Leaving the comfortable confines of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in 2022 after 14 summers was a big step. I didn’t like Geja’s new base in Sicily at first - Riposto is no UNESCO town, after all. But the 2023 voyage, a circumnavigation of Sicily with Malta and Tunisia thrown in the loop, was among my most exciting sailing adventures to date. Sicily alone offers so much, with a lively Mount Etna looming over its east coast.

With potential life changes ahead, it may be time to pause these Mediterranean escapades. And if this is the final hurrah for a while, I find it most appropriate to return Geja to Croatia, Europe’s most undisputed sailing paradise.

Leg 1: Taormina (Riposto) to Tropea, Italy

June 12 - 20 (crew full)

Before simply hightailing it back to Croatia, there’s some unfinished business here in Sicily. The Aeolian Islands lie just on the other side of the Strait of Messina, guarded closely by Scylla and Charybdis. This volcanic archipelago is a Mediterranean gem, and we’ll be lucky to explore it during shoulder season before the heat and crowds set in.

Leg 2: Tropea to Taormina (Riposto), Italy

June 22 - 29 (crew full)

Whichever of the Aeolian Islands that were skipped in Leg One will be visited in this leg. And what about Stromboli, with its fiery eruptions every 20 minutes? We’ll don hiking boots for the rigorous climb up its backside. Then it’s back through the Strait of Messina and down to Taormina (Riposto), where Geja’s annual wet berth is paid through July.

Leg 3: Taormina (Riposto) to Brindisi, Italy

July 24 - 31 (crew pending)

After a few week’s break in Finland, the voyage towards Croatia begins. The nautical highlights under the sole of Italy are few and far between, so two overnight sails are required before reaching Brindisi (or more likely, Otranto). Still, Le Castella is one of Italy’s best kept secrets.

Leg 4: Brindisi to Trani, Italy

August 1 - 10 (crew pending)

Oh, Puglia. If this region of Italy only had a major airport, it would be full of foreign tourists. This stretch of coastline offers classic harbor-hopping with adorable towns that you’ve never heard of, such as Polignano a Mare, Giovinazzo, and Trani.

Leg 5: Trani, Italy to Croatia

August 11 - 20 (crew pending)

Home sweet home. With a final Italian stop in stunning Vieste, we’ll sail overnight across the Adriatic Sea back to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, probably the world’s most popular vacation sailing destination. There are plenty of islands to visit, and you can be sure that Hvar is one of them.

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2024 - The Voyage Home