Sunday, June 25, 2023

Split: the Hottest Chill City in Croatia

                   Wine-Knows will end its private yacht trip this September in Split 

Split is loved by travelers of all ages from a plethora of countries around the globe.  The city exudes a relax vibe.  Some might think it’s because of its drop-dead location on an exquisite palm tree-lined bay.  Others may attribute the calm to its pedestrian only historic town center filled with beautiful outdoor restaurants on enchanting small squares that make for perfect chill-spots.  And the weather?  Even on warm days, the ancient part of the city remains cool, shaded by a labyrinth of tall stone buildings and narrow passageways.  Split represents the best of slow-living.

                                   Diocletian's palace is even more special after dark

The chill vibe of Split may not be by accident.  Although the Greeks founded the city about 300 BC, the Roman Emperor Diocletian 700 years later chose Split to retire.  Diocletian built a massive palace and his final retirement residence occupies today roughly half of Split’s ancient city.  The huge palace (really a fortress) featured expansive areas for personal use and entertaining the masses, but also served as quarters for his large military troops.

                Portofino not only serves terrific seafood, but has a good wine list & sublime service

Diocletian’s Palace is a popular stop for travelers on a day trip from Dubrovnik, however, to best soak up the city’s “relax” atmosphere an overnight stay in mandatory.  Experiencing the old town after all the day trippers depart is part of the city’s magic.  Don’t think of staying anywhere but in the heart of the old town.  Also, do consider eating at the Zinfandel Wine Bar or Portofino (reserve at both, and request an outdoor table at Portofino or a coveted window-front seat at Zinfandel.)

                             Split's upmarket restaurants offer a dazzling area of fish & seafood

Split will be the final stop of Wine-Knows' private yacht extravaganza.  Travelers are encouraged to spend at least two nights soaking up its chill-vibe prior to boarding their international flights home.   

BTW:  There is one cabin remaining on Wine-Knows’ luxurious private chartered yacht.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Croatia’s Magnificent National Park Island

Mljet is a completely unspoiled natural beauty

Croatia has more than 1,000 islands.  One of the most alluring of them is Mljet (mil-yet).  While the country has eight national parks, Mljet is the most untouched of all of them.  The island was declared a national park in 1960 and while this put Mljet on the tourist map, it still remains the pristine, verdant landscape it was sixty years ago.  Now for the good news, Wine-Knows will be visiting Mljet on its private yacht this September.

        While services are limited in the park, a lovely lunch with breathtaking panoramas is possible

Part of the reason Mljet remains a little piece of paradise is its lack of tourist services.  There is only one hotel, a handful of restaurants, and a few shops.   The population is about 1,000 most of whom are native Croatians.  Ferry service, however, is available to the island and those who come are nature lovers who want to soak up the splendor of its large national park. 

Mljet’s park is covered nearly solidly with brilliant colored pine tree forests.  Within these woods there is also lush and rich vegetation.  All of this is why Mljet is called “the green island.”  A multitude of birds populate the dense forestation so Mljet is a bird-watcher’s nirvana.   Adding to all of this national park splendor are two beautiful lakes.  These lakes are actually deep sea bays caused by rising sea levels.

                  Pretty little St Mary's island features an ancient monastery & lovely walking paths

In the middle of larger lake is a small attractive island called St Mary’s, home to an old Benedictine monastery.  Erected in the 12th century, the monastery exerted a powerful influence for hundreds of years among all of the monasteries along the Adriatic Sea.  Once Croatia came under control of Napoleon in the 19th century, however, the prestige of the monastery lessened and, ultimately, it fell into disrepair.   Today, a part of the medieval building that once housed monks is a now a restaurant.   There are scenic walking paths to entice travelers with drop-dead gorgeous views of the lake.

Visitors can also enjoy well-marked paths around each of the lakes.  Bicyclists can take it up a notch with moderate terrain bike rails that traverse the park’s forests.  Kayaking is another option at Mljet.   The two lakes are joined by a narrow connecting water passage, making it possible to kayak around both lakes.  Like bicycles, kayaks can be rented.

Mljet's National Park is a paradise for nature lovers

If you’re coming on the private yacht in September you’ll have the opportunity to spend time exploring Mljet.   Week two is sold out, but the first week in September we have one room available on the yacht.  For more information on this private yachting experience, please contact us:

                      Wine-Knows' private charter yacht can welcome aboard 1 or 2 more travelers

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Croatia’s Super-Star Wine Island: Korčula

                                 Vineyards are located only a few miles from Korčula town

While one can find local wine on nearly every Croatian island, Korčula (KOR-chu-la) has a reputation for making world-class wines.  The island was first colonized by seafaring Greeks in the 4th century BC who brought with them wine grapes.  Fast forward twenty-four centuries and this fertile plain planted by the Greeks remains unchanged.

       Wine-Knows' private yacht will stop in Korcula town, as well as visit its surrounding vineyards

                    Korčula's Venetian architecture reflects its rule for centuries by Venice

Although the Greeks brought the island’s first grapes, Korčula has birthed several of its own varieties.  Two of these grapes have become international stars in the wine world.  Grk (think “Greek” without the vowels), and Pošip (PO-ship) produce high quality dry white wines.  Grk, grown in the island’s sandy soil, offers an interesting combination of melon and pear, laced with minerals and white pepper.  Pošip, the other popular indigenous grape, serves up a full-bodied glass of apples, vanilla, citrus with subtle almond nuances.

                          The Grk grape's birthplace is Korčula & its only grown on the island

The Wine-Knows’ private yacht tour of the Croatian coastline will be visiting two different areas on Korčula.   The first is Korčula town, one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic, it is home to the Dimitri Palace five star hotel.  This Relais & Chateaux member property boasts a Michelin star restaurant in a drop-dead gorgeous setting along the sea.  Their restaurant was awarded Croatia’s Best Restaurant in the 2022 World Culinary Awards.  A few miles outside of Korčula town are the prime vineyards of Lumbarda where the group will have a private wine tasting.

     Vineyards are on the sea, thus the sea salt spray & rocky soil add minerality to the wines

For more information about the private yacht week in September, please click below: