Once every couple of years, there’s this epic trip you take, and it totally changes the way you see yourself in the world, and what travel really means to you. And sometimes, these are not the trips that take you around the other side of the world, but right there in some neighboring country.
Rediscovering places that I thought I knew well has always been a passion of mine. I don’t really like to go back to the same place over and over, and visit the same five restaurants. Because most of the places and countries have much more to offer, and one of these favorite countries to visit and get deeper into is Croatia.
A country of a magnificent coastline, clear waters and hundreds of islands of all sizes, Croatia is a never-ending story for a traveler. Every European visits this country at least once during childhood, then again later with friends for a spring break, then for camping holidays, later for romantic getaways with the girlfriend. And every time, we go to different places. And after the twentieth time or so, when I thought I’ve seen it all, I do a completely different kind of holiday, and started to open my eyes: I went to visit Croatia with a sail boat.
Boat people usually tell you that any country looks completely different when you visit it by boat. Nothing could be more precise in Croatia, where a large part of the country is even out of reach when you’re not on a boat.
In the last decade, Croatia has experienced an unparalleled investment bonanza that built up a whole yachting ecosystem. Marinas were constructed almost everywhere, small towns were nicely renovated and port infrastructure was improved. Boat charter agencies brought tens of thousands of sailboats and motor yachts into the country, and oceanfront restaurants were busy placing floating buoys in the waters in front. Welcome to yacht capital, Europe.
From the northerly medieval towns of Rovinj and Pula, down via Losinj, Krk, Sibenik, the Kornati Islands and Split to the southernmost city, Dubrovnik – few countries worldwide have more to offer to the sailor man than Croatia. You could moor up in a different medieval old town every night, spend the day anchored in a turquoise bay on a deserted island, and eat oceanfront lunches in front of your favorite Konoba while your boat is safely moored to a buoy – and spend a month doing just that.
We have done different sailing itineraries, which will be featured in separate articles. In one of them we toured the pretty Kornati Islands around Sibenik and Murter, spending the night on a buoy way out on the barrier islands, watching the stars and photographing the milky way at night, visiting small historic towns by the day and taking lots of sunshine on smooth sailing in between the islands.
Another tour took us around the old towns of Primosten, Rogoznica and the islands around there.
Yet another larger itinerary will set sail in a few weeks, going south until the island of Vis and Hvar, discovering some unseen Kornati island getaways, and trying some of the best seafood restaurants of the country. Stay tuned.