Tag Archives: Katarina Line

Korcula, Croatian Island Cruising with Katarina Lines.

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Next stop on the Split to Dubrovnik coastal voyage with Markan MV is the island of Korcula. Unlike its rock-star island brother of Hvar, it’s perhaps not as frequented by visitors alike. However, it’s quietness and low-key status is really appealing, far more intimate and again the locals are incredibly friendly.

Once inside the medieval walls, narrow streets are indicative of the antiquity Korcula has embraced in the past for its strategic location within the Adriatic Sea. Over many centuries, transient wanderers became settlers and of course, war became part of its history as many wanted to secure the island of Korcula for its own purposes. The imposing towers and architecture upon first sight, is a reminder the island wouldn’t be a pushover in the event of an attack.

A plethora of locally-made handicrafts are exquisite and of the highest quality. Umm, a small souvenir shouldn’t be too much to carry back home … surely?

It’s easily seen here upon arrival how the pecking order needs all watercraft to adhere to strict protocol,  particularly while docking in smaller harbours. Sidling up to one another for space saving in the harbour is common place along the Dalmatian Coast.

With the island of Korčula being the sixth-largest Adriatic island, stretching nearly 47 km in length, it’s easy to see why there needs to be a system due to the heavy demand in peak seasons.  Passengers walk between the open spaces of each ship to go onshore and enjoy the activities, food and surroundings.

Marco Polo’s birthplace is considered to be Venice but, according to some Croatian sources the exact date and place of birth are “archivally” unknown. The same sources also claimed the island of Curzola (today Korčula) as his possible birthplace.  Well, wherever he was born he certainly clocked up some kilometres in travelling the world whilst dealing with all kinds of merchandise.

An authoritative version of Marco Polo’s book The Travels of Marco Polo does not and cannot exist, for the early manuscripts differ significantly. The published editions of his book either rely on single manuscripts, blend multiple versions together.

Source: Wikipedia

Quiet coves and small sandy beaches dot the steep southern coast while the northern shore is flatter and more pebbly on the island. Its serenity is coupled with a time to reflect and here a need to keep an eye on the future – not too much happening at anytime which is a good thing. And if anything, I’d say Korcula is in excellent hands as mass tourism is not really evident here … yet.

People call the island ‘Little Dubrovnik’ because of its medieval squares, churches and palaces. There are numerous old stone buildings and fortresses (gradine) left behind by the Illyrians around 1,000 BC.

Shown here is St Peter’s Church (Crkva Svetog Petra) – This small Gothic church, dating from the 14th century, is one of the oldest in the Old Town.  The simple main facade is embellished with St Peter’s relief made by Bonino da Milano.

Bike riding and hiking are activities any visitor to the island might contemplate due to its quieter nature and beauty within the forestation and the island’s pathways.

Interestingly, Korkyra is connected to the legend of the beautiful nymph Kerkyra, daughter of Asop, God of Rivers. Poseidon the God of the Sea fell in love with her, kidnapped her and held her in captivity on the island.

Anyway, if it’s good enough for the Gods and Poseidon, I’ll be back for another visit without doubt!

Sunset at the end of the day is quite spectacular along the Dalmatian Coast and while cocktails are being set up on the Markan MV for our overnight sailing, we’re all savoring the idea of what could possibly top this off?

Next stop Tristenik and Dubrovnik.

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Hvar, Croatian Island Cruising with Katarina Lines.

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Meet our crew of Markan MV. They looked after us over the few days we were sailing around some of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic. The wonderful thing about small ship cruising is that we had the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the people who matter the most whilst onboard – the crew. For safety, service and of course divine food and beverages. Beware! They know how to party as well…


First stop from Split with Katarina Line’s Markan MV is the sun-drenched island of Hvar, Croatia. It’s the longest island in the Adriatic and one of the sunniest which makes it a favourite for locals and international travellers throughout the year.

Whether you’ve been to Hvar once, twice or several times, it has a plausible view one cannot become tired of, especially if you intend staying on to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere rather than a day trip over from the mainland.

Local guides are instrumental in delivering first-hand knowledge of their beloved island. A tour around allows us an insight into the day-to-day livelihood of past and present inhabitants, as well as some historical sights and activities for all ages.

And yes, there’s lots to see and do here and we have our running shoes on to either take in as much of the island in the allowable time frame, or simply enjoy a cuppa and admire what the cafe set come here for – a sedentary break from the ho-hum daily grind.

A quickie prayer? Many diverse cultural groups visit the local religious establishments in Hvar for some reflective time out, which is not only for the die hards, but tourists arrive in droves to marvel the many historical edifices which are dotted around the island.

The most impressive building in Hvar is definitely the Cathedral of St. Stephen (in the distance), standing on the eastern side of the town square, at the far end of the Pjaca, where two parts of the town meet.  Here at the plaza where visitors and locals congregate for their daily intake of a coffee extraction or cuisine with an abundance of fish-inspired dishes, freshly caught on the day for consumption by the ever-hungry visitors.


Hvar is best known for being a party island and don’t be a dummy when it comes to being a fashionista in Hvar. Make sure you are comfortable and wear garments geared up for sun-soaked activities along with a good sun screen. Australians know what it’s like to be burnt to a crisp after being out in the sun – even for a very short time, so slip, slop, slap as we say, with a zinc-like safe guard and drink lots of water, not just grog when out having a fun time.


See that fantastic castle on the hill? A trek up there will satisfy your kilojoule/calorie intake for the day.

It’s actually the Spanish Fortress, or its local name Španjola and was built in the early 16th century. It holds a rich historical collection and is built on a 2,000-year-old remains of an Illyrian fortress. Still, the most memorable part of the walk around its walls is the view expanding over the city of Hvar and Pakleni islands.


The hill overlooking the town of Hvar is a magnificent viewpoint. From this point, you can look down on the town itself, watch the comings and goings in the harbour and pretend it’s your dosage of meditation for the day.

Photo courtesy of Erik Drien, Norway.


Start walking and take your time as it’s a long hike up past the beautiful park and further on up the hill.

Oh Erik, you’re coming back? Have a rest mate – water, coffee or a beer? Oh ok, beer of course! You’re Norwegian right?

Photo courtesy of Erik Drien, Norway.


And when you do catch your breath, have a seat and relax in the quaint surrounds of Hvar, you won’t be disappointed with the local hospitality either. Plants are always friendly too.


Every budding sleuth, crime novelist, detective and TV police drama writer – pay homage.

Ivan Vučetić, born July 20, 1858, is one of the lesser-known native sons of a country that produced the likes of Nikola Tesla. Yet he is the father of modern dactyloscopy — the analysis and classification of fingerprints. Vučetić’s legacy is honored in Croatia primarily with a bust in Hvar’s eponymous city, his birthplace.

So off we go onto the next stop which will be Korcula Island. Think a nana nap is in order.

Love surprises and fresh fish arrived in a parcel which looked very much like a dumpling. But, this delicious and tasty portion of melt-in-your-mouth marvel is to be savoured and washed down with an excellent Croatian wine.

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