Read the full article @upward magazine
Croatia has become Europe’s fastest growing destination. Its untouched nature and more than 1,000 islands, medieval cities donned with white marble streets, rolling coastlines speckled with pristine pebbled beaches, and transparent emerald waters lure travelers from around the world. Adding to its popularity, Croatia is extremely safe and it’s inexpensive compared to most of Europe. It hasn’t (yet) been overrun by the tourist industry so the charm and raw history is accessible and intact.
You can picnic in an ancient Roman coliseum and feel like you’re alone. Whether you’re a foodie, party animal, sporty, family, single, or a history buff, there is something for everyone. I’ve been exploring Croatia for years by car, plane, bus, ferry and bike. However, nothing is more surreal than discovering this enchanting country than with the wind in your sails.
Croatia has now become infamous for Yacht and Sail Week. Seven days of sailing to hidden splendors with people of all ages from around the world, all with the same goal: to have a good time. Book a spot on a boat or rent your own to explore a different island on the daily.
With a few friends and summer upon us, I embarked on my first sailing trip in Croatia. Magic and beauty renders me speechless as I attempt to describe it. Have you ever seen stars so big and close you’ve tried to catch them on your tongue like snowflakes? Wandered a city transformed from an ancient palace with sounds of violins in the distance? Walked on marble streets so smooth you can practically skate? Grilled on a deserted beach? Watched an open-air cinema with the Adriatic Sea as your backdrop? Paddled through glowing blue caves? Enjoyed a sunset celebration?
Our trip was booked through a company called Sail Week Croatia. I was a bit nervous to live on a boat for a week, I’m not exactly a spring chicken and had set high expectations. Our route would lead us to seven different destinations; we didn’t need to plan our itineraries, but rather would arrive to an island to explore for the day, and an extravagant event was organized every evening. Quickly, everyone lost the idea of time or even knowing what day it was.
In the mornings, the Skipper would navigate as we slept so we’d awake to a view of dotted islands over crystal clear open seas with breakfast set on deck. The journey continued with brief stops to wade in the Adriatic and grilling out on deserted beaches. The rest of the days were filled with hikes, massages, wine-tastings and shopping for the best rosemary infused honey. Evenings began with an apéro shared between boats and new friends before heading to a local restaurant to dine on fresh catch grilled and seasoned with only lemon and salt while sipping on the local Lipa Novič wine. Some evenings out on the water, the stars seemed so close, it felt like we could hold them in our hands.
Without giving away all the magic, sailing Croatia is absolutely a must have experience in your lifetime as the secret of this beautiful country can’t be kept safe much longer. My advice is to not drag your feet as the landscape will certainly be built up in the coming years.
I recommend to book with the team at Sailweek Croatia, I’m a repeat customer because why mess with perfection, right? They’ve even offered an exclusive discount for our readers if you mention the code “Ashley” ( valid for Party, Adventure, Ultra & Custom Sail Week )