every opportunity to indulge your taste buds with a range of Mediterranean dishes.
If you love sailing and adventure, you will love the opportunity to explore the amazing delights of the Dalmatian coastal region of Croatia. Even if you have limited sailing experience, the ease with which you can rig up the lightweight laser dingy and sail it all on your own means you are in for a treat of unparalleled proportions. Even if you do not have a boat of your own, you can charter one easily and cheaply from the dozens of boat charter companies which operate in Croatia’s cities and towns.
This article was written by Leon Pireli, experienced member of the OSC (Orvas Sailing Crew) and an avid sea lover. For more safe sailing tips & info in Croatia please visit the official Orvas sailing website.