Croatia’s glittering coastline lures in visitors with its marble-white sands and sapphire seas. But look beyond the beaches, and you’ll discover this country’s brightest gems are in fact its seemingly countless UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Explore Croatia by yacht charter and uncover its intriguing past, hidden in and around this stunning coastline.
Approaching Dubrovnik from the sea, you’ll understand why poet Lord Byron nicknamed this city ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’. This UNESCO city seems fresh from a fairytale, though its tumultuous past tells a much darker story. What once protected the city from ruthless invaders now protects its cultural heritage – the ancient city walls are both imposing and enchanting, widely regarded as some of the most impressive in the world. The wall you see today spans many centuries, with parts reaching as far back as the 800s.
Dock your luxury yacht charter and spend a day exploring this ancient city, starting with the wall. Then, continue your cultural tour at Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece the Rector’s Palace – home of the Cultural History Museum and the set of many scenes from world-famous TV series Game of Thrones.
You’ve had your fantasy culture fix. Now it’s time to wind down your day with a show-stopping view. Take the cable car up to Srđ Hill and watch the sun sink into the sea, while the Elafiti Islands sit like scattered dice in the distance.
The tiny town of Poreč feels a world away from bustling Dubrovnik, but this unassuming place is home to the spectacular UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica. This 6th-century site is one of Europe’s most impeccably-preserved examples of Byzantine art, with the basilica having remained almost completely intact since its creation.
The marriage of early Christian and Byzantine architecture makes this church truly unique – its arches were brought in from Constantinople (now Istanbul) and sit alongside religious mosaics depicting spectacular scenes of Christ and the Virgin Mary. From the baptistry, gaze out at the old town of Poreč and the rugged coastline stretching out in front of you, drinking in the beautiful sites.
In the city of Split, old and new worlds collide. Ruins dating back to the 119th-century BC tell of gruesome historic battles. Glitzy, palm-lined ports beckon some of the most dazzling luxury yacht charters in Croatia. And UNESCO sites form the bones of this ancient city, making it a must-see site on your cultural trip.
The Diocletian’s Palace was first built in the 4th century, and today it still stands as the city’s beating heart, with bars and restaurants lining its maze-like streets. Take in the towering white stone arches as you enjoy a bite at one of the wine bars below. Stroll the tiny streets and meet the locals living their day-to-day lives. And be sure to stay for sunset, where this palace-turned-playground really comes to life.
This cathedral is another of Split’s unmissable UNESCO sites. Wrapped in impressive columns, this ancient Roman building is one of the best preserved in the world. The Roman bell tower boasts unbeatable views of the old town, while the underground crypt encircled by stone walls forms the eerie shrine of St Lucy. Elsewhere in the cathedral, Glagolitic documents and historical artifacts fill the treasury. And in the choir, you can find the oldest Romanesque seats in Dalmatia, hailing from the 13th century.
When you explore Croatia by yacht charter, you experience this country’s greatest feature – its coastline. Crammed with spellbinding nature and awe-inspiring historical sites, there are few countries that can boast such an abundance of both beauty and culture. So now you’ve got your hit list – now the only thing left to decide is where to start your adventure…