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We cruised over blue and turquoise seas from fairytale Dubrovnik to magical islands, Korcula, Hvar and Brac – and finally Split. Evenings we visited medieval towns with pastel walls and marble streets. Daytime we swam or we sailed between islands.

It was four days/three nights of relaxation and fascination – hedonism and history. All these towns have come under the rule of Venice for centuries – and you can see Venetian influence in graceful bell towers and flourishes of Gothic exuberance.

Normally Katarina Line’s 30 vintage motor sailing ships do 7-day cruises, on five different island-hopping routes along the Dalmatian coast. You can include national parks, waterfalls, monasteries, centuries old spa resorts and many other islands. We did just three nights and four days

Dalmatia is like a cross between Greece and Italy, with its mountainous archipelago, laid back lifestyle, and Venetian architectural treasures crowding round small, pretty harbours, packed with yachts and pleasure lovers dining on seafood. Glitterati (fashionable celebrities) and other revelers celebrate exuberantly with Croatian beer (some noticeably from Down-Under). Dalmatia is a paradise for island hoppers as boats and ferries go in every direction, even to isolated beaches.

The longest stretch at sea on our cruise was 6 hours and we soaked in the sun on striped deckchairs. It was lazy, sunny and hypnotic – never boring – as there were always islands in view, green and silver, plunging to pale rocks and small pebbled coves, washed by turquoise. Dolphins played alongside the boat at intervals.

Our itinerary is given at the end of this piece.

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