Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Komiža on Vis Island And The Gajeta Falkuša

Today's photo shows the Gajeta Falkuša, a traditional Dalmatian fishing boat that was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1998. It was reconstructed for the Lisbon EXPO exhibition in the same year and is currently wintering in Marina Kaštela.
During the summer it can be seen in Split Harbour where it is available for day and multi day tours which provide an immersion in the old fishing life of the region - guests are given lectures on the maritime heritage of Dalmatia, taught to cook authentic Dalmatian food and instructed on rowing or sailing the boat.
The boat originates from Komiža on Vis island which, from the 16th century onwards, was one of Dalmatia's most prosperous fishing villages. The fishermen maximised their catches by fishing in the open sea and needed a boat that would suit all weather conditions. Thus the hull of the Falkuša was built exclusively from pine from the island of Svetac - a volcanic island exposed to frequent strong winds which resulted in pine wood that was exceptionally tough and durable. In still conditions, the boat comes equipped with a set of oars.
Komiža on Vis remains one of our favourite places. For sailors, the well equipped visitors berths have lazylines (for mooring bow or stern to), electricity and water. Nearby there's a laundry, and toilet and shower facilities, and in the compact centre a number of good restaurants and bars. Around the bay from the visitors moorings is Konoba Bako, a great restaurant with its own beach and a small archaelogical collection.
Visit Lifejacket Adventures for more information about trips on the Falkuša and for information on Konoba Bako. For more details of what Vis Island has to offer onshore and for for those that are visiting by ferry, visit our sister site, direct link Croatia Online - Vis Revisited
Thanks to Lifejacket Adventures for today's photo.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Kaštel Lukšić

This large Maltese boat had no problem mooring alongside Kaštel Lukšić's outer breakwater this weekend but hasn't left much room for the local boats. Kaštel Lukšić is the middle village of the 7 Kaštelas, each with their own castle, which lie in a large bay between Split and Trogir. Lukšić is probably the trendiest of the group and the main tourist office is located in its castle which overlooks the harbour. Depths are between 2 and 4 metres where Seagull II is berthed. The inner harbour is better protected but really only suitable for shallow draught boats. The harbour is not lit at night.

You'll find a number of lively and tastefully kitted out bars in the small centre, and a few restaurants. Our favourite bar is Bugsy's, just east of the harbour. It's named after Bugsy Malone and the inside is full of memorabilia from that era.

If you prefer to berth in marinas then Marina Kaštela is located in the next village east, Kaštel Gomilica. One of the newer marinas in Croatia it has three phase power, a great restaurant, modern facilities and is built to cope with larger yachts. There are a number of good charter companies based here and an RYA Sailing School if you want to learn to sail or improve your skills.

Go to for more information on the marina and for details of the sailing school.

For more information on Croatia in general, visit our sister site -

And, of course, look out for our Croatia Cruising Companion, being launched at the Earls Court boat show in early December, which will give you all the information you need to cruise the Dalmatian Coast and islands safely and to the full. It's one of the very few books of its kind that includes full contact details, including websites, for all the marinas in Dalmatia as well as chandlers, boat repair yards, and much more. You can order it now, direct from the publishers, or from Amazon and other reputable bookshops. See our previous postings for more details.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Sample Page - Kaštel Gomilica

Not quite the same as looking at the glorious glossy technicolour version (we've just seen the real thing - the latest addition to the cruising companion series and it looks great) but this sample page will give you an idea of the layout.
The page covers Kaštel Gomilica, one of the seven "Kaštel" villages, each with its own castle, between Trogir and Split. It's the site of one of Croatia's newest marinas, Marina Kaštela, which we spotted in the early stages of development four years ago.
The overview charts, earlier on in the chapter, show the approach so the chart here is very localised and detailed. The navigation notes will tell you which landmarks to look out for and highlight any special considerations. Under the Berthing heading you'll find all you need to know about depths, capacity, electricity and water supplies, prices and contact details. Useful Information, at the end of the section, tells you more about the marina's facilities and any other nautical facilities in the area, where to find cashpoints, post offices, supermarkets and shops, transport connections, entertainment, cultural attractions and the lowdown on the best places to eat. The photos aim to help with navigation, where possible, as well as giving the reader a feel for the location.
Clearly there's more to say on some locations than others but we've done our best to give all the essential facts on every marina, port, harbour and anchorage in the area - at the last count there were around 300, each with their own individual charms.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Acknowledgements To Our Canine Crew

Today's photo shows one of the unsung heros of the Croatia Cruising Companion. Though Rosie didn't manage to make it into the acknowledgements, she did sneak into a couple of photos.

