Broker Aline Serret explores Croatia

Meet the broker

Aline Serret visits the fortifications above Stari Grad
Aline Serret visits the fortifications above Stari Grad

Born in the South of France to a French father and German mother, Aline was raised in two cultures and languages. She graduated from Lyon 3 University and Kingston University London with a Master’s in International Business and Foreign Languages (English and Spanish). Fluent in French, German, English and Spanish and with a passion for travel, Aline started working in hospitality in Provence and later in a grand resort in the Canary Islands. She entered the yachting industry when joining boutique brokerage house MYSEA in 2012 to help launch their London office before joining Burgess as a London-based charter broker in September 2017. Today Aline thoroughly enjoys being involved in our industry as a MYBA member and as a founding member of YPY London (Young Professionals in Yachting). She likes keeping fit and active both in the gym and outdoors and is also a real foodie and an enthusiastic cook.

Why I went

Croatia has always been a very popular yachting destination and I wanted to experience it for myself. I went on a four-day trip on a traditional gulet-style yacht to see why this is such a perennial favourite.

We went in mid-May, before the season had really started, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. And I saw more than enough to appreciate the variety of experiences the Croatian coast offers.

 

The itinerary

Day 1              Split > Stari Grad (Hvar)

We left Split ACI marina and headed for Stari Grad. Passing between Solta and Brac, we saw dolphins! They played with the bow waves for a good 10 minutes.

Just outside Stari Grad bay there is a beautiful anchorage to the left, great for swimming, but we took a dock berth for the night at the entrance of Stari Grad port. We went ashore for a little tour then had dinner at La Gitana - authentic Croatian food served in a lively ambiance with a great owner who played music towards the end of the evening, when we all started dancing.

 

Day 2             Stari Grad > Hvar anchorage (off Hula Hula Beach Club)

Exploring in Stari Grad
Exploring in Stari Grad

We went ashore to visit Stari Grad and the beautiful summer house of local poet Petar Hektorović. For a couple of euros we explored the lush garden, the old house and ruins and a beautiful pond.

Night falls in the historic port of Stari Grad
Night falls in the historic port of Stari Grad

Strolling up the hill we went to the town's fort that is home to an incredible museum with lots of local arts and artefacts.

On the quayside in Stari Grad
On the quayside in Stari Grad

Then we walked back into town to check out the little boutiques, tavernas and souvenir shopping. The promenade is very cute with its cafes and restaurants, very quiet but beautiful and should be visited - it was my favourite spot of the whole trip.

After lunch on board, we left for Hvar island and anchored in a bay not far from Hvar town, off the Hula Hula Beach Club, but far enough not to be disturbed by the buzz of the town. We anchored Med-style, stern to the rocks with lines ashore.

Owners of the nearby Grgić Vina vineyard came on board and gave a presentation and an informal tasting. The Plavac Mali red was excellent!

No visit to Hvar is complete without climbing the hill to see the view across the town and the Adriatic
No visit to Hvar is complete without climbing the hill to see the view across the town and the Adriatic

The Taverna Mareta was a wonderful discovery
The Taverna Mareta was a wonderful discovery

Afterwards, three of us decided to go ashore to stretch our legs and hike up the hill to see the famous panoramic views over Hvar and the archipelago beyond. We were dropped by tender in a beautiful creek with a cute little taverna Mareta before dinner back on board and an early night.

 

Day 3              Hvar > Vis > Bisevo > Komiza > Vis > Hvar town

Anchored stern to off Ravnik island
Anchored stern to off Ravnik island

We left for Vis at 08:00 and anchored stern to the rocks of Ravnik island, just east of Vis and set off by tender to visit the blue cave on Biševo stopping en route at secluded Stiniva bay, a beautiful little boutique beach nestled in the rocks.

The intense colour of Biševo's blue cave
The intense colour of Biševo's blue cave

The blue cave is impressive and the light is very special. Local tenders lead group tours and it takes about 15 minutes.

