Island Hopping Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

July 27 – August 5, 2023

Price listed below the daily itinerary

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Come sail with us for 8 glorious days of luxury aboard our own private yacht as we explore the stunning coast of Croatia and the Pearls of the Adriatic.  We don’t often like to repeat trips but were inundated by AFSers begging me to repeat this cruise. We discovered the newly launched yacht Bellissima two years ago and left behind a long wait list of those who wanted to be a part. Not only have those people been asking for a do-over, but the group who went on the trip said they would do it again in a heartbeat.  Now it’s your turn for some Vitamin Sea!

 Croatia alone will leave you breathless, but this cruise will absolutely blow you away. Along with its gorgeous beaches and shimmering Bluest Aegean Sea, Croatia is filled with natural wonders of sweeping coastal cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, rolling vineyards and year-round sunshine. 13th-century castles dot the landscapes and UNESCO sites abound. In fact, this tiny country has more UNESCO sites per capita than any other on earth! Now, experience it all while being pampered aboard what is virtually our own private yacht. No way do you want a mega-ship here on this unique coastline. Our luxury vessel gets us deep into hidden hamlets of beauty. The spectacular Bellissima only holds 34 guests and with nearly all AFS, it’s like our own private charter.   You’ll get signature service with a concierge team that treats you like royalty and our guides are Croatian Experts. Every day provides unique thrills, and it all ends with a party in unforgettable Dubrovnik, a city that stuns on its own.

This trip is so inclusive with private swim spots in stunning lagoons, daily guided walking tours to iconic sites, evening entertainment, even Wi-Fi aboard. You’ll have free time to wander the postcard-perfect ancient streets of Split, Sibenik, Vis, Korcula, Strom, and witness the magnificent cascading waterfalls of Krka National Park. Plus, most meals are included as our private chefs aboard the Bellissima prepare gourmet meals! We also included the fabulous Blue Cave, a family winery, oyster farm, walled cities, museums and more. From the jet set island of Hvar to the hidden gem of Bisevo, you’ll experience an unspoiled part of Europe in a way that few ever will. These charming towns and ports are off the tourist trodden path and you only need to unpack twice on this dreamy vacation.  

Incomparable Croatia is one of the hottest destinations for 2023, so affordable! And we make it even more so with specially negotiated rates during what is their high season. This is a small-group trip in high demand and will sell out fast. It’s your chance to sail the Aegean in a way that only the uber-rich enjoy.  Book now to grab your cabin choice!

“Everyone keeps asking me how I managed to pull off such a fabulous vacation with Covid restrictions in place and my answer is, travel with AFS Travelers. Honestly, Suzy, I couldn’t even begin to describe how incredible my trip to Croatia was. Everything was seamless. All I had to do was show up and enjoy. I don’t know how you manage to price this trip within my travel budget. I seriously live like a billionaire for 10 days! I had to keep pinching myself when I got on our yacht because it exceeded my expectations in every way.  The food was spectacular. The crew on the ship became like family. I swear I want each one of them to join me on my next AFS trip. And then there was our Croatia group, best group of people ever! Never have I been on a vacation with kinder, engaging and a more caring group of people. Thank you SuzY for putting this trip together. I can’t wait for my next adventure.” – Lisa Forrest 2021

Welcome to Croatia by Lonely Planet   – If your Mediterranean fantasies feature balmy days by sapphire waters in the shade of ancient walled towns, Croatia is the place to turn them into reality.

Coastal Croatia
Croatia’s extraordinary island-speckled coastline is indisputably its main attraction. The first thing that strikes you is the remarkable clarity of the water. When it’s set against a dazzling white pebbly beach, the water sparkles with a jewel-like intensity in shades of emerald and sapphire. There are long sandy and shingly stretches too – perfect for lazy days spent lounging and devouring trashy holiday novels. If that all sounds too relaxing, there are water-based activities at hand to lure you off your sun lounger – snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, just for starters.

The Edge of Empires
Precariously poised between the Balkans and central Europe, this land has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires and republics for millennia. If there’s an upside to this continual dislocation, it’s in the rich cultural legacy that each has left behind. Venetian palaces snuggle up to Napoleonic forts, Roman columns protrude from early Slavic churches, and Viennese mansions face off with Socialist Realist sculpture. Excellent museums showcase treasures that cover the gamut of European history, from the prehistoric to the post-communist, telling a story that is in equal parts fascinating and horrifying.

Beauty on the Inside
Shift your gaze for just a moment from the glittering waters and chances are an almighty mountain will loom into view. The Dinaric Range, which stretches all the way from Italy to Albania, hugs much of the coast. The limestone karst has bequeathed a wonderland of craggy peaks, caverns, river canyons, waterfalls and ridiculously picturesque lakes. Head further inland and things flatten out again into rolling farmland. Active types will find plenty of chances to get among it on the numerous hiking and biking trails, while the more adventurous can have a go at rock climbing, rafting and zip-lining.

Cultural Feast
If you’re lucky enough to cross the tourist/guest barrier and be invited into a local’s home, you’ll soon become acquainted with the refrain ‘Jedi! Jedi! Jedi!’ (Eat! Eat! Eat!). Sharing food and drink plays a big part in the culture here, which speaks both to the nature of Croatian hospitality and to the quality of local produce. Simple, homestyle cooking is a feature of family-run taverns, but increasingly a new breed of chefs are bringing a more adventurous approach to the table. Meanwhile, Croatian wines and olive oils are making their mark on the world stage, garnering top awards.

