Embarking on a Croatian yacht charter is not just a vacation; it's an odyssey through the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, exploring enchanting islands that offer a harmonious blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into each of the top 5 islands that should be a part of your charter itinerary from Split. From historical landmarks to secluded coves, each island has its own unique charm, ensuring an extraordinary journey through the heart of the Adriatic and Dalmatia.
1. Hvar Island: The Lavender Paradise
As the sun-drenched jewel of the Adriatic, Hvar Island presents a captivating mix of history, nature, and vibrant nightlife. Begin your journey by anchoring in Hvar Town, a picturesque harbor embraced by medieval walls and surrounded by Renaissance-era architecture. The town's lively atmosphere, trendy cafes, and the iconic Hvar Fortress create a captivating backdrop for your Croatian yacht charter adventure.
For an unforgettable experience, set sail early to catch the mesmerizing sunrise from the Pakleni Islands, a stunning archipelago just off the coast of Hvar. As the island is famous for its lavender fields, don't miss the opportunity to explore these fragrant landscapes and indulge in local lavender-infused products.
Things to Do on Hvar:
Explore Hvar Town
Start your visit in Hvar Town, the island's main hub. Wander through the charming streets of the Old Town, visit St. Stephen's Cathedral, and relax in one of the many cafes on the lively waterfront. Climb up to the Hvar Fortress (Fortica) for panoramic views of the town and surrounding islands. The hike is rewarded with breathtaking scenery, especially during sunset. If you're interested in cultural experiences, check if there are any performances or events at the Hvar Public Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Europe. Visit the Franciscan Monastery, known for its beautiful cloister and art collection. The monastery also houses a Renaissance painting of the Last Supper.
Relax on Hvar's Beaches
Hvar boasts beautiful beaches. Consider visiting Dubovica Beach, where you can enjoy crystal-clear waters and a picturesque setting. Alternatively, Pokonji Dol Beach and Milna Beach are popular choices. Enjoy swimming in secluded coves, snorkeling, and exploring the hidden beaches of the Pakleni Islands.
Stroll through Stari Grad
Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Europe, has a rich history. Explore the UNESCO-listed Stari Grad Plain, visit Tvrdalj Castle (home of the poet Petar Hektorović), and wander through the town's charming streets.
Hvar has a long tradition of winemaking. Visit local wineries to taste indigenous wines like Plavac Mali and Pošip. Many wineries offer guided tours of their vineyards and cellars: Hora Hvar, Tomić Winery, Duboković Winery, and many more.
Dine in Konobas and Restaurants
Experience Croatian cuisine in local konobas (taverns) and restaurants. Try traditional dishes like peka (slow-cooked meat and vegetables) and fresh seafood.
Nightlife in Hvar Town
Hvar is famous for its vibrant nightlife. Enjoy cocktails in beach bars, dance the night away in nightclubs, and experience the lively atmosphere of Carpe Diem Beach and Hula Hula Beach Bar.
Pakleni Island by Hvar
2. Korčula Island: Marco Polo's Birthplace
Steeped in history and shrouded in medieval charm, Korčula Island is often referred to as a mini-Dubrovnik. The Old Town believed to be the birthplace of the legendary explorer Marco Polo, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, historic buildings, and vibrant squares. Anchor in Korčula Town, where the iconic Revelin Tower guards the entrance, and immerse yourself in the island's rich maritime history.
To enhance your Croatian yacht charter experience, explore local vineyards and savor the unique white wine, Grk, produced exclusively on the island. Korčula's enchanting blend of history and natural beauty makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Adriatic experience.
Things to Do on Korčula
Explore Old Town Korčula:
Start your day by exploring the charming Old Town, surrounded by medieval walls. Wander through narrow streets, visit St. Mark's Cathedral, and don't miss the Marco Polo House, believed to be the birthplace of the famous explorer.
Visit the Revelin Tower
Climb up to Revelin Tower to enjoy panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. The tower is located on the eastern side of the Old Town and offers a great vantage point.
Korčula is known for its vineyards and excellent wines. Consider visiting a local winery to taste some of the island's unique wines, such as Pošip and Grk. Visit wineries: Vitis Winery
Attend a Moreška Sword Dance
If you're visiting in the evening, try to catch a performance of the Moreška Sword Dance, a traditional dance with a historical storyline. The dance has been performed in Korčula for centuries.
The town of Korčula
3. Brač Island: Golden Horn Beach and Beyond
Brač Island beckons with its diverse landscapes, highlighted by the world-famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach. Dock in Bol, a charming town on the southern coast of the island, and enjoy the vibrant energy of the local scene. For panoramic views of the Adriatic, embark on a hike to Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the island.
While on Brač, take the opportunity to explore the island's olive groves and vineyards. The local olive oils and wines, such as the robust Plavac Mali red wine, provide a delectable taste of the region's culinary offerings.
Things to Do on Brač:
Explore Bol Town & Visit Zlatni Rat Beach
Bol is the main town on Brač and offers a charming mix of traditional architecture, vibrant cafes, and local markets. Stroll through the narrow streets, visit the Parish Church, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Horn, is one of the most famous beaches in Croatia. Enjoy the unique shape of this sandy spit and spend some time swimming or relaxing in the sun.
Explore the Dominican Monastery in Bol, which houses an art collection and a botanical garden. The monastery provides a peaceful retreat and offers insight into the island's history.
