Updated: Sep 13, 2019
It’s a question that I’ve had a lot, but there are so many incredible moments and experiences that I had whilst in Croatia that it’s quite difficult to pinpoint what I liked best. I guess this happens a lot with travelling, there’s a number of heightened experiences bunched together into a short timeframe that are so unlike “real life”, and that’s what makes travel addictive!
I’ve tried my best to dwindle the trip down to my top 9 highlights, and each one of them brings back epic vivid memories that I’ll probably never forget! Here’s the deal, if any of these highlights resonate with you, you HAVE to do yourself a favour and book a flight to these incredible islands!! You will not regret it!
We all know that anywhere you go in the world, you can watch the sun rise. But there is something about setting sail at the crack of dawn and sailing into the sunrise that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the world - it’s a whole new perspective.
Every morning, I’d wake up to the gentle hum of the engine and pull myself out of my cabin and up onto the deck. Our skipper would already have the kettle boiled and the sky would begin its beautiful display of colour. It felt like I was the only person in the world....
I think I underestimated just how much could be achieved in the tiny ‘kitchen’ on our boat. Our skipper was not only an amazing sailor with more knowledge of the sea and our planet than anyone I’ve met, but he also turned out to be a pretty awesome chef! The meals he whipped up were fresh and delicious and everyday was something different. When I woke up to the smell of freshly baked banana bread, I came to the conclusion that he’s the perfect man! My favourite thing was to jump into the water and work up an appetite splashing around on the giant unicorn before tucking into the most tasty food! Here’s a few of my faves:
Each morning, our skipper would take us to a surprise location and drop anchor in a beautiful crystal clear bay whilst he prepared scrumptious food for our group of hungry girls. Everyday was breathtaking and you could see countless schools of fish swimming around beneath your feet. We would get our inflatables out or jump on the paddle-board, some days we’d use the flippers and snorkel masks and we’d all transform into giggling children splashing about having the time of our lives in the sea. These moments were absolutely priceless! The water was the perfect hangover cure as well as being an endless supply of fun. We swam alongside stunning fish and somehow steered well clear of the many sea urchins on the rocks.
I mentioned in my previous Croatia blog that our boat was part of what Medsailors call a “Floatilla”. This means that although you have your group on your boat, and your own (amazing) skipper, there’s a fleet of around 8 boats in total that sail around together. So naturally when our boats would dock, we’d mingle and explore with guests from the other boats and meet people from literally all over the world. On our second night, the Medsailors team organised a Punch Party, where headed up to a pretty view point on the island of Vis and they’d filled up large water barrels of vodka punch and a pot of sliced watermelon soaked in pure vodka. As you can imagine, inhibitions were soon out the window and it turned out to be one of my favourite nights on the trip!
The Paddle Board Race
This was our chance to show our competitive side - which considering I was hungover everyday, and a terrible swimmer - was not the best. But I’m not afraid of a challenge 😉There were a series of paddle board challenges we did, I’m gonna go as far as to compare it to a mix between Sports Day and the Olympics. One of the races that we did was in teams of three on each paddle board, we used our arms to row and had to make it all the way around one of the boats and make it back - of course we lost terribly, and almost chocked to death on sea water from laughing so much. My favourite race was when they tied up all eight paddle boards and you had to run across them to the end. I made it across two, and called it a day 🙈One of my favourite afternoons ever!
I had no idea that this was a thing! But on the last night, the guests from all of the floatilla were gathered together and our host gave out awards to those of us who had the funniest stories whilst we’d been on our week of sailing. Some of the awards were very cryptic and made me wonder exactly what had been going on, some were super cringey and others were adorable (like the two that became a Medsailors Couple) I won the Instagram competition with a tricky underwater dome-lens photo I’d taken of the girls! I guess the free bottle of bubbly is the closest thing I’ll get to an Oscar, so I accepted with pride before we partied for the final night of our trip.
