We departed on an early flight from London Gatwick to Split, this airport has only been open for 1 month it was extremely efficient! A 30 minute transfer took us to our home for the week, the deluxe 5 star yacht MV Katarina, where our tour guide awaited our arrival, after our welcome chat we were free to explore Split, as we had been travelling lunch and a drink was first and there were plenty of restaurants to choose from. We then headed for a stroll around the town and headed back to the ship, we then checked into our comfy cabin. In the evening we had the welcome dinner, a delicious 4 course meal all cooked from local ingredients.
After a lovely relaxing morning we enjoyed an olive oil and white wine tasting onboard, as Croatia produces a huge amount of olives and wine each year, after lunch we arrived in Korcula and took a leisurely stroll around the town, I really loved this as it wasn't crowded, that is the beauty of the small islands. Then after is was back to the ship for a relax. In the evening we took one of Travelsphere's optional excursions, we were picked up by taxi and taken to a local families house, we arrived to a warm welcome and were shown around by a young man who's grandfather owned the old house and restaurant. The family had made a museum from their 700 year old house which contained some old artefacts and an olive press where the olive oil was made. After a good look round we were invited to try some of their homemade brandy - that was strong! Then we were taken to the families restaurant and we rolled macaroni that we were going to have for our dinner! Then we were served a 3 course yummy meal by the other family members, the wine was flowing and it was a wonderful evening chatting to other guests, certainly an experience to remember.
Today we sailed into Dubrovnik, absolutely amazing and I was on the top deck throughout. After lunch we had free time to took a bus into the Old Town and decided to walk the city walls, About 2km in length this offered AMAZING views over the city absolutely stunning. After this we wandered the cut back streets and explored. This evening we were left to choose a restaurant for dinner, we choose one just inside the old town it was lovely and reasonably priced and we even had some live music! It was a lovely evening.
In the morning we had a short transfer back into Dubrovnik for a private guided tour of the city hearing all about Dubrovnik's past, and was really interesting. After this we headed for the cable car and queued for a short while whilst the guide got our tickets. The cable car was up Srd Hill which offer AMAZING views over Dubrovnik, this is an absolute must do when in Dubrovnik and I loved it.
After this we had some free time to a stop for lunch in another lovely restaurant which had view over the harbour area so relaxing watching the boats coming in and out. After lunch we had a stroll around the city - shopping - ice creams - popping in to churches and the cathedral - amazing.
In the evening is was the captain's gala dinner a delicious 4 course meal and we even had 2 local musicians which played local music, in between the courses which mad a really unique and special evening.
After a relaxing morning and after a swim top in the sea and a speed boat ride - all included!- we arrived a beautiful Mljet one of Croatia's most beautiful islands as there is a stunning National Park which has natural salt lakes and dense forest. We had a lovely long walk round and I really enjoyed the peacefulness, you could take a small boat over to the Franciscan monstary where there is a charming church and restaurant. Also you could hire bikes or kayaks. I really loved this as a love the outdoors.
Dinner onboard in the evening was fab, the food on the MV Katarina is certainly 5 star freshly prepared and in such a tiny kitchen!
Today we visited stunning Hvar, we walked to the top of the fortress, which was worth the climb, as it offered stunning views over the bay, there were lots of lovely little shops and streets to explore. After this we headed for and island called Solta, we arrived at sunset and stepped ashore to find another local restaurant. Travelsphere have this trip spot on for the combination of meals onboard and being able to eat locally.
Our final port on this holiday was Split the 2nd largest city in Croatia, everyone went on a guided walking tour, the beautiful old town and the Dioceletain's palace being the highlight, we had a local male quartet sing which was so lovely.
After this we had free time and I decided to take a long walk to the park taking in the forest views and stunning scenery and wildlife along the way. It was a gradual incline and a perfect time of year to do this as not too hot.
In the evening back onboard Katarina, we had a lovely farewell dinner, it's easy to see how people can make such good friends on a small ship as there were about 40 guests onboard.
All in all this was an amazing experience taking in some beautiful scenery, enjoying good company and food and drink.