I started planning my trip to Croatia back in February when I realized that I had a week between the end of work and my departure back to Europe. As soon as I realized that I had the time available, I book the trip immediately! I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see such a beautiful country and to enjoy it on the water with Sail Croatia. I was so ready for my first boat cruise!

I ended up leaving a day early because of flight times and decided to treat myself to a hotel room in Split with a roof-top pool and bar *swoon*. All went well with my flight, and after sitting by the pool, I got to sit on the patio and enjoy some tea while watching the sunset.

The next day, I left the hotel early to exchange my dollars into Kuna (the currency in Croatia – 1 USD = 6 kuna) and headed towards the boat. When I boarded the boat, I got checked into my tiny cabin with my Austrailian roommate and soon realized that I was the only American on the boat. Mostly everyone was Australian with a few from the UK, New Zealand, and then just me from America. It was a really cool and eye opening experience! We headed out from Split around lunch time, had a quick swim break, had lunch and stopped in Hvar (a beautiful town but had lots of clubs and bars). We had dinner at a steakhouse and had some gelato before going to bed early. I decided that early in the morning I was going to hike up to the fortress on the hill, so I skipped on the partying.

The next morning I started with a 3 am hike up the Spagniola, a fortress on top of the hill overlooking the water, in order to watch the sunrise and start the morning in a great way. It was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful! I then hearded back down to the boat before leaving Hvar at 6:30a. We starting heading towards another town called Korčula. We had our typical swim stop near the town and ate lunch before docking up at the town. I absolutely loved walking around Korčula. It was so beautiful and quaint and I loved walking up and down the tiny walk ways. I saw some of the highlights like the marina and climbed up the bell tower and ate a tasty sashimi salad next to the boat. I ended up just relaxing on the boat for the evening in order to enjoy the next day.

We left Korčula early in the morning and headed towards Dubrovnik after the swimming spot and lunch. I got to jump off of the boat (yes, it’s allowed) from the top of the boat which was a lot of fun! Eventually, we docked in Dubrovnik where we immediately headed for our walking tour of the city. It was really nice to learn about the long and eccletic history of the city since most of what I gathered was on my own. After the tour we got some gelato and walked around the city walls that enclose the old town. The views were absolutely incredible  and the weather was perfect. Afterwards, we had a whole boat dinner at a Mexican restaurant (which was surprisingly the most authentic I had in a long time). Afterwards, I went out with people on the boat since I was already in the town and headed home relatively early (around 2 am after taking care of one of the girls on the boat). I was definitely ready to rest after this day!

During my second day in Dubrovnik, we had to spend half of the day on the boat since the boat had to move for a bigger boat to dock where we were. We all went swimming and relaxed on the boat and had lunch before eventually docking back up again. As soon as we did, I took a bus to the old town again and was excited to go cliff jumping at a spot I saw from the city wall. It was next to a bar built in the cliffs outside the city walls, and you could walk down steps to the water as well as climb to some jumping spots. It was so cool to see and there were tons of people there. I ended up jumping off of the second highest spot of 3 of the more popular cliffs. It was absolutely gorgeous to swim in and I was happy to paddle around on my own, make some friends, and I even encountered some friends from Madrid who were visiting Dubrovnik as well. Talk about a small world! It was so nice to catch up with them. After the sunset, I ended up heading back to the boat to hang out with others before heading to bed.

The next day we headed towards Mljet which is more or less a huge national park that is the whole island. I absolutely loved the swimming spot this day since it was warm and calm to swim in, and we soon after docked up to explore the island. I ended up getting into the national park for free more or less and was able to swim in one of the two lakes. The water was so salty that I could float so easily! I wanted to walk around more but ended up getting stopped since I didn’t have a ticket, so I went back to swim on the beach and to get ready for the BBQ on the boat. In the evening, we had a little party with people from other boats that we were tied to. It was a lot of fun and I was happy to just chill on the boat. It was a really nice day!

After leaving Mljet early, we left for Markarska, a pirate town that plays heavily on the theme especially for the tourists. After the usual swim and lunch, most of us left for a zip lining adventure over the mountains and gorges which was just gorgeous and a lot of fun (even though the mosquitos did manage to find me and I got quite bit up). After that, the captain cooked burgers for us on the boat and I just ate mine and went to sleep right afterwards. I was absolutely exhausted after hiking for the zip lining.

So, I ended up sleeping 11 hours and felt amazing afterwards! We headed back to Split for our last day and docked back where we started. I went to explore the main square, climbed the bell tower and had a really awesome smoothie. The city was really beautiful and I enjoyed just walking around and taking it all in. All that was left was leaving the boat in the morning the next day and catching my flight back home.

Overall, I had a really awesome time on my cruise! Considering that I’m not a huge party person, I found a good balance between socializing and hanging out on the boat and also seeing as much as I could. I definitely would like to go back and explore more of the country as well as seeing all of the surrounding countries.

-Stephanie in Spain