Montenegro & Croatia

- 14 DAYS -

There is so much natural and architectural beauty packed along this coast! Crystal-clear waters, beautiful medieval cities, hundreds of tiny islands, well-hidden jewels waiting to be discovered by you, as you sail from one to the other...

Kotor Bay

Your acquaintance with Montenegro begins as you leave Tibat and enter the Bay of Kotor heading to the lovely port of Perast. This is an interesting, old, town with plenty of churches and museums and the famous landmark of Our Lady of the Rocks; according to the legend this artificial islet was created over the centuries by seamen who laid a rock in the Bay every time they returned from a successful voyage. You will spend the night in the medieval city of Kotor, situated practically in a fjord surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. You are privileged to be arriving by sea as the views on the way in are absolutely stunning. Keep your cameras or mobile phones handy! 

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On to Croatia starting with the charming town of Cavtat perched on a peninsula between two sandy beaches. Cavtat is all about colour: the blue of the sea, green of pine trees, red of roofs, the mauve, pink and yellow of the flowers everywhere. The waters all around the peninsula are perfect for swimming and the town itself, home to one of Croatia’s most celebrated artists, Vlaho Bukovac, has many interesting things to see. At night, in the distance, you can see the twinkling lights of Dubrovnik, your next destination.

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Croatia’s “pearl of the Adriatic” is a breathtakingly beautiful city, enclosed by walls and by the sparkling blue sea. So much to see and do in only one day - but an excellent excuse for returning soon! Sightseeing –although quite touristy, the walk around the city walls is a great way to see the town and if you get too hot you can always dive straight into the sea- excellent restaurants, lively seaside social clubs and bars… there is something for everyone here in Game of Thrones-fame Dubrovnik! 

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After the hussle and bussle of the cities it’s time for some quiet time… No better place for this than Sipan, the largest of the Elaphite islands, a verdant paradise with excellent local wine. Olive and citrus groves, vineyards and fig trees abound and anywhere you anchor the water will be delightful for a swim. In the evening you may choose to go ashore to the quiet little village of Sudurad or stay onboard and enjoy the pleasures of dolce far niente!

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The greenest island of Croatia is next on the menu and Polace, close to the National Park, is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, experiencing the rich marine life of Mijet; if you want to stretch your legs and burn off some of the delicious food you have been eating, the hike up Montokuc will reward you with stunning views of the lakes and ocean. 

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A nature park in its entirety Lastovo is the definition of remote and quiet; a great place for diving, if that’s on your agenda, but also for swimming, walking and enjoying unspoilt nature. Lastovo Town is a quaint tumbledown village of stone houses with sleepy cats decorating its walls and shady corners!

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More beautiful nature and sparkling friendly seas await you on the island of Korcula, which is made up of numerous isles and inlets that are covered in lush greenery that lends its colour to the water. The city of Korcula is a beautifully maintained medieval town and is thought to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. It is also home to some splendid fish restaurants that you will no doubt want to explore.

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It is hard to have a favourite among the over 700 Croatian islands –only 47 of them inhabited- but Vis is definitely among the top destinations. Closed to the public until 1989, as it was a military and naval base, it largely escaped sweeping commercial development and retained its natural and architectural beauty. The southern coast is dotted with secluded coves and bays to enjoy swimming in peace before you head for the port of Vis for some lively sightseeing.

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Pakleni (Paklinski) islands cluster opposite the island of Hvar which is today’s final destination; they may look alike from the air but they are interestingly diverse from up close and each one attracts a different type of holiday-maker, from the nudist to the chic socialite.  Pick your swimming spot of choice and enjoy another relaxing day on the water. The glitzy town of Hvar is right next door: a 13th century walls surround beautifully ornamented Gothic palaces and marble pedestrian streets. Hvar is considered Croatia’s premier party-town so if you happen to be in the mood for some lively nightlife there will be plenty of choice!

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Swim in Brac

Hvar or Brac? A question frequently asked by those who have to choose but you have the freedom to see both! Brac is less than an hour away and, if Hvar is famous as a party-town, Brac is renowned worldwide for its radiantly white stone –yes, the White House was built with it!- and the gorgeous white pebble beach of Zlatni Rat, close to main town of Bol. 

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It’s time for a longer crossing to Sibenic, a magnificent medieval city, gleaming white against the blue of the Adriatic, home to the cathedral of St. James, a World Heritage Site, that is reputed to be the only church in the world that has been built entirely from stone, without brick or wooden support. The stone backstreets and alleyways of Sibenik, Croatia’s oldest town on the Adriatic are a joy to explore. Close by is the Krka National Park, a picture-perfect park with 17 natural waterfalls, that is worth a visit. 

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To some Zadar is the coolest city in Croatia mainly because of its two extraordinary, funky art installations: the Monument to the Sun and the Sea Organ. Moreover, according to Alfred Hitchcock Zadar has the most impressive sunset in the world. And it is home to an exotic white sand beach with shallow turquoise waters, Saharun. Even if the above are slight exaggerations, Zadar is well worth a visit and the small islands off its coast are great for isolated swims. 

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The Kornati islands form an archipelago of 140 uninhabited islands that are a far cry from the lushly green islands of the previous days. These are mostly barren islands whose karstic terrain has riddled them with cracks, caves, grottoes and rugged cliffs; the stark whiteness of startling rock formations against the deep blue of the sea is a wonderful sight. 

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One cannot leave Croatia without visiting Split, whose beauty convinced the Emperor Diocletian to build a retirement palace in which to spend the last years of his life. The heart of the city still beats in this palace that dominates the seafront; cafés, restaurants, shops buzz with life inside its ancient walls. Split, Croatia’s second largest city manages to maintain the right balance of tradition and modernity and it is the perfect ending to your two-week escape. 

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