Enjoy 9 days of sun and sea on a private sailboat as you cruise around some of Croatia's most popular—as well as more remote—Adriatic islands. From Split, you'll chart a course to quiet Vis Island for two nights before continuing to the untouched paradise of Lastovo, the saltwater lakes of Mljet National Park, fortified Korčula, picturesque Hvar, and rugged Brač. You'll swim and snorkel secluded bays, dine on fresh seafood and drink local wine, and drop anchor to visit frozen-in-time island villages.

Highlights

  • Relax under sun and sail as you sail around Vis Island
  • Swim off the coast of small islands en route to remote Lastovo Island
  • Experience the iridescent blue waters of Biševo's Blue Cave
  • Explore Mljet's unspoiled national park and swim in unique saltwater lakes
  • Snorkel the bays and inlets of the wooded and rocky Pakleni islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Split! Split
Day 2 Sail from Split to Vis Vis Town
Day 3 Exploring the Island of Vis Komiža
Day 4 Sail from Vis to Lastovo, Stopping at Blue Cave Lastovo Island
Day 5 Sail from Lastovo to Mljet National Park Mljet Island
Day 6 Sail from Mljet National Park to Korčula Korčula Town
Day 7 Sail from Korčula to Hvar, Explore the Pakleni Islands Hvar Town
Day 8 Sail from Hvar to Split via Brač Split
Day 9 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Split!

Split
Split

From the airport, it's a short (45-minute) drive to the center of Split. Depending on your arrival time, check into your hotel and settle into your accommodation before taking the rest of the afternoon to explore the ancient port city on your own.

Start at Pjaca Square for pretty views of white marble tiles, the Iron Gate (the western entrance to Diocletian's Palace), a Romanesque clock tower with the remains of a medieval sundial, and the 15th-century Town Hall. Stop for lunch at Trattoria Bajamont, just north of the Iron Gate. From there, visit the popular Voćni trg or Fruit Square—a square that got its name from centuries of selling fruit. Here you can enjoy renaissance architecture, influenced during Split's Venetian era. For a bit of shopping and a bite to eat head to Marmont Street, though you'll want to make your way to the waterfront to catch the sunset.

In the evening, take a stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the views over the Adriatic before finding the off-beat Konoba Dioklecijan restaurant, just to the left of the Bronze Gate for a bite to eat, its outdoor terrace built into the walls of famed Diocletian's Palace.

Day 2: Sail from Split to Vis

Scenic view at picturesque Vis Town
Scenic view at picturesque Vis Town

This morning you'll take a private sailboat from Split for a full day of sailing to the quiet island of Vis—the furthest from the coast of the inhabited Croatian islands. Enjoy the sea breeze and the day's sun as you relax and delight your senses with the sound of the waves and a chance sighting of dolphins (if luck is on your side!). On arrival, there will be some time for swimming and snorkeling before docking in Vis Harbor for the night. With few new houses built on the hillside behind Vis Town, you'll relish the feel of this traditional town. 

If you desire to stretch your legs on land, take a stroll of the "center" of town: a long, thin strip of buildings that hug the bay.

Day 3: Exploring the Island of Vis

Typical stone street on Vis
Typical stone street on Vis

Wake up this morning refreshed and disembark the boat to visit the quaint and historic town of Vis. Amble along the seafront promenade, enjoy a morning cappuccino and fresh croissant before it's time to set off to explore the secluded coves interspersed throughout the island. There will be plenty of great opportunities for swimming, diving, and relaxing under the sun and sail as you take in the peaceful setting of Vis. 

When it's time to anchor for the night, you'll find yourself on the western side of the island in an isolated cove near the small, incredibly picturesque town of Komiža. Home to one of the oldest fishing communities on the Adriatic, you might like to hop on land to find your way to a café or restaurant amid 16th-and 17th-century Venetian-style buildings to soak in the charming scenery. And while here, check out the Kaštel, a squat 16th-century fortress that is now home to the comprehensive Fishing Museum. Be sure to check out the traditional falkuša fishing boat.

Day 4: Sail from Vis to Lastovo, Stopping at Blue Cave

The Blue Cave or Modra špilja
The Blue Cave or Modra špilja

Pull up anchor this morning and carry on to the east coast of nearby Biševo Island, a popular (though often crowded) destination, to see the iridescent blue waters of Modra Špilja (Blue Cave). Upon landing on the island, you'll transfer to a cave friendly boat and float inside the cave to discover the natural phenomena for yourself.

Afterward, you'll make the lengthy venture to one of the most isolated islands of Dalmatia, Lastovo, breaking up the voyage with visits to small islands for swimming and to grab a bite to eat. Much like Vis, Lastovo was closed to the world until the late 80s and today remains a relatively untouched paradise keeping its character of centuries past. As the island is loaded with interesting 15th and 16th-century architecture, including churches of various styles and uniquely-shaped cylindrical chimneys, there is much to explore off the boat.

