Croatia’s Adriatic coast is one of Europe’s most beautiful vacation destinations and remains a bit of a hidden gem. When travelers think about sailing vacations in the Mediterranean their minds tend to turn to the Greek islands, and an Adriatic vacation still conjures up images of Italy’s Amalfi coast.
However, Croatia offers the beauty of Greece and the elegance and luxury of Italy, without the crowds of tourists, and with a distinctive and fascinating culture and cuisine.
There is almost nothing in the world more inviting than jumping on a boat, sailing off down the coast and stopping off at hidden bays and remote islands. Exploring the Croatian coast by boat opens up a world of gorgeous, craggy islands, secluded coves, deserted beaches, and some truly exquisite fresh seafood cuisine.
The best thing about an Adriatic itinerary of island hopping is that it is not just open to those lucky few who can actually sail a yacht. The excellent network of passenger boats down the Adriatic coast means that it is perfectly possible to spend two weeks discovering the best that Croatia has to offer under your own steam, and without breaking the bank.
So if your future vacation plans include heading to Europe to take an exciting cruise to Croatia, take a look below at some of the amazing destinations that await you on this perfect 2-week Adriatic itinerary.
Start your journey off in the ancient town of Split, taking time to explore the remarkable Roman remains of this historic town. Diocletian’s Palace and the Saint Domnius Cathedral are extraordinary and will leave history buffs breathless, while the Mestrovic Gallery is a must for culture lovers. The town’s seafront is charming, with some excellent restaurants, and there are many beautiful beaches a stone’s throw from the town center.
From Split, head to Brač, the quintessential Croatian island with a little something for everyone. If watersports are your thing, head to Supetar for jet skis, banana boats and stand-up paddleboarding, whereas if you fancy soaking up rays then make for Croatia’s most photographed beach, the famous Zlatni Rat on the other side of the island. A smooth white pebble beach stretches out into the sea for a quarter of a mile, making this one of Croatia’s loveliest spots.
Party lovers will be delighted with elegant, glamorous Hvar, the next stop on your itinerary. Hvar is probably the most famous of Croatia’s islands, and with good reason. Here you can sample the best of Croatia’s nightlife against the gorgeous backdrop of forested hills and the bright blue Adriatic. Hvar also boasts some of Croatia’s best vineyards, and for anyone looking for a more relaxed experience, wine tasting at Hora Farm, in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a real treat.
For a complete change of pace from lively, buzzing Hvar, far-flung Vis is perfect. This tiny, quiet island well beyond Hvar and Brač is filled with secluded coves, picturesque villages and rustic Croatian restaurants, as well as a few more excellent vineyards. The true draw of Vis is its laid-back pace of life, remote location, and authenticity, and it makes the perfect place to unwind and relax after the more raucous charms of Split and Hvar.
Heading south brings you to the historic walled town of Korčula. Often described as ‘mini-Dubrovnik’, Korčula echoes its more famous neighbor with gorgeous medieval architecture, and this coastal citadel is full of picturesque castle turrets and majestic battlements. The best thing to do on Korčula is to wander around the old town and marvel at the extraordinary and beautifully preserved Gothic and Renaissance buildings, but as with all Croatian islands, beautiful beaches are never far away if you need a quick swimming or sunbathing hit.
Mijet offers a completely different experience than any of the previous island stops. One of Croatia’s most unspoiled islands, it is covered in lush, verdant forests, and boasts the natural beauty of the Mljet National Park. Cycling around the crystal clear lakes and visiting the charming Benedictine monastery on St Mary’s Island is the perfect way to get up close to the beautiful natural wonders of this peaceful spot.
Dubrovnik has gained some serious international fame in recent years thanks to its appearance on Game of Thrones, and it remains one of Croatia’s crown jewels. This stunningly beautiful walled city is steeped in history and is one of the most eye-catching cities you are ever likely to visit. Walk the city walls and imagine yourself back in time, or just gaze out to sea for a beautiful sunset. The Old Town is made for gentle exploring and is full of historic sites like the Rector’s Palace, and fascinating museums like the House of Marin Drzic. Finally the tiny island of St Mary’s, just off the coast, is home to a beautiful monastery, a pristine and empty beach, and a delightful nature reserve.