June (15-19) to 26 (room for 1)

Leg 1: Split to Dubrovnik, Croatia

The summer begins with a classic cruise down Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, among the most popular sailing venues in the entire Med. We’ll island hop down this protected coast with the wind at our backs to islands such as Brac, Hvar, and Korcula. Classic old Venetian towns dot these islands, and the endless natural harbors feature the clearest water imaginable. We’ll conclude this leg in the magical walled city of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik is beyond fascinating, and extra time will be allotted to explore it. As this is the first leg, the arrival date is flexible. A great leg for both sailors and non-sailors.

Transit options: Split (SPU), Zadar (ZAD), Dubrovnik (DBV) airports

June 27 to July 3 (full)

Leg 2: Dubrovnik, Croatia to Budva, Montenegro

This leg is like a highlight reel of the Adriatic Sea, both in terms its towns and its natural surroundings. We begin in the walled city of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO site that is THE highlight of Croatia. Sailing south, we’ll cross the border into Montenegro and venture deep into the spectacular Kotor Fjord, home of yet another UNESCO town, Kotor. The week ends in Budva, a very pretty place and party capitol of Montenegro, a Serbian and Russian favorite. It will be easy sailing, with short distances between ports.

Transit options: Dubrovnik (DBV), Tivat (TIV) airports

July 4 to 17 (full)

Leg 3: Budva, Montenegro to Corfu, Greece

Sail the coasts of three countries, including Europe’s two least-visited coastal nations, in this two-week leg. When the partying ends in wild Budva, we will continue south, exploring the remainder of Montenegro’s short, mountainous coastline. Next is Albania, a predominantly Muslim nation that only recently opened itself to tourism. Visits by pleasure yachts are a rarity there, which should make for a very special and interesting experience. Near Sarandë we will visit the UNESCO ruins at Butrint before crossing the border into Greece. The leg ends in the well-known town and island of Corfu. Crew should be somewhat seaworthy, as there will be some longer hops and possibly an overnight sail.

Transit options: Dubrovnik (DBV), Tivat (TIV), Corfu (CFU), Preveza (PVK) airports

July 18 to 24 (full)

Leg 4: Corfu to Lefkas, Greece

Here we begin exploration of the Greek Islands of the Ionian Sea, one of the venues of Homer's Odyssey. We will immerse ourselves in Greek harbor life, no doubt sampling typical Greek tavernas in ancient ports like Gaios, Lakka, and Parga while island-hopping south to the island of Lefkas. This leg features easy sailing in mostly protected seas, with short to moderate distances between harbors.

Transit options: Corfu (CFU), Preveza (PVK) airports

July 25 to 31 (crew pending)

Leg 5: Lefkas, Greece

Exploration of the Ionian Greek Islands continues. Crossing paths with Homer’s Odyssey, we will island-hop among Ithaka, Cephallonia, Meganisi, and possibly Zante. A trip to the ancient ruins at Olympia (yes, another UNESCO site) is within reach if all goes smoothly. Sailing among these islands as comfortable as it gets, with protected seas and short sailing days.

Transit options: Corfu (CFU), Preveza (PVK) airports

August 1 to 7 (crew pending)

Leg 6: Lefkas to Corfu, Greece

Here we begin backtracking north through the Ionian Greek Islands. We’ll bounce between the island of Paxos and mainland towns like Preveza and Mourtos en route to lush, mountainous Corfu. The skipper’s birthday is on August 6th, which promises to be a very late night. This leg features easy sailing in mostly protected seas, with short to moderate distances between harbors.

Transit options: Corfu (CFU), Preveza (PVK) airports

August 8 to 14 (full)

Leg 7: Corfu, Greece to Brindisi, Italy

This leg crosses the notorious Strait of Otranto, bringing Geja from the Ionian Sea back into the Adriatic. From Corfu we will explore the small northern Greek islands of Ericousa and Othoni before crossing over to Otranto, Italy, one of the great surprises of the 2008 cruise. We will spend two nights in Otranto, which should be completely going off in the midst of the Italian holiday season, before concluding the leg in Brindisi. There will be two long sailing days in unprotected seas, so some sense of adventure will be required.

Transit options: Corfu (CFU), Preveza (PVK), Brindisi (BDS), Bari (BRI) airports

August 15 to 21 (crew pending)

Leg 8: Brindisi to Vieste, Italy

Enjoy more of the Italian hospitality of the Puglia region, out of reach of most foreign tourists. It will be the peak of the Italian tourist season, so expect lots of life all along the coast. The towns of Villanova, Mola di Bari, and fabulous Trani will be visited while sailing north to Vieste, part of the “Promontorio del Gargano.” Sailing days will be moderate in length. Stick around for the next leg, as transportation options out of Vieste are limited.

Transit options: Brindisi (BDS), Bari (BRI), Pescara (PSR) airports

August 22 to 31 (full)

Leg 9: Vieste, Italy to Hvar, Croatia

(Best to combine this with the previous leg). Completing the 2010 sailing loop, this leg crosses the Adriatic Sea from Italy back to Croatia. Leaving wonderful Vieste, we will take a detour to Italy’s magical Tremiti Islands if calm conditions exist. Next is an overnight sail to the islands of Croatia, most likely to Vis, where unspoiled villages and cozy anchorages are plentiful. We’ll likely end up in Hvar, a highlight of the Dalmatian Coast and happening party town. Aside from the one overnighter, this will be moderately easy sailing among spectacular surroundings.

Transit options: Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV) airports

September 1 to September X (available)

Leg 10: Hvar to Split, Croatia

An easy cruise through one of Europe’s top sailing venues defines the final leg of the summer. After some partying in stunningly beautiful Hvar, we’ll tour the surrounding islands, known for their quiet anchorages with crystal clear water and quaint, traditional villages. We’ll conclude the leg, and the summer, in Split, a bustling student town on the mainland. A great leg for everyone, with or without sailing experience.

Transit options: Split (SPU), Dubrovnik (DBV), Zadar (ZAD) airports

The 2010 Route

Below is the proposed route, broken up into individual legs with transit options at each end. Weather, mechanical issues, and hangovers may affect the schedule. Legs can be modified to accommodate flight schedules. Consider joining for consecutive one-week legs if possible.

Typically we are a total of three people aboard. If friends share the front cabin, we can be four people.

Try SkyScanner.net, WhichBudget.com, and Kayak.com to research flights within Europe.

The route is Version 2.1. Last updated June 8, 2010.