Sail Croatia with Med Experience – Makarska to Jelsa
After an early morning start from Brac we sailed a couple of hours to a secluded bay for a morning swim. The beauty of having such a small sail boat is the freedom to stop and take a swimming break in a lot of places which the larger boats can’t.
After shown a big compartment of inflatables on board the boat, we quickly blew them up and jumped in for a relaxing dip.
We quickly realised that the greatest luxury about staying on a boat in the middle of the sea is just being able to jump into the water anywhere you fancied.
We docked at our next stop Makarska around late morning, we were dwarfed by other much bigger boats including the other fleet of Sail Croatia boats.
They were stacked together at the dock full of happy holiday people just wanting to party the night away. But we weren’t ready to welcome the night’s activities just yet, so after getting changed and getting a rough idea from our guides of where things were we headed out to explore. What an amazingly good looking holiday family I had with me right?
The main square is surrounded by shops including a covered market full of fresh fruit and vegetables, little tapas and wine bars, and restaurants. The square is filled with flowers with a church in the background making the whole scene extremely picturesque. However, I couldn’t help but notice the opposing mountain looming in the not so far distance which imposed on the town and created a unique backdrop to this seaside town.
We wandered through the beautifully paved streets filled with little shops of all sorts which were all different with their own little charm.
Our wanderings lead us to a little restaurant with wooden tables outside where we settled down to another taste of Dalmatian food. Konoba Kalalarga is a friendly family run restaurant in the back streets of Makarska, with rustic stone walls, large wooden tables and a bar crammed into their little restaurant it is an extremely charming place and perfect for our lunch. Their aim is to upkeep the traditional food of the Dalmatian coast and share this with everyone who dines there.
We had a selection of fresh seafood from the Adriatic sea, grilled fish, octopus and shark were placed on wooden platters and served simply with potatoes and spinach, tomatoes and a bag of fried potatoes with garlic. From this meal, so started our obsession with Croatian potatoes. Shark stew, squid ink risotto with fresh squid and deep fried prawns, calamari and fish simply served with lemon were so fresh and more-ish all washed down with litres of Croatian white wine. All the dishes change daily as everything is freshly caught and the menu changes to whatever they got hold of that day or the day before.
I quickly understood the philosophy of Croatian food just from this meal – local, simple cooking with fresh ingredients. They don’t want to serve anything which isn’t fresh as they have the greatest ingredients on their doorstep.
After a long meal we headed back to the boat to watch the sunset over the marina.
When the sun sets Makarska transforms into a completely different place. The waterfront is filled with music playing from all the boats, bars and clubs which line the main strip next to the water and suddenly everyone comes out to play.
We headed to the infamous Pirate and Sailors party at ‘Deep’ club, just a short walk from where we docked on the waterfront, we dressed in our striped outfits, bandanas and temporary metallic tattoos and went to join the fun.
The club set in a cave hosts this party every week during the summer season and everyone gets into the spirit of the night, don’t worry if you forgot a costume you can easily buy one along the waterfront.
The club is wrapped round a cliff and has bars and seating areas scattered along different platforms on the coastal front with the main dance floor and bar in the cave opening out to a pebble beach. It is unlike any club I have been to before, and a totally unique experience. After dancing till the early morning some of us ventured back to the boat trying to find a midnight snack on the way. The seafront is full of late night snack choices and we luckily stumbled upon a little hole in the wall where two ladies were rolling out fresh dough and making pizza. We each had a slice at first and it was too good we had to go back for more which the rest of our boat appreciated. When we woke the next morning all the large boats had disappeared and it was strangely quiet, after grabbing some pastries for breakfast from a bakery we set off on our next day of adventures.
You know the rule that the best way to get over a hang over is to keep drinking, I feel that the Croatians love to encourage you to put that to the test. After a short sail in the morning after a heavy night out we stopped in another picture perfect bay with other luxurious boats and a beach in the distance.
We tied ourselves to another one of our boats and had a bit of a Brugal rum party with our fellow sailors on the other boats while swapping antics and stories from the night before and our thoughts of Makarska and the trip so far.
Listening to music, swimming, and drinking we spent the best part of the morning drinking rum in the sea.
After all the rum was consumed we packed up our hats, inflatables and happy rum heads and sailed to our next stop on the trip which was Jelsa – one of my favourite stops of the whole trip. A little charming seaside town with beautiful houses with green shutters. We moored up in front of a late night cocktail bar which were setting up a stage for a live band playing that evening. We knew we were in for a late and loud night ahead….Stay tuned for part 3 of my Sailing Croatia series coming up next.
Have you been to Croatia and experienced the cuisine? What was your favourite part? Please share your experiences and thoughts with me in the comments below.
For more information about Med Experience please check out their website.