EVER since my stint in Europe a couple of summers ago, there had been one place I’d wanted to go back to the most. Croatia. My two days in this idyllic place just weren’t enough and I was so excited to get back there, that last year I booked myself onto a sailing holiday so that I could explore this fantastic country a little bit more. Croatia, known locally as Hrvatska, is located in southeast Europe and flanked by Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and the beautiful Adriatic Sea. The sailing option had been recommended by many friends and I was looking forward to getting some sun, swimming in the ocean (for the first time in over a year) and catching up with my sister who was joining me. What we got was the time of our lives and seven days of absolute bliss (with just a few cocktails thrown in too).
Meandering to Milna
Arriving for the first day of our tour at the beautiful Croatian island of Split, we headed down to the picturesque docks to find our boat — Vgrada. There, we checked in, met our sailing guide Fi (from Scotland), and met our other crewmates. At lunchtime we set sail for Milna. We had lunch on the boat before a swim stop. I was so excited to get straight into the sea, that I literally jumped straight off the top deck of the boat into the crystal blue water and had heaps of fun splashing around and sitting on the floaties. The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking beers up on the deck, lazing in lounge chairs and reading or snoozing. The evening was spent tasting the local grappa on the walking tour around Milna, playing drinking games on the boat followed by the first of many cocktails at the local nightclubs nearby.
Kava-ing it up in Hvar
After lazing on the boat all day for day two, we arrived in Hvar in the afternoon and headed onshore and straight up to the fort on top of the hill. The views were absolutely gorgeous and well worth the 15 minute trek uphill. Once the sightseeing had been done, it was time to hit the many bars of Hvar, including the waterfront Hula Hula bar with yummy peach daiquiris as well as another amazing view. Most of the night was spent at Kava Bar where we ‘Kava-ed’ up the dance floor and tried our hand at tequila boom booms (tequila shots where they hit you on the head while you wear a helmet – Yikes!).
Cute, chic, Korcula
As the night before had ended fairly late (or early, depending how you see it) the boat was fairly quiet in the morning for day three, with many people taking naps or just lazing around dozily. We had quite a long swim stop on our pleasant sail from Hvar to Korcula, which meant there was lots of time to dive in and relax. Once we got to Korcula we had a fair bit of spare time to have a look around the cute little town. That night we checked out a bar on top of a tower where your cocktails get brought up to you by pulley!
Doing it Dubrovnik-style
Dubrovnik was already pretty much my favourite place on earth and that didn’t really change when I visited it this time around. It was awesome to see it from the water as we sailed into the famous harbour, a whole new perspective compared to my last visit. We got to have a swim stop right near the UNESCO World Heritage Listed fortress city wall, which made for quite an amazing backdrop to our paddle in the azure Adriatic waters. We had a whole afternoon in Dubrovnik to roam around. Fi showed us around to an amazing gelato place and then to a cliff side bar where we could bask in the sun and grab a pint. Since I had already been up to the wall of the city I decided to skip that and wander through the cute old town. That night – you guessed it – we hit the bars, this time including two that served cocktails in buckets.
Me says Miljet
After a big night, many of us were feeling sorry for ourselves and so it was good that the next day in Miljet was a quiet one. We had a swim stop as usual, there were a few nanna naps and lots of relaxing out on the deck. There was also an option to go onshore and check out a national park which gave us an opportunity to get off the boat. After five days onboard our trusty Vgrada – I was starting to get a bit of cabin fever and this provided a good chance to walk off my sea legs. That night we visited a bar built into an old fortress which had an amazing history (of which was told to us eagerly by the bar’s owner).
Making it to Makarska
The next day was a quick trip from Miljet to Makarska, where we got to wander through quite a cute little town. We spent the afternoon watching and participating in watersports and chilling on the beach before heading back to the boat to get ready for our pirate/sailors party. This was the first night we met up with other boats, so we were joined for our party by other sailors and some people in togas. Usually this huge party night out is held in a cave but as we were the last trip of the season the cave had closed. It was still a fun night, as it always is with costume parties!
Split via Omis
Our last day on the boat! We were a little sad at the end of it but overall I was pretty ready to get off. Before heading into Split we were up bright and early to go to Omis where we went white water rafting. I had never done white water rafting before and I was really excited about giving it a go. I had a great time and will definitely try it again as much of the time it was just rowing down a river between rapids. After the rafting we jumped back on the boat to head to Split. With one last swim stop just outside the city we cruised on in and docked for the evening.
A fitting farewell to my Croatian adventure
The next day I bid farewell to my crew mates and amazing tour leader Fi before setting off to explore more of Split. I can see why people recommended the trip to me as I had an amazing time and am so glad I went. While I wish I could stay in Croatia forever, I was still really happy to have had a week spending time sailing in the sun and sea.
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