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7 Days in Croatia: The Ultimate Yacht Charter
Posted on 10/08/2017 by Eileen Schuch
Dubrovnik is a popular yachting destination thanks to the beauty of its coasts but beyond its natural looks Croatia has a lot more to offer. The area is rich in history and tradition with beautiful architecture and first-class restaurants. There are some beautiful yachts out there that you can charter or co-own. Examples are the chic Princess 54 and the larger Azimut 62 Fly. Both modern yachts have 3 cabins and so shared yacht ownership may be an option.
You may also want to consider a Vacation Club membership in Croatia. The following 7-day itinerary perfectly suits luxury yacht travel around Dubrovnik and its surrounding islands.
Croatia, Day 1-2, Dubrovnik
The “Pearl of the Adriatic” is a justifiably popular launching point for yacht charters in the region. Dubrovnik is a medieval city and very well preserved. It is fortified by 25-metre high walls and five towers of which the Minceta Fortress is probably the most imposing. The walls overlook the Adriatic on one side and on the other pastel rooftops are punctuated by the occasional dome. Monasteries, cathedrals and churches are abound. Due to centuries of footfall across the historical town centre the limestone streets are worn down to a slippery shine.
You can find the Old Town market at the heart of the city’s tourist district in a plaza. The surrounding small cafes and shops give it a particular charm. The market is a hive of activity, particularly in the morning where its main purpose is to provide daily provisions for visitors. It is full of stalls selling the Dalmatian speciality of candied citrus (orange and lemon rind). This is a good place to pick up some gifts and souvenirs. You are a fan of the TV show Game of Thrones? Do you know that many scenes of the series are filmed in the area? You might enjoy one of the locally organised tours to filming locations.
Croatia, Day 2, Lokrum Island
Depart Dubrovnik for nearby Lokrum, just 15 minutes from Dubrovnik at the southern end of the Dalmatian coast. The beaches in Dubrovnik aren’t very inspiring so Lokrum makes an ideal alternative to the beautiful but overcrowded city. The small island is a botanical paradise of imported plants and trees from around the world. Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg brought the exotic flora along with some peacocks from the Canary Islands during the mid-1800s. The peacocks and other fauna are the only inhabitants of the island. However, there is a Benedictine monastery and a restaurant complex that is open during the daytime.
Croatia, Days 2-3, Mljet Island
Ideally placed between Split and Dubrovnik, Mljet is perhaps the greenest and most beautiful island on the Dalmatian Coast. Its national park and two large salt-water lakes appeal to nature lovers. Mljet is tranquil and the beaches enjoy some of the clearest water in the Eastern Mediterranean. If you don’t mind the strong heat of August, you can catch the Mljet Summer Festival. Maybe you want to stay here for 7 years like Odysseus but other Adriatic islands beckon.
Croatia, Days 3-4, Korčula
Korčula is another green oasis amongst the purest blue waters. When the Greeks settled here they named it “Black Corfu” because of its densely wooded and wild appearance. Korčula Town, a medieval, walled city, is the main settlement and heavily influenced by the Venetians. The city even has its own St Mark’s Cathedral.
Famous for its seafood, Korčula is a haven for foodies. Most noteworthy is the Dalmatian favourite of black squid ink risotto with fresh cuttlefish. Many high-quality restaurants along the shore serve it. The sheltered Pupnatska beach is a serene and family-friendly beach to while away a few hours in the clear water snorkelling and swimming.
Croatia, Days 4-5, Hvar
Probably the most famous Croatia’s islands Hvar is undeniably beautiful. Its jagged coast is full of inlets and coves and its interior is dotted with olive groves, lavender fields and vineyards. The island’s main centre is Hvar Town and despite its popularity with tourists much of its Venetian charm is retained. Hvar has a rich history, interesting culture and vibrant nightlife. The Pakleni Otoci chain of eleven islands offer the best beaches as they are located among deserted lagoons and secret coves. The largest island is Sveti Klement, and it has its own marina and restaurants at Palmižana village.
Croatia, Days 5-6, Vis and Bisevo
Vis is further offshore than any of Croatia’s other inhabited islands. This fact makes it both a little intimidating and utterly appealing. If you venture this far, you are rewarded with a wild mountainous interior, quiet beaches and an enigmatic ambience. The narrow cobbled streets of Vis Town are overlooked by grand summer houses built by Croatian nobles and agricultural terraces. From the 1950s right up until 1989, the island was used as a military base and not accessible to foreign visitors. Due to its relative remoteness package tourism never really gained a foothold. Hence, it has become the preferred destination for independent travellers and those seeking authenticity as well as some much-needed peace and quiet.
Near the port town of Komiza, the island of Bisevo is home to the Blue Cave. This is a grotto of shimmering light that shines an electric blue at various times of the day. Vis is also known for gastronomy. Its own distinct white grape, vugava, pairs wonderfully with fish dishes.
Croatia, Day 6-7, Vis to Dubrovnik
Leave Vis and make the journey south to Dubrovnik. Weave past tiny uninhabited islands. Stop off to drop anchor and swim in translucent waters until you reach the Dalmatian coast. Admire jagged cliffs that plunge dramatically into the waters below, overlooked by vineyards and pine forests. Cruise past terracotta tiled roofs and beautiful landscaped gardens.