Victoria Cotman offers a quick rundown on how to kick off the most beautiful holiday imaginable sailing Croatia’s Kornati Island coast.
Ever wonder where the wealthy higher-ups of the Communist party holidayed?
(Ironic, but not a joke.)
Croatia, of course!
No surprise there, comrade. Without one hint of hyperbole: Croatia is breath taking and the destination of choice for your next sailing holiday.
The sea is sparkling, warm and buoyant. The sky is brightest blue. Sitting by the water, the sun bathing your skin, you’ll think you’re on the Italian coast – until lunch is served and it’s pure Slavic.
It’s a wild combination and such dizzying juxtaposition can be found all over Croatia.
Picking up your boat in Split, the accommodation of choice is Diocletian’s Palace (honestly not joking). The 4th Century summer house of Roman emperor Diocletian has all the luxuries, and a waterfront view.
Boats can be chartered sans captain, if you’re confident – captained if you’re better at tanning than tacking.
One should start by sailing up the Dalmatian Coast to the Kornati Islands.
Dotted around the sea like spots on a dog, the arid little islands appear as tips of great sand dunes in a vast desert, unexpectedly filled with water.
The dry, desolate islands look both bizarre and beautiful against the azure sea.
There is nowhere to safely anchor, however, so one should turn around and tie up at Šibenik.
From there, catch the ferry up the river to Krka National Park. After the dusty Kornati Islands, the lush green of Krka National Park will feel unreal and any fantasy you’ve ever had about being a water sprite, or finding paradise, will be satisfied. Krka National Park, you see, is entirely made up of waterfalls. The last and largest waterfall runs off in to a natural pool, so take your swimmers.
When you’re tired of heaven on Earth, climb aboard your boat again and sail down the coast to Hvar. Known for being impossible to pronounce and a wicked party island, Hvar is also a perfectly preserved time capsule. A pristine shrine to the Venetian Empire, it looks like total fantasy. Of course, Venice transported to a sunny island in the Adriatic is a total fantasy…so is partying amongst 15th Century Venetian buildings.
A hop across the water is Brač. There may be more to Brač than an epic beach, but you’ll never find out. Enjoy the swim!
Finally, make your way down to Dubrovnik for your last port and wondrous site. Dubrovnik is a meticulously maintained medieval walled city that will make you question the sanity of its architects. The blonde flagstones not only reflect the sun so you get burnt twice, but also hold the heat so there’s no relief until well after nightfall. Regardless, Croatia’s weird magic is worked again when you climb through the medieval fortress’ walls to the cliff face on the other side – and the best bar in town, Buza. History at your back, the wide blue ocean in front – you can have a drink, or if you really are too hot, jump in to the sea.
Still not joking.