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2005 Report On Cruising Croatia

By doina — last modified Sep 06, 2005 10:37 AM

Published: 2005-09-06 10:37:58
Countries: Croatia

Croatia is now almost back to normal after the turmoil of the 90’s. The break up of Yugoslavia was a political and cultural upheaval that took over ten years. Croatia boasts miles and miles of unspoiled coastline, hundreds of islands, and rugged mountains. The people here are friendly and welcoming with the added benefit that many speak very good English. The Croatian history and culture is interesting. They are very nationalistic and proud of their traditions.

We have spent six weeks cruising from one island to another. Croatia has tourism figured out. There are many full service marinas interspersed throughout the islands, hundreds of anchorages, small towns with grocery stores and supplies, well marked harbors and channels, and detailed charts of the islands.

Dubrovnik is the most famous city in Croatia and is a World Heritage Site. The city is made up of twisty cobblestone streets and red tile roofed stone buildings, all surrounded by a steep wall fortification. The rich blue Mediterranean Sea and green mountains behind make the contrast in colors sensational! The air smells of pine. Croatia is a low-key refreshing country! We checked into Croatia in Dubrovnik, and after a few days, set out for the islands.

The neat thing about cruising here is that everything is so close. You can sail a few hours to the next anchorage, or simply move around the corner to another lovely spot! The days are long, and there is plenty of time after dropping anchor to swim in crystal clear warm water, hike and explore. There are many charter boat companies here, and Croatia makes a wonderful alternative to chartering in the Caribbean.

Two of our favorite places in Croatia are quite different. One is the KRKA National Park near Sibenik. It is on the mainland. You travel several hours up a river past mountain canyons to a series of waterfalls. They cascade out of the mountain and are quite beautiful. We stayed in a small marina in Skradin which is as close to the falls as permitted. There are river ferries that transport tourists less than 30 minutes to the falls. We went early in the day, and avoided the hordes of tourists that converge on the park via buses and inter-island ferries.

The other favorite spot is Korcula City, on the island of Korcula. It would be hard to conjure up a prettier place. The red tiled roofs of the walled city on a peninsula backed by a range of purple mountains make a captivating site. At every turn we kept saying “Isn’t this the most charming place? Isn’t this something?” While in Korcula we saw a performance of the famous “Moreska” sword dance and other Croatian folk dances.

Soon we’ll check out of this country and head south to the tiny country of Montenegro. That’s another one of the splinter countries of former Yugoslavia. Then, we’ll stop briefly in Albania. Not many western tourists go there, but after contacting the American Embassy in Albania, we’ve decided to stop in the port of Durres.

We have continued to update our website with pictures of our travels and more details about our experiences.

Doug and Judy Decker, s/v LIMERENCE