• Dubrovnik, Croatia
• Šipan, Croatia
• Pomena, Croatia
• Korčula, Croatia
• Trstenik, Serbia
• Lopud, Croatia
• Dubrovnik, Croatia
Šipan is one of the glorious Elaphiti Islands. Being just a short sail from Dubrovnik, they’re busy with day-trippers by day, but magically quiet at night. They all have outstanding scenery, pristine beaches and crystal-clear seas, and Šipan is arguably the prettiest of them all.
Korčula is an impressive ancient walled medieval village on a beautiful island. The whole island is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with historic narrow cobbled streets and impressive marble architecture. The village is also the birthplace of intrepid explorer, Marco Polo.
Trstenik sits at the heart of the Croatian wine country, where they make the best Plavac Mali red wine. The mix of clifftops and vineyards makes for astounding views, which must surely add to the flavour of the grapes here. From the marina, it’s only a short walk to the nearby famous Grgic vineyard, where you can sample the local produce.
The private yacht experience
Chartering a private catamaran or yacht for a week is an exclusive and unforgettable experience. With a skipper to show you the ropes and make sure everything runs smoothly, and a hostess to sort out breakfast and lunch each day, this holiday is a relaxing but memorable experience. You’ll hop from island to island visiting secluded beaches and bays, and seeing places that can only be reached by boat. There’s a very laid-back and informal approach to time – as long as you make it to your next destination by sunset, you can take your time. Enjoy some time to explore your overnight stop in a bit more depth before departing or stop off in a hidden spot on the way to your next destination. The skipper will sail the boat and you can get involved with the process as much or as little as you like; this is a fantastic way of learning a new skill whether it’s steering the boat, tweaking the sails or navigating from bay to bay. Or just relax on deck, watch the world go by and enjoy the ever-changing landscapes.
Is this for you?
Sailing holidays are incredibly versatile and suit multigenerational families or groups of friends of all ages. All you need is a sense of adventure, a desire to explore new destinations and a love of the sea. Private yacht and catamaran holidays are great if you like to be active and learn a new skill, do nothing more than relaxing in the sunshine or find hidden coves and bays that other people you know are unlikely to have visited. While we have set itineraries, no two sailing holidays will ever by the same.
What to expect
All charters run from Saturday to Saturday. After arriving and completing the paperwork, you’ll spend the night aboard the boat to find your sea legs before setting sail on Sunday morning. As it’s your own private boat, you can set off whenever suits you. A typical day will include four to six hours sailing so there will be plenty of time to explore your overnight destination in a little more depth, or leave a little earlier and have more time to anchor off secluded beaches or bays as you sail by. When the boat is underway, you can sit and relax with a book, soak up the sun on deck or get involved with the sailing. Breakfast and lunch are served on board and will be prepared by your hostess using the food that is bought by you. At dinner, the boat will be in a marina or anchored a short tendering distance offshore and you can choose between dining at a local taverna or restaurant or making your own meal in the onboard kitchen (known as a galley).
Skipper and hostess
The skipper and hostess will be on board throughout your charter. They are responsible for the safety and steering the ship between marinas, and keeping things clean and tidy, doing the shopping, and preparing breakfast and a light lunch each day.
Our recommended itinerary is a one-week sailing itinerary from Dubrovnik:
Saturday: On arrival at the airport, you'll be taken by private transfer to the yacht marina in Dubrovnik. With our VIP check-in service, you should be on the boat before 2pm, which will give you time to get used to life on board a boat, to meet your skipper and hostess, to listen to a safety briefing, and, of course, to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
Sunday: After a night on board, it’s time to get out to sea. You’ll sail northwards along the coast of the mainland before working your way through the Elaphiti Islands in the sunshine, possibly stopping for a quick dip on one of the exceptional beaches you see, before arriving at the old town of Šipan, on the largely unspoilt island of the same name. It’s a charming old town with a good choice of places to eat, and a relaxed pace of life.
Monday: You’ll be weaving through the Elaphiti Islands with the wind in your sails again on the second day, on the way to the tranquil Pomena. This small village is off the beaten track with just 50 people living here during the winter months. This is the chance to get back to nature thanks to the lush vegetation, abundance of wildlife and beautiful unspoilt beaches. If you’re an explorer, there’s a lake to be found a short hike from the marina, or there are the ruins of the old royal palace to discover.
Tuesday: Day three of sailing in the Adriatic sees you heading to the most picturesque port of call on the itinerary: the stunningly beautiful island town of Korčula. It’s a mesmerising and unbelievable place to view both from the sea or from the cobbled streets within the city walls. Originally an ancient Greek settlement, it was the rich Venetians who developed it into a labyrinthine town, and they even shipped Italian masters over here to paint the inside of their majestic cathedral of St Mark. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town was the birthplace of Marco Polo, an intrepid sailor who was one of the first Europeans to land in China.
Wednesday: Following in the footsteps of Marco Polo, day four involves sailing out of Korčula. The nearby coastlines are undeveloped, so the view will have changed little since Marco Polo sailed here in 1324. Your destination today is Trstenik, is a small fishing village which is also at the heart of the country's main wine-producing region. The town is surrounded by hillsides of vines and olives and the famous Grgic winery is based here.
Thursday: The longest sail of the itinerary is on day five, when you’ll sail to delightful Lopud, which some say is the most beautiful island in Croatia. It’s idyllic, with its sandy beaches, pine forests, rugged coast and clear seas. The island has historically been a tourist resort reserved for wealthy locals so there are some grand buildings and great restaurants, but the island is largely untouched.
Friday: It’s only a short sail back to Dubrovnik marina in a straight line, but we recommend sailing further south to get a view of Dubrovnik's towering walls and fortifications from the sea. Dubrovnik was built by sailors, and it’s only if you arrive by sea that you notice the full majesty of it. Then it’s time to head to the marina and either hang out in a local bar or get a short taxi ride to see the old town of Dubrovnik again from land.
Saturday: It’s time to say goodbye to your boat, skipper and hostess. You’ll disembark at 9am on Saturday morning and take a private road transfer back to the airport if you’re returning home, or onwards to your next port of call.
The sailing season runs from April to October, with charters typically booked in periods of one week or more, from Saturday to Saturday. Prices vary throughout the season with peak prices in August, and the best-value sailing available in May and October.
Tailor made cruises
These week-long sailing holidays can easily be added to a land-based holiday at one of our featured hotels or resorts. They can even be added to an escorted small group tour in Croatia or Italy. Speak to your Personal Travel Expert to find out more.