Adventures · Travel · Wanderlust

The Yacht Week: Croatia Black Route Review

The Yacht Week. Ahhh…what to say, what to say? “Where to start?” should be the question…cue the daydreaming music ☁️

READ MORE: Travel to Croatia: Zadar and Split, A Two-Day Dalmatian Tale

After an hour of going in circles, we finally arrived at the incredibly difficult to find new-ish Kastela Marina. Thankfully (??), our skipper forgot he worked so we were the last to leave. Oh, and our battery caught fire TWICE! And we didn’t get to do the regatta. All in all, to say it was unorganized is an understatement. #negativenancy

On the positive, we got to see a few things that were off the beaten path. Our skipper was a local and recommended places and areas to check out. And, of course, the Croatian islands are beautiful!! So, can you really complain when you’re sailing the Adriatic Sea?? And even though all the parties weren’t spectacular, the two that were definitely made up for it.

I’ve rated each day and have an overall rating of the week (scroll to the end if you just can’t wait). We’ll take a closer look at each day for even more details, tips and recommendations in posts to follow 😀

Day 1

Living quarters are small and people leave EVERYTHING all over the place…I’ll share my packing list with you soon. Trust me, you’ll only want a carry-on MAX for the week. Yes, that includes your floatie.

Day 1 was mostly a whirlwind. Trying to figure out what was going on, waiting around as everyone left before us, and coming back to a battery that caught fire didn’t set the right tone to start off The Yacht Week #notimpressive When we finally made it to Trogir, we were kind of left out. Everyone had a place to anchor to and was ready for the night. Us, not so much.

Day 1’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐

Day 2

Most of the day was spent groggily getting ready for our departure. Nothing like jumping in the cold sea to wake you up!!

Made it to Hvar, docking at ACI Marina Palmižana at Sveti Klement (the largest of the Paklinski Islands).
Just a short walk from the marina, on the other side of the island we found this beautiful pebbled beach. Tip: Wind down before the night starts by taking a short walk to the right (the only way you can go without walking in the water) to a much quieter area.

Day 2 was very relaxing. It was disappointing not having all the information that everyone else did – information our skipper was supposed to share 😥 If it seems like your skipper is holding out, ask ask ask! It’s annoying to miss out on something you had no idea was even going on. The group dinner was fun, but missing the night’s party was a bummer.

Day 2’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐

Day 3

We started the day with a hike up to the Spanjola Fortress and hiked our pretty little feet all the way to the top. This stop was only halfway up 🙃
Ahhhh…The Yacht Week White Party. This night was definitely my favorite as far as partying goes (it deserves a post all to itself). This was more along the lines of what I was expecting each night. The White Party won’t let you down.
Goodnight, Hvar!! Here is the oldest hotel on the island. Doesn’t the lit up Spanjola Fortress at the top of the island look wonderful?! 😍

Day 3 seemed to really kick The Yacht Week off for me after a rough start. I got to do some exploring on the island, hiked to the island’s fortress with incredible views, and partied the night away like a true yuppie :p

Day 3’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Day 4

Right after coffee we went straight to sailing. We anchored at a bay near Stončica Beach, swam to shore, and walked all the way to the lighthouse. Tip: Don’t go past the yellow arm when you get close to the lighthouse. Someone lives there and there is a dog. Don’t ask how I know that!!
Stončica Beach was the only sandy beach we found the entire week. Lots of family and two bars are located there…make sure to take cash.
READ MORE: Tips to Mismatching Your Bikini
Second stop: Green Caves! You can swim in them and even jump off the top of the cliff into the water. Don’t expect a HUGE cave to swim through. It’s small, but still worthwhile.
Stiniva Beach (voted the Best European Beach in 2016!) was our last adventure before anchoring for the night. You can’t take a motor boat in the area, so we had to anchor just on the other side and take the life boat the rest of the way. It’s a quiet, relaxing space with one bar.

Day 4 was great for exploring. Our skipper really did a good job with letting us stop and take in some different views instead of getting caught up in the mass tourism idea that comes with The Yacht Week – even the cloudy/rainy-ish day couldn’t compete with these spots! When we made it to Komiza for the night, we didn’t have too much time to explore, but we did get to eat some traditional Peka at Grillhouse Bak.

Click here to get a glimpse of the food (fast forward to 1:12 for the Peka 😉 )

The night ended with the beach party at Lunatic Bar. Maybe I was just tired after a long night, but this wasn’t my favorite party. Since we were anchored out in the middle of the ocean, waiting for a water taxi to get back at the end of the night was a pain in the 🍑🍑🍑 Just imagine a late night, a long wait, and an even longer, unorganized line to get a water taxi. I expected a group that claims to have these great parties all the time to at least have this part down.

