Monday, February 10, 2020

Dalmatian Coast Yachties

Trip date: May 2019

I was on my way to Split to meet my friend Aaron and board our 40' chartered catamaran for a week sailing through the Croatian Islands. To say I was excited was an understatement! But it wasn't all smooth sailing to start.

Our catamaran Sundance was chartered from Sail Croatia and originally we had 3 of the 4 cabins filled, which left 1 for the captain. Sadly one of my friends had to cancel just weeks before the trip due to a family emergency so it was Aaron, our captain Roko, and myself. The yacht was quite roomy and our luggage had a cabin of its own.

I had read Aaron's arrival time at the Split airport wrong and he ended up having to wait for over an hour for me to drive in from the Plitviče Lakes. We finally connected with our transfer driver, found the crew at the ACI Marina in Split, and left around 3pm for Milna on the island of Brač. Unfortunately we had very bad weather, rain and wind, so it was a good thing that our first sail was a short one. We had an excellent spot at the marina in Milna and settled in.

First up, grocery shopping at the tiny little market right on the waterfront. Next up, Aperol Spritz to encourage sunnier skies. We had a good dinner that evening at Palma, our captain's pick, of grilled fish with truffle ravioli. And finished the night with some drinks back on the boat.

We awoke the next morning to find that the weather was going to be keeping us, and all the other yachts, in Milna for another night. It wasn't raining but the surf was just too rough. Milna is very cute but also very small so we took Roko's recommendation and rented a car to explore the island. He had it delivered to the marina and drove us all around for the day.

We started at Galicija restaurant for a lunch of grilled lamb and roast potatoes, simple yet delicious. Then we headed over the island to the Museum of Olive Oil. Cute but nothing worth going out of your way for. Roko drove us to the very top of the island, normally the site for amazing views, but we were completely socked in with clouds. We headed to the cute town of Bol for a wine tasting at Stina Vina, which was great! And finally stopped to view Golden Horn beach, which changes its shape depending on the surf, before heading back across the island to Milna. It was a fun day and we were happy to get to explore the island.

And when we got back to the Sundance, there was some sunshine just in time for happy hour drinks on board! We took advantage of the nice weather and had an absolutely delicious pizza outside on the waterfront at Pizzeria Villa for dinner. We'd talk about this perfect pie a few times along the way!

The next morning the weather had cleared so we set sail for Starigrad on the island of Hvar. It was a lovely 2 ½ hour sail with mimosas in hand. We arrived at the marina just in time for lunch, so Aaron and I went off to grab a bite and explore.

My fried squid, salad, and rosé, with views of the water made for a very good lunch at Simple Cafe. Afterward we wandered the narrow stone allys and did a little shopping. Za Pod Zub deli was a great stop for buying an assortment of local cheeses, meats, and olives for aperos back on the boat. They also sell some very cute gift items.

The day had been warm but cloudy, but now the sun came out. So we headed back to the boat, made up some drinks, and relaxed on the trampoline while watching the sunset.
On these chartered yachts the skipper expects to be fed breakfast and lunch onboard; we purchased groceries and told Roko to help himself to whatever he wanted. It's customary to invite your skipper out for dinner or to pay for them to go out. Roko had friends in each port so sometimes he dined with us, and other times he went on his own. On this night he was meeting friends but he recommended we try Batana for dinner that night and called to make us reservations.

Aaron and I split a steak and an order of truffle pasta; both were excellent! I'd highly recommend this cute spot if you find yourself in Starigrad!

Nightcaps and gin rummy were had sitting outside on the stern of our boat. Ah, that yachting life!

The next morning we would sail into Hvar town!

All photos from the Dalmatian Coast cruise here.

Other posts from this trip:


  1. This looks AMAZING! I am a huge boater (CG Certified 100 ton captain), but ALL my boating is here in the Northwest. I would SO LOVE an adventure like this!

    1. You can rent a boat and captain it yourself! It is very affordable if you have a group also. Check into it!!


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