Dalmatia is largest Croatian coastal region, well-known for its numerous sunny hours, clean & turquoise waters, ideal sailing conditions and calm sea. Discover with us, how to wine and dine like a true Croatian, while on a sailing tour.
How to wine and dine like a true Croatian, while on a sailing tour.
Dalmatia is largest Croatian coastal region, well-known for its numerous sunny hours, clean & turquoise waters, ideal sailing conditions and calm sea. On the Gastro & Wine sailing tour you will cruise along the magnificent Adriatic coastline, but what is even more exciting, you will be able to try the very best cuisine Croatia has to offer. As well, the region is famous for its authentic food and world-renowned wines, most of which you will taste during this sailing tour. Below you can find a list of indigenous products, as well as the list of the most popular dishes served in Croatian restaurants. We call it a MUST EAT list while in Croatia and we are positive you will want to come back for more.
Top quality wines are produced on Hvar Island and Pelješac Peninsula, because the ideal soil and weather conditions ensure the producers the optimal grape harvest every year. The most famous sorts of white wine are pošip, postup and beleca and of red wine are plavac, plavac mali, dingač and caplar. The sailing trip includes visits to 5 wineries, of which one is located on Hvar Island – Tomić Winery, and the other ones are on Pelješac Peninsula – Korta Katarina, Matuško, St.Hills and Grgich Winery, which is owned by Miljenko Grgich, one of the most famous Croatian expats, who took his knowledge of wine making to the USA and Canada, and won numerous international awards.
The peninsula of Pelješac is a rich vineyard area. There you can try the white wine of Rukatac grape, or wines called Postup and Pošip, but also an even more acknowledged red wines Plavac Mali and Dingač. The grapes have a vivid red color and the wine is fruity and full bodied with comparatively high level of alcohol (13 – 15%).
Touring the wineries is a must when visiting Pelješac. On this tour, we will first visit winery Grgić. Grgić Vina was established in 1996 by legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Croatian-born Miljenko “Mike” Grgich and his daughter, Violet Grgich. Mike started the winery to produce the finest wines from native Dalmatian grapes and concentrates on crafting Croatia’s very best varietals: Plavac Mali and Pošip. ‘Plavac mali’ has a very interesting origin and family background. It has even been subjected to DNA research and has starred in the documentary ‘Dossier Zinfandel’. In this documentary, he states that he had a hard time making a difference between Croatian and Californian vines. Grgich claims that zinfandel’s origins have to be in Croatia and that zinfandel is either ‘Plavac Mali’ or a close relative.
The second winery on this tour will be Matuško winery. It first started as a small wine-tasting cellar but soon developed into a popular tourist destination everyone keeps going back to. Third one, St. Hills winery has an incredible appreciation of the past and is proud of its historic roots. Dingač was the first place in Croatia to be recognized, in 1961, as an appellation with “Protected Geographical Origin°. The last winery on the list is Korta Katarina, where we will also make time for dinner. Americans, Lee and Penny Anderson, had a passion for wine (Original Trustees of the Naples Winter Wine Festival in Naples, Florida) and equally great passion for Croatia, which inspired them to build KORTA KATARINA. They purchased the infamous “Rivijera” hotel in the small Southern Croatian town of Orebić, started purchasing small parcels of land on the Peljesac Peninsula’s Dingac and Postup regions and KK released its first vintage in 2006. All of the wineries on the list are known for their incredible scenery and, more importantly, extraordinary wines.
Along with top quality wines, you will be tasting Dalmatian extra virgin olive oils, which are included in the list of world’s best olive oils, year after year.
Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is a typical ingredient that is used in various ways in Croatian cuisine. All along the Croatian coast, a lot of producers are focusing on growing olive trees and processing olives for its exquisite taste. Croatian producers are often given international praise and awards for the incredible quality of their olive oils.
One of the islands famous for the production of olive oil belongs to The Elaphiti Islands. The Elaphites is a small archipelago consisting of several islands stretching northwest of Dubrovnik, in the Adriatic sea. The name is thought to come from the greek words Elaia and Fitos, meaning ‘olive’ and ‘growing’. One of the islands in this archipelago is the island of Šipan, known for being in the Guinness Book of Records as the island with the largest number of olive trees relative to its size. Its olive oil is renowned thorughout Croatia, and native Miho Bender has won dozens certificates for the quality of olive oil he produces. He grows nine types of olive trees and some of them are more than 400 years old. He uses organic and natural ways of processing and keeps the centuries long tradition.
