Growing up in the Netherlands, county of water, it’s no surprise I like water sports. I love diving, snorkeling, surfing and yes… sailing! I was lucky my parents had a boat for years, meaning I spent many weekends exploring Friesland and the ‘Waddeneilanden’.
This year however, I went sailing a little further from home. In the Central Dalmatian Archipelago in Croatia to be exact. It was an awesome trip and very special, because I went there with my husband, parents and parents in law! I love my family and spending a week on a boat together was so much fun.
Because I had been extremely busy at my office job, I had not prepared at all for this sailing trip and had absolutely no idea what to expect of this region of Croatia.
Turns out, it’s totally gorgeous!The islands in the Central Dalmatian Archipelago are spectacular. Wonderful clear water, beautiful bays for snorkeling, green islands and the cutest villages I have ever seen.
Also, the weather was excellent. The only clouds I spotted all week were very early in the morning or right before sunset. Making the views even more spectacular!
So where exactly did I go on this 1 week sailing trip? Check the map below and read along for the itinerary. If you want to know more about the costs of sailing around Croatia for a week you can find all the details in my budget breakdown post.
Day 1: Split
I arrived in Split on a Saturday, like most people chartering a boat for a week. My family and I spent the afternoon strolling around Split, buying some groceries for our trip and familiarizing ourselves with the boat.
I thought Split looked pretty spectacular, with its old buildings and mountainous backdrop. Little did I know the villages on the islands were even prettier…
Day 2: Split – Stari Grad
The next morning we left the marina of Split and set sail to the island Hvar. There are many reasons I love sailing, but mostly because I love being outside all day and gazing over the water without feeling the need to do much else.
At home, I get restless quite easily, feeling like I should clean, do laundry or something else that ‘needs’ to be done. Perhaps that is why being on a boat makes me feel calm, there really isn’t that much you can do after the dishes are cleaned up;-).
Anyway, we sailed to a beautiful bay on the North side of Hvar to go snorkeling. Having just bought a GoPro Camera HERO+ I couldn’t wait to get in the water and try it out. Well, actually my husband did most of the trying out, but I was impressed with the quality of the clips!
The underwater world is so beautiful… And while I prefer diving, snorkeling is definitely a lot of fun too!
After exploring the beautiful bay we continued our way to Stari Grad, our destination for the day. I posted a photo essay about Stari Grad on the blog because wow… just wow.
I had no idea Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe, it was founded 400 years BC! The ancient town is an UNESCO Heritage site and rightfully so, it’s one of the prettiest towns (perhaps even the prettiest town) I have ever seen…
Day 3: Stari Grad – Budikovac
We could hardly tear ourselves away from stunning Stari Grad and postponed our departure as long as we could by having a delicious cup of cappuccino in one of the cute cafes overlooking the harbor. Ultimately we set sail to our next destination: the tiny island Budikovac on the Southeast side of Vis.
We arrived quite late and put off our snorkeling expedition until the next morning. Instead, I spent the evening enjoying the view and the incredible starry night.
Day 4: Budikovac – Vis
The (only) downside to anchoring in the middle of nowhere is that you have to get up every hour to check if the boat is still safely anchored and you haven’t drifted somewhere you don’t want to be (aka near rocks/shallow water). The upside to anchoring in the middle of nowhere is having breakfast with a view. And jumping off the boat in the early morning for a snorkeling trip in beautiful clear water.
A little before noon we set course to the town Vis, on the North side of the island. Vis turned out to be another wonderful town, with scenic streets and historic buildings.
I made a short hike to Tvrđava Sv. Juraj, also known as Fort George. A 200 year old fort built by the British. Unfortunately it was closed, but the views from the top were worth the effort nonetheless. A short walk from the Fort is an old tower, though that one isn’t nearly as well preserved than the Fort.
Day 5: Vis – Biševo – Vis
Around 7am we set course for Biševo, a little island southwest of Vis. The morning view of the church of Vis was stunning…
As was the island Biševo, I would have loved to spend more time here! The bays are absolutely stunning and it would have been nice to do some hiking. However, it’s difficult to stay the night at Biševo. There is no marina and the anchoring ground is said to be of ‘questionable’ quality. With so many cliffs, rocks and reefs around we decided not to take any chances and to return to Vis for the night. But not before we enjoyed an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxing in a wonderful bay on the west side of Biševo.
Day 6: Vis – Vrboska
Another early morning departure (7am) because we wanted to go to the fishing village Vrboska. And as if I wasn’t perfectly content already, it became even better. Because this happened…
Dolphins, swimming right in front of our boat! It was magical…After this amazing encounter we continued our journey to Vrboska, where we arrived early in the afternoon. After exploring both towns, I still can’t decide which one is prettier: Stari Grad or Vrboska…
The hiking trail along the bay of Vrboska was beautiful too and it felt good to stretch my legs after 6 hours of sailing. Well, not technically sailing, because unfortunately there wasn’t that much wind. I didn’t mind though, being on the water is wonderful anyway.
Day 7: Vrboska – Lučice
After a cup of coffee and saying goodbye to Vrboska, we set course to Brač, the island opposite to Hvar. Our chosen spot for the night was the bay Lučice, where I went snorkeling (again) and hiked a bit around the island (again).
What a great life!
Day 8: Lučice – Split
The boat had to be back by 9am so we left our beautiful bay at 6am. The sunrise was breathtaking!
It was the perfect way to end an amazing week on the water…
Approximate travel times
Because there wasn’t that much wind, we ended up motoring most of the time at an average speed of 6 nautical miles per hour. Below you can find the average travel times for the itinerary and download the map.
Day 1: Split ⇒ none
Day 2: Split – Stari Grad ⇒ 4.5 hours
Day 3: Stari Grad – Budikovac ⇒ 5 hours
Day 4: Budikovac – Vis (town) ⇒ 2 hours
Day 5: Vis (town) – Biševo – Vis (town) ⇒ 7 hours return (3.5 hours single trip)
Day 6: Vis (town) – Vrboska ⇒ 6 hours
Day 7: Vrboska – Lučice ⇒ 3 hours
Day 8: Lučice – Split ⇒ 2.5 hours