Adriatic Winds: How to Deal With Bura on a Yacht

Written by Marin @Danielis on March 12, 2017 in Yacht Charter Advice

What the hell is Bura?

Croatia is full of iconic things, but for sailors the NE wind Bura is special. Bura is a very strong wind blowing from the coast which speed can reach over 80 knots. If you just left the harbour we would advise you to turn back because Bura often has hurricane strength.

History of the Bura wind


Bura has its roots in ancient Babylon, the name comes from the ancient Kassite storm god Buriash, through the greek God Boreas - the god of the cold north wind and bringer of winter.

When Xerxes threatened Athens the Greeks prayed to Boreas, the prayers were answered and 400 Persians ships were sunk.

How does Bura work?


Bura is a cold high-pressure wind that comes tumbling down the slopes of the coastal mountains towards the sea. As it gains momentum, it can often reach gusts of 80 knots. 

Where does Bura blow?

Here is the list of the areas where the strongest Bura winds occur: Velebit channel, Vinodolski channel, Split (Vrulja near Omis), Bay of Novigrad, areas around Sibenik, Makarska, Lowlands of Biokovo, Zuljan Bay on the Peljesac peninsula, River Neretva estuary, Risan Bay in Boka.

How long does Bura last?

Bura often lasts for several days - mostly three days but rarely more than that. If Bura is of local origin, it will blow itself out in less than a day.  

One Key Takeaway 

Bura blows in gusts and therefore might be very severe and unexpected. The strongest gust was measured in 2003, amounting to 304 km/h.

So when Bura sails, you don’t! 

Upside of Bura


The upside of the Bura is that just like the plow revitalises the soil so does the Bura to the sea. Bura cleanses the air so if you are suffering from allergies you will like the work that Bura does. If you are planning to dry your laundry cold wind will provide you with speed drying even on board ;)

Last Buras of the winter season should blow in March, and it is believed if three days of Bura occur in the month of March, the summer will be warm, and without any interruption.