If you saw my last post - my Croatia Photo Diary - you can see for yourselves just how beautiful it is there but here are some more details to help you plan your own trip there!
Where To Stay
We stayed in an AirBnb, it's the only place we look now after such a great experience with it on our trip to Amsterdam earlier in the year and this one didn't disappoint. It's such a reasonable way to travel and you can find such gems and truly immerse yourself in the place your staying. As I mentioned in my previous post our hosts were absolutely incredible, we were very lucky.
We stayed just up the hill from the main square of the old town towards the fort, which was perfect! A number of steps to get there but it was good to give those leg muscles a bit of a work out (You may find it difficult to avoid steps in Croatia so bare that in mind if you have mobility issues) but the view was beeeautiful and the best restaurants (or so our hosts told us) are in the two streets parallel to the main square, so were ideally located.
What To Do
Hire a Boat
That seems extravagant but they are so reasonable! It worked out around £40 for the whole day (from 9am-6pm) for a little (I think it was 6hp if I remember rightly) motor boat. Just off of Hvar are some smaller islands, the Pakleni Islands, the sea everywhere is stunning but it's particularly clear there. We had a bit of an explore for a while before anchoring ourselves at Palmizana.
If you read my facts about me post you'll know that I get a bit nervous swimming in the sea, particularly when it's very rocky (which Croatia is) but there much much less so, you can walk straight into the sea for the most glorious swim! It was the only place I actually swam for the whole holiday in the end.
You can also get a taxi boat to the islands but I loved the freedom to explore and suit ourselves.
Explore the beaches
If getting a boat to the Pakleni Islands isn't your thing, there's plenty of places to go on the island of Hvar itself. You just have to walk a short distance from either direction of the port to find yourself a beach. By the way, they're not white sandy beaches, more shingley - so if you don't fancy hiring a sun bed (which we did on days we intended to spend the entire day there, it was about 50kn/£5 each) you could grab yourself a cheap yoga mat from the supermarket for comfort.
You can also get yourself to hidden little coves around the island, which we didn't get time to do in the end but our hosts said they're beautiful. So if hiring a car or a moped for a day is more your thing I believe they were very reasonable too so you can go for a bit of an explore around the island. Many of them take a walk down some cliffs but there are some hidden gems there so you might find yourself with a beach to yourself for the day, perfect!
Go up to the fort
As you come into the port it's hard to miss the huge fort at the top of the hill or the Fortica Spanjola as they call it. Not only is it so interesting and offers the most beautiful views, it's also just a lovely walk to get up there. You zig zag up the hill path lined with trees and cacti and huuuge aloe vera plants (at least I think they were.. giant spike succulents)
I mean ok, maybe that goes without saying but the food was amazing! I could not get enough of it. If you like fish and seafood you would LOVE it, but if you don't there will still be plenty for you too.
Price: £ - £££
The Best Place For Breakfast and Lunch
At the end of the main square, the end furthest to the port, just to the right is a market in the mornings where you can buy lovely fresh fruit and veg, pastries and bread in the little bakeries. It's really lovely. We had cherries, peaches, apples, bananas, grapes, apricots, all sorts and all delicious.
We would get some fruits and pastries for breakfast and a roll or something for lunch to make some little packed lunches with some cheese or ham from the supermarket and some lovely tomatoes. It's a great way to save a bit of money but it's more delicious too!
The Best Place For Dinner
This was the first place we went to on our first night in Hvar. Located in one of the streets parallel to the main square. We were there at the start of the season so nowhere was particularly busy but this place was, so we figured that was a good sign, and it was! On any other day we might have walked on by and thought none the wiser but it was brilliant, in fact so good that we went back again. The wine, a local white wine called Cesarica which was beautifully refreshing. We had a seafood spaghetti with some fried prawns, squid and little fish which I think must have been whitebait with a side of grilled vegetables. We probably didn't need that much but we didn't realise the portions would be so massive but it was sooooo good, I just don't know how they do it and I'm desperate to try and replicate it, but of course living in logon getting lovely muscles and clams isn't exactly easy.. On our second visit we had prawn spaghetti with a side of mixed seafood which we basically mixed into the spaghetti for extra seafoody spaghetti with some grilled vegetables. It was absolutely lovely, the service was fantastic, the atmosphere was great, the food was fab, 100% recommend!
Much like every place we came across we stopped outside by chance, the waiter took us through the menu and told us about the history of the place - 700 year old palace - but not in a pushy way at all but we couldn't eat there it sounded lovely. We went through to the back garden, a courtyard with a canopy of wild orange tree, it was lovely! The waiter really took care to help us, decide what we might like to eat and drink. We did end up treating ourselves.. We opted for a bottle of wine, I WISH I could remember the name of it because it was absolutely beautiful but it began with a G.... and the only one that started with a G so that help.... Then we shared some calamari to start (again big portions) and then we shared a big ol' Red Scorpion Fish with a side of fries and some mangold, which I'd never heard of but apparently it's a local favourite. It was our first time trying a one but it was delicious. It was a beautiful atmosphere and just the most enjoyable evening!! Finished off by a lovely orange liquor made from their oranges.
Price: ££ (- £££ ..oops)
A few days we just got ourselves some pasta and some lovely veggies, some pesto and some salad and made ourselves dinner at the apartment before heading out for a little ice cream or a drink or something. It's a great way to save money but also try all the local produce out for yourself
The Best Place For Cocktails
It was our last night in Hvar when we stopped by this place, but I wish we'd found it sooner (although it'd have been damaging if we had). It was right at the end of the square up a side street lined with sofa benches and stools and floral trees. We hoped for some above average cocktails but they were seriously seriously GREAT cocktails!! Not only did they taste beautiful but they garnished them beautifully too, I mean how cute is this little flower pegged to my espresso martini!
I have no doubt that if you're off to Hvar, or thinking about Hvar, anywhere you go and whatever you do will be great I've only scraped the surface, It's a fab place- I'd really recommend it and the places I've mentioned.
Where's next on your list to travel? I'd love to know so be sure to share with me your top of the list destination in the comments!
Key: <£ (less than a pound/free), £ (£1-£9), ££ (£10-£99), £££ (£100+)