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

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Click for printable PDF itinerary (Croatia)

July 28th – Arrival to Split

Even flying in, you can peer out the window and see what a gorgeous country awaits. Welcome to Split! Our driver will meet us at Split Airport and take us to our hotel in Split where we’ll have time to freshen up and perhaps explore the local area.

In the early evening, join your tour director for some welcome drinks to meet the rest of our fellow AFSers.

Overnight: 4-star hotel (1 Night)

July 29th – Split Guided Tour & Check in on the Bellissima  B,D

After a leisurely breakfast, our local guide will meet you and take you on a guided tour of what is one of Croatia’s favorite cities. Split is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts an abundance of classic Roman architecture, which includes the splendid Diocletian Palace.

While we are on the tour, our luggage will be transferred to the Bellissima, and we’ll go to the port directly following the tour. We’ll board your beautiful vessel in the early afternoon, where you will get a chance to meet the crew and check into your cabins before the scrumptious welcome dinner on board.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

July 30th – Trogir & Krka National Park  B, L, D

The charming medieval town of Trogir is our first destination today. This UNESCO listed gem with its pristine marina is often compared to a mini-Venice. Before we arrive in Trogir, it’s time to enjoy your first swim stop off the back of the boat. The captain will find a secluded spot for you to take a refreshing swim in the beautiful turquoise sea.

We’ll arrive in Trogir after lunch and have a fabulous trip to the stunning Krka Waterfalls National Park. Spend the afternoon admiring the beautiful waterfalls and lakes and strolling along pathways winding through the lush flora. In the early evening, return to Trogir with free time to enjoy dinner on your own and explore the labyrinth of backstreets and medieval alleyways in this hidden gem.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

July 31st – Golden Horn Beach & Stari Grad (Hvar) B ,L

 We set off from Trogir today during breakfast and sail to the beautiful Island of Hvar. On route we have a swim stop at one of the most famous beaches in the world planned, Zlatni Rat (The Golden Horn Beach). After a refreshing swim near this stunning beach, we continue to the charming town of Stari Grad on Hvar, arriving shortly after lunch.

This afternoon, we’ll be able to sample some locally produced wines at a very sought after family winery, before spending time in the cosmopolitan town of Hvar itself. We’ll have free time to explore this picturesque town at your leisure. In the early evening, you can choose to stay in Hvar and enjoy its thriving restaurant scene or come back to Stari Grad and enjoy a more tranquil dining experience.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)


August 1st – Pakleni Islands & Vis B, L

 Set sail during breakfast from Hvar and head to the peaceful island of Vis, famed for its seclusion and isolation. To get to Vis we sail through the beautiful Pakleni island archipelago which is known for its stunning secluded bays. The captain will dock in one of these bays giving guests an extended swim stop and time to snorkel or use the various water toys on the yacht.

We will arrive in Vis in the mid-afternoon. Vis was once a strategic Yugoslav naval base and off limits to visitors. Due to the island’s seclusion and isolation, Vis has retained a very unique charm that typifies ‘the Mediterranean as it once was.’ Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful waterfront or join the tour leader for a walk up to Fort George, which enjoys truly spectacular views over the island.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

VIS

August 2nd – Blue Cave & Korcula B,L

 We set off early from Vis and head to the Island of Bisevo, home to the magical Blue Cave. On arrival, we’ll have the optional opportunity to enjoy a guided tour inside this beautiful natural phenomenon. The countless blues you see here defy description! (EUR20pp entrance fee payable on the day)

Please note that entry to the Blue Cave is subject to weather and sea conditions.

 After exploring the Blue Cave, we will then sail on to the island of Korčula, which is best known as the birthplace of the famous explorer Marco Polo. Relax on board the Bellissima and admire the stunning secluded bays on route. On arrival in Korcula, we’ll have an expert local guide who will take us on walking tour of the charming Old Town. The picturesque, fortified town was ruled by Venetians in the past and has an ingenious layout in the shape of a fishbone.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

August 3rd – Slano & Ston B, L, D

 We depart from Korcula during breakfast and sail down the beautiful Dalmatian coast. We’ll have an extended swim stop along the pristine Peljesac Peninsula where we can enjoy a multitude of water sports. After lunch, we will arrive in the charming village of Slano, situated on the mainland. It is a peaceful traditional fishermen’s village and the entrance point to Ston, another small, fortified village that is famous for its oysters. After exploring the town’s medieval ramparts, we will take you out on the water to an oyster farm, where you will have the opportunity to sample delicious fresh oysters. The evening is reserved for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board, with live music and entertainment.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

August 4th – Dubrovnik Sightseeing B, L

 On the final day of our cruise, we will depart early to incomparable Dubrovnik. The ancient city boasts many historical buildings that date back to the time of the old Dubrovnik Republic. We will take a cruise along the walls of the old Dubrovnik city center. You will join a guided walking tour of this magnificent city with an expert local guide with free time to explore the old town at your leisure afterward. Tonight, we have a wonderful array of excellent restaurants available within the city walls where we can choose to have dinner.

Overnight: Bellissima (7 nights)

August 5  – Depart for home                     B

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to the crew and to all of our new friends. Check-out is by 9:00 am. Our driver will transfer us to Dubrovnik Airport or your hotel in Dubrovnik if you choose to extend your trip.

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Land & Cruise per person twin share:

Deck One Outside Cabin  $2995  + $50 port charge *  

Deck Two balcony cabin $3395 + $50 port charge *

*$40 add to invoice for hotel gratuities.  Please note 34 participants are needed for private AFS yacht.  If less, a few strangers my join us.

Initial Deposit $600      Second deposit $600 APR 10,  and Final Due May 10

Based on 30 participants

 

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