Mediterranean: "As It Once Was"
Croatia is the ideal sailing destination with its Mediterranean climate, over one thousand islands, inlets and reefs and a heavily indented coastline ripe for exploration. It also has many marinas dotted along the coast and surrounding islands. When cruising in Croatia, plan to visit as many islands as possible. The marinas are well equipped and organized, but try to stay at anchor as much as you can to enjoy the advantage of the many small, unspoiled bays that allow you to be completely on your own.
Many of the bays are well protected and you can easily find shelter. A good captain will know where to take you if the weather is bad. Don’t hesitate to get insiders’ tips from your captain. Captains will know where to take you for those spur of the moment whims!
With Italy and Slovenia to its north and the ultra-cool Montenegro to its south – suggested itineraries are endless.
Itinerary & Destination Background:
Day 1: Split
Split is an eternally young city with a population of 300,000 people, who enrich it with their warm Mediterranean temperament. It has stood for nearly 1700 years, and at its heart is the Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO heritage site.
You may wish to also visit the old part of the town, or venture out to the historic sites situated close by, such as the ruins of Salona or the fortress of Klis. If you decide to spend some time in Split you may wish to try the restaurant ‘Nostromo’ which is situated next to the fish market and, no surprise, specializes in seafood as well as Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy wonderful fish specialties washed down with a cool glass of ‘Grasavina’, good Croatian white wine.
Day 2: Vis and Blue Cave
First destination is to Vis Island. The island was closed to foreigners until 1989, this isolation has meant that Vis has retained the charm and lifestyle characterized by the 1950s. It attracts visitors looking for the ‘Mediterranean as it once was’. Vis is a very picturesque town with attractive stone houses, Renaissance and Baroque palaces and several churches from 16th and 17th century.
Head 5km from Vis to the small island of Bisevo to visit the Blue Cave, or locally called Modra Spilja, which is only accessible from sea. The island has several caves, the most famous being the Blue Cave in the Balun Cove. It resembles the cave on Capri, Italy, but is described as much more attractive and luxuriant. Kayak into the cave where the sea is calm, especially at noontime, the sunbeams reflect through the water coming from the white floor of the cave and bathes the grotto in aquamarine light, while objects in the water appear to be silver. After peaceful day in coves around Bisevo, departure to Vis old ancient city port to spend the night.
Day 3: Hvar Island and Pakleni Otoci ( Hell Islands )
Your yacht continues its journey to the next destination – the island of Hvar. This island is definitively one of the most popular Adriatic islands, known also under the name of ‘St Tropez of the Adriatic’; it has a picturesque town with a lively nightlife and many good local restaurants. One which can be recommended is ‘Macondo’ located in the ancient neighborhood of Groda, it is known for fresh seafood and an old-fashioned atmosphere, try the lobster spaghetti or a platter of Dalmatian-style tapas like anchovies, pâtés, and octopus salad, one of the signature dishes here is the ‘gregada’, a delicious thick fish soup, seasoned with garlic and wine. From Hvar you can see the Pakleni islands group. The islands are great to visit for a relaxing day on the beach, but you can also go there to eat or to enjoy the nightlife in the evening.
Take home some fabulous woven multicolored scarves, handbags, shells, sarongs, handmade jewelry, or some local designers’ fashions. Since Hvar lies in the center of most of the sea routes, history has left its traces, maybe more so than on any other Adriatic island, which has made Hvar rich in cultural and historical monuments. It is also considered to be the island of heather, lavender, wisdom and wine, and offers many small secluded bays in which to anchor and enjoy its riches.
Day 4: Korcula Island
Korcula is quite a large island with an enchanting, typically medieval Dalmatian town, with its defensive towers, walls and red-roofed houses. It is one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic, with dense forest as well as century-old olive groves and vineyards. The ancient towns and villages on the island seem as if they are the land that time forgot. It is believed that Marco Polo, the famous world traveler and writer, was born in the old part of Korcula.
Korcula is filled with vineyards and is a Wine Island. It is easy to explore the vineyards or rent a bike and ride to the many beaches.
Day 5: Dubrovnik
Head to Mljet to explore the National Park on the Island before heading to Dubrovnik. Anchor for lunch at Polace, on the island’s north coast, before stepping ashore to explore the interior with its saltwater lakes
Make your way down the mountainous coast to Dubrovnik, which is one of the most breathtaking seaside towns in Croatia – a surprisingly well preserved medieval town with imposing walls and many hidden treasures tucked away within the labyrinth of its narrow streets. It is famed for being the city of poets, writers and scientists. Enjoy lunch or dinner at the ‘Ohran’ restaurant, which has a delightful waterside terrace at the foot of the floodlit Lovrijenac Fortress.
Day 6: Elafiti Islands
The terrain is forested and hilly and the little villages retain the relaxed slowness of traditional Adriatic life. There are 13 islands in this archipelago northwest of Dubrovnik but only three Elafiti islands are inhabited- Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan.
Day 7: Return to Split
Stroll down the picturesque alleys and stone houses that are so typical of traditional Dalmatian towns. Start your discovery from the living museum of Diocletian's palace, wonder in the darkness of its substructures than reemerge again at the Riva promenade - Split's favorite gathering spot, a perfect place to chat over a cup of coffee and plan the rest of the day.
And if you are curious about where the food comes from before it finds its way to pots and pans of Split's bistros and Konobas (inns), you will not miss the Split Market - Pazar. Mix with the locals and experience true Mediterranean temperaments while bargaining for a cheese from the island of Pag or a bottle of fiery Travarica.
This Journeys-Yacht & Travel Company sample itinerary for independent travel is provided merely as a glimpse of the type of customized travel experiences we create. We would be delighted in developing a travel program for you or a group based on your preferences.