Climb Vidova Gora and Catch the Sunset
Vidova Gora is the highest peak on Brač, offering spectacular panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. Hike to the top for a memorable experience and some fantastic photo opportunities
Windsurfing and Water Activities
Bol is a popular destination for windsurfing and other water activities. If you're up for some adventure, consider trying windsurfing or other water sports along the coast.
Explore Skrip Village & Visit the Olive Oil Museum
Visit Skrip, the oldest village on the island, to explore its historical sites, including the Museum of the Island of Brač. The museum provides insights into the island's archaeology, history, and cultural heritage. Brač is known for its olive oil production.
Visit a local olive oil farm to taste different varieties and learn about the olive oil-making process. Visit Olive Oil Museum and Book Olive Oil Tasting Tour.
Dine at Konobas and Taste the local Wines
When visiting Brač, explore local konobas (taverns) and restaurants to savor these authentic flavors. Some of the most popular and authentic dishes to try: Vitalac (a unique dish made from lamb offal), Lamb Peka, Brač Cheese, Brač Cake (A delicious dessert made with figs, almonds, and other local ingredients.)
Consider joining a wine tour that takes you to multiple wineries on the island. This way, you can explore different styles and varieties while enjoying the beautiful landscapes of Brač. Wineries: Stina Winery, Senjković Winery.
The view from Vidova Gora Mountain
4. Vis Island: A Hidden Gem in the Adriatic
For a more secluded and authentic experience, set sail for Vis Island. With its untouched beauty and tranquil ambiance, Vis offers a unique blend of natural wonders and historical sites. Explore the mesmerizing Blue Cave on Biševo Island, accessible only by sea, and discover the charming town of Komiža with its fishing heritage.
To add a touch of adventure to your Croatian yacht charter, anchor near Stiniva Cove. Accessible only by boat, this hidden gem offers a secluded beach surrounded by towering cliffs, creating a perfect setting for snorkeling and swimming in crystal-clear waters.
Things to Do on Vis:
Explore Vis Town
Begin your day by exploring Vis Town, the main settlement on the island. Wander through the narrow streets, visit local shops, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the waterfront. Take a boat or hike to Fort George, a historic fort with panoramic views of Vis Town and the surrounding islands. The fort is an excellent spot for photography and offers a glimpse into the island's military history.
Explore Komiža & Enjoy the Sunset at Mount Hum
Visit Komiža, a picturesque fishing village on the western side of the island. Explore the charming harbor, visit the Fishermen's Museum, and try fresh seafood in local restaurants: Bako and Jastožera. End your day by watching the sunset from Mount Hum. The viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the island and the Adriatic Sea.
Taka a Swim in Stiniva Cove
Stiniva Beach, located on the southern side of the island, is renowned for its unique narrow entrance and stunning turquoise waters. Spend some time swimming and enjoying the natural beauty of this hidden gem.
Biševo Island and the Blue Cave
Take a boat trip to Biševo Island to witness the enchanting Blue Cave. The cave is illuminated by sunlight, creating a surreal blue glow, especially during specific times of the day.
Join the Military Tour
Learn about Vis's military history by taking a guided tour of the island's underground tunnels, used during World War II. The tours provide insight into the island's strategic importance.
Enjoy Local Cuisine
Sample local Dalmatian cuisine in Vis Town or Komiža. Try traditional dishes like octopus salad, grilled fish, and peka (slow-cooked meat and vegetables).
The Town of Vis
5. Šolta Island: Authentic Tranquility
Escape the bustling crowds and discover the authentic charm of Šolta Island. Mooring in the picturesque bay of Maslinica, surrounded by seven small islets, allows you to experience the island's serene atmosphere and traditional Dalmatian architecture.
To truly immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, take a leisurely bike ride through Šolta's picturesque villages, where time seems to stand still. Indulge in the island's exquisite wines, such as Dobričić and Pošip, and savor fresh seafood in the local konobas (taverns), offering a taste of authentic Dalmatian cuisine.
Things to Do on Šolta:
Visit Grohote & Visit Olynthia Natura Olive Oil Museum
Grohote is the main town on Šolta and the oldest settlement on the island. Explore its narrow streets, visit the local market, and experience the relaxed pace of life. Learn about the island's olive oil production at the Olynthia Natura Olive Oil Museum in Grohote. The museum provides insights into the olive oil-making process and the importance of olives on Šolta.
Stroll through Maslinica Village
Visit the picturesque village of Maslinica on the western side of the island. Enjoy the charming marina, walk along the waterfront, and explore the historical Martinis Marchi Castle.
Swimm at Nečujam Beach
Spend some time relaxing at Necujam Beach, one of the most popular beaches on Šolta. The crystal-clear waters and peaceful surroundings make it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Spend an Evening at Šešula Bay
Explore Šešula Bay, a peaceful cove on the southern side of Šolta. It's a great place to enjoy nature, swim in secluded waters, and escape the crowds.
Šolta has a growing reputation for its local wines. Visit one of the island's small family-owned wineries to taste indigenous varieties such as Dobričić and Pošip. Visit a family-run winery Agroturizam Kaštelanac.
Visit Local Konobas
Sample local Dalmatian cuisine at one of Šolta's traditional konobas. Try dishes like peka (slow-cooked meat and vegetables), fresh fish, and locally produced olive oil.
Maslinica Village and Marina Martinis Marchi
Sailing in Croatia is a journey into paradise, and these top 5 islands offer a taste of the country's diverse beauty. From the vibrant nightlife of Hvar to the secluded tranquility of Šolta, each island has something unique to offer, ensuring an unforgettable experience. So, set sail, explore the wonders of the Adriatic, and create lasting memories on your Split yacht charter.