24 May So Hvar From Home…
We are just back from a week of pure relaxation in Hvar, an island just off the coast of Croatia. It was definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (so far!) and I will be making it my mission to go back in the near future.
We flew with Lufthansa on an indirect flight through Frankfurt, arriving into Split airport. The times were good but we were very very close to missing our connection with an hour delay leaving Dublin. It’s funny thinking about it now as we literally had to run though Frankfurt airport and skip all the queues at security. I was so worried our bags wouldn’t make it onto the plane. That was until we found out that we were going to be on the same plane for the second half of our journey. My mind was instantly at ease.
We took a taxi from Split airport to the port only for the fact that we were tight on time. It cost €50 or so, but I think a bus would be about €3. Believe me when I say that you should keep your spending until Hvar. It is not cheap! We arrived to Stari Grad port at around 11pm and took a bus to Hvar town. You should have no problem getting to Hvar from there, when we got off there were lots of buses and taxis waiting. An alternative route is a catamaran direct from Split port to Hvar port however, they are less frequent.
After the success of the last Airbnb in Lisbon, we decided to try it out again for this one. We stayed here, and it was so handy. It was a short walk down quite a few steps(!) to the main square and the views from the balcony were just amazing. It was also a steal – I think we paid €250 for it for the entire week. The apartment had everything we needed, albeit a little basic, but for the amount of time we were actually in it, we hardly noticed.
Things To Do
We really wanted to relax on this trip so tried to keep planning activities to a minimum, but by the end we had actually done a lot – I just can’t sit still! We went on a day trip to the Blue Caves which were really beautiful. The reason for the blue appearance is the reflection of the sun on the sand. There are only two in the world – one on the island of Biševo, Croatia and the other in Capri, Italy, or at least that’s what we were told. Since I came home, I have found there are many many more than that! I guess he was a really good sales man!
We managed to fit two beach clubs in on our trip. The first is located on Palmižana island – about a half an hour taxi boat from Hvar Port and the other is called Carpe Diem Beach in Stipanska which is a bit closer to Hvar and easily accessed by taxi boat (about €5 return). Carpe Diem Beach is one of the best known beach clubs in Hvar. It was casual and chilled, with sun loungers and tropical music playing. During the high season attracts a lot of young people looking to party, so if this is something you want to avoid, I’d recommend visiting in early May.
We also booked a wine tasting with Viator. It was €70 each but was definitely worth the money. Our tour guide picked us up from the bus station in Hvar town, and took us to the Tomic winery in Jelsa. This took about 40 minutes. He was amazing (Ivan from Amazing Tours Hvar). He taught us all about the areas we drove through and told us some unusual facts about the island. At Tomic we were greeted by one of the staff at the winery who too us around. We viewed the show room, cellar and the production area before heading into the dining hall to begin our tasting. We tasted 6 different wines from Tomic which was paired with appetisers. The tour guide had nothing to do after our trip so he brought us up to the highest point in Hvar on the way home. The whole experience was amazing.
It was my birthday while we were away and Andrew managed to keep so many surprises for me. He organised for us to leave our little Airbnb behind for a night to stay at the Adriana Spa Hotel & Resort along with a couples massage and dinner. Not only that, but he managed to get his hands on the Jo&Judy notebook I had been eyeing up for ages and some other small things. It was such a treat, also the fact he managed to keep it all a secret as well is beyond me! Spoilt rotten!
Eating is something we did A LOT of! Hvar has some of the nicest seafood I have ever tasted in my life – especially the tuna. It was out of this world amazing! Apparently they export huge quantities of yellow fin to Japan for sushi. It is THAT good!
We ate at some of the top restaurants in Hvar, they were pricey but similar to how much you’d spend in Ireland so it was just like eating out a home. My top three restaurants were the following. I can hand on my heart recommend them to anyone paying Hvar a visit in the future.
- Butchery & Wine at the Adriana Spa Hotel
- Black pepper
We also tried to eat the local food, and seemed to avoid getting a pizza the entire trip (much to Andrew’s dismay!)
My Top Tips
- Allow yourself enough time to use local transport getting from A to B
- Do not use private boats to get to the islands. Always use the local taxi boats. We overheard one guy telling two Americans that it would cost 350 kuna (50 euro) each way to Carpe Diem Beach Club. The local taxi boat cost just 40 kuna return (approx 6 euro).
- Visit outside of peak season to avoid crazy drunk students and the wild party scene. If that’s what your looking for – July and August is best!
- Explore other islands, there are so many beautiful coves and beaches all within 20/30 minutes or Hvar
- Sit back, relax and just breathe. This is not like me at all, but I appreciated some quiet time on this holiday.
I hope this is helpful for anyone planning a trip to Hvar. If you have any questions feel free to comment below or drop me a mail.