During our summer travels in Europe, we were counting down the days for Stephen’s family to join us. Many of you ask us what is the hardest part of travelling full time, and that’s being so far away from friends and family for most of the year.
This is why we always try to go on at least one family holiday a year, where we can all share our passion for travel together (yep, travel addiction runs in the family).
This year’s family getaway was quite a special one. Just before we left for Europe we had the most incredible opportunity to surprise Stephens family with a sailing trip through Croatia with Yacht Getaways! This is the most amazing gift we could give them and we feel so, so blessed to be able experience this adventure with them.
Check out our YouTube video below to watch the cutest reaction to us telling them the surprise, and continue scrolling to find out everything we got up to during our week long sailing family adventure with Yacht Getaways.
SUBSCRIBE TO FLYING THE NEST ON YOUTUBE
FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHO ARE YACHT GETAWAYS?
If you are looking for a European summer getaway filled with sun, adventure and a touch of luxury, then Yacht Getaways is perfect for you. Unlike Medsailors, they do not have age restrictions which means it is the perfect choice for a family holiday.
Our Route: Yacht Getaways Croatian Explorer
Day 1: Elaphiti Islands
We said our goodbyes to Dubrovnik (the starting point of our sailing trip) and sailed for a few hours to our very first stop, Elaphiti Islands. We pulled into our secluded bay, Sipan, dropped the anchor and headed to the shore to catch the sunset.
Sipan is basically made up of a bunch of restaurants and cafes all built along the water, so we headed to a bar that would give us the best views to watch the sunset. After a few drinks – and way too many photos – we headed to a restaurant recommended by our skipper for our first authentic Croatian dinner together as a family.
Day 2: Mljet National Park
We woke up bright and early, ready for our morning sail to Mljet. This stunning Croatian island is covered by lush pine forests and dotted with vineyards and small villages – simply breathtaking. Half of the island is dedicated to Mljet National Park, featuring saltwater lakes, with cycling and walking paths.
Once we arrived, we hired a couple of bikes from a shop along the dock and cycled through the national park right up to the large lake. In the distance we could see a monastery and noticed boats were taking people back and forth, so we jumped on.
The Benedictine monastery was erected in the 12th century, and is now a cafe/restaurant. We had a lovely afternoon exploring the island, before cycling back to our catamaran for a night of board games & pizza.
Day 3: Korcula
Today we sailed to Korcula, a spot we have always wanted to visit here in Croatia. Known as Little Dubrovnik, this medieval walled city is one of Croatia’s most treasured islands, though not as popular as we had thought. As the island is a little further away from both Split and Dubrovnik, and the fact that ferries run only in the summer, this makes Korcula have fewer crowds and a much more enjoyable experience than spots like Dubrovnik that are streaming with tourists.
During our time in Korcula we had drinks at the coolest bar called Massimo, located on top of one of the old city wall fortresses. To get into the bar you need to climb a ladder to the top of the fortress, and drinks are brought up via a pulley system on the side of the wall. We highly recommend checking it out during your visit!
Korcula has so many amazing restaurants it was hard to choose which one to try out. We recommend going for a stroll, looking at a few menus and see if anything catches your eye. We had heard about Croatia’s squid ink risotto (yep, it is completely black risotto) and we found a cute spot that served it. We totally recommend trying it. It may not look appetising – but it was delicious!
SUBSCRIBE TO FLYING THE NEST ON YOUTUBE
Day 4: Scedro
After a busy three days, it was time to unwind and simply enjoy the sailing life. We spent the day swimming in the warm, turquoise waters, teaching Stephens parents how to paddle board and eating plenty of delicious food cooked by our on-board host.
To end our day of taking-it-easy we anchored for the night in a tiny, secluded bay called Scedro, located on the south shore of the island of Hvar. Protected as a nature park, this spot is full of beauty and tranquility. There is only one restaurant on shore, serving char-grilled fish (some of the tastiest we have ever had) paired with wine and lots of yummy bread. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Day 5: Stari Grad, Hvar
We woke up to a local guy with a small boat full of freshly baked goods greeting us good morning. He told us that each day at around 7am he visits the yachts docked in the bay selling all sorts of croissants and doughnuts – and ofcourse we bought a plate full of goodies.
