Island hopping in Croatia — Yacht spots on the Dalmatian Coast
Travel5 Minutes Read

Island hopping in Croatia — Yacht spots on the Dalmatian Coast

February 22, 2022 Share

With summer approaching and the EU lifting COVID restrictions, there has never been a better time to begin planning your next European getaway to Croatia.

Croatia’s Dalmatian coast offers top-class dining, picturesque vineyards as well as windsurfing and paragliding for those with an adventurous streak.

One of the best ways to explore this Mediterranean paradise is by yacht, sailing on the crystal azure waters of the Adriatic Sea.

DDW has picked out some of the best islands to help you begin planning your next European adventure.

Yacht's docked at Hvar, Croatia.
It has never been easier to charter your own Yacht. Credit: Unsplash.

If you don’t have your own, the first step is to charter a yacht, either crewed or bareboat (without crew) if you’re comfortable sailing it yourself. There are several reputable companies that specialise in providing yachts and crews to clients — Sailo is particularly good, Conde Nast Traveller called it the “the Airbnb of boats and yachts.” Most choose to begin their journey in the port town of Split or the famously medieval Dubrovnik.

Adriatic sea seen from the old town, Korčula, Croatia.
Unparalleled views from the old town of Korcula, Croatia. Credit: Matt Dooley.

Korcula is known for its stunning old town and rolling vineyards, the main city was built in the 13th century, although the island has been inhabited for millennia. After docking in the yacht port on the west side of the old town, renting a moped and heading south is a great way to explore the island.

There are several vineyards and olive farms which will let you sample their wares. Stop at Pizzeria Torkul, near Plaza Lambarda, for lunch, they have great pizza and antipasti platters with unparalleled views overlooking the Adriatic.

The city walls of Korčula, Croatia.
Korčula’s city walls house fine dining restaurants. Credit: Matt Dooley.

For dinner, the restaurants on the ramparts of the old town sea wall serve Croatian and international dishes paired with local wines. On the Dalmatian coast, seafood is king, however, there are very good lamb and pork dishes served here as well. Most of the restaurants will serve vegetarian dishes as well, although Croatia is far from a vegetarian paradise. Live music and late-night drinks can be found at several venues near the yacht dock.

Pro tip: Climb the old town’s bell tower in the morning or at sunset for stunning panoramic views of the old town and the Adriatic.

Hvar island at night. Hvar, Croatia.
Hvar is known for its lavish nightlife. Credit: Unsplash.

The island of Hvar is equally impressive. This island is the Dalmatian Coast’s playground for the rich and famous. The docks are full of superyachts and the talk of the town is which A-lister arrived that morning. Some big names who have visited the island include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z and Beyonce. It has even been claimed by MTV that the couple named their child, Blue Ivy, after the plant which grows on the walls of the town.

Hvar is all about the nightlife which can be found surrounding the yacht berths. A favourite for celebrities and locals alike is Carpe Diem, which serves as a cocktail bar by day and an open-air nightclub in the evenings. The parties go on all night. Be sure to bring your going-out gear — no one is dressing down after dark in Hvar.

A monastery on the way to Hvar's secret beach. Hvar, Croatia.
The scenic walk to Hvar’s secret beach is well worth the hike. Credit: Matt Dooley

Pro-tip: If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle — let’s be honest, everyone can use a break after a few nights on the town — head east along the coast from Hvar town. There is, after a short scenic hike, a secluded white stone beach to get away from it all. The restaurant here, Mala Milna serves local wine and seafood dishes.

The harbour at the island of Vis, Croatia.
The idyllic island of Vis is a change of pace from bustling Hvar. Credit: Matt Dooley.

The final island on the tour is the sleepy, far-flung island of Vis. A military base during the Yugoslavian era, the island was only opened to the public in the last two decades.

Vis is famed for being the filming location of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and for its calm, idyllic setting. This is the island where you can truly unwind and slow down as the locals do.

The old town surrounding the harbour in Vis has plenty of bars and restaurants serving up traditional dishes and live music.

Local boats in Vis, Croatia.
Local boats in Vis can take you to the Blue Cave, one of the main tourist attractions. Credit: Unsplash.

Renting a moped and travelling to the other side of the island offers stunning views from the island’s single highway and is worth the trip.

Pro tip: There is an open-air cinema near the main harbour which regularly shows Mamma Mia and other movies. Beer, popcorn and other snacks are served throughout the show. 

Whether you charter a yacht or sail your own, you won’t want to miss out on these three charming islands during your tour of Croatia.