I spent a week in August on a boat called Delija, cruising around the Croatian islands and it was exactly the type of holiday I needed at the time! This trip is known as Sail Croatia and Sail Croatia is known for being a week of partying and shenanigans. Thankfully my group was 23 girls and only 2 guys which mean that, whilst we did party and drink, the shenanigans were kept to a minimum and nothing like the horror stories we heard about from our trip guide. I chose to do my sail week through bus about. It started in Split and ended in Dubrovnik, with each stop along the way better then the last. Croatia is truly a stunner of a place.
I took a roundabout way of getting to Split in Croatia. It involved ticking off another first on my travel list…. sleeping on a bench over night at the airport during an 8 hour stop over in Copenhagen. I surprisingly managed to get a little bit of sleep in that time.
As I mentioned, this trip was exactly what I needed at the time. I’d just finished up a tiring job so it was perfect to spend a week in the sun, on a boat, cruising around and exploring the islands. Sun, Sand and the Sea….the cure for all! Each day involved plenty of hours laying out on the top deck, sun baking, chatting and listening to music. Sometimes even remembering to apply sunscreen too. There were lots of opportunities to jump off the top deck and swim in the salty, clear blue sea. It was the perfect way to cool off. Some days we could easily spend an hour or more floating around on our donuts and kilos, sharing travel stories with each other.
Every afternoon we docked at a different island with a different town to explore and party in.
On the first day we sailed from Split to a small town called Pucisca. We had a couple of hours to wander around the town in the late afternoon sun, eating ice cream and swimming at the beach with the locals. The first nights dinner was a delicious bbq cooked on board the boat and the perfect chance for everyone to sit together and get to know each other!
Day two saw us sail on to Makarsksa, a seaside town surrounded by tall mountains. We explored the markets and foreshore, ate more ice cream (how can you not when on a summer trip!?), rain through a storm to stock up on cheap wine for pre drinks and dressed up as pirates and sailers for a pirate party that night on the boat. The finish off the night we headed out first to Smile Bar then to the Rave Cave, a club set inside a cave right on the waters edge. Wanted some fresh air after getting hot and sweaty on the dance floor? Just sit by the sea and chill out before handing back in to dance some more!
Woken by the sound of the boat leaving the port, this time sailing on to the stunning little town of Stari Grad. Ate home made Lavender ice cream, though it seemed more of it dribbled down my fingers as it melted so quickly in the heat, then wandered around the town. Dinner included a wine tasting at a winery up in the hills behind Stari Grad, accompanied by a beautiful sunset.
Hvar is known for its glitz and glam and being the destination of the rich and famous, especially those who like a good yacht party! I can see why, it’s such a pretty place. A water taxi took us to land from our boat where we climbed up to a fortress with amazing views over the town and harbour. Well worth the hike in the afternoon heat. We rewarded ourselves with ice cream and cocktails. Lavender G&T was refreshing and on point. Our time in Hvar ended with a night in the town bar hopping, dancing and pizza before then attempting to cross 7 other boats before getting back to bed.
On day 5 we sailed from Hvar to Korcula, It’s old town being referred to as ‘Little Dubrovnik’ and it was easy to see why as we wandered around in the late afternoon. We indulged in ice cream and pizza. The low afternoon sun hitting the town just right, bathing everything in colour. After our night in Hvar, day 5 was an easy and chill day.
An early start as we made our way to Mljet National Park. Spent the morning exploring the park, amazed by the beautiful turquoise lakes, jumping in for a quick swim every time we got too hot. We hiked all the way to the point where the lake met the sea and were greeted with a stunner of a view. The night was spent in the tiny town of Sipan where we enjoyed, on board the boat, the Captains dinner. A delicious spread of fish, meat and vegetables and red wine.
Our final destination and probably the biggest highlight of the sail for many was Dubrovnik and it’s old town. For all those Game of Throne fans out there (like myself) it’s better known as ‘Kings Landing’ and it was so easy to see why the UNESCO world heritage site was used in the hit TV series. The hot afternoon was spent ambling along up the town walls, getting up high to take in the best views of the old town and the sea and looking for the various film locations for GoT. Enjoying some of the best ice cream of the trip before finding dinner. Instead of going out drinking and dancing for the last night I chose to spend it back in the Old town exploring it by night. There was live music, more ice cream eaten and relaxing by the sea under the stars as well as coming across more GoT locations.
Croatia is beautiful and I wish I could be back, cruising around the islands, sun baking on the top deck and swimming in the sea every time I got too hot. My epic tan has already started to fade but the memories never will.