The most delicious oysters come from Malostonski Bay. Why is that so? This bay is full of clear, sweet water and high concentration of mineral salts, which ensure a particular environment for the growth of oysters. Oysters can be served and prepared in 11 different ways, but the best one is to simply eat them freshly taken out of the water, sprinkled with lemon juice. Many people say that these particular oysters are a strong afrodisiac.
Ston is known for oyster farms, a tradition also dating back from Roman times and the time of the Republic of Dubrovnik till present day. Development of modern mariculture began at the end of 19th century with the establishment of oyster cultivation companies. Perhaps the high-point of this era was the 1936 World Exposition in London. The Grand Prix and Gold Medal for oysters were awarded to a Dubrovnik-based company, ‘Bistrina-cultivation and sale of oysters and other shellfish’, for their oysters from the Mali Ston Bay. Most of the private companies disappeared during the Second World War. The first public company for shellfish rearing, however, was established in Bistrina Bay in 1946. Today, shellfish cultivation in Mali Ston Bay is based only on two species: The European Flat Oyster, Ostrea edulis, and the mussel, Mytilus galloprovinicialis. The cultivation cycle begins with collection of wild spat, sometime after which the young oysters are cemented and hung on ropes, which is a method unique to this area. Mussels are reared mainly using floating or fixed parks, using classic nylon “sockets”.
Solana Ston dates back to the Roman times. In ancient times the area was inhabited by the Ilyrians and Greeks and from 167 B.C. the Romans began opening areas for collecting salt. The Ston salt pans are the oldest in Europe and the largest preserved ones in the history of the Mediterranean. Monumental walls were built in the 14th and 15th centuries as a way to protect the bestselling product of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Today, Ston is one of the oldest active salt pans in the world. The tradition of harvesting salt has been passed on for over 4000 years and salt is still produced in the same way, with only the assistance of the sea, sun and wind. Solana Ston consists of 58 pools divided into 5 groups, as the salt producing process has five stages which last from one to two months, depending on weather conditions. There are nine pools for the crystallization process and all but one – Mundo (world), are named after saints (Francis, Nicholas, Balthazar, Anthony, Joseph, John, Peter and Paul). Salt is produced by sea water evaporation in the big shallow pools of the salt pans, and the harvest and salt production take place during the summer months, more precisely from April to October. From the nine crystallization pools about 500 tons of salt can be harvested annualy.
Cheese and prosciutto with a slice of warm bread and some virgin olive oil are a Croatian delight for your taste buds. Cheeses from Croatia have often won awards for their amazing taste, while Dalmatian prosciutto is known world wide. Although the most famous is the award winning cheese from the island of Pag, there are many more that everyone should taste. Dalmatian prosciutto is produced by drying pork hind legs. The meat is either dried by air or smoke-dried. Prior to drying the meat, it needs to be properly washed, salted and protected from pests. The ham is salted using sea salt which is then removed after about ten days. The meat is taken back to drying, where it’ll then spend another several months or even years. Ideally it takes about a year to dry it. The longer the prosciutto dries, the better it gets when it comes to its quality, richness of flavour and texture.
Cheese from Pag Island (paški sir) is the most valued Croatian cheese, produced of milk from sheep of Pag Island. It is special because of the surrounding where the sheep are kept – Pag Island has an amazing vegetation, even though it is growing on arrid land, the aromatic herbs are present everywhere. Blended with salt brought in during the winter by strong bura wind, the herbs eten by sheep, give the cheese an authentic taste. The cheese from the most famous factory, Gligora, was proclaimed the best sheep cheese in the world, in 2017. An interesting trivia – the owner of Gligora produced this particular cheese by himself, in his own cellar.
Prosciutto in Dalmatia is very specific because of the method of its producion – drying the meat on the winter bura wind. This method is natural and non-agressive, because it dries off the prosciutto meat in the first stage, when the meat contains most of its moist. Thanks to this, it keeps a peerfect aroma.
