If you’re looking to plan a trip to the Dalmatian Coast and sail along the Adriatic Sea, you’re going to find all the info you need in this Croatia and Montenegro travel guide. To begin with, you will need to book your flights and I highly recommend using Expedia to do so as it simplifies flying into this part of the world. We decided on a sailing trip so the next thing we needed was a sailboat. There are many boat hiring websites available so you’ll be able to select one that meets your needs by a quick Google search. We opted for a 4 bed, 4 bath sailboat. We also hired a skipper to sail us we were SO lucky to have been assigned a Croatian as a skipper (@tompa_andro) which made our sailing trip unbelievably special as he filled us in on life in Croatia, the history of the country, could communicate with the locals on our behalf and he took us off the beaten path by taking us to deserted islands and to only the most incredible restaurants which I’ll discuss below. The only word I have of advice when booking a boat is to beware that some of these sites are an agent of an agent so you may very well pay agency fees twice which we only discovered on arrival.
We did a return trip to Dubrovnik, however, you could also travel from Split to Dubrovnik or vice versa. This decision should be based on which areas you would most like to see. We thought we would travel further north but with our skipper taking us off the beaten path, we actually saw so much without travelling very far. The main stop offs we made were Mljet, Korčula, Stupe and the Peninsula. From there we extended our stay in Dubrovnik on land before travelling south to Montenegro.
Croatian restaurants not to be missed
- MS Restaurant – Saplunara, Mljet
The restaurant is on the island so they will send a boat to collect you from your boat for dinner. You then walk up along this incredible island to reach the restaurant. There is no running on the island to ensure nature preservation so water is brought onto the island for cooking and other facilities. The food is among the freshest I’ve ever eaten. They are renowned for their wild boar and incredible seafood dishes. The views from the restaurant are beautiful as you are able to view the dense vegetation in contrast to the water and it makes for a really picturesque landscape. The owner was also kind enough to give each of the girls in our group an embroidered bag of lavender too which was so sweet and I’ve kept it on my bedside table ever since.
- Moro Beach – Stupe, Korčula
If you’re in for a fun afternoon, why not take your dingy out to Moro Beach club where you can sip on cocktails and lay on the loungers on Moro Beach, listening to a DJ play until the early evening. If you’d rather skip the DJ and arrive for dinner, you most definitely won’t be disappointed. Moro Beach restaurant change the menu on a daily basis to ensure that they serve only the finest ingredients to their patrons. The staff will also guide you through excellent wine choices for your meals. I had absolutely fantastic wine at this restaurant (which I really regret not stocking up on). The restaurant has such a fun ambience and you will most probably find yourself talking to the table next to you and perhaps joining them for a cigar after dinner (along with the owner of the restaurant).
- Panorama – Old Town, Dubrovnik
You may remember me mention this restaurant in this blog post. If there is one restaurant you choose from this list, it should be this one. While the food is stellar and the drinks great too, it’s the view that no other restaurant in the city can compete with. You will see an aerial view of Old Town, the uninhabited island next door as well as all the sailboats that pass through. The view from this restaurant is most probably the quintessential Dubrovnik picture and the reason so many of us long to visit this beautiful part of the world. To reach this restaurant you can either drive up or take the cable car. There are two dinner time servings so I recommend you book the one around sunset which is exactly what we did. This experience was one of the highlights of my entire life. We were also extremely lucky in that the night we booked happened to be the start of the summer festival so once it was dark, there was a firework display that took our breath away.
What to do:
Mljet: We had so much fun hiring scooters and a tiny, ancient old Fiat Uno and we drove up to the Mljet National Park. There is an entrance fee for the park but it is 100% worth it. We took a walk around the old monastery and then headed to the lake and spent the afternoon swimming before heading back down to our boat that evening for dinner on the water’s edge. I laughed and laughed as we drove around in our little vehicles of choice (doughnut float in tow- how we squeezed that in the Uno, I’ll never know).
Korčula: This little town is so beautiful. I would recommend simply roaming the narrow streets, stopping for coffee, visiting the churches and taking in the spectacular views. This is exactly what we did and it was nothing short of magical. There is something incredibly special about Korčula.
Peninsula: If you make a stop here, wine tasting will be the highlight of your agenda. There are some marvellous vineyards and tasting rooms and you’ll learn so much history about Croatian wine in this region. You will also test rakija, a very strong spirit that every Croat is fond of for multiple reasons.
Dubrovnik: If there is one thing I suggest for this city, it is a walking tour. The old town of Dubrovnik will be buzzing with tour guides trying to take you on the “Game of Thrones” tour, however, I would really recommend taking the history walking tour. There are far fewer people that do this tour so we actually had the tour guide to ourselves. Not only did she point out all the major Game of Thrones areas but she also taught us so much about the history and culture of the people of Dubrovnik. It’s well worth doing and your guide will point out so many little secrets in the town that you would have missed had you strolled on by.
Bay of Kotor: We had intended on climbing the city wall but the night before happened to be a wild night for the group of us and everyone else thought I was mad when I was preparing my water bottle, etc. at 6 am. It also happened to be over 40 degrees that day so there was a chronic sense of humour failure when I tried to coax the group along. We settled instead on visiting the next town down, namely, Perast. This is a must-do in my opinion. We had no idea what to expect but we stumbled on to a real gem. The views of the water are breathtaking! We climbed the bell tower to take in the view of the mountains and the water and it was simply spectacular. I honestly felt as though we had found a slice of heaven. We decided to catch a ferry to the tiny island in the centre of the sea and discovered a church and an old military look-out point. Standing on this little island in the centre of the water and between magnificent hills was rather spectacular. As an added extra, my friend spotted Adrianna Lima so needless to say the boys were thrilled!
I hope this blog post provides you with some useful tips for planning your trip to the Dalmatian Coast. If you’d like to see more of my travel tips for Croatia and Montenegro, be sure to visit my previous posts here, here and here. Here is my Croatia and Montenegro travel vlog too which I hope you enjoy!