After a big breakfast we hit the waters headed towards Stari Grad – our favourite place is all of Croatia. We had visited the year before on our Medsailors trip and we were so excited to be able to share this amazing place with our family. Once we arrived we all grabbed a scoop of ice cream and explored the cute, cobblestoned streets, before getting ready for our wine tasting tour that evening.
Set on a UNESCO World Heritage site, this is one of the most beautiful wineries we have ever visited. We spent the night tasting locals wines, olive oils and nibblies as we enjoyed the sunset.
Day 6: Solta
Today we woke up bright and early to go for a walk through the streets of Stari Grad one last time. We love waking up early to experience cute towns while they are completely clear of tourists. Our favourite bakery had just opened, so we grabbed a couple of croissants before heading off to our next destination.
A few hours of sailing later, we had arrived at Solta Island where we would be spending the night. We decided that we enjoy the afternoon and night taking full advantage of our catamaran. We turned on the music, got out the board games and cooked on board as a family. This turned out to be one of our favourite nights of the trip.
During an intense game of scrabble, a local came up to us on his small boat and had basically a bar set up onboard and he started making us all margaritas! The locals here in Croatia are some of the friendliest we have met along our travels.
SUBSCRIBE TO FLYING THE NEST ON YOUTUBE
Day 7: Trogir, Split
Our sailing trip came and went so quickly, today we reluctantly sailed to our final destination – Trogir. Set within medieval walls on a tiny island, this is one of the most beautiful port towns we have ever visited. The seaside promenade is lined with bars, cafes and yachts and the cobblestoned streets make up a maze to spend the afternoon exploring.
After dinner, we went back to the catamaran to enjoy one final night sleeping on board before it was time to go back to reality.
Our favourite part about Yacht Getaways is … the yachts! The fact that Yacht Getaways (and MedSailors) have modern sailing boats, rather than motor cruises allows you to have the authentic sailing experience that makes these trips so special.
Unlike MedSailors, Yacht Getaways only sails with catamarans (our favorite way to sail!)
Yacht Getaways currently has three types of catamarans: The Premier, The Superior and The Prestige.
Each yacht can accommodate eight people, with four double rooms each having its very own bathroom. On board, you’ll find a fridge (and you’re welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks along with you), a kitchen, a communal lounge and the four double cabins.
Our favourite thing about sailing on a catamaran, compared to a standard yacht, is the huge sunbathing deck with nets to chill out on!
The trip includes breakfast and lunch, both prepared by our on-board host. Each morning we would wake up to a table full of cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit and coffee which we could enjoy while our host cooked us a hot breakfast as well. For lunch, each day was different from pasta salads to delicious quiches along with bottles of wine. Katherine, our host was a fantastic cook and each meal was absolutely delicious!
For dinner, we would eat together as a family each night at a local restaurant recommended by our skipper & host. The food in Croatia is incredible, however it can get a little pricey as we eat at quite secluded areas.
What Does a sailing trip like this cost?
Depending on the time of year you go and type of catamaran you choose, the Croatian Route will cost you £796 to £1273 per person.
7 nights on-board your own catamaran
Qualified RYA Yacht Master Skipper
Hospitality trained on board Host
Breakfast and lunch freshly prepared
Accompanying wine during lunch
BYO – Bring your own drinks and snacks on board
2 Stand Up Paddleboards
Air Conditioning on Superior and Prestige Catamarans
So in terms of what else you need to cover;
Flights, travel insurance
Additional activities (wine tasting)
Evening meals. We spent about $30-40AUD each a day on food.
READ MORE: SAILING THROUGH CROATIA WITH MEDSAILORS
Thanks to Yacht Getaways for inviting Flying The Nest to experience their Croatian Explorer Route and for allowing us to surprise our family with a trip of a lifetime! As always, all opinions are our own.