When it comes to food, fish and sea food are Dalmatia’s gastro treasures. Due to high quality of our sea water and preserved maritime eco system, Dalmatian fish is among the best ones in the world. The most famous authentic ways of prepairing fish dishes are gregada, brudet and peka**.**
Gregada is the oldest Dalmatian way of prepairing a fish meal, which has roots all the way back to times of ancient Greek colonisation. This is not a classical fish soup, nor it is a grilled fish dish – it is a combination of small, white fish, potatoes, onions, spices and wine, blended together by a delicious sauce, which makes it perfectly savoury. Gregada is prepared in a deep pan, unlike brudet, which is prepared in a shallow and wide pan.
Brudet is made with grouper, conger or monkfish, but the best ones are prepared from a mix of these fish types. The fish is simmered on onions and tomatoes, with addition of wine. Brudet is usually served with polenta.
Peka is a synonym not just for the way of preparing food, but for the actual cast iron bell, which is used in the preparation. Cooking ‘Ispod Peke’ literally translates to cooking under the lid. The best thing about Peka is that you can cook all sorts of food under it. Vegetables, meat, fish, octopuse and even bread! It takes a few hours to prepare the whole peka. First, the chamotte grill board has to be warmed up for an hour and a half, on an open fire. After that, the cast iron bell is put into place, with the fish underneath it, and it gets covered by hot coals and ashes. The fish, meat or octopuse are baked for over 2 hours, and it must not be uncovered, to allow the oils inside to naturally reduce. You will have a taste of peka monkfish tails or lamb on this sailing tour on Vis Island. Also, you will be part of a culinary workshop, at the same traditional tavern.
Viška pogača – or pogača from the island of Vis, is a type of baked bread pie, similar to focaccia, filled with anchovies or salty fish, onions and, in some parts of the island, tomatoes.
Pašticada – traditional Dalmatian meat dish, made of beef, marinated for 24 hours in vinegar or wine and then slowly cooked for 4 to 6 hours. It is served with homemade potato gnocchi. Pašticada is a stewed beef dish cooked in special sauce. Although popular all over Croatia, it is often called, it is often called Dalmatinska pašticada because it originates in Dalmatia. It requires long and meticulous preparation: first, the meat is pierced and stuffed with garlic, cloves, carrot and bacon, then salted and marinated in vinegar overnight. The marinated beef is then roasted and cooked with roasted bacon, onions, parsley root, nutmeg, prunes, tomato paste, water and prošek up to five hours, depending on the meat. After cooking, the vegetables are blended into a sauce. In Dalmatia, it is a meal for important feasts, including weddings. It is usually served with gnocchi or homemade pasta.
Rožata is an authentic dessert from the region of Dubrovnik, passed on to the local people from the mighty Venetians. It will remind you of a creme caramel, but with a different twist. Rozata’s main ingredient is a rose liqueur, to which this desert owns its name. UNESCO is considering to include it on their list of intangible heritage.
Crew (Skipper and Hostess)
Water supply on boat
Transfers by tour program
Arrival/departure transfers from/to airport/marina
Yacht fuel & water
Dinghy with outboard engine
Bed sheets & towels
Refundable security deposit
The easiest way to describe this Adriatic pearl, protected by UNESCO as World Heritage, is to say that it is a museum on the open, surrounded by its famous City Walls, including centuries and centuries of proud history, naval tradition and extremely valuable cultural heritage. Thanks to their mighty skillful diplomacy, the rulers of the Dubrovnik Republic maintained their freedom during the entire Medieval times, even from the powerful Venetians and Otomans. To celebrate their freedom, or in Latin, libertas, the main summer event, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, features a ceremony of singing their anthem to the centuries-long freedom. Nowadays, it is a modern playground for moviemakers and world-known producers, placing their King’s Landing or setting for the new Robin Hood version, among these historical stone streets. It is very hard to point out which are the most famous sites in Dubrovnik, as they are all worth visiting, but your tour will include: Onofrio’s Fountain – the proof of how Dubrovnik was progressive in the Renaissance time and ensured clear water for all its citizens, the Franciscan Monastery, with the oldest pharmacy in Croatia, Stradun Street – the largest and most famous street in Dubrovnik, Orlando’s Column and the Cathedral, devoted to St Blaise (Croatian: Sveti Vlaho), the patron saint of Dubrovnik, worshipped as their protector for numerous centuries.
