You’ve already heard from the lovely Christina this week about our fabulous sailing trip around Croatia. It truly was the trip of a lifetime and holds the most incredible memories for all of us.
However, we are also aware that the sailing element of the trip might not be for everyone (though we really can’t recommend it enough; push those comfort zones people). Luckily though, many of the places involved in our adventures are equally as easy to explore by land.
So with that in mind, here’s a more detailed rundown on some of the places we visited, that would be just as easily accessible by land or sea taxi. No yacht required…
We actually travelled to Croatia on my birthday, and our first stop was Split to collect our yacht. The first night before we set sail was spent on dry land, and we started things off in style with a glorious evening in Split for a birthday dinner.
Meandering through the picturesque cobbled streets, we saw a vibrant and alive city.
Our evening meal was at the Uje Oil Bar, which was recommended by a colleague of Christina’s. It was a brilliant find; tucked away in the winding streets, the restaurant was small and rustic but endearingly charming. We were seated in a private room in the building opposite the main restaurant. This worked perfectly for our party, which filled the room, but we still felt part of the city’s ambience, with an open-fronted lookout.
The food was delicious, there was a small selection of mains and tapas style platters. A few of us indulged the Mediterranean way of eating with tapas boards. Coupled with a glass of wine, it was the perfect way to muse away our first evening in Croatia.
We didn’t get the chance to explore Split during the daytime, but I strongly suspect it is just as beautiful.
Hvar town has the best of everything, beautiful gothic architecture, marbled streets, a gorgeous harbour, and beach bars – all centring around a fabulous market square.
It was one of my first glimpses of a Croatian town by day, and I absolutely fell in love. We used our time on-land for wandering. Picked up some souvenirs, supplies and had a sneaky cocktail at a bar overlooking the water (because clearly, we hadn’t had enough of it yet).
There are rocky little beach idylls everywhere, and we only explored the coastline. If you have time to wander further inland I am confident there is heaps more pretty to be seen.
Komiza is situated on the western side of Vis island, and as Christina mentioned in her post, it was a team favourite. It is small, traditional, and less touristy than some of its counterparts; a fishing town that is supremely proud of its working-class heritage.
We arrived at Komiza after a particularly rough day; sailing on the open water, with a some of the crew falling foul to the god of seasickness. But all was forgotten when we clapped eyes on this beautiful bay, with its pebbly beach and clear blue seas. A few blissful hours were spent snoozing on the beach and splashing around in the sea. We wandered through the town to soak up the atmosphere and treated ourselves to an ice cream (or two).
On the opposite side of the island was Vis Town. It certainly isn’t short of the quaint and winding cobbled streets that are rife in Croatia, but like Split it has a much more vibrant feel. Historically, the town is associated with the upper-class nobility, and there is certainly an air of sophistication that emanates from the harbor through to the streets beyond.
It is easy to explore the locale on foot, which is certainly worth doing as the area is shrouded in history. Vis Town boasts a Greek cemetery, Roman remains, an English fortress and a submarine dock.
My brother and sister-in-law visited Croatia a couple of years ago, and they highly recommended doing a military tour of the island, which helped them understand some of Croatia’s rich history. We didn’t have time while we were there, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for some of the tour operators, if you have a bit more time to explore.
Opting for a land meal on this particular evening, we headed to Karijola, for what promised to be the island’s best pizza. The thin crust bases and fresh toppings were certainly a hit with me, and we enjoyed the atmosphere of the accompanying bar, before we moseyed back to the boat.
This one is a tricky recommendation for non-sailors. The reason being that we found the Pakleni islands by boat, though travel guides assure me you can get there by water taxi.
The other tricky part is; I can’t be entirely sure where on the islands we happened upon. But after our skipper ferried over an advance party to hunt out food, they randomly stumbled across the best restaurant of the holiday. A family-run place that served platters of fish and meat on demand.
Guess what, none of us can remember the name of said restaurant, to impart the knowledge on you all (sorry for teasing), but the point here is to give some of the smaller islands a go. Go off track and explore, because you can really find some hidden wonders just around the corner.
And when you do, report back to us here so that we can plan it into our next trip!
As we prepared to depart the beautiful Croatian soil, our skippers had opted for an extra couple of days stay, for some well-deserved relaxation – and their chosen destination was Trogir, just a 20 minute drive from Split.
So, naturally, instead of giving them some peace we headed over to explore Trogir briefly with them, before heading back to Split airport to catch our flight.
Trogir is a small but perfectly formed town, set within medieval walls. There’s a beautiful seafront promenade, and side streets full of pretty little shops and market stalls. Our time there was brief, but was the perfect way to end the trip. Highly recommended for a stop-in if you have the time.
So, that’s it folks. Croatia truly is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been, with the sort of crystal clear blue seas that dreams are made of. I can’t wait to go back and explore
If this has whetted your appetite, head on over to my sister-in-law’s previous report on their trip to Croatia. There are lots of highlights that they mention that we didn’t manage to squeeze into the trip, but would be perfect for any land-venturing travellers.
Happy adventuring beautiful people!