CROATIA: Travel Bucket List Location
The television show Below Deck is my secret addiction. For anybody who knows me really well knows that I absolutely love this television show and the characters, I follow them on Instagram and I feel like I've gotten to know them over the years and it really has become a very guilty pleasure. Kate Chastain is my bougie hero, captain Lee is just an old stud. So last year when I was given the opportunity to go on a private yacht sailing through Croatia you better believe that I hopped on that chance. I earned the trip as one of the top performers in our franchise across Canada so not only was it a reward trip, I was looking very forward to living the life yacht charter guest.
I took a dear friend of mine on this trip and it was an adventure from the second we left. Upgraded to the front of the beautiful Dreamliner with WestJet our service started off on a very high note it was a long flight to Paris From Paris we flew to Zagreb from Zagreb to Split. We spent the night in Split and the next day headed to the yacht slip to board our boat for the next 7 nights 8 days.
Once we checked into our stateroom and did a tour of the boat it was now up to us to sit back and enjoy. We were treated to a tour of Split , a walking tour of the Palace of Diocletian, such incredible Roman architecture . That first evening was a welcome reception and beautiful cocktail party and we were off. Our yacht director's name was, Mathieu and I knew the second that I met him he was my kind of people. He didn't hesitate to let me know that Below Deck is simply just a reality TV show and it's not real life on a yacht …..I refused to believe him and didn't hesitate to yell out “three shots” when they dropped anchor.
After departing Split, we sailed to the most incredible island of Korcula the birthplace of Marco Polo . This island is full of bars and restaurants and it just so happened to be the Half New Year celebration while we were there. There was an incredible parade in the streets that all of the locals took part in dressed up in their costumes and that night there was music to the wee hours of the night and drinks and an open air party that was the most incredible festivity I had been part of in a very long time.
Sailing the next day too Mljet in the South of the island, spending some time in this beautiful National Park walking around and enjoying an ancient Benedictine Monastery. There is an area in Mijet where the salt level in the water is a higher concentration is than the water itself and you can float effortlessly, of course we took an opportunity to cool off in this area. We were not expecting what was to come next.
Some friends of mine and I decided we were going to head back to the yacht and we took off on our own on a walk……… and let me tell you, we were turned around and before you know it we were lost on this beautiful island. We weren't lost on a trail, we were lost in the forest on this island. I'm not really sure how it got this bad so quick but thank goodness for iPhones and GPS however our yacht was pulling out of the slip and we were not there. I did learn very quickly where my adventure differed from Below Deck, the yacht would take off without us had we not made it on the boat in fact they did .
By the time we got out of the forest and ran back to the port our boat was already pulled out of the slip, and a new boat was in our position. We ended up having to be carried up over another yacht running through it and jumping on to ours on the other side, an adventure this certainly was.
Off to Dubrovnik we went and recently I did a podcast episode called Insurance is for Worriers. My dear friend who was on this trip with me ended up being taken off of the yacht and placed in the hospital in Dubrovnik overnight. Take a listen to the episode to find out what happened, it was not anything we had ever planned on.
Dubrovnik is a magical place and if you're a Game of Thrones fan it is certainly something you would want to see. Even as someone who ever got involved in that show, the walled city of Dubrovnik is incredible and something to be taken in. Magical at night, hard to describe to be able to do it justice. An open square where people socialize and enjoy others company sharing in music, beverages and conversation. There was even an evening with an impromptu concert with Mr. Tom Jones himself in the square, talk about timing. Make sure if you're ever in this beautiful magical city you take the cable car from the Old Town up to the top of the mountain to enjoy the scenic views of the Elaphiti islands.
We sailed from Dubrovnik to Trstenik coolest little fishing village, the summertime population is 117 people, and in winter is only 40-50 mostly women. We spent the day on the beach taking in the views and had an incredible dinner that night. We were all in awe of the Contiki boat that sailed in while we were there. Oh to be young again, if only I was about 10 years younger. This boat was full of young people exploring Croatia, meeting new people having fun and living their best lives. We all sort of sat back and stared at them and thought man oh man if only we could go back in time.
A wonderful thing about being on a smaller boat dedicated to the people that you are traveling with is you're able to make alterations in travel plans. You're not going into large cruise ports with thousands of people getting off of boats at once . You have the ability to take these beautiful boats into smaller areas and see sites that you never would get to see otherwise. You're able to stop at remote locations just to simply jump in the beautiful water and swim or enjoy a break.
The next day we continued on our adventure from Trstenilk to the gorgeous Hvar. This was certainly my most favorite stop on this entire trip. Hvar changes considerably from day to night and it's remarkable to watch the shift. During the day it's a walking town, you're able to sit and have a beverage or shop or just take in the sights. At night it turns in to nothing but excitement and the best nightlife on a vacation you could ask for. I've always seen photos in magazines and it's been a stop for celebrities for years but to experience it myself was incredible . I would go back and spend a week in this area and their claim is that they are the sunniest spot in all of Europe!
As the trip was starting to wind down, it was a harsh reality that we were going to be leaving this luxury life back to our disenchanted existence. Setting sail to Bol, we made a short stop at Horseshoe Beach for one last beach break. On our final night, anchored in Milna, Brac we were entertained by an incredible party on the boat with musical entertainment where we danced the night away and thanked the people who had so graciously taken care of us for the past week.
Hands down one of the best experiences I've ever had on a trip. If you ever have the opportunity to go on a group trip with your friends or family I highly recommend this style of vacation period it is much more affordable than you think and the experience is unmatched.
Email me or DM me on Instagram if you want to know more about Croatia!
Be sure to listen to my podcast "Insurance Is For Worriers"