Croatia: Islands & Elegance
Known for its many nature reserves, national parks and UNESCO protected sites, Croatia, once the quiet alternative to Italy, is now amongst the most popular summer destinations for the yachting fraternity. The pretty harbours and sun-blushed islands lure superyachts across the Adriatic. Influenced by the Romans and Byzantines, Croatia is seen as the crossroads of converging eastern and western culture. Connecting the Balkans with Central Europe, in the east of the Adriatic Sea, it has a thousand beautiful islands and a long, jagged coastline: best explored on a charter yacht. There are countless little coastal towns, characterized by Roman-orientated architecture, of which chic Dubrovnik is Croatia’s most prized Adriatic city.
Walking the manicured streets, it’s hard to believe that only a decade ago this UNESCO listed walled-city was under siege. Today, beautiful women in wedged espadrilles sip espressos with men in starched linen shorts in the shade of bougainvillaea, while orange and fig trees drip in the heat and the pink terracotta line up quietly under the intense summer sun. Take the cable car from the city walls up to Mt Srd which takes under 4 minutes. At 405m high the stupendous panoramic views extend from the old town rooftops to the distant Elafiti Islands. Escape Dubrovnik to your own island paradise at Lopud. Close enough to the city for daytrips, this tiny island is less than 5km round, it has only two hundred residents and no cars. Walk from the pretty harbour along the palm and cypress-lined track to Sunj, a pine-ringed cove with a horseshoe of sand on the other side of the island. Hvar is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the world and an attractive yacht charter destination, but don’t forgo the smaller islands - Rab, with its secluded beaches, Vis where the party is at or the gentle belle époque Optaija Riviera: once poised as the Croat Côte d'Azur before the First World War took its toll on the Italian aristocracy. By chartering a yacht in Croatia you will be able to access the most exotic elements of this fascinating country, from the remote archipelagos to the beautiful coastal islands.
Try a guided sea kayaking adventure (4hrs) from Hvar Island to the beautiful Pakleni Islands where the air is heavy with fragrant pines
Expect breath-taking scenery in the Blue Cave on Bisevo, close to Vis island: try to visit late morning when the sun is high and literally lights up the water to electric blue
For the best olive oil, Brachia from the island of Brač, shop at Uje and highly recommended too is the local lemon spread and pickled capers