She's accompanied us throughout our travels in Croatia, on sea and on land, and has a few tales to tell of her own. She played a very valuable part in a number of ways. Over sundowners, once we'd found our berth for the night, she could normally be seen watching out on the stern for likely pals and, recognising the uniform, greeting the harbourmaster with a respectful woof. Invariably, she was fought over by the crew for the right to take her ashore in the tender when at anchor. Often she just preferred to take one of us for a swim so she could leave her mark on new and undiscovered territories. Fortunately she always obeyed the skipper's orders though has yet to learn to do anything nautical but catch a rope.

Those that want to take their dog with them when sailing in Croatia will be pleased to know that Croatia is part of the Pets' Passport Scheme and the standard of veterinary care is high. Note however that Montenegro is not yet part of the scheme.

Croatians, especially outside of the major cities, are generally less indulgent to dogs than the Brits, however visiting dogs are generally well received. Be aware that, in the height of the summer season, dogs aren't welcome on designated beaches or indoors in some restaurants, especially close to the kitchens. However, Rosie's rarely been refused entry in most hotels and restaurants and, quite often, the table in our regular haunts is reserved in her name!

For more information on what you can expect for your dog from Croatia visit our sister site, Croatia Online. The direct link to our latest posting on this subject is Croatia Online - A Dog's Life In Dalmatia which includes links to earlier postings on the same theme and the latest DEFRA guidance on the Pet Passport Scheme.

To find out more about The Croatia Cruising Companion, browse these pages or go straight to our Home Page.

To order direct from the publishers, go to Wiley Nautical - Order Online

Sunday, 21 October 2007


Cavtat, south east of Dubrovnik and close to the airport, was one of our favourite towns in Southern Dalmatia. It's much easier to clear customs here than in Dubrovnik, if you're entering Croatian waters from Montenegro. The port has good facilities and is popular with the superyachts. The town itelf is charming and unspoilt with plenty of restaurants.

You'll need to read Chapter 8 for the full details, useful information, navigation, berthing notes and a port plan but in this, and subsequent postings, we'll be highlighting some of the very special places that are included in the Cruising Companion.

The Definitive Guide

Here it is at last! Probably one of the most challenging projects we've taken on to date - how do you do justice to one of the finest cruising grounds in the world?

The Dalmatian Coast and Islands, were ranked 7th in the worlds top ten island destinations by US magazine Travel and Leisure. Next year, we believe the ranking will be higher now that Croatia is firmly on the map for discriminating American travellers.

We've been extolling Croatia's virtues for the five years we've been exploring it, at sea and on land. We've been writing about it for almost as long: for Time Out Publications, now putting together their third annual Magazine for Visitors to Croatia; for the great English speaking internet public, on our blog, Croatia Online; and now for Wiley Nautical as one of a series of Cruising Companions covering those "must sail" destinations.

Here's what Wiley say about it:

The Dalmatian coast, with its many unspoilt islands and crystal clear waters, ranks high amongst the best cruising areas in the world. Share its secrets, get an inside track on the latest cruising and destination news, and obtain all the facts, photos and chartlets you need to cruise it safely, discover its hidden gems, and enjoy it to the full.

This book features:

  • Port guides - where to eat, shop & visit as well as local facilities, chandlers and engineers.
  • Pilotage - clear pilotage directions, aerial approach shots.
  • Colour charts to simplify harbour approaches, carefully selected approach and entrance waypoints.
  • History and culture - useful background information about these important aspects of the cruising region.
  • Eating and drinking - restaurant tips for each harbour, local cuisines and wine cellars.
Hardcover, 256 pages, £24.99 / €37.50

The Croatia Cruising Companion is being launched at the Earl's Court Boat Show, which takes place from 1st to 9th December, and is available for pre-ordering at all the best bookshops and internet sites.

Follow this link to order direct from the publishers by internet Wiley - The Croatia Cruising Companion
If you want to keep up with Croatian travel, tourism, business, lifestyle and other news, check out our sister site Croatia Online.

Bookmark this page for updates on the Cruising Companion and the latest news on Croatia's ongoing rapid development as a world class cruising destination - new marinas, improved facilities, undiscovered bays, best restaurants, entertainment onshore and much more.

Please also let us have your comments - whilst we spend much of our time travelling around Croatia looking out for new finds and developments, there's no substitute for eagled eyed readers and those that don't mind sharing their latest discovery!