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Ancient walled cities studded with cobbled streets and topped with terracotta roofs line the Dalmatian coastline, the air sweet with the fragrance of oranges and over-ripe figsThursday, 13 June 2019

Ancient walled cities studded with cobbled streets and topped with terracotta roofs line the Dalmatian coastline, the air sweet with the fragrance of oranges and over-ripe figs. With some of Europe’s cleanest waters and no more than 10 nautical miles between each of more than 1,000 islands, the area is increasingly popular for sailing holidays, both with and without a professional skipper.

Temperatures in the summer reach as high as 35C, and average around 25C, with a cool breeze rustling through the pine trees. Visitors can head off towards three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the famous city of Dubrovnik. It has been a place of great importance throughout history, from its time as a crucial Venetian trading post to the role the city played in the war of independence in the early 1990s.

A little way off the coast, and a short sail from Dubrovnik, lie the exquisite islands of Lopud, Sipan, Mljet, Korcula, Lastovo and Hvar, each brimming with unique character and sense of cultural identity.

The topographical layout of the region makes it easy to navigate, and Sunsail’s skippers ensure the area is accessible to everyone.

Discovered by ancient Greco-Roman geographers, the island of Mljet is referred to as the greenest island in the Adriatic — it’s home to a national park and also has two inland salt lakes. The island once housed an order of industrious Benedictine monks, who dug a channel from the bigger lake all the way to the south coast, thus turning both fresh-water lakes into seawater ones.

Visitors to Korcula can sail past the iconic ‘mini-Dubrovnik’ before mooring up and stepping ashore to visit the rumoured birthplace of the explorer Marco Polo. The small, unassuming town of Ston, tucked away at the end of the Stonski Canal, is home to the second-longest defensive stone wall in the world, behind the Great Wall of China, and is also the location of Europe’s oldest salt flats, dating from the 15th century.

Sailing holidays are an increasingly popular option for visitors to Croatia who value authentic experiences over traditional fly-and-flop trips.

DON'T MISS

Sail to Okuklje, drop anchor and toast travels with a meal in the Maestral restaurant, for fine dining and spectacular waterfront views

NEED TO KNOW

KEY FACILITIES

• Access to 1,000 Dalmatian Islands
• UNESCO World Heritage sites
• Hire a skipper or go bareboat
• Private transfers

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