The French Riviera and the Greek Islands have long led the list of summer yacht charter destinations. But in recent years, the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea has been giving those popular cruising grounds a run for their money.
A Croatian charter has something to offer for everyone. The Medieval palaces and red-roofed fortress towns that line the Dalmatian Coast let charterers sample the rich culture and history of this country, which at times has been part of the Roman Empire, Byzantium, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Yugoslavia and the Communist Bloc, before regaining its independence in 1991. Evenings ashore in its pretty ports are filled with fine dining and dancing in trendy nightclubs and discos.
By contrast, the hundreds of romantic rocky islands that lie just offshore offer quiet anchorages where you can relax and enjoy the pristine Mediterranean scenery.
There are many routes your yacht can take along the Dalmatian Coast. A sample itinerary might start in Dubrovnik at the southern end of Croatia. A fairytale city with palaces and museums under UNESCO World Heritage patronage, it is also known for its delicious shellfish dishes.
Heading out to the islands, your first stop might be the Mljet, to explore its quaint fishing villages or go cycling in its national park. Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, holds a medieval walled town where you can see the traditional Moreska sword dance performed. Hvar, “the island of lavender” is a peaceful agricultural setting by day and an energetic party scene by night. The island of Trogir is home to a 2,300-year-old fortress that is now a World Heritage Site.
Back on the coast in Split, Croatia’s second largest city, a tour of Roman emperor Diocletian’s Palace, built in 295 AD, followed by a visit to the chic shopping district, makes a satisfying end to your yachting adventure.
Many top charter yachts, including the 155-foot AXIOMA, now offer bookings on the Dalmatian Coast. E-mail DJ Parker at
to match you up with the perfect charter yacht and itinerary for this outstanding destination.
For a preview of the sights and sounds of Croatia, view the award-winning “Ode to Joy” video produced by its tourism board at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCxulFgT938&feature=youtu.be.