Croatia offers beautiful clear blue waters and a coastline full of history and architectural gems. Indeed, within a 40 mile area, including Montenegro and Croatia, there are two cities, Dubrovnik, Croatia and Kotor Montenegro, that are considered UNESCO World National Heritage Sites, with 9 total UNESCO World National Heritage Sites in both countries. A total of 4 or 5 UNESCO sites can be visited in a one week charter starting in Kotor, Montenegro and ending in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Following is a suggested one week charter for Kotor to Dubrovnik, including Split, Trogir and Hvar, all UNESCO World Heritage Site locations.
SUGGESTED CROATIA & MONTENEGRO ITINERARY
The Bay of Kotor, one of the few fjords in the region, is truly memorable. With roots dating back to the site of a 3rd-century Roman military outpost, the fortress city of Kotor was a Byzantine stronghold in the 6th century; today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walking tour takes in the great Romanesque cathedral of St. Tryphon and the Naval Museum, housed in an 18th-century Baroque palace. Afternoon cruise down the bay to Dubrovnik. (40 miles)
After breakfast, clear through customs and get ready to visit the spectacular walled city of Dubrovnik. The wonderfully preserved 15th Century “Old Town” features ancient buildings, squares, cobbled streets and fountains, all created from the same beautiful cut stone. Visit the historic main square, the priceless collections in the Dominican Monastery, the Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Franciscan Monastery. Overnight.
Dubrovnik to Celo on the island of Kolocep or Lopud – an excellent beach for lunch and then on to Sipanska Luka, a delightful little village with an old quay to moor against. Lovely walk up the hill to a church where you can see for miles around. (11 miles) Overnight.
Leave early for the Island of Mljet. The island was once one of the biggest producers of olive oil in the Med. Odysseus was fabled to have been seduced here by nymphs in Homer’s “The Odyssey”, but it had to be a fable because in real life, he would never have left. Swim and have lunch at a little secluded bay and then on to Polace, (literally “palace”) to explore the ruins of a Roman palace. Cruise along a long wooded inlet, and you could be forgiven for thinking that you were sailing up a Norwegian Fjord. At the end is a protected bay with restaurants. Have dinner on board or ashore. Overnight to Korcula (15 miles)
Awake early for a walk around the fortified medieval town of Korcula (pronounced KorCHoola) where Marco Polo was born. Have a drink at the cocktail bar at the top of one of the towers, where the drinks arrive by a pulley outside the walls, as the stairs are too steep. Leave after lunch for Hvar.
Hvar town is overlooked by a large castle and has the oldest theatre in Croatia (circa 1200). This is where the beautiful people hang out. Enjoy a cocktail at the very chic “Carpe Diem” before strolling along the promenade to soak up the atmosphere of Croatia’s Cote d’Azur. The ancients considered Hvar one of the “Isles of the Blessed”. Flower-filled gardens, palms, lemon and orange groves add a fragrance lovely enough to match the visual appeal of this sun-drenched island beauty. Visit the theatre of 1506, the Benedictine Monastery, the town square and ancient stone houses. Overnight.
Leave early for Rogac, a hamlet of the village of Grohote on the northern coast of the island of Solta. In the port there is a citadel dating back to the 17th century. The church of St. Therese has an altarpiece with the portrait of the donor from 1749. The cove of Banje features the remains of a Roman fishpond. Enjoy lunch and a swim before heading up to Trogir to overnight.
Trogir is a small town outside of Split. Trogir stands on the foundations of an ancient Greek settlement on a small island connected to the mainland by bridges. This medieval town is a favorite stop, which offers restaurants, markets, and beautiful sights, including the 15th Century Trogir chapel and the 13th Century portal by the master Radovan. The yacht marina is situated on another small island opposite the old city walls, which is an easy walk over a bridge to the old town. After lunch head toward the ancient city of Split which was taken from Salona as the metropolis of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The medieval town developed out of the Emperor Diocletian’s palace, which is recorded as a UNESCO – “monument of universal importance”. Other sites to visit include the Peristyle, Jupiter’s Temple and Visesllas’s Baptistery.
After breakfast, cruise down to Vis. Studded with little coves and inlets, one is simply spoilt for choice as to where to stop for a dip. Evening in Komiza, where Tito hid from the Germans during WW2 and where there are two excellent restaurants serving fresh fish and local produce. In the Gradina area are remnants of the ancient Greek town of Ussa. On the small Pirovo promontory are remains of a Roman theatre and thermal baths. Enjoy lunch after a short morning sail to the off-lying island of Bisevo, where a quick jump in the dinghy will reveal “the Blue Grotto”, an underwater cave that during the morning is lit from the sun, giving the water an amazing color. Head back to Vis town, a charming old town with some excellent restaurants and a wine bar where they serve nothing but wine from Vis. Overnight.
A Morning sail returns you back to the Island of Korcula, and the port of Vela Luka (23 miles). The coastal strip, including the small islands of Proizd, Kamenjak, Osjak and Gubesa, represents a rich fishing ground. Also, there is a prehistoric archaeological site – Vela Spilja (Neolithic). Another historical site, the one-nave church of St. John, in the region of Gradina, was first mentioned in the 15th century. It has a bell tower on the main front (“na preslicu”), and a Gothic vault. The parish church and the belfry were built in neo-classical style. Overnight.
A good cruise to the deserted island of Lastovo. A military island until 1992, Lastovo was out of bounds to civilians and thus is completely undeveloped and spectacularly pretty. The lovely anchorage is well protected. Enjoy a swim and lunch before heading back to Cavtat, near Dubrovnik to overnight. The old town of Cavtat, in the very centre of the South Adriatic, is situated at the south slopes of the peninsula of Rat, in the immediate vicinity of Dubrovnik. Known as Epidaurum in ancient times, it is today the tourist and cultural centre of Konavle, the southernmost region of Croatia. The town of beautiful beaches and luxury hotels, together with a traditional way of life and preserved customs, waits for you. Overnight.
After a leisurely breakfast, sail to Dubrovnik to disembark.