Cruise in Croatia and follow the merchant routes of the old Venice maritime republic along the Dalmatian citadels of Kotor, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik while sailing the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. Croatia, Montenegro and Venice in the same trip. Accompanied by our skippers and staying in delightful sailboats and some iconic hotels this itinerary combines the World’s favorite sailing destination and the World’s most incredible city.
The walled citadel was certainly noticed by Unesco and you won’t complain about traveling so deep into the Balkan’s restless core. As you’ll see in Dubrovnik, you weren’t that much younger when people here were shelling each other with gusto. But somehow Kotor and the nearby Perast were left unscathed. Better, they keep an aura of genuinity. The pope out of the church is not there for the tourists, the ladies dry their sheets out of the window along the nicest alleys and the kids do indeed play soccer in the main square. And every stone is where it has been for the last five centuries. True, most restaurants fall short for the sophisticated palate, but not the Stari Milni, north of the city, where octopus is marvelous
A last stroll around Kotor or Perast and it’s time to board your vessel, your home for the next week. Meet the skipper, have a drink and set sail to explore the beautiful bay of Kotor bound for Croatia. Dubrovnik is the most fascinating town among the old Venetian colonies. The damages of the 1994 shelling have been admiringly restored and the walk around the walls offers a unique sights. Churches, museums, squares all made of stone and charme. Have your aperitivo al fresco in the central square, but trust your private cook aboard better than the restaurants ashore. Indeed it’s hard to eat well where tourist come and have to eat anyway! And even worse in Croatia where they hardly know what gourmet means…
The long National Park of Mljet covers the most beautiful island in Croatia. And there are many, many islands in Croatia. We love the northern end. Choose between to explore a picture perfect lake which comes with another island and a monastery included in the price, to poke around a series of silent bays among frosted shores or just relax in an horseshoe cove in the northern end. After days spent diving in the Venetian ancient basis of the strange Balkan culture, it’s time to relax and experience the silence and atmospheres of nature by the sea. Swimming is not a bad idea too, when you cruise in Croatia!
Korcula and Lastovo
If you never slept in a boat anchored in the middle of a huge swimming pool, this is your best chance. It means silence during the night, waking up at the smell of fresh coffee, and a distance to the water that cannot be shorter in any normal hotel.
After breakfast, decisions decisions. From Mljet you can have the choice to keep pastoral and explore the wilderness of Lastovo or go back urban and get lost in the great collection of bars, shop and restaurants in the geometrically concentric and captivating walled city of Korcula. We would personally go to Lastovo mainly because the marina in Korcula is far from charming, and if one has to choose a night out, we’d go for Hvar!
From the pleasant pools of Lastovo – or from the intriguing coffee bars of Korcula – a pleasant day of sail will take you to the captivating beaches of Scedro Island for lunch and to amazing Hvar for aperitivo time. The Italians – not really popular to say the truth around here – still like to call this Island Lesina and really do enjoy its not-so-newly conquered status of nightlife capital of the Mediterranean. True its mostly the youngsters who came to appreciate the invasion of fresh blood from Eastern Europe that flooded Croatia after the fall of the Wall. But a wiser crowd won’t complain in the least of the spectacular Venetian harbor set in pink stone and the very good selection of restaurants of the nearby island of Palmezana where you can indulge in the local Gregada di Lesina
Kornati National Park
If you imagined the Mediterranean like an Arcadia of palm islands, long sandy beaches and delicate colors of lavender and bougainvillea, you’ll wander where you ended up when sailing around the Kornati archipelago. Turn around the point of Primosten and everything changes: the winds, the shape of the islands, the perfume of the air, the temperature of the water. Kornat, like its smaller sisters, is long and thin, a scraggy, stony, arid and wind-beaten land that defies habitability. Every island provides hills and stones aplenty, well populated by sheep and goats that frequently appear on the tables of the few seasonal restaurants of the archipelago. Coves are numberless so you can easily find your favorite and even name it. Needless to say that nightlife here is vague, to say the least, and evenings are either spent aboard in the perfect calm of the anchorage, or in one of the pastoral taverns placed where you less expect them.
Krka and Sibenik
Wake up and swim as long as you like in the crystal Kornati waters, then time to go back to civilization, in case you missed it. Fjords are almost unknown of in the Mediterranean. There are long bays in Turkey, but none gets even close to Brittany inlet, let alone a Norwegian one. Except the Krka river. The old Venetians placed a fort at the entrance which is still impressive, and there you are, the city of Sibenik in front of you and to your left a perfect navigable river that meanders for 10 miles inland, to reach the Krka waterfalls and the pleasant village of Skradin. Yes it can be windy in here, but there are no waves and you’ll have the pleasure to swim in fresh water (fresh in both senses). Perfect anchorages along the way, and you can either spend your last night aboard in the river of go back to civilization mooring in the marina of Sibenik and hit the town at night.