Sounds so cliché because there’s so many other gorgeous parts to Croatia, but I honestly had so much fun in Hvar! From meeting a fun group of New Orleans girls in Hula Hula Beach Club, to having our bartender set fire to the bar whilst serving up delicious cocktails in Carpe Diem, to having an old school Hip Hop street party outside Kiva Bar. This was the one day that all 18 Medsailors boats from both itineraries were docked together, so we met loads of people from all over the world who were having the same experience as us - it really was amazing! The view point right at the top is probably one of the best views I’ve ever seen; I looked down at terracotta rooftops, golden rocks, bright blue sea and a marina full of miniature-looking boats and thought to myself “This is the LIFE!”
Wine tasting at Hora Farm
I know all this talk of alcohol is making you this that this trip was one giant booze-fest (which of course it was for me and my girls) But even if you’re not a big drinker, I urge you not the miss out on the wine tasting! This was all organised by Medsailors and cost around £30 for access to the most beautiful vineyards, a 3 course meal and (I can’t remember how many glasses of) delicious wine! The food at Hora Farm is all made on the grounds - when walking around I actually saw tomatoes drying out in the sun for their sun-dried tomato sauce! Incredible! There’s a traditional Croatian dish called Peka which consists of lamb, beef, potatoes, aubergine and generous amounts of all kinds of veg slow roasted under a ceramic bell in an open fire. I wish I could find the words to describe how tasty this was! The whole experience was breathtaking. We watched the sun set over the mountains and guzzled down our wine and had yet another of my favourite moments of the trip.
Sailing the Adriatic
Before the trip, I had visions of a rocky boat, seasickness and cabin fever. I’d be lying if I said a few of the girls didn’t experience a smidge of this, but for the most part, we took on our roles as sea wenches and embraced life at sea. We got hands on with steering the boat, dropping the anchor and raising the sails and one day were lucky enough to have a pod of dolphins swimming alongside the boat as we left Supertar, it almost felt like they were showing us the way. The water transformed from deep blue to crystal clear to turquoise as we made our way around each beautiful island and the backdrops made it impossible to take a bad picture. Definitely a major highlight not to be forgotten
I want wanted to give you the most realistic run-down as possible so I also have included a couple of lowlights that I definitely will not miss! There’s not much, and the good definitely by far outweighs the bad, but here’s my sailing lowlights;
❌Planning when to poop
Contrary to what you may be thinking, there were actually functioning ensuite toilets in each of our cabins. They look just like toilets that we’re used to, however have pump and flush system instead. The only rule was that no ‘solids’ go into the loo whilst it was docked - They could only take place whist the boat was moving. Or when you docked you could visit one of the hotels affiliated with Medsailors and they'd let you use their facilities.. Weirdly, you get used to it pretty quickly. I'm really trying not to go into too much detail here, but I'll admit was nice to come home to a regular functioning loo.
❌Trying to fall asleep in 1 million degree heat
We went to Croatia in the middle of August, I’m sure you can only imagine the heatwave that we landed into.As lovely as our boat was, air conditioning was not a thing and we spent many nights cooking from the inside out in our cosy cabins. We’d either be so exhausted from the days events that we’d pass out regardless, or take a blanket and fall asleep on the front of the boat and feel the cool evening breeze under the stars.
This probably goes without saying, but after a week sailing on our incredible boat, the only way that I can describe leaving it is “heart-wrenchingly painful”. Not only are you leaving behind the beautiful islands of Croatia, but you’re saying goodbye to your daily sea adventures, your freshly cooked food onboard, a group of like-minded world travellers and endless heightened experiences. It’s fair to say that it’s pretty tough to leave it behind!
I hope that this blog paints a detailed picture of what it was like on my epic sailing trip. I seriously cannot wait to have another holiday like it. If you’re having doubts, I’d encourage you to leave them behind on land whilst you go and have the best week of your life!!