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Nautical Croatia: One of the best ways to visit Croatian islands

Nautical Croatia justifies that nickname every year. Our small but beautiful country with an indented coast is a true sailor’s paradise. If you still haven’t dared to sail along the Croatian coast – let us show you why it would be a good idea for your next summer vacation.

The natural beauty of Croatia is not the only reason why millions of tourists come here every year on boats and yachts. There is also top-quality food from different restaurants that offer local dishes (from all parts of Croatia), as well as dishes from all over the world, and a variety of content. Croatia is an ideal destination for nautical lovers, also because here you can anchor in most coastal cities with your boats, and in case you don’t own a sailboat or yacht – there are our services for renting sailboats (and other pleasure vessels).

Nautical Croatia
Visit Croatian islands by yacht, boat or glider!

However, what we want to share with you the most are certainly the destinations that you should visit, and which delighted us so much that we visited them several times. We are talking about the magical islands of the Croatian coast.

There are as many as 1,244 islands on the Croatian coast

Yes, Croatia can boast of as many as 1,244 islands, islets and rocks!

However, although their number is impressive, that is not the most impressive thing about them. The most impressive thing about all these islands is actually that they form cliffs, caves, beaches and coves that are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Biodiversity is one of the main assets of our islands, especially those where there is no human population. And in order to continue in this biological and ecological tone, we will mention that there are as many as 3 national parks named after the islands – Brijuni, Mljet and Kornati. Of course, the best way to enjoy the beauty of these parks is certainly sailing around them.

Sailing has always been extremely important in the everyday life of Croats, so you will be able to visit preserved cultural monuments by boat, many of which are under the protection of UNESCO. Croatia can also be proud of its high-quality nautical infrastructure, so you can “park” your boat here without any worries. For a large number of visitors, marinas provide a good and safe mooring, and today they are also urban centers, and almost every small place by the sea offers a mooring service, which makes Croatia the largest marina in the world in a certain way.

Nautical Croatia: Start from the extreme south

The Dubrovnik area is our recommendation for your first sailing along the Croatian coast, because here you will have the opportunity to see interesting islands rich in different legends. This area is perhaps the best idea for visitors who want to have fun sailing, but also hear something about old beliefs. The port of Dubrovnik is a place where you will surely find a place from which you can safely set sail for further adventure.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

Do not miss a visit to the beautiful Cavtat – dare we say our favorite Dalmatian town. It is a small place that will charm you with its loveliness, and where you will have the opportunity to enjoy food, walks and art: be sure to visit Vlaho Bukovac’s Birth House, which also houses some of the painter’s works, the Cavtat Cemetery on the town hill, where you will see centuries-old monuments and the pearl of Croatian architecture – the Mausoleum of the Račić family (the first such work by the famous Ivan Meštrović).

Cavtat
Cemetery and Mausoleum of the Račić family
Cemetery and Mausoleum of the Račić family

You will especially like Nautical Croatia if, after a short trip to Cavtat, you head towards the Elifat Islands. It is an island area consisting of 8 islands and 5 islets. Of course, there are also various rocks and ridges enriched with plant and animal life. The largest islands that belong to this group are Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. Our guides told us that these are the only inhabited islands where you can enjoy diving and swimming, as well as visiting churches and summer houses. Daksa, Greben, Sv, Andrija and Lokrum are other islands that you can visit during your sailing tour.

Lokrum is one of those mystical places on our coast that are associated with various legends, and one of them is that Richard the Lionheart stayed there after the shipwreck. In the past, the island was the property of a Benedictine monastery, as evidenced by the monastery building that you can still see. The Benedictine priests left the monastery in 1789 because the property was sold to a few rich people from Dubrovnik. Here we come to the next legend which reads:

Lokrum
Lokrum

“That night, before leaving, the monks gathered, pushed their hoods deep into their faces, lit candles, turned them upside down and with bowed heads, muttering prayers and songs, went on a night walk around their property along the ancient walkway, mourning the loss and saying goodbye to the beautiful residence. The dark, mysterious procession in the faint flickering light of the candlestick ultimately cursed the future owners of the island.”

If you are wondering how it is possible that the legend is being retold even today – we will only tell you this: Tragedies affected the family of the Austrian Emperor and the Croatian King Francis Joseph I., some of whose members were also the owners of Lokrum; the execution of the emperor’s brother, Archduke Maximilian in Mexico, the murder of his wife Elisabeth on Lake Geneva and the suicide of his son and heir to the throne Rudolf in Mayerling.

Then head by boat towards Mljet, Lastovo and Korčula

Your logical next destination will be the green island of Mljet, which is also called the island of Odysseus because the legend of Calypso and Odysseus is connected to it. Namely, it is said that on his journey, Odysseus came to the island of Mljet and visited the cave that today bears his name – in the same cave, he was seduced by the nymph Calypso. If you have a smaller boat on your yacht or sailboat, be sure to head to the cave because its relief will surely enchant you. Mljet is an island with numerous bays where you can moor a boat and devote yourself to sightseeing the National Park, primarily the Small and Great Lakes.

Autor Jaganjac - Vlastito djelo postavljača, CC BY-SA 3.0
Mljet
Source: Autor Jaganjac - Vlastito djelo postavljača, CC BY-SA 3.0

The next destination will be the Lastovo Islands, which is also a nature park and one of the most biologically preserved areas in the Mediterranean. Only 800 inhabitants live here, but it is a well-known adventure area located far from civilization, whose bays are visited by the world’s elite every summer. Zaklopatica, the favorite nautical part of Lastovo, is certainly nearby, where there are restaurants with a mooring and a view of the neighboring island of Korčula. A special interest related to this area is certainly that you will be able to see the nebulous white trail with the naked eye – the Milky Way, which includes as many as 219 million stars. Lastovo has the second darkest and most beautiful starry sky in Europe, so it is also a favorite among astronomers.

Korčula
Korčula

After Lastovo, head towards Korčula, the birthplace of Marco Polo. Korčula is also called one of the most beautiful islands on the Dalmatian coast, which is impossible not to fall in love with. It is characterized by crystal clear sea in countless bays, medieval stone towns and palaces. We learn that the favorite coves among boaters are Kneže (which also has several restaurants), Račišće, Vaja and Samograd. Korčula also has a modern ACI marina where small boats and mega yachts will find their place – there is room for everyone!

If you liked what we described today – let us organize a unique trip to Croatia just for you!

Your CTC Team, A. M.

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