Cavtat, near Dubrovnik | photo by John Miller/robertharding.com
LOVISCE INLET, SCEDRO ISLAND
Recommended by Capt Nick Lyne, M/Y Sequel P
43° 05’ 35”N, 16° 41’ 58”E
Lovisce Inlet on the north side of Scedro Island is, for Captain Nick Line of Sequel P, one of Croatia’s most delightful anchorages: totally safe, and set among delightful maquis-covered hills, it lies on the direct route between the ‘must-see’ cities of Hvar and Korcula. Scedro is uninhabited for most of the year, but when planning a visit you should avoid the peak month of August, unless you enjoy the hustle and bustle of an anchorage crowded with charter yachts. A dozen years back there was just one man who set up a restaurant selling fish caught from his own boat that he barbecued over an open fire and served up with vegetables and wine grown in his own garden. There are several restaurants now and their supplies are shipped in, but the end result is still as tasty and the charm of the setting undeniable. Apart from a swim, exploring the lagoon with a dinghy or kayak, or a walk amid the lavender and thyme that clad the low hills, there isn’t much to do – but that is the whole joy of Scedro. Hvar and Korcula, 12 and 20 nautical miles distant, provide the architecture, historic interest and marginally more refined dining that may be part of your ideal holiday, but you might consider a stop at the little lighthouse-dominated islet of Plocica, especially if you have children aboard, as they will delight in exploring the rock pools at low tide.
Recommended by Capt Colin Richardson, M/Y Passion
42° 47’ 33”N, 17° 23’ 57”E
It is too easy for yachts heading towards Dubrovnik, just 23 nautical miles to the southeast, to bypass the long and narrow island of Mjlet as its rock-fringed, wooded coastline appears quite unremarkable from the sea. But ignoring Mjlet is a real mistake as it is one of the most seductively beautiful islands in the whole of the Adriatic. Local inhabitants successfully resisted any commercial development and the resulting absence of large hotels, together with access to the island being restricted to yachts and small commercial passenger boats, means that its small farms and vineyards are intact, and its many tourist sites uncrowded. If time is short, the northwestern end of the island, designated a National Park, is the place to go, and the best anchorage here is in the very sheltered Polace inlet, entered through a choice of deep water channels between the outlying islands that lead into a spectacular sheltered lagoon with the village of Polace at its western end. The water is calm and crystal clear, while the village offers a tender dock outside a couple of sleepy restaurants and, the ruins of a Roman palace from the fifth century. Further south are the beautiful tidal lakes of Mali Most and Malo Jezero, the latter with a former Benedictine monastery on a little islet. Mjlet also offers some unusual scuba diving in a third century Roman wreck and a Second World War German torpedo boat, which can be arranged through a diving centre.
HVAR, DALMATION ISLANDS
Recommended by Brian Benjamin
43° 10’ 16N 16° 26’ 20E
Hvar is known as the queen of the Dalmatian islands. It has a long history due to its important strategic location; nowadays it is regularly invaded by legions of tourists but is still certainly worth a visit with spectacular views from the water. Hvar is the gateway to an archipelago of gorgeous little islands with incredibly indented bays – each one ringed with sand. On shore, the land is smothered in vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees and vineyards. The port of Hvar itself has been likened to a pre-Bardot Saint-Tropez; it boasts upmarket shopping, exclusive hotels, fabulous nightlife and restaurants that are to be found as soon as one steps on to the dock. It’s busy between May and September when the Venetian piazza comes to life; while, in the famous Carpe Diem club, young backpackers, elegant ‘must-be-seen-with-crowd’ and yachties rub shoulders with each other…
KORCULA, DALMATIAN ISLANDS
Recommended by: Frans Heesen
42° 57’ 10N 17° 08’ 32E
Korcula is one of the largest Dalmatian islands and its long, indented coastline provides seemingly endless beaches and inlets to explore. Despite its size and popularity, it has retained its natural charm – Frans Heesen uses words such as ‘pure, nature, quiet, crystal-clear water’ to sum up its attractions. Korcula has been occupied by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the great civilisations of the past few thousand years – the Greeks called it Black Corfu due to its dense forests, and the Venetians happily plundered its timber. It’s even said that Marco Polo was born here in 1254. You can immerse yourself in all this history ashore, but the attractions from a yachting point of view are the numerous secluded coves with largely empty beaches. And whether the strand is sandy or rocky, the views will always be great, with the transparent turquoise sea set against green peaks.
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