Do you remember the famous Eastern aphorism “Be careful with your wishes—sometimes they come true”? That is how I was going to entitle this story. However, today we will speak about sailing in Croatia, Croatian cities, islands, and people.
For some time, my dearest served in the navy. From time to time, he told me romantic stories about the sea, dolphins, sailing, and the wind blowing in your face. So, what would you give such a man on his birthday: yet another wrist watch or new mobile phone? I chose a sailing trip.
He had never been to Croatia, a country of numerous islands and the purest Adriatic Sea. It could well be the best area in Europe for sailing or yachting. Moreover, the architecture of the old cities bears the imprint of former Venetian domination which makes your presence onshore so pleasant. What a great idea for our travel blog!
Luxurious travel under sail is absolutely a new adventure for us, and the sailing in Croatia is something special. Here, you can find more than a thousand islands with well-preserved towns built by the ancient Greeks or Romans. The shore is presented with Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, Trogir, Pula, and Rovine; so many places to see! Later, we will write about some of them—Trogir and Rovinj, for example.
The speed of a sailboat depends directly on the wind, so I had to read something about the prevailing winds of this region. Of course, I had to keep silent about the forthcoming sailing trip, otherwise it would not be a surprise.
In the winter, I reserved a Bavaria 33 sailing yacht with captain. It took the whole spring to develop a route. The final plan was: two days in a hotel—historical Villa Sveti Petar in Trogir, a week of sailing in the Adriatic Sea, and then coming back to the villa. We were definitely lucky with the villa and our hostess, Anna-Maria. This Croatian girl was like a guardian angel for us all the time.
Ancient Trogir. I admire such window views, and the church bells chime in the morning.
When you live in the historical center, you are able to investigate the city both day and night, when excursionists are gone and most of the tourists sleep. Four in the morning is the best time to sink into the historical atmosphere almost all alone.
But the time runs fast, and two days in Trogir soon ended. Soon, we would be leaving our hospitable Villa Sveti Petar, and my big secret would be disclosed when I would have to say that we are going to sail right here, in Croatia, and right now! But before that, I told Victor that we have a couple of hours for an unhurried walk through the city before we will be picked up and taken away.
How about a glass of white wine?
We walked, swam, took photos…
We wandered to the marina at noon to take some pictures of Trogir from the opposite shore and in the meantime to admire the snow-white yachts. “Just imagine sailing somewhere on one of them,” said Victor.
“Give me a kiss,” I said. “This is your present! Happy birthday, my dear! One of these snow-white beauties is yours for the whole week, my skipper!”
This was it! Something that I was cherishing for almost a year came true. A certain line was drawn–and only the sea was before us.
Legal formalities took no longer than ten minutes. The crew and the captain were introduced to each other. There it was–our Bavaria. It was called Dišpet, which means naughty. Luckily, in spite of the name, the yacht didn’t get us into trouble. 🙂
Our captain’s name was Denny–such a nice young man. I hoped he was an experienced sailor. Now, we are leaving Trogir.
Victor is learning to tie sea knots and set the sails.
On a sailboat, you may go for hours to an island that seems close at hand, and Victor with Denny changed tack again and again.
They dropped the anchor at some hidden bays with water of amazing colors, berthing at the old quays full of similar yachts.
My business was photo shooting without falling overboard.
Moreover, from time to time, I prepared fragrant coffee and breakfast for our small team.
Bavaria 33 is a small boat, but it is equipped with all the necessities. There are two cabins: one for a captain and the second for guests.
What would you need for pleasant sailing in Croatia? First is friendly relations with your captain. It is important for the microclimate in as small a space as a ten-meter yacht. Your travel impressions are fully dependent on the captain: whether you will be flying with all sails or motoring slowly by means of the engine.
Which will be the most wonderful and memorable? It is to be under sail, listening to the sounds of the sea and seagulls’ cries instead of the diesel engine’s roar. From time to time your yacht will be going at a 45-degree angle and the waves will attack the illuminators–this is dreadful! If you are prone to seasickness, your sailing trip might be a real torture. That’s why you should wisely provide yourself with Dramamine.
Here is Hvar. This city, on an island of the same name, has Croatia’s biggest medieval square, a mix of Baroque and Renaissance.
These tiny streets seem to lead almost to the sky. You climb higher and higher to reach a well-preserved medieval bastille, Spanjola Fortress. A short break, and return down to Dišpet.
Sailing on the Adriatic Sea allows you to see several interesting historical places. On the island of Korčula, the city by the same name is a competitor of Dubrovnik. In our opinion it is an exaggeration. The city is extremely beautiful from the sea but not so wonderful inside. However, the steaks with gorgonzola at the embankment may impress any foodie!
We passed alongside the island on our way to Vela Luka. The city of Vela Luka is really weathered by the time and the sea, but even in August, restaurants serve delicious and extremely fresh oysters from Ston. You sit peacefully at the open lounge of the restaurant (konoba) “Casablanca,” admiring the view, inhaling the sea air and drinking cold white wine Pošip with oysters. Such a joy!
We returned to Hvar Island, but this time to the town of Stari Grad. Rarely visited by tourists, this town was a real surprise for us. Guess what it was called in ancient times?
It is nothing less than the Greek Faros, but not the one where the famous lighthouse stood. As with Alexandria, there were several cities of Faros. The Greek philosopher Aristotle was born here. It is a city of amazing beauty. Here you can feel the nobleness of time and ancient stones.
In one moment, without much discussion, Victor and I decided that it was time to step on dry land. We unfolded our map and calculated that we could reach Trogir by evening. We asked Denny if he took umbrage at these «old sea dogs»? Our captain was remarkably polite, answering that his wife would be really happy to see him a little earlier.
That’s just where all the yacht’s modern equipment came in handy. We used wi-fi. We didn’t assume that Trogir is full of vacant hotel rooms in peak season. At Villa Sveti Petar we were expected a day later, but we wrote an email, and half an hour later Anna-Maria replied, «We look forward to seeing you tonight.” Our beloved Trogir is on the horizon.
Farewell to Dišpet and our skipper Denny. The earth swayed underfoot for a while, but it would soon pass in the stout stony walls of Sveti Petar. Unexpectedly we got the best room at the villa–other rooms were occupied. Closing the door of the new room, we felt the happiest moment of the whole trip. Why? We are ready to divulge our big secret.
Sailing in Croatia is incredibly beautiful! Sometimes blue, sometimes turquoise water; snowy-white sails full of wind; you are free as a bird; white sea foam and salt spray on your face!
It is awesome even in the evening, when several hundreds of snowy beauties pose for the public.
Music is everywhere, and the air is full of inviting flavors of tasty food from the seaside. You sit on your yacht with candles and a bottle of wine, smiling at each other and comparing the impressions of the spent day. Tourists wander around the embankment or sit on the sidelines of this romantic fairytale. Maybe someday they will also choose sailing.
Once again, sailing is beautiful–especially as seen from the land. No one ever knows that you are not very well washed, a bit unshaven, a bit tired, and didn’t get enough sleep, when you are philosophically sitting with a glass of wine before mingling with this multi-lingual crowd on shore.
Later in the evening, after a walk, you return to your beautiful boat that is gently rolling on the waves, and spend a sleepless night owing to the crew of Norwegian loggers on the yacht on the left and German burghers on the yacht on the right of your boat. But if you happened to find yourself between two Italian yachts, you’d better find sleeping accommodations somewhere on land. In the morning, you will find your neighbors fallen asleep where they sat and chattered.
Yachting is like a backpacking, but a little more expensive. If it is your lifestyle, you will definitely like yachting.