Seeking relaxed tranquillity and a touch of romance? Explore the wonders of beautiful Croatia, where picture-perfect beaches, azure waters and quaint seaside towns form a charming distraction from the rigors of everyday life. Bursting with countless natural gems, the coastline of Croatia brings balmy days cruising between verdant isles as the terracotta rooftops of medieval towns appear. Island-hopping on a yacht here is seamless, with easy access to spectacular locations and an array of activities to suit every mood.
Green, tranquil and stunningly beautiful, unspoiled Mljet is covered in forest and criss-crossed with hiking paths. The coastal waters are filled with an abundance of marine life and at the north west tip there are two connected lakes with clear, blue-green sea that offers wonderful swimming grounds. Designated a national park, this wildlife refuge is a huge draw for visitors and is ideal for kayaking, swimming and cycling. The only sandy beach is found at Saplunara in the east, while Limuni or Sutmiholjska beaches are protected bays with pebbled beaches.
Largest, greenest and most independent of Croatia’s islands, said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, Korcula offers architectural delights along every cobbled street. Dubbed Little Dubrovnik, the medieval city walls and terracotta rooftops amidst winding alleyways are teeming with family-run restaurants and quaint shops. Alluring bays dot the coastline with the small pebbled beaches of Zrnovska Banja and Vrbovica offering character and sandy beaches on the south lined with waterfront bars. Diving at westernmost Vela Luka offers some of the island’s best underwater sites.
One of the prettiest and most popular spots in the Adriatic, see and be seen in glamorous Hvar. The traffic-free marble streets and 13th century walls of the town surround gothic palaces and ancient squares, while Hvar’s nightlife is perfect for late-night socialising. Discover hidden lagoons with crystal blue waters at the Pakleni islands, visit vineyards to taste the famous Plava Mali red wine and join the fragrant Lavender Festival in Velo Grablje. Beaches abound. Idyllic Dubovica is iconic with its’ velvet-sand horseshoe and stone house protruding into the sea. The tiny bay at Lucisca brings hues of emerald to another level in crystal waters and lush landscape, while Milna has two gorgeous small-pebbled bays surrounded by fragrant pine forests and vineyards.
Targeting a back-to-nature escape, remote Vis ticks so many boxes. Blissfully unspoiled, cruising here provides an idyllic opportunity to anchor in isolated turquoise coves, lapped by crystal clear water where the diving is outstanding. One of many sites, the hotspot for experienced divers is a 1944 Flying Fortress plane wreck resting at 70m. Ashore, the sprawling vineyards and orchards mix amidst ancient monuments and gourmet seafood cuisine awaits. Look out for slow-braised octopus and the local vugava white wine will captivate your tastebuds. Feeling active, then head on a hiking tour to the top of Mount Hum, the highest point on Vis at 587m where the panoramic views are simply sensational. Accessed only by water on the southwestern tip of Vis, Biševo Island boasts a stunning blue grotto where rays of sun bathe the interior in captivating hues of sapphire.
A medieval town on a small island, connected to the mainland by bridges, Trogir is a haven of hospitality. Its restaurants, markets and sights, such as the 15th century chapel, make it a favourite stop on the Croatian riviera. From July to September, the elegant Kamerlengo Fortress is home to the Trogir music festival, offering visitors a range of great entertainment. Explore the labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets bordered by ancient buildings and, on hot summer nights, enjoy the “Riva” waterfront stroll that has become something of a local tradition.
Time is a highly sought-after commodity in a society driven by incessantly busy lifestyles. Unforgettable moments with loved ones are made in a heartbeat and what better way to maximise this opportunity than to kick back, re-connect and relax amidst the perfect surroundings of Croatia?
Nicholas Dean is Managing Partner of Ocean Independence. Ocean Independence is a global leader in luxury yachting, providing a bespoke experience across yacht charter, sales and management.