With a population of close to 200,000 Split comes in as the second biggest city in Croatia next to the capital of Zagreb. being on the water, it is by far the most dominant city of the Dalmatian coast with major port for ferries to Italy and the starting point for most people on the sailing tours.
Often called the soul of Dalmatian coast, it's where the locals live, work and party, wedged between the Biokovo mountains and the palm lined Adriatic coast and home to the luxurious ancient palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Your tour starts and finishes here. Make sure you join your Koda Sail rep for a guided walk around the Palace before your final dinner and drinks in the old town.
The 'Pearl of the Adriatic' is for many people the highlight of Croatia. This historic town that was ravaged by war in 1991 leaves very little noticeable damage to the limestone and marble streets and squares. With the most complete set of medieval fortified walls in the world, this city is drenched in history and a bit of Hollywood these days with the filming of the HBO series 'Game fo Thrones'.
The city walls stretch almost 2000m around, offering stunning views over the Adriatic and the traditional red roof tops, this is deservedly, a UNESCO World Heritage city.
We dock up around lunchtime at 'Gruž' aka the New Port, and jump on a bus to the Pile gate where the adventure begins as we check out the old town. Have a wander down the broad medieval paved Stradun high street. Explore the city streets, local shops and walk the walls before finding yourself a bit of beach to swim the afternoon away. A visit to 'Buža' bar this afternoon is highly recommended. Grab a chilled beer, a suntan and maybe a swim before resetting for a big night out on the old town
With a population of around 4000, Korčula oldtown is the highlight of the island of Korčula. Its little medieval walled town is reminiscent of a mini Dubrovnik. The island itself is famed for its expert stone masonry, jewellery making, shipbuilding and its most famous ex-resident, Venetian traveller Marco Polo who was born in Korčula (when under Venetian rule).
He was one of the first Europeans to travel out to China and Mongolia back in the 13th Century way before Columbus, Tasman and Cook ventured out East. He was captured by the Genoese in Korčula during a huge naval battle back in 1298 that gets proudly re-enacted every summer in the town with big celebrations.
During his imprisonment in Genoa he wrote one of the most famous travel books of all time about his journeys 'Il Milione'. Columbus kept and annotated his own copy, hundreds of years later for his own travels, pretty much making it the original Lonely Planet guide!
On the mainland, situated between Split and Makarska is the famous old pirate town of Omiš. Between the 13th and 15th Centuries the local sea Captains weren't too happy about paying out taxes to the rich Venetians so they took it upon themselves to 'supervise' navigation of all the Venetian trading vessels. When Omiš was under the rule of the powerful pirate Dukes of Kacic it enjoyed considerable prosperity and was well known to be a dangerous nest of pirates.
Omiš was a thorn in the side of Venice's medieval naval supremacy, and between the rocky rapids of the river Cetina, the Mirabel Pirate fortress in the old town, and the watchful eye of the Stari Grad Fortress up in the mountains, the pirates had this place pretty well protected!
At about 80km long the island of Hvar is the longest in the Dalmatian coast and second in total size only to its neighbour Brač.
It's also the sunniest place in Croatia with an average of 2724 hours of sun per year!
Lush vineyards amongst the rugged mountains, rolling fields of lavender, tiny inlets and secluded coves, not to mention the pumping nightlife of the medieval streets of Hvar town, make it a must see. On arrival into the port, our boats get a great view of the old town and Spanola fortress up on the hill.
One of the most famous and beautiful national parks in Croatia is found in Mljet. The salt-water lakes of Mljet on the northwest part of the island are amazing. Check out Veliko Jezero (Big Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake) which are only a short walk from the town in the middle of the island. Sheltered and surrounded by pine forests, the nature here is stunning!
Formed 10,000 years ago by rising sea levels they were originally freshwater lakes until the Benedictine Monks came here back in the 12th Century and dug out a channel to the sea. You can still find their peaceful medieval monastery on the island of St. Mary in the big lake (an island in a lake on an island!).
PLITVICE LAKES CROATIA
Tucked away in the mountainous region of Lika, only a few hours north from the port of Split, half-way between the coast and the capital Zagreb, is the amazing Plitvice Lakes National Park.
One of the most visited sites in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes became a protected national park back in 1949, and since 1979 the lakes have also been listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
This amazing natural phenomenon consists of 16 interconnected lakes and over 90 waterfalls of different sizes.
Visit the Lakes before or after your Koda Sail tour. More info on how to get there HERE
KRKA NP CROATIA
Stretching from the western foot of the Dinaric Range into the sea near Šibenik, the 73km Krka River and its wonderful waterfalls define the landscape of Krka National Park.
The waterfalls are the big daddy attraction with the river water creating a canyon up to 200m deep through limestone hills. Moss and algae retain calcium carbonate and encrust it in their roots creating a material called tufa. It's formed by billions of plants growing on top of one another which create barriers in the river that produce the spectacular waterfalls.
Visit the Waterfalls before or after your Koda Sail tour. More info on how to get there HERE
Croatia is located in Europe and shares land borders with Hungary, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Italy.
From London, a non-stop flight is approximately 2h 40m.
Zagreb is situated in the northwestern part of Croatia and is known for its 18th and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture.
The official language of Croatia is Croatian.
English is commonly spoken, particularly by those who work in tourism along with most of the younger generation.
Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna. The currency code is HRK.
ATMs are available across the country along with many foreign exchange counters and credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
Not many passports these days require a visa for their visit to Croatia, however it is recommended that you follow this up with your passport country of issue to see if a visa is required. You can check on this website to get you started:
No specific vaccinations are required for visiting Croatia however it is best advised that you consult your doctor 6 to 8 weeks before you depart.
In Croatia, the standard voltage is 230 V & the frequency is 50 Hz.
There are two associated plug types, types C and F.
Keep these phone numbers handy in case of emergency:
General Emergency 112