Monday, 1 September 2014


We left our hotel at 9pm for the Santorini airport. We flew to Athens and waited for 5 hours to fly to Belgrade, Serbia, where we waited for 8 hours, before we could finally fly to Dubrovnik.

Finally at 4pm, after a 19 hour journey, we met Carla on the steps just out the front of our apartment in the middle of old town where we stayed the night before jumping on the yacht.

Carla took us to a cool beach where there was a game of waterpolo happening in the ocean, surrounded by small boats (couple of dingys had people playing drums and lighting flares) and heaps of people cheering, sunbaking, swimming and just generally having a good time. After this we set off on a hike to the top of the mountain in Dubrovnik which had sweeping views of the entire town and ocean. We unintentionally timed this to be at the top of the mountain for sunset, which was pretty breathtaking.

The following day we checked in on the boat for Sail Croatia which would be home for the coming week. We paid premium to have the “better” rooms which were somewhat laughable – tiny bunk beds with an ‘ensuite’ – a toilet, sink and shower all in the same space. Our rooms were also right next to where people got on and off the boat, and next to the engine room. We won’t complain too much, but let’s just say we didn’t get too much sleep for the week!

Our first night on Sail was in Dubrovnik, so after checking in we had a day to check out more of the town. We spent the day cliff diving, exploring the walls of the old town/Kings landing.
We had dinner with everyone on the boat and met who would become our besties for the week: Jen and Tom from NZ and Ali and Adam from the UK.

We set sail at about 730am, and paused after a couple of hours for a swim stop. After this, we then made our way to the island and national park Mljet. The national park was beautiful, the highlight being the crystal clear, light blue watered lakes.

The next day we set sail, continued the daily routine of a mid-morning swim stop in beautiful clear blue/green water, and then docked at the next island – Korcula. Korcula has a small old town that we explored during the day. At night, we had a whole boat dinner at a restaurant that served warm beer and chilled red wine, then we had our first Croatian night out at a classy establishment called “Boogie Jungle”.

Hvar was our next stop, where due to a busy port and the 750 million euro super yachts taking priority in the port, we were unable to make it onto dry land until 6:30pm. We watched the sunset on some rocks at the famous beach bar called Hula bar, had dinner with our new besties and decided to have a quiet night instead of forking out the mega bucks to party at the famous island club “Carpe Diem”.

Stari Grad (literal translation is “old town”) was a short sail from Hvar. Here we had a nice afternoon at a local winery. While the taste of the wines were questionable (the red apparently had notes of chocolate and date…), the landscape was relaxing and we were able to taste some of their local produce. Nige’s taste buds still haven’t come around to wine yet so his became the group’s prize for losing at drinking games.

Makarska was a small coastal town home to some pretty breathtaking views – large mountains played backdrop to old buildings, markets and beaches with lots of water sports. We spent the afternoon at the beach swimming and playing with the woboba ball and shopped for pirate costumes which we sported that evening at the “Rave in a Cave”, which was literally a club in a cave on the beach. We were lucky to arrive in Markarska for the European holiday of the feast of St Mary, meaning that next to where our boat docked, there was a large street festival. We joined this at dinner, enjoying beers, cocktails and beautiful fresh seafood cooked on grills on the street.

Our final stop on the cruise was Split. We spent an additional night in Split after Sail had finished so we could day trip it out to the Krka National Park. The National Park is world famous for its stunning waterfalls which you can swim amongst. We decided to take public transport there ourselves instead of going on a tour. 
Getting there was easy enough – getting home proved slightly more difficult and what should have been a simple 90 minute bus trip turned into a three and a half hour “scenic tour” of the Croatian countryside.

The next day we caught a ferry to an island off Split called Brac and stayed in the town of Bol. This was a particular highlight in Croatia and we wish we had more time there. We packed in a full day of activities – in the morning we scuba-dived in unexpectedly cold water with Octopus, huge clams and schools of small fish. 
In the afternoon we did the grueling four hour return hike to Vidova Gora that involved 2 hours of vertical ascent, followed by an equally challenging two hour descent. The panoramic views at the top were pretty rewarding!

