It was my birthday recently, yay, and I went for a weekend break away with some girlfriends. We went to Hvar, a Croatian island known for its lavender and wine-making. Hvar town is known to be quite a party island between June and September in high season; this the town where the daytime parties start at 5 pm and finish at 9 pm, the bars open at 9 pm and close at 2 am and the clubs open at 2 am and close at 6 am! However, if that is not your scene, it is also a great place to go for a relaxing break.
The town centre, Hvar town, is quite a small place and you can probably walk around it in a day. It is mostly pedestrianised but most places are within walking distance so that is not a problem for getting around. We went at the end of September, which was actually a great time as the weather was still lovely, in the mid-twenties during the day and high-teens to low-twenties in the evening. It was perfect for relaxing on the beach but not too hot. It was also not very crowded with the party season just about ending, but still a decent number of bars and restaurants open to keep us busy.
The best way to get to Hvar is to fly to Split and get a ferry or catamaran to Hvar. They run quite frequently and take about one hour or more depending on which service you use. It is best to check the timetable so you can plan which ferry to take. You can book your tickets for the ferry online but also very easily just buy them at the ticket offices when you get to the ferry ports.
We stayed in a spacious property we found on Airbnb owned by a lovely lady who was happy to tell us about the good places to eat and best places to visit.
Here are some things we did that I would definitely recommend:
Visit BB Club for the best-grilled shrimps
The food at this restaurant is generally good, and in very large portions for a reasonable price. The Shrimpers Heaven platter is OK with lots of coated fried shrimp options, so if you are not a big fan of fried foods this is probably not for you. The grilled 1kg Adriatic shrimp, however, is a must-have if you like shrimp. They are the tastiest and juiciest grilled shrimps ever and if you do not, it just may change your mind. It is well seasoned and cooked perfectly, soft and not chewy at all. It does come in the shell so can be a bit messy to eat, but the shell comes off really easily and is well worth it.
Watch the sunset at Hula Hula beach bar
Whilst sipping on a cocktail and listening to good music. You will be forgiven for dozing off as it is the most relaxing holiday experience.
Visit the Pakleni Islands
We saw these on the flight on the way to Split and they looked pretty intriguing. Unfortunately, I did not get a good aerial shot of them from the aeroplane, so you will have to go see them for yourself…or just ask google. There are water taxis from Hvar port that run throughout the day to take you there and back. The different ones go to different islands, so check before you board, and also check the last water taxi times a some of these islands are uninhabited, so it will be a shame to get stuck there overnight!
Take a walk around the town
And explore the local shops. The streets are mostly pedestrianised and there are lots of little shops. selling locally made items which could make lovely gifts.
Boat/yacht watch at the harbour
The island is frequently visited by cruise ships and yachts with their owner. There are usually several boats and yachts moored at the harbour especially in the evenings. Take a walk along the harbour and pick out which ones you would like to own.
On my todo list next time
As we were only there for the weekend, a relaxing weekend to be specific, there was only so much we could fit in the time. Here are some things I would like to do when I visit Hvar again.
As I am not a big fan of wine (I am more of a cocktail person) and due to the limited amount of time we had I did not prioritise the wine tasting tour on this trip, however, given that this island is known for its wine, this is certainly on my to-do list for next time.
Visit the Tvrdava Fortica (Hvar Fort)
To see the view of the entire town from the top. It’s a very hilly island and even just walking in the town centre frequently means climbing up and downstairs. The view from the top is probably spectacular.
Explore the rest of Hvar island
We mainly stayed put in Hvar town, but I am curious about what the other parts of the island, like Stari Grad and Jesla has to offer.
Blue cave and island tours
According to visit Hvar, a visit to the Blue Cave (Modra Špilja) on the island of Biševo near the island of Vis will certainly impress you and stay in your memory for a long time. The miraculous play of sunlight which reflects from the white bottom creates a fascinating blue light that lights up the cave above and below the sea surface. Sounds like it will be an amazing experience.