Peace was settled in 1995 and ever since Croatia has made a determined effort to regain its prominence as a premier international travel destination (we did our first tour here in 1999). The seas are still crystal clear, the islands lush and the fishing villages unspoiled as ever. As you walk or ride within these pristine conditions and through its coastal towns and islands you also discover a land rich cultural heritage. The many palaces, temples, and amphitheaters from the Roman Empire evidence this as well as the remains of its forts, fishing villages and fortified towns from the Venetian realm.
Day 1: Solta & Brac Islands
This morning we meet at the Split harbor to set out on our week-long sailing adventure along the Dalmatian Coast. What better way to explore the most beautiful islands dotting the Croatian Coast than with the flexibility of a gorgeous Sailing boat.. There are 48 islands that dot the seafront and our first day of walking traces the islands of Solta and Brac. Solta is a small wooded island that is a favorite retreat for residents of Split and features many small coves and rocky beaches. We walk along one of this island's many trails and distance will depend on your preferred pace and distance.
We reach Island Soltaat the harbor of Maslinica, the islands main fishing center, we alternatively can embark on a 12 mile bike ride across the island. It's a very relaxing ride past vineyards, olive groves and small, rural settlements; supposedly Emperor Diocletian enjoyed the healthy climate and peaceful nature of this jewel. Once we arrive at Stomorska, Linda will be waiting for us. Relax and take some time to yourself on any of the decks, while cruising to Brac Island. We anchor at Lucice Bay, the perfect place to enjoy the evening and our first meal of freshly grilled fish together.
Day 2 & 3: The Islands of Brac & Hvar
Brac was first settled by the Romans in 167BC and is now known for its continual sunny weather, stone walled fields, abundant olive groves, fig trees, vineyards, pine forests, and famous white marble (used to build the White House, and Reichstag in Berlin). After a leisure breakfast aboard we cycle from the picturesque village of Milna to Brac's most famous beach, Zlatni, the 1500' long Zlatni Beach, whose tip of smooth white pebbles changes form from horn to tongue or other forms depending on wave, wind and water conditions. . During the 25mile ride, you see where the perfectly white limestone comes from that the White House in Washington is built from and visit the16th Century monastery Pustinja Blaca. The uphill portion of the ride is rewards with stunning views over the island. There are lovely walking trails all over the island for those that prefer a break from cycling. In the late afternoon, we sail to Hvar Island to one of Dino's favorite spots for the night. Enjoy watching the lights change while dinner is preparedOther attractions on the island include the town of Bol and The town also offers an array of cultural sights and plenty of opportunities to enjoy a moment of repast.
Day three takes us to the sun-drenched lush island of Hvar. Once called the "Austrian Madeira" before the 1st World War is today considered to be one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. You'll quickly see why during our walk or bike ride that warrants the comparison of nothing short of eye candy.
Your bike route and walking path takes you right along the pine wooded coast from picturesque Jelsa to Vrboska; stroll through the villages, then continue through vineyards growing some of Hvar's best wine, such as Plavac. The scent of lavender accompanies you while enjoying the breathtaking views over Hvar and its countless neighboring islands as we continue on the quiet road to Hvar Town. The walkers will of course be on a trail meandering through the terraced hills down to the sleepy village of Milna and onto Hvar Town.
The afternoon is free for you to enjoy the white washed, chic Hvar Town. Maybe make use of the kajak to explore the coast line, take a walk up to the Castle or treat yourself to a massage.
This evening you get the chance to dine at your leisure in one of the lovely restaurants in town.
Day 4: Korcula Island
We set our sights for Korcula, an island with caves of prehistoric origin and a rich cultural history that started with Greek settlements from the 6th cen. BC. Today the island is rich in vineyards, olive groves, small villages and hamlets with medieval walled town centers.
In Vela Luka we get our land-legs back; we will need them on our walk or ride within this lush island's 35miles of breathtaking coastal vineyards and ancient hamlets. We stop for a delightful lunch at the harbor in Brna before continuing to the vineyard-laden village of Smokvica. After a wine tasting we continue our walk or pedal high above the glistening water under the shade of the pine trees to Pupnat. From here you fly down to the Unesco town of Korcula, where our sailboat the "Linda" is anchored for the night.
Enjoy gorgeous Korcula on your own or with us on a guided walk before dinner. Dinner is on your own tonight in romantic Korcula.
Day 5: Exploring Peljesac Peninsula & Mljet
Another day full of awe-inspiring beauty is awaiting you. The photographers will take advantage of the perfect morning light before we a short sail takes us across to the Peljesac Peninsula. High above the Coast there is a small, quiet road ideal for walking or biking that leads us through the worlds steepest vineyards, and some of Croatia's best wines such as Dingac. The vast views, the scents of wild herbs and the peacefulness of this stretch of Coast are incomparable. Coast down into the village of Trstenik for a picnic on the beach followed by a tasting at the Grgic winery. Perfect, no?
In the afternoon we set sail for the Island of Mljet, whose background is laced with legends. For example, Odysseus supposedly was washed up on Mljet during one of his trips and kept in Nymph Calypso's cave for seven years.We anchor near Polace at the Western side of Mljet, a National Park with two saltwater lakes; the water is warm and supposed to have healing properties. On the smaller lake there is St. Mary's Islet with a Benedictine monastery; a beautiful sight especially around sunset.
Our last day of walking explores the island of Mljet. Nearly 2/3 of the island is forest and is dotted with vineyards and small villages. The western half of the island is a National Park and considered and unspoiled oasis of tranquility. Odysseus spent seven years on Mljet, and the Benedictine monks founded a monastery here in the 12th C. Also called the "honey island" Mljet's highlights are one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful pine forest, a salt water lake and the magnificent solitude and setting. Walking is the ideal way in which to explore the many treasures that make it a national park.
Day 6-8: Elaphiti Islands & Farewells
We have the morning to explore more of the green island of Mjet by bicycle or on foot. Around lunch time we set our sails for the Elaphiti Islands. The sailboat offers you truly the bestway to so akin the peaceful atmosphere of these three islands. Sipan is covered with olive, fig and carob trees and almonds, oranges and citrus are cultivated. Famous are also the numerous species of palm trees that grow on the island. During the time of the Dubrovnik Republic, Lopud was the seat of one of the vice rectors and boasted a population of about 4000 (today 400). Sadly during the 1940's, the islands hotels were used by the Italians to intern Jews from Dubrovnik and Bosnia; they were shipped off to the notorious concentration camp on Rab. The tiny island of Kolocep features incredibly deep blue to turquoise water and numerous hidden coves for swimming.
Anchoring in an out of this world-beautiful cove on the island of Sipan is the perfect setting for our grand farewell dinner aboard. Departures can be either from Dubrovnik or sail back to Split with us.
Itinerary changes: Please bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, which will be adjusted on a daily basis according to weather and travel conditions, at the discretion of the tour guide(s). We will try to cover all of the major islands, but the actual walks bike rides and sites may vary due to season, special events or weather.
Links to helpful sites for getting to or departing Croatia:
Viamare (for meeting/departing your tour by ferry to/from Italy)
There are several low cot carriers flying into and out of Croatia from most European cities. Please call our office at 1.800.549.2363 for other suggestions.