Bol was a great way to end our time in Croatia, next stop Italy!

 Sunset in Miljet
 Winery in Stari Grad
 Split port
 Water polo in Dubrovnik
 Landscape at the winery in Stari Grad
 The girls at the winery
 View from the top of Vodova Gora in Bol
 View of the Dubrovnik Old Town 
 The crew from sail at the winery
 The girls in Stari Grad
 Water park in Bol
 Miljet lakes
 Beach and cliffs in Makarska
 Port in Bol at sunrise before leaving for Italy
 Miljet lakes
 The crew in front of the old town in Korcula
 Rave in a Cave, Makarska

Miljet National Park

 Krka National park

Breakfast from our apartment balcony in Bol 

 Feast of St Mary in Makarska


Monday, 18 August 2014

Greek Islands part 2 - Santorini

Santorini was a short ferry from Ios, we arrived at the port to a sea of people and expected to find our transfers to our hotel. They weren't there, but after a confusing discussion with a Greek fella we were in a van and on our wwy. 

We arrived at our apartment, Ampelonas, and were instantly blown away with the view. The apartment had a loft with roof access, which looked out over the horizon. 

We hired another four wheeler and scooter and went into the main town, Fira. We explored, ate gyros and soaked up the stunning views. 

Lyss and I then drove over to the sunset town, Oia, to try and find the bay that Jamie took Lyss a couple of years ago for some cliff diving. After a couple of wrong turns, we found it - Ammoudi Bay. There were restaurants lining the bay on the waters edge, and a rocky path wound its way around the corner to where you could jump in the water for a swim. We swam a short distance out to a rocky island, climbed up to a ledge about 6-7 metres from the water and jumped in. The backdrop was pretty spectacular!

We went back up to Oia to explore the town a bit more, and found an amazing rooftop restaurant appropriately named "Sunsets". We booked a table for the following night and went back to the apartment to settle in for the sunset, which well and truly lived up to expectations! 

The next day we road tripped out to the "Red Beach" - a small beach with a red faced cliff and stones, and the "Black Beach" - again appropriately titled for its black sand. 

We ventured back over to Ammoudi Bay for a bit of a snorkel and some more cliff diving with Nige and Kabes. Partially successful, but in hindsight probably a pretty unsuccessful trip - Nige copped a nasty ear infection, and Katrina was left was some nasty thigh bruises after diving into the water...the video is pretty hilarious though, it may or may not find its way onto YouTube at some point. 

We went for dinner at "Sunsets", for the sunset. We were pretty thankful that we booked for dinner as we had endless people all night trying to get in. We had the prime spot to watch the sun go down with uninterrupted views. It was a pretty spectacular experience!

After checking out on the third day Lyss and I drove over to the "White Beach", which was ridiculously named, because it was covered in black sand and pebbles. 

We prepared ourselves for what was about to come, and left for the airport for the 19 hour trip to Dubrovnik. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Greek Islands part 1 - Ios


After a 5 hour ferry we arrived in Ios. Nick the Greek greeted us at the port and took us to our hotel - Hermes.

We were blown away by the breathtaking view from our balcony and the pool area. We went straight into town for a sneaky gyros and hired a four wheeler and scooter, then hit the main beach - Mylopotas. We relaxed, swam, snorkelled etc and enjoyed the weather.

We hit up the local Mexican restaurant "Harmony" for dinner, then went back to the pool for some pre-drinks and cards.

Nick the Greek took us out to a few bars and we had a top night - giant jenga, danced to a  remix of Circle of Life from the Lion King, ripped our shirts off and waved them around as is custom when banquet by Bloc Party comes on, hit up slammer bar where you put a motorbike helmet on, do a shot and then get "slammed" on the head with a skateboard, rubber mallet and fire hydrant...and finally, stopped past for another sneaky gyros on the way home.

The next day we had a bit of a road trip to Manganari beach which was about 40 minutes by four wheeler/scooter. The drive was absolutely incredible, as you wind your way through the cliffs of Ios and look out over the horizon.

Next stop is Santorini!