A sailing vacation is the best way to explore a new country in a relaxed and comfortable way. The trip becomes all the more enthralling if the intended port of call is Croatia, with its lovely creeks, quaint villages and diverse island cultures just waiting to entice you. So hoist the mainsail and head to these selected destinations to enjoy a Croatian sea trip like no other.
The strategically located island of Hvar, has over the centuries remained an oasis of rich history and culture. Considered to be among the ten most beautiful islands of the world, the interiors of Hvar are home to lavender fields and sprawling vineyards lying in the shadows of ancient villages. The town's legendary bars come alive at night when casual party goers rub shoulders with the rich and famous while cruising throughout the night.
The unspoilt island of Korcula, also referred to as mini Dubrovnik, is on the top of the itinerary of any sailing ship cruising the Adriatic Coast. Medieval squares, churches and houses dot the small towns and villages and are ideal for those seeking for some relaxation in total seclusion. A top draw of Korcula is the Moreska dance performance which is held twice a week during the summer months.
The picturesque chain of Pakleni Islands lie just south off the coast of Hvar and are known for their stunning beaches and hidden coves. The days are long, the waters warm and crowds easily manageable making time spent here a pleasant proposition. If you enjoy underwater activities, this area is great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
The harbour town of Vis is situated 14 nautical miles from Hvar and is a popular stop on the main cruising route. Traces of Roman baths, a Greek cemetery and an English fortress can be found here, all within walking distance of each other. Vis has some excellent ocean facing bars and dining outlets which can easily tempt you to spend that extra night here. The waters of these thickly wooded isles has no shortage of secluded lagoons and pristine beaches.
Home to sleepy villages, vineyards and pine forests, Mljet is one of the largest islands in Croatia and easily the most scenic and popular. The island produces some of the best red and white vines, fabulous seafood and even has a famous National Park within its borders.The two lakes of the park, Veliko and Malo Jezero drain into the sea through a small passage which keeps them unusually warm during the summer months making them great swimming spots. Apart from the fine wine, the nightlife on Mljet is pretty vibrant with nightlong beach parties on the waterfront discos a daily affair.
This small port lies on the coast of Kastela Bay, about 27km west of Split. Trogir is a top draw with history buffs because of the plethora of well preserved monuments, Romanesque buildings and beautiful Renaissance works of art found here. Summer nights ring to the sounds of music from the seaside bars and cafes which glisten under the old-fashioned street lights. Trogir makes a good alternative base from a big city for spending a couple of relaxing days.
It is said to discover a new port, you first have to lose sight of the shore. Fortunately, this is very much possible in Croatia, where the shorter distance between the islands allow the traveler to easily visit a new island each day. Cruising the waters along the Adriatic Coast has now become a magnet for such sailors looking to experience the romance of the ocean in a truly liberating manner.