While the charms of the western Med have long attracted seasoned and discerning charterers and owners, Croatia is jostling for position as one of the most magnetising locations in the eastern part of this region.
With its rich and colourful history, stunning archipelago of over 1,000 islands (and 6,000km of coastline) and numerous interesting cultural excursions to choose from, this dynamic country deserves recognition as one of the area’s most dynamic and beautiful superyacht cruising grounds.
Cruising grounds and highlights
A typical three week itinerary with MYS Yachting - Croatia’s leading boutique yacht agency - might start at the entry port of Cavtat, just a short journey from Dubrovnik airport, where you can get on board and enjoy your first day snorkelling, swimming and catching some rays in nearby Tiha Bay. Don’t miss an evening tour of the magnificent Rector’s Palace, dating back to the Renaissance, picturesque St Nicholas Church and the Franciscan Monastery.
A short 30 minute cruise from Cavtat town brings you to UNESCO-protected Dubrovnik old town, widely regarded as the best preserved medieval city in Europe. Renowned for spectacular sunsets, amazing cuisine and buzzing nightlife, the attractions are plentiful and you can wander through the beautiful squares and streets which formed the backdrop for HBO’s Game of Thrones before watching the world go by over a chilled glass of local wine or a coffee.
Island hopping in style
The nearby Elaphiti Islands are quite simply a must-see; 14 incredible islets ranging from tiny uninhabited paradises to small settlements beloved by Dubrovnik’s old world nobility and founding families as the perfect summer escape from the city.
Less than half a day’s cruising will find you at Mljet Island, an Adriatic dream boasting a national park, forest, two saltwater lakes and a Benedictine history dating back over 1000 years. Don’t miss Saplunara Bay, not far from legendary Ulysses’ cave.
Day four and a morning cruise to Lastovo Island includes a swim stop at the Mladine Islands en route to Veli Lago’s protected southern shores. Day five will take in Korčula, one of the lushest green islands in the Adriatic, where you can witness the medieval Moreška traditional sword dance, passed down through many Mediterranean generations and cultures, as well as enjoying a wine-tasting and a visit to watch a coral craftsman at work.
Keen divers will be entranced by Vis, one of Croatia’s best scuba locations. This former military base has much to offer, from Roman baths and wine cellars to President Tito’s wartime cave headquarters. Next morning, sail to the incredible Blue cave at Biševo where a local barkajoli boat will take you to explore.
The sunniest of Croatia’s islands, Hvar is the next stop, with endless tranquil coves where you can dive, spear fish and swim. Known as Croatia’s St Tropez, the town boasts world-class restaurants and lounge bars while its interior is a captivating mix of lavender fields, pine-covered hills and traditional stone-built villages.
Day eight finds you sailing to Brač, Dalmatia’s largest yet most relaxed island famous for its white stone and stunning Zlatni rat beach, beloved of kiteboarders.
The charms of Split, Trogir and Zadar
Split is another destination sure to charm you, with Diocletain’s Palace a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site which forms the town centre. Make time for a sunset cocktail on the city’s remodelled riva waterfront before choosing from an abundance of great eateries, bars and open air cafes.
Trogir’s narrow cobbled streets, Romanesque churches and Hellenistic design are a delight to explore while Sibenik’s offerings include the waterfalls of National Park Krka, St James Cathedral and Michelin-starred Pelegrini restaurant.
The Kornati Islands and national park is your next stop, encompassing an incredible 89 islands and reefs. Its rich marine life attracts divers from all over Europe – however, you will need to engage an authorised guide to explore this magnificent sea bed.
History buffs will adore Zadar, featuring Roman ruins, Venetian built 16th century walls and the Byzantine style St Donat church while Rab, reputed to be the greenest island in Croatia, offers more sandy beaches than any other Adriatic location as well as a rich cultural calendar of street exhibitions, art expos and international and local musical events.
Look out for dolphins on the pine-fringed coast of Mali Lošinj, where windsurfing, cycling, hiking and jogging are popular pursuits. Other Croatian jewels you will explore during your itinerary include Pula and nearby Brijuni National Park.
Croatia: attracting new and returning yachts
Guests end this particular trip in Rovinj, better known as the “Blue Pearl of the Adriatic,” where a strong Italian influence infuses the lively cafes and restaurants in and around the charming harbour.
Maja Ban, founder of MYS Yachting, says: “Croatia is an amazing and huge cruising ground. People return here year after year but we’re also noticing many new visitors to the region too.
“The most popular cruising area is between Split and Dubrovnik, because of the distances, easy cruising time between stops and also because there is so much to see and do while sailing and onshore.”
While the itinerary above outlines a typical three week trip, for charter guests who have a week on the water, many other options can also be tailor made to suit.
For further information about formalities, provisioning, itinerary planning and concierge, contact the experts at MYS Yachting:
Tel: +385 99 502 3127