We get it – you don't want to leave Croatia! No one really does, especially not after two weeks of sailing the picture-perfect Adriatic Sea, exploring beautiful islands like Hvar and wild Vis. Of course, you don't actually have to. Just check out this list of places you could easily drop in at the end of your bucket-list-busting sailing jaunt. There's a nice spread, from medieval Italian Roman towns to seaside hotspots in northern Croatia – all doable! Enjoy…
Trogir is like a chocolate box of handsome Venetian and medieval architecture. Straddling its own sun-kissed bay on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, it's easy to get here after docking in Split city, which sits just a stone's throw along the coast to the east. Under the gaze of the formidable Fortress Kamerlengo, you can get lost in the crisscrossing grid of trodden roads that forms the historic heart of town, while a palm-studded promenade hosts bobbing fishing boats and some excellent seafood taverns along the shore.
Another ancient Roman city that beckons from the coast just north of where we sail on the YachtLife Croatia, Zadar has everything you could want from an add-on to that trip across the sea. There's a large ancient forum space, and the gorgeous rises of the Church of St Donatus, both of which mingle with rows of traditional Balkan cafes and beer bars under the sun. At night, it's worth heading down to the lively promenade that rings the Zadar Old Town, where a curious 'Sea Organ' art installation gives way to some seriously breathtaking sunsets over the Adriatic.
If you're eager to get a feel for the character of both southern and northern Croatia on your trip to this sun-kissed corner of Europe, then you could consider heading all the way from Split to the city of Pula. Perched at the end of the Istrian Peninsula on the north-western edge of the country, it's packed with awesome Roman relics and one massive ancient amphitheater – some say it's the best-preserved in the world outside of Italy! You can also enjoy the rugged beach coves and cliff walks around the headlands just south of town, and sample some truffle-topped tagliatelles (a regional specialty!).
We at LBW couldn't keep ourselves away from the majestic natural wonders of the Krka National Park, which is precisely why we put together our acclaimed add-on package for these famous waterfalls. If you opt to join us, you could trade the shimmering Adriatic Sea for a splash in turquoise freshwater pools surrounded by thick pine forests and rugged hills. You'll be taken straight from the LBW yacht to the national park, have free entry, and two nights' accommodation in a local hostel. Oh, and you'll get to see the fascinating Krka Monastery, with its grand Serbian Orthodox spires and handsome location in the middle of a lake.
You'll need to hop aboard one of the regular ferries that drift across the breadth of the Adriatic Sea from the Dalmatian coast to southern Italy for this one, but boy is it worth it! Just a couple of hours by bus from the port at Bari, you'll discover Lecce's medley of half-crumbling Roman amphitheaters, gilded Baroque cathedrals and winding lanes from the Middle Ages. There are also oodles of real Apulian wine bars to settle in for tasting sessions of the region's famous whites, not to mention the chance to score bona fide Italian pizza and pasta. Nice.
Ah, Dubrovnik: The city of stone and shimmering marble. This wonderful place just south of where we'll be sailing during the YachtLife Croatia is a sure bet if you're after some more mind-blowing Balkan history, uber-wild nightlife and breathtaking scenery. You can spend your days wandering the centuries-old walls and wondering at the handsome medieval churches and palaces in the Old Town. Or, you can unravel the filming locations used in Game of Thrones – Dubrovnik is the backdrop for the infamous city of King's Landing. At night, the action moves to the bars down Stradun, where rakija brandies and frothy Croatian beers are the fuel for the evening.
Ultra Music Festival, Croatia
Okay okay, so we know this one's not a destination so much as one darn wild party. But hey, who wouldn't want to tail off a fortnight of sailing and swimming and partying with one of the top electronica and house music festivals in the whole Balkans? The reason we mention it is because we've enjoyed Ultra so many times, we've even gone to the effort of making an official add-on trip for the shindig. You can opt to attend the neon-lit DJ shows and pulsing beach parties either before or after you hit the yacht with us in July. Just be sure to check out our Ultra Music Festival package for dates that would suit you.
Direct buses run from a couple of towns up and down the Makarska Riviera to the Montenegrin town of Bar each week. You can likely hop off along the way and make a beeline inland to the fjord known as the Bay of Kotor. Have the camera at the ready though, the place is a real breath taker awayer! Seriously. High peaks of rugged limestone soar straight out of the pearly blue waters; old churches stand like limpets on protruding rocks; castles soar overhead, and there are bobbing millionaire yachts drifting this way and that. It's certainly one to write home about, and another country to check off the travel list!
The Greek Islands, Greece
Okay, so this one's not going to be the easiest option. With no direct ferries now cutting across the Adriatic to Greece, you will either have to get a long (certainly overnight) bus connection south from Croatia, or hop a couple of boats between Italy and the Peloponnese before you reach the islands you're looking for. Still, the payoff might just be worth it! You can wonder at crumbling ancient temples on Delos, drink ouzo with partiers on Mykonos, swim in empty coves around Symi and trace medieval Crusader history in Rhodes. Oh, and you could even get there in time to join one of our YachtLife Greece trips, just in case you fancied carrying on that sailing fun!
Been anywhere else in the vicinity of Split that you think our sailors might want to enjoy at the end of their trip? Let us know about it in the comments below! Or, just head over to our YachtLife Croatia page and go exploring in the wonderful Adriatic yourself!
We believe that travel is not a reward for working, but the most valuable and impactful form of education for life. We aren’t just a travel company; we were built to introduce you to the rest of the world. LBW Travel is about more than taking vacation time. We connect you with people and offer experiences that will change the way you look at your world. Travel reminds us what is truly important: family, friendship, love, exploration and adventure.
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