Day 4’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Day 5

After a rainy/cloudy Day 4, the sunshine was very much appreciated on Day 5 in Vis!! It’s like the weather knew that we had to explore this big town island (is that a thing??)
Vis also introduced us to the wine caves!! Of course, we had to get some wine to remember this trip with. Tip: Have your skipper make a reservation WAAAAY in advance so that you may enjoy dinner and wine in the cave!!
Though this was a day hike up to Ft. George, the night’s Champagne Party was here. The day views are amazing, and the party was filled with champagne. If you weren’t drinking it, you were getting rained on by it 🥂

Day 5 was A LOT of fun. Exploring, wine and a champagne party. There is so much to see and do here that it made me wish we could have stayed longer.

The downside of Day 5 was due to The Yacht Week staff. While fun, the champagne party quickly turned ugly when someone on our crew found a purse and was genuinely trying to return it. In return, he was accused by the drunk girl who lost it and TYW staff quickly turned into jerks…a little more training to handle these type of situations would be useful. Or just common sense. Here’s the purse, there’s the drunk girl who lost it, nothing’s missing, return it, problem solved…but no, instead it was all about which TYW guy was the most macho 😒

Day 5’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐

If it weren’t for the TYW staff being such wannabe baddies, this rating would have been a total 5/5! But, since it was a direct experience from TYW, it’s hard to say the day was better. The best parts of the day were because of me, the worst part was because of TYW. 

Day 6

Day 6 was going to be an open water day. That meant the next 24 hours would be spent only on a boat in the middle of the sea. So the first thing we did was stock up on plenty of food, water and wine beer alcohol other beverages.
Finally a crew picture shows up on this post!! This day was spent in the Natural Bay just outside of Stary Grad. It was a bit chilly, so most of the time was spent hopping from boat to boat, making drinking friends 😶

Day 6 is the day that all yachts are linked next to each other, making one long canal where EVERYONE puts their big floaties in for some lazy, sea drinking. If you coordinate with your crew, you can get a HUGE group float and sit together. At night, in what we were told was a tradition, someone will bring music and jump from one boat to the next for a quick 5 minute dance party. Then you go to the next boat until there are too many people to move. It’s incredibly entertaining!!

Don’t expect to do much of anything else since you’re out in open water for 24 hours. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!! ☀️

Day 6’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐

READ MORE: The Yacht Week Squad Goals: Tips to Getting a Crew for TYW

Day 7

Day 7 started early. We weren’t a part of the regatta (yet another disappointment 😦 ), which meant we sailed on our own.
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But to make up for the regatta, we did get to do some buoys rafting.
We had another quick stop before heading back to the marina. I had to stop and just take in the view one last time 😍

Day 7 was the most relaxing, which works out after a week of constantly going from one thing to the next. There was a closing party that night at a local club in the mainland with shuttles taking you back and forth between it and the marina. We had a Euro Trip to continue the next day, so three of us opted to go out to dinner at Re Di Mare, recommended by a local, and get as ready as possible to continue our journey.

Day 7’s Rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐

We survived The Yacht Week!!

So Basically…

The Yacht Week was unlike any other experience I’ve had. Yes, we had some bad moments, but we also had some great moments! And you can’t beat the view, open water and adventure you get. Would I do The Yacht Week again? Absolutely. BUT…maybe a different route. Would I do The Yacht Week Croatia Route again? No. I’ve had the experience. I know what parts I preferred and which ones I didn’t. And while TYW Croatia Route may not be one to repeat for me, visiting Croatia without TYW is definitely at the top of my list ⚓

So basically…what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the trip, it’s going to be your trip. You can make this the best trip of your life. Or you can make it a mediocre one. With so many people being a part of it, you’re bound to find something bad, but brush it off. If you want to explore, don’t let other Yacht Week-ers, bloggers, internet trolls tell you that Croatia doesn’t have much of a culture. Every single place has its own culture, but you can’t stick to the main tourist areas and expect an authentic experience. If you want to party, great. Just don’t expect every single party to be the best one.

The Yacht Week’s Rating (out of 5):

Image result for 3 stars rating

READ MORE: Plitvice Lakes National Park: A Real Life Fairytale Land…plus some tips!

Have you visited Croatia? Or been on The Yacht Week? What was your favorite part?

Happy Yacht-ing!

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One thought on “The Yacht Week: Croatia Black Route Review

  1. Very cool post! I just got back from Croatia in November after 2 1/2 weeks driving from Venice to Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. I love your write up and I need to teach my wife to follow your packing advice! 🙂 If you want to read about our crazy trip (my wife didn’t know anything about our trip other than departure day and return day) read about it here: https://topochinesvino.com/2016/11/06/ive-a-feeling-were-not-in-croatia-anymore/ This post is our last from the trip but links to the other entries.

    Look forward to your future posts.

    Like

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