Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Split to Dubrovnik is a spectacular tour, offering the same combination of experiences that has become the hallmark of Peter Sommer Travels’ gulet cruises elsewhere: a beautiful, traditional Turkish gulet, fascinating archaeological and historical sites explored in the company of dedicated experts, a wonderful maritime landscape and – of course – delicious local food and wine.
Dalmatia, the southern part of Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, is a region of immense natural beauty and historical significance, an area where many fascinating strands in the story of human struggle and achievement are woven together into an extraordinary tapestry of culture. Even a casual glance at the map reveals much about this unusual place: while Croatia as a whole is set between the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Europe, Dalmatia itself is a country of mountains, sea and islands – important for ancient travellers and traders and perfect for a gulet cruise!
Over the centuries, many peoples have passed through Dalmatia, settled, competed, fought and interacted. From Dalmatian and Illyrian tribesmen via Greek colonists, Roman and Byzantine soldiers and emperors, to Croat warriors, Venetian traders, Ottoman and Italian fleets and French and Austro-Hungarian governors and engineers, they have left behind a unique cultural heritage, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
It is almost impossible to describe the splendour of the miraculously well-preserved Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian at Split, repurposed as a medieval city centre, or the grandeur of Dubrovnik, heart of the thriving Renaissance trading republic of Ragusa, with her broad streets, fine monuments and mighty walls. Both are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage and the tiny and intimate walled town of Korčula on the island of that name, a true Adriatic gem is on the tentative list for World Heritage status. Alongside these, there is much more to be discovered: the lofty slopes of Brač with grand views over the surrounding islands, the theatre-like harbour town of Hvar, its monuments and traditions revealed by a leisurely stroll through lanes and squares, the vineyards of remote Vis, first planted by ancient Greeks from Sicily, engulfed in the scent of wild herbs…
All of these joys await you, along with many opportunities to swim in azure waters, to relax on your elegant gulet, to sample the delicious Croatian cuisine – uniting all the cultural influences that have affected the region with the high-quality meats and fish it produces – and to try the islands’ fine wines. Cruising the Coast of Dalmatia is an unforgettable experience, a holiday of great beauty and a voyage of discovery.
Central to all our gulet holidays is the boat itself. You’ll be staying and cruising on the gorgeous gulet, Perla, sister ship of Sunworld IX, Sunworld 8 and Salmakis, three of our principal and favourite gulets which we have used in Turkey and Greece for many years. Peter experienced the pleasures of Perla when she was based in Turkey many years ago and is delighted that we will be using her in Croatia.
Day 1: Our gulet is about 10 minutes from Split Airport at the Marina Baotić near Trogir. Welcome drinks and dinner on board.
Day 2: In the morning, we enter the harbour of Split, ancient Spalatum. The medieval heart of this lively city sits within the towering remains of the Palace of Diocletian, built for the Roman emperor’s retirement in AD 305 and the best-preserved structure of its kind. We explore its underground vaults, its walls and gates, the wonderful domed cathedral – originally built as Diocletian’s mausoleum – and the Temple of Jupiter. After lunch, we cruise to the fjord-like bay of Pučišća on the island of Brač.
Day 3: We begin the day with a visit to the stonemasonry school of Pučišća, where the island’s ancient tradition of working and producing high-quality stonework continues to this day. Brač stone was used not only in the construction of the Palace of Diocletian, but also in Berlin’s Reichstag and Washington’s White House. After a visit to the archaeological museum in the charming village of Škrip, we ascend the summit of Vidova Gora, the tallest Mountain in the Adriatic islands, to enjoy the splendid view over the Dalmatian coast and islands we’ll be exploring over the coming week. After rejoining our gulet we cruise to the island of Hvar.
Day 4: We explore Hvar town, a labyrinth of stone houses set between slopes and sea, including the archaeological collections housed in the castle overlooking the port and in the seaside Franciscan monastery, which reveal the island’s past identity as the ancient Greek city of Pharos. Later, we cross to the remotest island on our itinerary, beautiful Vis, where we’ll sample some of the famous Vis wines, whose grapes were first grown in the 4th century BC.
Day 5: After a morning visit to the excellent archaeological museum and the remains of the ancient Greek colony of Issa, we cruise east along the lovely island of Korčula towards Korčula town, one of the prettiest in the Adriatic and a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status. The afternoon brings great vistas of Korčula, Hvar and the nearby mainland.
Day 6: We explore the picturesque lanes and squares of Korčula Town and visit its beautiful cathedral, followed by the ecclesiastical museum, a veritable cabinet of curiosities and the city museum with its archaeological exhibit. After a delicious lunch we’ll cruise east for a swim off the verdant island of Mljet. We spend the evening in a pretty cove.
Day 7: Time for the tour’s final highlight. After a leisurely morning and a final swim, we visit Dubrovnik, once better known as Ragusa, Venice’s chief rival in the Adriatic. We tour its remarkable walls, which protected the city from attack for many centuries, explore the grand streets and elaborate monuments of its historic centre and pay a visit to the superb maritime museum. There is also time to take in the place’s unique atmosphere – and perhaps engage in a little shopping. Farewell dinner on the gulet.
Day 8: Departure transfers to Dubrovnik airport, about 40 minutes away.
Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Split (SPU)
Departure Airport – Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
We plan for the gulet to leave the Marina Baotić near Trogir, (approx. 20 minutes from Split Airport) at around 17:00. Embarkation is from 16:00 onwards. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier to drop off your bags, but please be aware that the crew will be busy cleaning and tidying making everything ready for your group so you may not be able to settle in to your cabin. If you arrive at the gulet after 17:00, we will do our best to enable you to join the tour at a convenient time and place. Departure time can be subject to change depending on weather, harbour or other conditions.
Disembarkation in Slano Bay, near Dubrovnik (approx. 40 minutes from Dubrovnik Airport) is around 09:00. We will arrange local transfers from Split airport and to Dubrovnik airport on the first and last day of the tour.
If you are staying in or connecting via Zagreb then the easiest way to get to and from the gulet is to fly. The main domestic airline in Croatia, Croatia Airlines, has a wide selection of flights .
Please note: Flights are subject to change. Please contact the airline for exact details.
If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.
Travel insurance is a requirement of our booking conditions and we recommend you investigate the options thoroughly to make sure that your trip is properly covered. Please be advised some insurers may require you to take out a policy within 15-20 days of booking your holiday to receive all of their insurance benefits.
Citizens of the U.K., EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need visas to visit Croatia. Visitors can visit Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. For more details, please visit the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you are planning to stay in Zagreb before or after your gulet trip please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with suggestions on things to see and do.
Custom tours or additional travel in Croatia
If you are planning to spend any additional time in Croatia before or after your gulet trip please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with suggestions on things to see and do.