A destination rising in popularity amongst yachting enthusiasts, Croatia will leave you breathless with a mix of opulence and rugged beauty, astonishing crystal clear waters, a myriad of islands to explore, and restaurants offering their daily catch of fish.
While there are many places that offer the luxury usually associated with the south of France, Croatia is still a haven for anyone looking for an experience uncorrupt by mass tourism in lesser-known destinations hidden away in scenic bays.
Boasting 718 islands and even more islets, Croatia offers multitudes of contrasts that will leave you wanting more. With fragrant lavender scent lingering in the air, golden beaches, reefs, and pine forests, this Meditarennan gem offers an abundance of places to explore while sailing, as well as on land.
Medieval towns where time stood still situated on the beautiful Adriatic coast and luxurious, contemporary marinas are truly a unique mix.
Wilderness and opulence fused in one country, this destination also offers a plentitude of anchorages where you can enjoy full privacy while island-hopping.
Usually the first thing most want to see, this UNESCO-protected town is a stunning juxtaposition of glimmering blue seas and historic citadel. One of the most remarkable destinations for its culture that has persevered since the 7th century, Dubrovnik is a wonderful blend of Gothic architecture, Renaissance art and Baroque churches. No wonder it served as a set of the ultra successful Game of Thrones saga!
Often called "The Pearl Of The Adriatic", it offers romantic dining venues where you can enjoy both the cuisine and panoramic view, all walking distance from a lovely small marina in the old town. After enjoying a walk, immerse yourself in wonderful calamari and mussels in Gradska Kavana Arsenal or go clubbing in Culture Club Revelin, where you can listen to some of the best DJs all while surrounded by massive stone walls built in the 16th century.
Alternatively, you can cast your anchor in the Lokrum island just kilometars away from the town to enjoy more privacy and visit the benedictine monastery which was built here in the 13th century. Rest in the pine shaded beaches and doze off in the sun while listening to the songs of exotic birds exclusive to the uninhabited island of Lokrum. If you find yourself in need of some recreation, try paddle boarding or kayaking in the azure, pristine waters that surround this island.
To continue with our island-hopping adventure, let's move on to the incredibly stunning island of Korcula. Providing a more private holiday, Korcula will take your breath away with its rich history and aquamarine sea. Surrounded by sandy beaches and clear waters stands the beautiful, stunning Old Town with it's terracotta rooftops and old chappals with just over 3,000 inhabitants proud of their cultural heritage and traditional way of life.
Known as the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo, the stunning island is adorned with churches and palaces dating from the 13th century.
Make sure to taste the local handmade pasta called "macaroni" and pair them with a glass of renown Korcula dry white wine. The stunning vineyards, dreamy olive groves, shady woodlands and calm coves will all be reasons to throw your anchor here longer.
The sunniest island of Croatia attracts yachting connoisseurs who soon become addicted to the unique blend of celebrity-frequented parties, lavender scent and picturesque villages adorned with olive groves.
Start your night by sipping cocktails at Hula Hula bar's sunset party and head on to Pink Champagne or Carpe Diem for some star-studded clubbining.
A splendid sailing destination, Hvar allows easy access to small, secluded islands and harbors of the Adriatic coastline, like Pakleni archipelago where you can catch a tan and explore pristine waters, hidden beaches and deserted lagoons, just don't forget to book a buoy a day or two in advance. If you want to try what many call the best creme schnitte of the region, go to the nearby restaurant Antonio Patak that will enchant you with it's private location and friendly staff.
Warmly embraced by incredibly clean sea stands the gorgeous island of Vis, an unskippable destination for any yachting connoisseur. A fifth of the island's land is covered by vineyards where autochthonous wine is produced - don't forget to buy a few bottles of Plavac Mali wine or Vugava, if you prefer white. Even the most seasoned sommelier will be enchanted with the taste of these wines only found in this region. Vis is the farthest inhabited isle of Croatia, for which reason it offers probably the cleanest sea water of the Adriatic.
The natural beauty of this captivating island doesn't insinuate the tumulus historic events that took place here since 3000 B.C. - segments of the ancient city walls still remain, along with a thermae and Levaman Fortress, where you can find the Archaeological Museum.
A paradise island stranded in the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic, Vis is a paradise for yachtsmen exploring Croatia. While it doesn't have it's own marina, you can find many moorings near the port.
Explore the nearby island of Bisevo to see the incredible Blue Grotto, with entrances both below and above the sea level. This waterlogged sea cave is only accessible by boat and is most famous for an almost haunted feel the blue light appearing a few times a day provides.
The largest island of Dalmatia offers a rich fusion of natural beauty, cultural heritage dating to prehistoric times, gourmet cuisine and friendly locals. Featuring dolomite and karst limestone reliefs, the landscapes of this stunning island are known for the plentiful gullies, crevices, round valleys and coves. The largest town on Brac is Supetar, where you can visit the parish church of Mary of the Annunciation and the nearby Leroj Bell tower.
Enjoy the toasty beaches of the wonderful small town Bol - the splendid beach of Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) really is the closest to heaven on Earth, with 10 km of sand and aquamarine blue shores locked by pine groves to enjoy some leisure time.
If you get hungry in the meantime, visit BioMania restaurant with a variety of vegan and gluten free options available for the health-conscious crowd.
Due to a predictable afternoon maestral wind, Bol is a safe haven for windsurfing, but beware of the strong currents when swimming. If you still find some energy to party, head on to 585 club. Protected by the quiet of the woods, some of the most decadent parties of the region are held in this club just minutes away from Zlatni Rat beach.
Located within a wonderfully comfortable sailing distance from Brac, Hvar, Korcula and Vis, this buzzing city will provide you with a buzzing social scene and incredible history.
Walking around after your gelato break, you'll probably stumble into Diocletian's palace, which today comprises about half of the Old Town. Divided in four parts by main walls - Golden, Silver, Brass and Iron walls, to be more precise, it is one of the best preserved monuments of Roman times.
If you feel lured by the seas to sail away into more quiet locations, visit Solta, the small island of figs and honey to immerse yourself in the calm of this little haven that preserved its authenticity from tourist crowds.
Kornati archipelago is another true gem to explore after Split - enjoy offbeat track sailing, incredible waterfalls and virgin nature. These mostly uninhabited islands will serve as the perfect spot for a silent night at anchor and hidden restaurants that serve some of the best food of the Mediterrannean. With more than 380 islands, reefs and islets, Kornati are often described as a "nautical paradise".
A part of the archipelago got a national park status due to it's unparalleled beauty and nature - make sure to explore the stunning coastline and marine life diversity. Relish on delicious seafood at Konoba Soleta to try some of the best fish you'll stumble upon while on your Adriatic vacation.
If you feel tempted to prolong your vacation in Croatia, you won't regret it, as there is so much to explore. The region of Istria provides a more metropolitan feel due to it's Italian influence. If you choose to go there, you'll be amazed with truffle-studded dishes and the roman colosseum located in the picturesque city of Pula.
Check out the national park Brijuni or the city of Rovinj - Croatia really is an experience that will have you wanting more.