This flotilla is for foodies and wine afficionados. Explore the ancient city of Dubrovnik, Discover Ston and its well-preserved city walls and salt works. Sail the Peljesac Peninsula, revered for its unspoiled beached, endless coves, and scenic valleys. Explore Mljet, Croatia’s most lush, forested island in the Adriatic Sea. All these while sampling wines and local foods and visiting wineries that have been in the same family for centuries. Capt. Jean and “Admiral” Mila have been organizing flotillas in Croatia for the past 14 years. They love to introduce their crew members to the Mediterranean cuisine and the intriguing world of Croatian wines.
One week sailing from one gastronomic experience to another uncovering the rich culture, nature, and history of the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Be wowed by old cities dating back to the Greeks and the Romans while sampling wines and local foods from wineries that that have been in the same family for centuries, with daily opportunities to swim in the crystalline waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Capt. Jean and “Admiral” Mila have been organizing sailing flotillas with American Sailing since 2009 and have introduced many sailors and non-sailors to fascinating destinations in the Mediterranean and Seychelles. They know the sailing waters and show participants places that many tourists do not know. They put a very heavy emphasis on safety while ensuring that all participants go home with fun and unforgettable vacation memories.
Jean, a native of Belgium, lives with Mila, his Peruvian-born wife, in Florida. He holds a USCG 100T Master’s license and is qualified to teach ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 114, and 118. Together they run Whitecaps Sailing, an ASA sailing school in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Leave the ACI Marina and head for nearby Zaton. Our first gastro experience will be in Restaurant Kasar, which has been featured in on Anthony Bourdain’s and Andrew Zimmern’s TV shows.
We head for the small city of Ston, which was the major salt harvesting center for the Republic of Ragusa, as Dubrovnik was known in the 14th and 15thcenturies. It has the longest defensive wall in Europe. We can hike this wall from Ston to Mali Ston on the other side of the mountain. In Mali Ston, we will be shown how they farm their famous oysters and mussels, and we will sample these delicious bivalves with some great wines.
After our tour of Ston and Mali Ston, we sail to the small cove of Kobaš, our destination for the night. We dock at the Gastro Mare restaurant, where we will be treated to a prix fixe menu by Chef Tony. The specialty of the house is seafood elaborately transformed into culinary art by Tony while his partner Maja will serve us one of her delicious desserts. Breakfast will be served Monday morning, before we drop the lines.
Our destination is the small port of Trstenik on the west side of the Pelješac. This part of Croatia is well known for its Plavac Mali and Dingač wines. The Plavac Mali is the ancestor of the Zinfandel and of the Italian Primitivo. Close to the harbor of Trstenik, we will find the Grgić Winery, founded by Miljenko Grgić, or Mike as he is better known in Napa where he also owns the world famous Grgich Hills Estate Winery. We will sample some of his Plavac Mali and Pošip wines with charcuterie boards.
We close the day at the Vitaceae restaurant, overlooking the harbor. It has consistently earned a five-star review on Trip Advisor and after a local digestive grappa, we spend the night on board in the scenic small port.
If you ever wondered where Marco Polo used to live when not traveling all over Asia, then you will find the answer in medieval Korčula, where we arrive on Tuesday afternoon and dock at the ACI Marina.
Visit this picturesque town with small cobblestoned streets and massive watch towers. We have three excellent family-owned wineries on the program, Tasovac and Black Island Winery. For dinner, you have a choice of many very good restaurants in town, or you can join us at the Banja restaurant a few miles outside town, where we found the best sous-vide grilled octopus ever.
We will dock at Ogigija restaurant in the bay of Polace, where we will dine one of the main specialties in Dalmatia, the so-called Peka Check out the ruins of a Roman palace where, according to historical records, the Apostle Paul stayed for a while after having been shipwrecked. The bay is part of a natural park. Work up an appetite with a thirty-minute hike to the lake with a medieval Benedictine Abbey on a small island. The scenery is worth the small effort but, if hiking is not your thing, you can also take a taxi to the lake or rent an electric bike.
We leave the bay of Polace and sail southeast along the coast of Mljet to the small port of Okuklje. Dinner in restaurant Maestral, located in this small but stunningly beautiful harbor.
Friday morning, we will refuel our boats at the pier of the fishing village and then head back to the base in Dubrovnik. On the way, some more swimming and paddleboarding. You are welcome to spend the night aboard.
Disembark by 9:00 a.m.
*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.