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Sailing Holiday in Croatia

The last time I was in Croatia I had spent a week traveling around the mainland so this time I wanted to get off the mainland and see some of the islands. It is easy to do day trips from the mainland with lots of ferry crossings to the islands and between the islands but I was looking to do something different yet still relaxing!

Since my sailing skills wouldn’t allow me to hire my own boat I decided the best thing was to join a small group sailing the Dalmatian Coast by yacht! Home for the week was a 52 ft yacht which sleeps 8 people, 2 twin rooms and 2 double rooms. It had 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a skipper named Phillip! You hear the word yacht and you might think luxury but cosy might be a better word to describe it! The cabins were small but the living room/kitchen was spacious and upstairs there was room for people to lie out for some R&R.

Philip our skipper/guide did all the hard work but for anyone wanting to learn the basics of sailing he is a great teacher. I helped out from time to time – throw a rope here, tie a knot there – but most of the time I was happy to lie upstairs, soak up the sun and enjoy the stunning scenery.

My itinerary was 7 nights onboard starting in Dubrovnik and ending in Split. Both are amazing destinations in their own right and if time allows, I would recommend spending a couple of nights in each at the start/end of your trip.

On the first day the group meet at the harbour, run through safety instructions and the itinerary and then hit the supermarket to stock up on some food and drink for the boat. Our group did a kitty for breakfast and lunch. Everyone brought on their own drink and we ate out each night which was very reasonable and the choice of fresh food was amazing.

The daily itinerary was pretty relaxed. We set sail each morning approx 10am, sailed for a few hours, dropped anchor every now and then and enjoyed a swim in the crystal clear waters, lunch on board, a few afternoon G&T’s and arrive at next island for approx 3pm. The boat was stocked with snorkeling equipment which was great.

I have done a few small group tours and in my experience you tend to meet like-minded people, after all you are all there for the same thing. This group had the most wonderful people and we are still whatsapp friends a year later! Three Australians, two Canadians, one Swiss, one from UK and me! Our ages ranged from mid 20’s – mid 60’s. Two couples and four solos. (Note: It is possible to book this trip privately, ie 15 family and friends hire out the boat (with skipper!) and the same itinerary.

The island’s on my itinerary were; Brač, Hvar, Mljet, Korčula, Ploče. For me it was my ideal way to see so much in one week without having to pack and unpack. It also meant we avoided the crowds of peak tourist season on the mainland. The week was fantastic, we enjoyed exploring Croatia’s beautiful coastline and secluded beaches, visiting local vineyards, cycling for an afternoon and seeing where some of Mama Mia 2 was filmed. Each evening we had amazing fresh dinners in local restaurants in small villages. Every night was finished with nightcaps on our yacht, people watching in the harbours, watching the world go by and a few nights sleeping under the stars up on deck.

Thank you Croatia (and Philip the wonderful skipper!) for an amazing week I’ll never forget.

~ Maura Doran

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