Great location and sailing area. Our anchor winch broke and we needed to head back to base for a replacement which cost us a day. Boat was tired. Cockpit cushions would have improved comfort. Heads smell no cleaning products provided. Dinghy leaking. Very tired sails and Bimini.
It is a paradise on earth. I highly recommend to cruise through the Park.
Portisco port, cruise company, attention has been very very good. Of course the prices in Italy, at that park are high. However still a very unique place that deserves the effort.
Avoid NE coast of Sardinia and Kiriacoulis (unless your a douchebag)
Unfortunately, we were very very disappointed with our 2 week trip to the NE coast of Sardinia.
First on why we did not like the area:
We initially travelled a bit south of Olbia to Tavolara island, which was very nice, and dammit I wish we had continued south. Instead we headed up, as we originally planned, for most of the holiday to the NE coast, from Olbia to ~Santa Teresa, including the magdelenas. In general, the area is naturally pretty nice. There are just two huge issues: As seems to be endemic to many areas of italy, almost all land is privately owned and closed off. Even in the sham of a national park that is the magdelena islands, 10m from the water on essentially all of the islands you will find a fence with signs marked private land. There do seem to be some trails on islands/coast, but as soon as you step foot on them, you are met with 'privata strada' signs. So you can lie on the garbage covered sand beaches of magdelenas, you cant see anything else on them, as their less national parks, more privately owned villas with massive properties. Finally, we saw many many park employees motorboating around to yachts checking park entry tickets and collecting money. I did not see a single person trying to collect the garbage that has been both washed up, and worse yet, just dumped onto the beaches of their 'national park'. On one beach on Isolla Razzoli there was an old washer and dryer dumped on the beach, which had obviously been decaying for years. Disgraceful.
Finally, our holidays were continuously ruined by the crowds in the area. Even in the remoter bays/beaches in the magdelenas your are plagued with :
In the day. Motorboats of slimey domestic tourists blasting horrible music. Often old fat bald leathery mafioso looking douchebags with several (presumably, either officially or in spirit) prostitutes on board. strong pattaya vibe.
In the night: sailing yachts chartered by groups of german bro's, who blast shitty music and shout at the top of their lungs. literally every night, in every bay...
So yeah, you might like the area if your a douche.
We ended up going back to Corsica for 4 days (we had been a few years ago) as we were so fed up with northern Sardinia. We went to areas we were before, but this was by far the highlight (well including tavolara) of our trip.
Just to be clear, we spent 4 days by car in central Sardinia and loved it. Super nice towns/people/parks/hikes/beaches etc.. Its really just the north east that I think has been absolutely ruined.
Second: Dont charter from Kiriacoulis! Our first, only, but definately last charter from them. I dont want to be too long, so Ill bullet our issues we had with the boat:
1. For the boat check in, the employee gave me a sheet of paper and told me to check what I want. highly unprofessional.
2. We were 5 people with a dog on the boat. The Dinghy they supplied us was for 2 people max. We only found out on the second day at sea. Luckily we had brought 3 SUPs.
3. Anchor, chain, windlass: Honestly, I would be shocked to find such a poor set on a ~28 ft boat, let alone our 38fter. The chain was about as thick/large as you find on the mini inflatable 15ft motorboats, and completely rusted. Absolutely unacceptable. We could literally not anchor anywhere if there was more than ~5 knots of wind. We had to have someone on 'anchor' watch at all times. Twice in the night, when we had predicted 0-5 knot winds we had to re-anchor as the anchor slipped. I really dont understand how it could be legal to supply us with a boat with, essentially, no useable anchor, which in an emergency can be a disaster.
4. supplied lifevests/harnesses were a joke, never had anything remotley close to being that bad on a charter.
5. The ladder for the swimming platform for the back of the boat just reached the water: i.e. it was very very difficult to get out of the water. One of crew could not, so in the end we fashioned a rope ladder to use for the trip. Ridiculous.
6. No fans in the ship (for an areawith regualr 30-35 degree nights). Also no inverter in the boat, so no possibility of running your own fan.
7. Only power away from port was 2 usb plugs.
8. the VHF had no MMSI, my messages to the base requesting it were never answered
9. no epirb
10. several window seals were broken, the seal for the fridge was also almost completely gone, rendering it useless.
11. Front hatch/window for the forward cabin was completely broken. We taped it down to minimize leakage into the cabin at sail (still leaked). The other huge issue with this, which we hadnt really considered, is that even if it was removed, without having the hatch angles, the front cabin would get essentially 0 ventilation. Combined with no fans, it was impossible for any of us to sleep in the front cabin at night.
Mnay other more minor gripes, but the boat was absolute garbage. Only plus was that it did sail pretty well.
Croatia is the ideal place for the perfect sailing holiday, and Navigare Yachting is the charter company to make it happen.
The boat was brand new and in pristine condition, well equipped and very comfortable. The Navigare team was professional and friendly. The Navigare Carefree package raises the bar in convenience for every other charter company ou there. Just a slight delay in the onboarding but nothing too serious.