Croatia; Chartering the Enchanting Northern Coast and Islands
October 2019 E-News
Yes, cruising between Dubrovnik and Split is lovely, visiting Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet, however a whole other world awaits north of Split, with another 200 nautical miles of coastline and over 700 islands including the Kornati Islands and the Brijuni Islands National Parks.
Visit Mali Losinj, the seafaring village and a Baroque Venetian version of Portofino. This village was the shipping hub for the area in the 19th century. Today, Mali Losinj Island is considered the Island of Vitality given the over 1200 species of herbs that grow wild on the island providing natural aromatherapy in the winds. Cruise into the harbor of the small island of Zlaton the center of red coral harvested locally from the surrounding waters. According to ancient legends, red coral originated when Perseus severed Medusa’s head and threw it into the sea. On Zlaton, where cars are forbidden, fishermen hunt for red coral rather than fish, which is a present traditionally given to all children on the island as protection for health, as red coral turns white when the body has a temperature.
The Kornati Archipelago has a unique beautiful stark landscape, unlike the rest of the Croatian islands. This archipelago is mostly uninhabited so it is possible to have anchorages completely to oneself in which to swim and star gaze. The restaurant Zakan located on the island of Ravni Žakan is outstanding, catering, to who else, but the yachting crowd.
Krka Falls is just north of Sibenik, and easily visited by van, although very crowded, and perhaps best to visit the lovely little Monastery Visovac, probably the most photographed place in Croatia, with a short side trip to Krka Falls. Sibenik has a surprisingly large Old Town with winding walking streets to explore.
Pula is a gem on the northern coast of an area of Croatia called Istria, at least the Romans thought so, and made this location a hub for their civilization in this part of their Empire, building a huge arena, most of which is still standing today; built with an enormous amount of seating, and sun and rain protection created by awnings covered by cloth soaked in bee’s wax. Further north is the lovely seaside village of Rovinj, with a very attractive Old Town, on what was once an islet, connected to land by a Roman built causeway.
Once in this area, take a side trip into the mountains of Istria to the Motovun Forest for an exhibition of Truffle Hunting, and enjoy a myriad number of dishes made with Truffles at the Zigante Restauranat in Livade. This is also the place to visit wineries, taste olive oils, and even donkey milk. And while in the area, for those wanting a little exercise, hike up to the top of the medieval village of Motovun, changed little from yesteryear.
Stop at the head of Lim Bay, with its unique marine eco-system harboring spiny cockles, scallops, clams, shell farms of oysters and black mussels and a wide variety of fish for a shellfish and fresh seafood feast at the Viking or Fjord Restaurants.
Yacht Charter News
Travels in Croatia. We are just back from exploring the coast and islands north of Split and the wonderful Croatian province of Istria, a real hidden jewel. Once Italian, Croatian Istria still bears all of the markings of Italy, as many of the natives still speak Italian, and making olive oil and wine is still a fine art. In Istria, olives are not harvested until November, and then the olives are same day cold pressed for beautiful light green olive oil with a fresh almost green bean flavor that is unsurpassed. And all over the countryside are boutique wineries with doors open for wine tastings and olive oil tastings. In Lim Bay are shell farms growing oysters and black shelled mussels and wild spiny cockles and scallops are harvested, with tiny delicate sweet clams dug from the sand.
All through the Motovun Forest, truffles grow in the roots of willow, oak, beech, poplar and birch trees. Today dogs are trained to hunt for truffles, as pigs did a great job, but usually ate their truffle finds which was certainly counterproductive. White truffles only grow from September to the end of December, depending on when the air becomes too cold in the mountains, as once the air becomes too cold for the more delicate white truffle, the white truffle dies. Black truffles grow all year long. During the fall, in the area, every able bodied man and dog is out hunting the more lucrative white truffle, while all year long the steadfast truffle hunter and dog might be out hunting black truffles.
Having fresh white truffle shaved on top of anything is quite an aromatic treat. And as Istria is just emerging on the international market as a known truffle growing location, prices are still very affordable. Visiting and dining anywhere in the Motovun Forest, especially in the fall during white truffle season you might find a pile of white truffle being shaved on top of your steak or eggs or whatever you are having for a very reasonable price. What we learned on our travels through Istria, however, is when on charter in Croatia, if you love truffles, ask for truffle anything and everything on your provisioning, and the cost will not break the bank, ask for Istria olive oil, and do try Croatian boutique wines, from any part of Croatia.
Lower USD to EUR Exchange Rates may be Available for your EUR Priced Charter Booked with Us. With the growing number of charters being priced in Euros, Northrop- Johnson Yacht Charters has contracted with Money Corp U.S., a large foreign exchange company, in order to ensure that our clients can be offered a reduced corporate exchange rate by Money Corp U.S. for EUR payments for any charter booked with us priced in EUR. By our contracting with Money Corp., any of our clients interested will receive the reduced corporate bulk exchange rate, which is usually lower than that which a private individual might be offered for a one time exchange from their bank.
Not sure if the Money Corp corporate rate for which we have contracted is lower than a rate you might be provided elsewhere? Money Corp is happy to provide an exchange rate for an EUR payment you might need to make which you can take to your bank or financial institution to see if the rate offered by your bank is lower than the rate offered by Money Corp. We are not a bank or financial institution, and this is a pass through service only, in which we do not participate or have financial interest. Our interest is in helping you find the best exchange rate possible for your EUR priced charter.