Day 5: Sail from Lastovo to Mljet National Park

Mljet's coastline
Mljet's coastline

Today you will sail further east to the island of Mljet and its national park, charting course first for the archipelago of tiny islands close to Lastovo. A serene paradise of crystal-clear emerald waters, you'll spend a little time exploring before disembarking on Mljet to trek in Mljet National Park. One of the larger Adriatic islands off the Croatian coast, Mljet is a thin strip of land parallel to the Pelješac peninsula and runs 20 miles (32 km) long and up to 2 miles (3 km) wide. The park itself covers a third of the island and is made up of lakes and bays, dense forests, and olive groves.

Rent a bike to explore the unspoiled western side of the island in the National Park and stop to enjoy a unique swim in any of the beautiful lush coves of the island. Popular sights worth a visit include Veliko and Malo Jezero (Large and Small Lake)—two salt lakes in the park, connected by a narrow canal, Soline Bay, and a sea-belt some 500 miles wide off the most prominent cape, the Cape of Mljet. If the mood should strike, stop for a swim in the lakes (which are invariably warmer than the open Adriatic sea!). There's also the option to join a guided tour through the park to visit a 12th-century Benedictine monastery

Day 6: Sail from Mljet National Park to Korčula

Korčula Town (or Old Town)
Korčula Town (or Old Town)

When it's time you'll set sail for Korčula Town on the eastern tip of the island of the same name, where you'll dock for the night. Once an important access point to the territorial waters of the Venetian Republic, disembark your craft to discover Korčula's numerous restaurants, taverns, shops, and bars as you roam the maze of gray stone houses, alleys, churches, and squares.

Enjoy a traditional lunch of lamb and goat in Korčula's Old Town, one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture on the Dalmatian coast. Next, visit the 14th-century Land Gate on top of an elegant staircase, before heading to St. Mark's Cathedral to admire its strange sculptures of beasts and people. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bishop's Treasury next door for a small but impressive art collection, including works from Carpaccio, Bassano, and Tiepolo. From there, you may wish to visit the unremarkable house thought to be the birthplace of Marco Polo.

Day 7: Sail from Korčula to Hvar, Explore the Pakleni Islands

Galesnik Island, the first in line of the Pakleni Islands
Galesnik Island, the first in line of the Pakleni Islands

In the morning you'll set sail for the rugged southern side of Hvar Island, dropping anchor for the numerous swimming opportunities along the way as you cruise past hidden coves and isolated islets. Hvar is often considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world due to its countless days of sun and picturesque landscapes dotted with medieval stone villages amid lavender fields, vineyards, and olive groves. Upon arriving at Hvar's historic port town of the same name, you'll debark to spend a couple of hours to tour Hvar Town's main square, anchored by the Renaissance-era Cathedral, as well as shop and enjoy a little something to eat (gelato!). 

You'll then make the short trip to snorkel and swim the bays and inlets of the nearby Pakleni Islands archipelago. A collection of 14 wooded and rocky islets, the Pakleni Islands are the most beautiful part of the Hvar Riviera and are a favorite retreat for locals and the rich-and-famous seeking to escape the summer heat. After a full day, you'll return to Hvar, where you'll spend the night aboard the boat, anchored in the Hvar harbor.

Day 8: Sail from Hvar to Split via Brač

The island of Brač
The island of Brač

In the morning you'll continue the sailing journey back toward Split. On the way, you'll break up the venture with a trip in and around the island of Brač. The largest of the central Dalmatian islands, Brač is bursting with historic sites dating back to Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages. You'll make one last stop at one of the island's hidden bays for swimming and snorkeling, and if there are time and interest, perhaps a short hike after lunch. 

Upon arriving back in the historic coastal city in the late afternoon, you can make your way to Bačvice Beach to get your land legs back as well as relax on the sand warmed by the day's sun before choosing a nearby restaurant for dinner. An excellent option is Dvor, a café-restaurant featuring contemporary Dalmatian dishes and for something sweet, find your way to Perivoj, a popular dessert spot in one of Split's oldest pleasure gardens.

Day 9: Depart Split

Wander Split and discover its ancient buildings
Wander Split and discover its ancient buildings

If you have a free morning before departing, check out the Green Market (Pazar Market). A lively fruit and vegetable outdoor market just east of the Diocletian Palace, this is a great place to see how the locals shop and to pick up some fruit for your flight home. Farmers from the surrounding areas of Split come into town every day to sell their seasonal local produce from sunrise to 2 pm. 

Depending on traffic, it usually takes 45 minutes to travel from Old Town to the airport. Best to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to your international departure (and with some extra time to drop off your rental car, if you have one).