Departure to the island of Šipan, visiting of olive groves and tasting. Swimming break and departure to Kobaš. Our arrival to Ston will be followed by a guided town tour of the town, most oftenly referred to as the home of the European ʺwall of Chinaʺ. The monumental, fortified walls of Ston were built by Dubrovnik Republic, in the 14th century, in order to defend the peninsula and the Republic. Originally, the wall was 7000 meters long, yet now they are left standing in the length of 5,5 km, and they represent the longest stone walls in Europe. The second most important site in Ston is the salt farm, which is still producing this ʺwhite goldʺ in the way that it was done in ancient Roman times.
Mljet is the southernmost and easternmost of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. Untouched nature, the island’s mysticism, olive groves, vineyards and rich forests are ideal places to research the rich flora and fauna, and to peacefully enjoy the pristine beauty of the natural surroundings. Next one is Trstenik—a village situated on the southern coast of the Peljesac peninsula. It is connected to the Croatian mainland by the coastal road via Ston. Orebić is a port town and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county in Croatia. It is located on the Pelješac peninsula on the Dalmatian coast.
Stupe are two small islands – Vela and Mala Stupa – among a dozen of other islands of Korcula Archipelago. The island is sunny all day long although you can always find shade on the opposite side of the sun. It is better to avoid strong sunshine so to take parasol or beach shelter is recommended. There are indeed some patches of mature pine trees and makkia on the island which can also provide welcoming shade to avoid the sun when it is strong. The islands feature a small pebble beach as well as several large areas of smooth rocks suitable for sunbathing.
Upon our arrival to Korčula, you will have a guided tour of the old town, which is often referred to as ʺmini Dubrovnikʺ, because of its elegant architecture and fortified city walls. The tour will include the City Gates, St Mark’s cathedral and a view of the house ruins of the island’s most famous resident from past times – Marco Polo. Legend says that this famous world-traveller, set his sails off into the unknown exactly from Korčula, taking his father and his uncle on his journeys. Another impressive, world-famous character is also tied to this ʺstone roseʺ – Bond.James Bond. How? It’s a secret we will tell you during our tour.
Milna, Hvar. Milna is situated 6 km away from the town of Hvar, in a protected cove with two sandy beaches, separated from each other by a pine forest.
Vis is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, off the Dalmatian Coast. In Vis town, parts of the ancient city walls remain, along with a thermae (public bath). Levaman Fortress houses the Archaeological Museum, with exhibits including a 4th-century-B.C. bronze head of the goddess Artemis and amphorae recovered offshore. On a small peninsula, St. Jerome’s Church and Monastery is built over an ancient Roman theater.
The Pakleni or Paklinski islands (about twenty islets) are located right opposite the town of Hvar. The name of this tiny archipelago comes from the word “paklina”, which is the pine resin once used to coat ships. The chain of islands is approximately 10 kilometres long, formed of limestone. This archipelago is the most beautiful part of the Hvar riviera and has numerous bathing places and a myriad of small, secluded bays with crystal claer sea.
Stari Grad (Pharos) is the oldest town in Croatia. The same year – 384 b.c. when greek philoshoper Aristotel was born in Trakia, the greeks from the island of Paros in Agean sea have settled the town on the island of Hvar, and named it Pharos.
Stari Grad (eng. “old town”) is historical heart of the island of Hvar. The town is situated in a landscape where the blue of the deep bay touches the green of the wide an famous field of Pharos, with vineyards and olive-groves. The town is surrounded with pine tree forest and cooled with summer breeze (maestral). In the hot summer days it is one of the rare Dalmatian places where the air is fresh and the sleep refreshing. A thousand years long history of the Town has left many monuments in the urban structure of the Town.
Hvar is a port and resort town on the Croatian island of Hvar. Yachts fill its harbor in summer. Ferries connect the town with the several Pakleni Islands just offshore. These are home to secluded beaches, such as those around Ždrilca Bay, as well as rocky coves and pine forests. Hula Hula Beach in Hvar and Stipanska Beach on Marinkovac Island are known for their nightlife and lively bars.
Lučice is a favourite cove amongst those who sail around this part of the Brač coastline. The cove has five endings in which you can always find a decent shelter from the wind. Besides those who sail, the cove is interesting for divers because of its cave on the western part of the cove. Along the sandy floor and the dense pine forest, the sea in Lučice has an exquisite sky-blue colour that simply invites the visitors for a swim. You can find accommodation in numerous summer houses, apartments and rooms. The nearby restaurants offer Dalmatian specialities and a rich selection of fresh fish.