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Sailing the Dalmatian Coast

Our home for a week When I tell people we went sailing in and around the idyllic islands of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia  I  get blank looks.  Like, where is that? It isn’t that far from Italy—a popular European destination. Take a look at a map. (See Below) . Lots of cruises start at Venice and make their way to Dubrovnik and back. Or on to Istanbul.  Both are great destinations and actually we did the first about five years ago and were so amazed with the beauty we vowed we would return.


 So we chartered a boat with friends and sailed in the area near Trogir (near Split) in May.  If you are a boater,  pay attention.   It is a spectacular area.    And if you like cute, quaint old world villages with great restaurants…..well, it is nirvana.



 The week started with a rainy day but  by the time we pushed off the dock the sun came out and then, Ta Da, a rainbow.  I took this as a sign that we were in for a very good week.  And I was right.  It was darn near perfect.

First Day of Sailing

 We chartered through Dalmatia Charters who set us up with a wonderful Skipper.  He could single handedly manage the boat, knew all the best places to eat and seemed to intuitively “get” our energy levels.   We were not the type of sailers determined to cover huge distances.  We savored and enjoyed every experience. We operated on a languorous, smell-the-roses pace.

Our Croatian Skipper

 So, what are the highlights?

 Cute quaint towns.

I have so many photos of the Pinterest Perfect Villages,  I could do a book.  Here are a few.  Don’t you just love the red roofs? That’s the Venetian influence.   Very old stone.  Low Key. A Wow a Minute.





Hvar—both an island and a town, it has been crowned the new “Amafi Coast” by many– an international tourist destination for the “Beautiful People”  We were not there during “The Season” so we didn’t see any celebrities, but loved poking around shops on the winding hill side streets and eating fresh fish caught that day  in a charming courtyard restaurant.



We loved the  seafood.  It was incredibly  fresh.   Octopus salad is always on the menu so we sampled it every day, enjoying the variations.



 Octopus Salad

 Interesting People

Meeting people.  Occasionally we chatted with the folks in the boats on either side of us when we moored at night.  Most seemed to be from England or Germany.

We ran into these guys a couple of times.  These Hilarious Englishman  have been doing a men’s sailing trip for 15 years.  Every year they get new look-alike shirts and then wear them all week.  Friendly and funny.

Sailors in Croatia

 Croatian Singers

We enjoyed performers of the traditional Croatian folks songs.

Croatian singers

 A Plethora of Boats

I loved seeing all the  boats.  Not surprising.  Evidently during July and August there are a lot of mega-yachts.  We saw more cute, smaller boats or small passenger cruises.








Hope you enjoy these scenes from the week.








Are you wondering where the heck is Croatia? We sailed only a small portion.  Will enjoy going back.



Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Aug 12, 2014 Reply

    Hi Susan, I love your photos…am into quaint these days, as you can tell from my recent purchase in Ada as well as the rental house in Basalt. You have a wonderfully inquisitive mind which takes you to so many interesting places in the world. I have Croatia on my “list”…just need to get there!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Aug 12, 2014 Reply

      Oh, move it up on your travel list. It is a beautiful and friendly country. There are several national parks and wilderness areas. I suspect you could find great hiking and camping experiences along with the sailing.

  2. posted by
    Kati Boland
    Aug 12, 2014 Reply

    Hi Susan, Joel and I were in that part of the world many years ago, taking a mail boat from Venice to Dubrovnik along all of the coastal towns… a wonderful trip full of sights and sounds as you describe. Thanks for the memory. Kati

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Aug 12, 2014 Reply

      I suspect other than Hvar Town which is quite glitzy and we understand filled with celebrities during July and August, Croatia probably hasn’t changed much since you were there. Such a tranquil and unspoiled
      coast line.

  3. posted by
    Peggy DePersia
    Aug 12, 2014 Reply

    Stunning pictures. I wanted to be in virtually every one! It is a beautiful area and the old world feel captivates me every time!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Aug 25, 2014 Reply

      Thanks, Peggy. I appreciate your comment.

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