Back on our tender we made a 30-minute crossing to visit Komiža on Vis island, a tiny fishing village, quiet and authentic, with great seafood restaurants and cafes on the promenade. After a stroll we took a taxi to Vis, a town in two parts: Luka on one side with the big jetty, and Kut (meaning corner) to the east with its pretty little streets and cafes.

Looking across to the port town of Vis
Looking across to the port town of Vis

Vis has an attractive, well-protected bay with lots of buoys for smaller yachts. The most upscale restaurants are Vila Kaliope and Pojoda, and Tezok restaurant is where they shot Mama Mia 2. We were picked up by our tender in the late afternoon and stopped by the green cave, smaller and less dramatic than its blue cousin.

Back on board we cruised back to anchor off Hvar for the night to experience the buzz of Hvar town, famed as the Saint-Tropez of Croatia.

The party town of Hvar by night
The party town of Hvar by night

The historical architecture is stunning
The historical architecture is stunning

We were there in mid-May and it was already very busy with lots of young groups, weekenders and party people. We had drinks at the Central Park Club, which was a great place with live music and a more mellow vibe.

For clubbers Kiva is a good place. Pasarola has an upscale open-air restaurant in the town and a club in the basement, and Carpe Diem Beach Club has a bar in town and shuttles running from the port to the club outside town.

 

Day 4              Hvar town > Split anchorage

Looking out over Hvar
Looking out over Hvar

In the morning we went into Hvar town again to see the abundant cafes and shops, jewellers, souvenir shops, clothes etc. It is a really picturesque, lively town.

The waters of Palmizana bay were gin-clear
The waters of Palmizana bay were gin-clear

After a wander in town we went on a tender tour to the beautiful archipelago off Hvar town including Palmizana bay which has beautifully clear water and a nice pontoon to disembark. Ashore, the Lagnini restaurant is very smart. Neighbour Zoru is also nice and overlooks the bay and Totos is less fancy. A five-minute walk up the bay is Menegeilo restaurant, a quirky and arty place owned by a charismatic lady.

Back on the yacht we cruised towards Split to get a really nice anchorage to the west of the big port called Uvala Kasjuni. It's only a 10-minute tender ride from Split but you wouldn’t think you were close to a major port.

We had dinner on board for the last night and in the morning disembarked at Split ACI marina.

 

About Croatia

Croatia's coast has something for every taste and with so many islands, it's rarely overcrowded
Croatia's coast has something for every taste and with so many islands, it's rarely overcrowded

If you're the sort of person who enjoys being on a yacht, as opposed to being seen to be on a yacht; if you want to enjoy the boat, the sea, the place - then go to Croatia. This is where you can really relax and just enjoy being on the water. 

For snorkelling and swimming in ridiculously clear blue sea, not knowing what lies around the next headland, it's unbeatable.

With hundreds of islands providing an endless supply of coves, great anchorages, inlets and islets, there are simply more choices, more places to go. You can almost always find a place to yourself, if that's what you want. Many of the nicest bays are too deep for smaller sailing yachts to anchor, and you can tie up for the night, stern to the rocks and be undisturbed. Of course, if you're feeling sociable there are also ports and towns with plenty to do ashore. Hvar, Split and Dubrovnik all have good restaurants, shops and nightlife. You’ll also find yourself in a medieval walled city, meandering through a maze of cobbled lanes, surrounded by immaculately preserved history and architecture. From north to south, Šibenik, Trogir, Hvar and Dubrovnik are all UNESCO World Heritage sites.

 

Climate – When to Go

The warmest months are July and August when the air temperature is between 25-35 degrees centigrade (77–95 Fahrenheit) and the sea temperature reaches up to 28 degrees centigrade (83 degrees Fahrenheit). Hvar Island gets the most sun, followed by Split, Korčula Island and Dubrovnik. June and September are also very warm months with average temperatures around 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sea surface temps between 20-25 degrees centigrade ( 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

Getting There

Dubrovnik, Split and Pula all have international airports with regular flights. There is also a small airport in Tivat, Montenegro.

 

Ask about Croatian charters

Editorial