Four Easy Trips: Croatia
Wild, rugged, and mostly uninhabited, the islands of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia are a destination that world voyager and CW editor at large Jimmy Cornell says outdistances Greece as the most popular cruising area in the Mediterranean.
The country is “indented with innumerable bays, deep inlets, hundreds of islands, and countless attractive ports,” Cornell writes in World Cruising Destinations. “Fortunately, there’s such a wealth of anchorages that it’s usually possible to find a sheltered place within a reasonable distance.”
Some of the Adriatic Sea’s most attractive anchorages and islands are also national parks and reserves, including Kornati National Park, and offer a varied and diverse cruising ground, hence the appeal to the bareboat sailor. Cruises encompass long and short passages amid rocky islets, villages steeped in Roman and medieval history, and crystal-clear waters.
Beautiful harbors front islands with clean beaches and lush vegetation. Go ashore to explore, sightsee, and enjoy the nightlife, or swim and snorkel off the boat. Sailors with basic coastal-navigation skills will find this part of the coast accessible and stress-free. The Moorings shared this itinerary from its base at Marina Agana:
Day One: Get under way from the base for a short sail to the southeast, where you’ll find the charming island of Solta. Head to the small cove off Maslinica, a town on the island’s west end that’s populated with groves of olive trees. Ashore are a number of taverns, cafés, and shops.
Day two: Plot a course nearly due south to the lovely island of Vis, a popular tourist destination with beautiful anchorages and lively nightlife. Not far away in the historic town of Vis you’ll also find monasteries, churches, a Roman amphitheater, and even a palace to explore.
Day three: Cruise along the coast of the island of Vis to the picturesque fishing village of Komiza, with a stop at Tiha cove for lunch and a swim.
Day four: A sail of five nautical miles to the southwest brings you to the islet of Bisevo, with its 10 caves and rocky shores. Take some time to enter the famous Blue Grotto Cave in a local tour boat—it’s a sojourn into exquisite beauty. Then set a course for St. Klement Island, with the splendid Palmizana Cove. There’s an excellent marina there, as well as a pristine white-sand beach.
Day five: Make your way to Vrboska cove at Hvar island, with its small port town and first-class marina. The village looks like a miniature Venice, with stone buildings and a picturesque, multi-arched stone bridge across the narrow inlet at the head of the harbor.
Day six: Just across Hvar channel to the north is Brac island, home to the big resorts that hum with activity during the high season of July and August. Moor at the small fishing village of Milna, where you can relax for the evening aboard or go ashore to explore.
Day seven: Back at The Moorings base at Marina Agana, enjoy dinner at the nearby restaurants.