Croatia through the eyes of a digital nomad: yachting, part 1

July 7, 2021 – Why is a sailboat the best desk for digital nomads? Cyndie Burkhardt says it all.

Many digital nomads enjoy Split’s climate and working with a sea view, which are some of the best perks of being here. If beautiful blue water, fresh air and sun are your thing, you can satisfy your inner nature lover while working ON the sea, with the right yacht and the right skipper.

I grew up near the beach and love being in, on and near the water. When friends invited me to join their week’s yacht vacation, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. It is my goal to experience this beloved Croatian hobby and the preseason was a perfect time of year: not too hot and not too many tourists. We were going around the islands and our eyes were on Vis, Brač, Hvar and others. Was it warm enough to pack a swimsuit? Check.

This is why you give in to the Croatian wind, it literally makes the trees grow parallel to the earth. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

The ideal teleworking

I was a little afraid of falling behind at work because I wanted to relax during the trip without being tethered to a device. I found out that there was reliable Wi-Fi on board and that I could go online anytime and verify my business. Fortunately this turned out to be true and I never had a problem logging in when I needed to follow up on a project or check in for a Zoom meeting. Once I tested the connectivity I relaxed I would be able to work and play this week. My vacation was not a digital nomadic charter, but it was a good opportunity to see how difficult or easy it would be to work while sailing.


Morning view from my cabin, somewhere in the Adriatic Sea. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Our yacht was a Lagoon 40 and with the four of us plus the skipper and his wife the space was quite comfortable, although I will never get used to cooking in such a compact galley. Fortunately I have experience with an apartment in New York the size of a shoebox, it was pretty much the same, although the yacht had a lot more space to move around than at my house.

Born on the water

Our skipper, Danijel Razi, was up for hitting the islands we mentioned but hesitated a few times when we asked for the route. Live today? Maybe later, he replied. I noticed he kept staring at that little pointer above the mainsail (a weather vane). He watched the weather, the wind and every nautical detail with his eyes and his instincts, but he didn’t really look at the fancy equipment. His main concern was the viability of the trip and safety. I was curious, what did this guy know and how did he know it?

03CBurkhardt_4692.jpegA tribute to the Beatles and the Yellow Submarine; public art on Šolta. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

It turns out that Danijel was born in Viganj, a very windy village on Pelješac which is a popular sailing destination. Viganj is part of Orebić County, an ancient maritime center known historically for traditional sailing and boating, where all men go to sea. These guys lived on the water for centuries before the invention of marine electronics. , working on commercial ships, trading goods and traveling the world. Danijel comes from a long line of sailors, including his grandfather and previous generations, and he inherited their skills and way of life. Sailing is in his blood and he clearly loves it.

04CBurkhardt_4708.jpegA typical bay and a small village could be any Croatian island; where there is water, there are boats. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Fun fact

Viganj is Croatia’s second most famous windsurfing site after Bol.

07CBurkhardt_5187.jpegThe sound of full sails in the wind and the feeling of gliding on the water make you want to sit quietly and fully experience it. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Sailing to the island destinations we hoped for including a few bays for swimming was amazing and there was only one day the Bura wind adjusted our plans. Skipper Danijel followed the direction of nature and everything went well. I took my first swim of the season which was a little cool but so refreshing.

We are here and we know

If I do it all over again, and I hope to, I’ve learned that a little research can help you get the trip you expect and avoid facing unexpected costs and disappointments.

09CBurkhardt_5021.jpegDanijel is getting ready to tie up to a mooring buoy. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

So who are the best skippers and hosts? Without a local presence, charter companies run out of things people would like to know. Booking a boat is not like a hotel room: there are lots of details to know about every yacht, route and destination. Danijel and his team are based in Croatia. For more information on what to check, click here.

05CBurkhardt_4733.jpegA beach near the Franciscan monastery and the Church of St. Mary of Grace, Hvar. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

When should we go

As far as I’m concerned, any day on the water is a big day. For digital nomads who are in Croatia all year round, I suggest you consider traveling before and after peak season, April to June and September to November. The prices are lower, the destinations are less crowded, you can see the islands better, and the service is more attentive with fewer tourists. If you can only go in summer, do it!

06CBurkhardt_4962.jpegA quiet street in Vis. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

For thrill seekers who want something a little different, regattas in Croatia are underrated. It is possible to join one just to sit on a boat as a counterweight when a team needs the extra weight. How cool is that? Danijel is working with some of the teams and I’m already on his list to be notified when my butt is needed haha. You can be too, contact him by This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

08CBurkhardt_5136.jpegDanijel confirms our mooring buoy. All photos © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Learn more about Danijel’s yacht charters and catamarans, including trips to Greece.

Story and photographs © 2021, Cyndie Burkhardt.

Learn more about TCN’s Digital Nomads channel.

TCN now has a new resource in Total Croatia sail page. Get answers and information about Croatia’s favorite pastime on the water.

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