Croatia has enchanted lovers of the sea for centuries. The temperatures, blue skies and clear waters are just a few reasons why superyachts are taken to this side of the Mediterranean. Not to mention the authentic local delicacies, rich history and unspoiled nature that gives Croatia its allure.
What’s best about Croatia is that the country’s best attributes aren’t just available during summer, but all year round. And visiting Croatia by superyacht in low season means that there is more time and space to veer off the beaten track, away from the hustle and bustle of Hvar, Split and Dubrovnik into the lesser-known parts of its wild coastline.
Those who know the diversity of Croatia only too well are the team at the Croatian National Tourist Board, who have shared with BOAT International the country’s hidden secrets that any keen traveller should know about.
The “holy land” of Croatian winemaking
The 40-mile-long archipelago jutting out from the coastline is home to a few of Croatia’s well-kept treasures. One is the medieval city Korčula, where cobblestone streets meander around a town shaped by castle towers and red-roofed houses. The island of Korčula is located close to the wondrous Pelješac peninsula, otherwise known as the holy land of Croatian winemaking.
Pelješac is made up of tranquil beaches, quaint villages and lush mountains – the highest peak being Sv. Ilija (Snake Hill) with the surfer's paradise, Viganj, at its base. Within this landscape, an abundance of nature, gastronomy and local spirituality can be found. Best of all, the many wine cellars of Pelješac offer some of the best varieties of wine in the region, among which Plavac mali, Dingač and Postup are some of the stand-out varieties.
The owner of the Matuško winery in Pelješac, Mato Violić Matuško, is always keen to show visitors how they grow the perfect grapes, as it is not easy for crops to survive in a place that receives so much sun, wind and sparse soil. To accompany the wine, the area’s long-standing restaurants and taverns offer quality selections of traditional food. There are pickled cherries served with goat prosciutto and homemade cheese, as well as mussels taken out of the sea that very morning and marinated in garlic, parsley, white wine, and a glug of olive oil.
The first Croatian superyacht marina
While it is easy to lose yourself in the rich history of Zadar and the beautiful coves and beaches of Pag, a short sail down the coastline will land you in Šibenik. Home to the country’s first superyacht marina, the historic city continues to beckon boaters to its protected waters.
What is most notable about Šibenik is how well the past has been preserved in the charming fortressed old town and the UNESCO World Heritage List cathedral. While further out to sea there are numerous picturesque islets and reefs to be found, following the Krka River more inland is just as beautiful. Passing by medieval settlements, beautiful monasteries and forests belonging to hundreds of bird species, you will reach the start of the Krka National Park. Here there is nothing other than the noise of wild, unspoiled nature and cascading waterfalls.
The holiday hotspot for celebrities and statesmen
Accessible only by boat, the Brijuni islands have much to adore. The uninhabited archipelago is populated by a national park, medieval ruins, hiking trails and three waterside hotels. And it is this quiet nature that has attracted the likes of world statesmen, the aristocracy, famous actors, musicians, artists and other prominent personalities over the years.
Man has shaped the islands to fulfil the need for comfort and vacation with Croatia’s first golf course in the island’s north, another great example of Brijuni’s unspoiled greenery, 20-metre-high treetops, peaceful atmosphere and close proximity to the sea. At the tail end of the season, what remains of the islands’ tourists are joined by the many exotic birds that winter on the island.
Home of the folk costume
As one of Croatia’s furthest points out in the Adriatic Sea, life on the island of Susak is simple and scaled back. There are no cars, so most choose to navigate the island by foot or bicycle. While some visitors might find this restricting, others feel that this freedom is riveting and all part of the package.
The soft sand beaches of Susak are a huge lure, as is the inhabitants’ preserved practice of wearing traditional clothing. The folk costume is typically comprised of white linen shirts, waistcoats, knitted footwear and colourful fabrics. Here, life is as simple as it gets, with plenty of farmland, few eateries and quaint infrastructure.
The string of waterfront towns
With 6,278km of coastline, Croatia is the more-than-perfect destination to visit by yacht. Along the way, there are many small island towns that are rich in historical and cultural heritage with plenty of capacity. For a yacht pulling up to a Croatian seaside town, there will be something for everyone, from the beautiful nature and sights, historical landmarks and finest local food and drinks, to the variety of sporting activities and health and wellbeing benefits.
On the list of superb Croatian islands are Šipanska Luka, Cres and Rab. Adding to the list, the mainland is home to the old waterside city, Rovinj, and the small fishing village of Komiža can be found on the island of Vis. The must-see main town on Vis is situated in an indented cove that is famous for being the biggest natural berth in the Adriatic. The pretty stone houses that line the coast, sit against a backdrop of rolling green hills that form the town’s breathtaking beauty. Here, visitors are spoiled with gourmet delights, things to do and the peace and tranquillity that the island has to offer.
To find out more about travelling to Croatia, click here.
Sponsored content created for the Croatian National Tourist Board