When talking about holiday, different options come to our minds, so, what is important, is to choose the right destination. Or, what about the idea of visiting 3 countries in 1 week? You think it’s difficult to do it regarding money and time? Let us convince you that you are wrong! What will you need? Great mates, a luggage and a captain that will lead you through the whole journey.
Slovenia, Italy, Croatia. Three countries that you can visit, explore, and experience an adventure. Slovenian city Portorož, Italian Venice and Croatian Pula. These are three main destinations, which we wanted to visit during one cruise.
We planned the journey during Easter Holiday, during pre-covid era. The weather was sunny, weather conditions were mild, there were windless places. The sea was too cold for swimming, who wanted to swim there, had to grit their teeth. We wanted to spend the Easter on a cruise, and we made it happen. However, if you really want to swim in the sea, we recommend you go there in summer.
Let’s start our journey.
We’re starting in Slovenian city named Portorož (45° 30' 47.41" N, 13° 35' 28.29" E). We checked the ship; we boarded and loaded our luggage and approximately at 12am we started our journey. We went directly through Gulf of Trieste to the Italian Venice, to the port named San Grigorio which is situated on Venetian island named San Giorgio Maggiore (54NM, 45° 25' 47.54" N, 12° 20' 38.54" E). Weather conditions were windless, so we had to start the engine and keep the sails pulled down. We reached the Italian coast in the evening.
If you don’t go directly to the entrance of Venetian lagoon, we recommend you keep your distance from the land. The coast is shallow, so there’s a chance that you can get stuck there, what would be an inconvenient experience. Night cruise brings incredible experiences and a rush of adrenaline. You navigate through the darkness, and you can’t take your eyes off the map. You’re always looking at the right navigation signs that will show you the right direction.
The entrance to the Venetian Lagoon and the navigation lane are delimited by wooden stakes sticked in the sea bottom. More information about the Venetian Lagoon and how to navigate through it are accessible in this article.
We reached the Venetian Lagoon approximately at 10pm. It was exhausting. There was a fog, and the visibility was poor. After the entrance we had to face the distance of 3.5 – 4 NM to reach the island San Giorgio Maggiore, on which we can see the same named basilica and monastery San Giorgio Magiore. It’s a small port with a lovely view with Venice. Approximately at midnight, we successfully reached the port and we treated ourselves with a night view of illuminated city, which was a just a little bit visible because of the fog. Between the island and the land, there is a ferry, which makes an easier access to Venice, it’s affordable and it will bring you to the centre named San Marco.
Easter Sunday in Venice? You have to try it.
We spent the Easter Sunday exploring the city, monuments, museums, and we visited St. Mark’s Campanile. We suggest you visit Venice in the morning, you can avoid the crowds and long queues this way. We managed to do it and we tried typical Italian dishes as well.
Approximately at 1pm, we sailed into Grand Canale, but we had to turn around and slowly start a long journey across the norther part of Adriatic Sea, to Croatian Pula. (71 NM, 44° 52' 22.5177578" N, 13° 50' 41.2842751" E). The weather was good during cruise that took 14 hours, it was sunny and windless. We decided to take a bath in the cold sea as if we were true sailors, however, after few moments we decided to get back on the ship and to continue our journey.
Approximately at 3am, we reached Pula and we dropped anchor at ACI marina Pula. Since we were excited, we decided to visit the city even though it was night and we saw Roman arena, which is located 300 m from marina. You should visit it, it is a last Roman amphitheatre, with preserved all 4 side towers. It was built in 27 BC and 68 AD and it’s one of the six biggest Roman arenas in the world. The arena is one of the most well-preserved ancient monuments in the country.
Slovak Easter traditions in Pula
Easter Monday was dedicated to Slovak traditions. There was enough water, so why not take an advantage of it? Then we spent the whole morning exploring the city, which has a lot to offer. Pula is a modern city with a rich history and a ton of cultural monuments.
The biggest city on Istria is magic thanks to its rich cultural history. Whether we talk about the amphitheatre or Temple of Augustus, Sergijevac triumphal arch, the town hall, Gate of Hercules, the manor house, the double gate, city walls, the Church of St. Francis, the Chapel of St. Mary Formoza and a lot of other interesting spots, which can the city be proud of.
In the afternoon, we again got on the ship and went to the islands of national park of archipelago Brijuni, which is consisting of 2 bigger islands- Veli Brijun and Mali Brijun and of 12 smaller islands. This area was claimed as national park in 1983. We dropped anchor in a small port Veli Brijun (5 NM, 44° 55' 3.90" N, 13° 46' 6.63" E) in north-eastern region of the island. The national park has an area of 736 ha and the coast has a length of almost 47 km, it is indeed a lovely place.
Dolphins, dolphins, and more dolphins
On Tuesday morning, after waking up, the weather was sunny and approximately at 11am, we decided to reach the city called Rovinj (11NM, 45.076N, 13.635E). We navigated through islands on western side of island Veli and Mali Brijun. We came across marvellous view of local nature.
In Rovinj Aci marina we wanted to refill water and fuel and to spend the night in comfort. The journey was even more pleasant thanks to dolphins, which were accompanying us and eventually, we decided to jump to the sea. We reached Red Island, which is situated approximately 1 NM from the city Rovinj. Beaches of Red Island are one of the most favourite spots in Rovinj. There are a lot of beautiful beaches, the most numerous are beaches with round stones. We spent the whole afternoon there and then we got back to ACI marina Rovinj, where we spent the night. You should give a try to Rovinj. You won’t be disappointed.
Poreč- buoy, anchor, or port. Make a choice.
It was clear what we wanted to do on Wednesday morning- go to Slovenian Poreč (10NM 45°13.506' N, 13°35.384' E). Here you can make a choice. Buoy, anchor or go to port. There’s no bad choice for spending night. There are also a lot of interesting spots near Poreč. You either go on a boat and visit the Sveti Nikola Island or you decide to explore the centre of the city. There you can see narrow streets and monuments that are a part of UNESCO. You will be captivated by local cuisine. The route that leads to Poreč is lined by bays, beaches and it is covered by forests.
Italian coffee in Trieste
On Thursday morning we decided to go to Italian city- Trieste, situated on north of the country (32 NM, 45°38.898' N, 13°45.578' E). It was a long journey. The weather was good the whole week. Sails, engine, sails. There were sunny but also cloudy days. We reached the city at 2pm. We stopped San Giusto marine, which has a pretty good access to the city centre, which is magical and offers a coffee of good quality and typical Italian dishes. In other words, you can’t help yourselves and you must give it a try and enjoy it.
The last day on the sea
We were 20 NM away from our last destination of our cruise (Portorož city). This was a last chance to get know the country even better and to enjoy the cold April water. It is said that taking a bath in cold water is healthy. Sunny weather was helpful. We saw city Muggia, vineyard on Debeli Rtič, camping in city Ankaran, the most important Slovenian port Koper, seaside resort Isola and petrol station for ships , where we ended Easter cruise across the coast of these countries.