3 Croatian Islands to Include in Your Yachting Itinerary
Croatia is by no means a forgotten destination for Mediterranean yachting, but it provides a welcome respite from the maddening crowds packing beaches and harbours of other areas. Its mainland coastline is an impressive 1,800 kilometers of stunning beaches, towering cliffs and bustling port towns. Croatia’s Adriatic islands overwhelm its mainland with a whopping 4,000km of coastline stretched across 1,246 beautiful and unique islands that would satisfy anyone from Robinson Crusoe to Kim Kardashian.
The list of activities is endless, from sunbathing to extreme cliff diving, or wine tasting to all night beach parties; Croatia is a dream destination that can meet the needs of anyone ready to embrace it. With so many options it can be difficult to know where to begin, so here are three islands you should be dropping anchor at on your Croatian yachting adventure.
Hvar – Wine Haven
Along the Dalmatian coast between Split and Dubrovnik, Hvar is one of those unusual tourist destinations that has managed to charm a lot of visitors without losing its unique identity. Among some of its claims are: the most UNESCO heritage sites of any island in the world; sunniest island in Europe; and having more wine bars than nightclubs.
Hvar’s history with wine can be explored in any one of its restaurants, wine bars, or floating on the deck of your yacht with a fine indigenous Croatian Bogdanuša (translates as “A Gift From God”), or even one of the many Croatian wines with a history dating back over 2,000 years when vines were first planted. As with all Croatian cuisine, everything is enjoyed with the freshest of fresh season vegetables.
In between meals, be sure to check out the famous lavender fields and Mekicevica beach with its rocky shores, especially the looming pine and olive trees overlooking waters that shine with every spectrum of blue. For the younger or more adventurous, Hvar Town is teeming with nightlife in summertime.
Šolta – Swimming: Secret and Famous Spots
Šolta is tucked in nicely beside another beautiful island, Brač, and only a stone’s throw away from Split. Šolta is a dream location for anyone looking to make the most of their precious vacation time; it lies only 9 nautical miles from Split, by arriving early in the day and chartering a yacht from Split you’ll experience a change of pace so relaxing, and a beauty so entrancing that all life’s other stresses will vanish and a lunch or dinner in the beautiful marina at Maslinica will help sink into the local mood.
Its most famous natural attraction is truly a “must see” on any Croatian bucket list. Šolta’s Blue Lagoon offers blindingly bright blue water perfectly positioned around Šolta’s main island and two islets. It’s never been easier to grab a snorkel and watch fish laze and speed around you while circling an islet for an isolated spot to sunbathe. For some true isolation, set sail for one of the many coves and beaches dotting the southern coast of the island and drop anchor wherever catches your eye.
Korčula – Shopping
Shopping is usually the reserve of cities like Milan, New York, or London, where luxury goods are available in large shopping centres. So it seems like an unusual option here, but Korčula is the best location in Croatia to pick up some authentic souvenirs and local Croatian, or Korčulan crafts, and there’s no shortage of things to buy or places to find them.
Some of the highlights in Korčula include coral crafts, stone from neighbouring Brač island, and white limestone that Croatians believe brings good fortune and expels malicious spirits. There is no shortage of jewelry for sale, ranging from local wooden beads to finely crafted stones. All the features of Croatian islands can be found, such as bags of lavender, Croatian wine or lozovaca, a local vodka. Korcula offers some of the best selections of olives, tapenades and cheeses to take home and relive the experience of a great vacation.
These three islands boast the best of what Croatia has to offer, its food, nature, history and culture and should be included in any yachting itinerary, from the windswept explorer, to the sunbathing sailor. Of course, there are hundreds more islands, each offering something unique, yet distinctly Croatian to arouse your senses and indulge your appetite for an unforgettable vacation.