We decided to have a proper day of rest and relaxation, so what better what better way than to do some island hopping on the Dalmatian coast to Hvar. There were many ferry and catamaran options available throughout the day, so we opted for an 1100 departure, giving us some time for breakfast on the promenade again. Prior to the trip, we did a simpler breakfast consisting of muesli – yogurt, granola, fruit – saving our appetite for Hvar.
We bought the outbound ticket in advance, but left the inbound for arrival, not knowing how much time we would need in Hvar. At the main port in Split, we boarded the Jadrolinija catamaran at about 15 minutes to our scheduled departure time to make sure we got two seats together (this turned out to be a pro tip). It was a huge catamaran, holding 200-300 passengers. The water was calm and the trip was comfortable from inside the large vessel, and I had a nice snooze – I may have been a little drowsy from the anti-nausea medication (I always take it before being on water, just in case).
We arrived about an hour later in to the Hvar City harbor, and started exploring immediately. It was posh, and reminded us of St. Barths.
Many beautiful flowers greeted us in planters and window boxes, and we discovered that Hvar was known for vast lavender fields grown wild, and now harvested. We made sure to buy some lavender souvenirs later from a woman we spent some time talking with about the growing season and the harvesting in the morning. Unfortunately, we were not in Hvar at the proper time to see the fields in bloom, which eliminated our appetite for renting a scooter.
We took a long walk around the pedestrian waterfront area.
We admired some smaller islands close by, as well as many beautiful people and beautiful yachts enjoying the Hvar good life. Did I mention the weather was sunny and 72? It was a great escape from the rain that followed us through Slovenia.
Before going around a bend on the promenade towards the beaches, we stopped and took some selfies.
We saw this view and realized there was a fort above the city, and decided to climb up to it. Hvar’s history was similar to Split’s history – with the addition of settlements in Greek times, as early as 384 BC. It them came under Roman rule, then Venetian, then the Slavs, then the French, then the Austrians. It came under attack by the Ottoman Empire as well during the 16th century.
Before climbing, we needed some drinks. We found a reasonably priced (it was quite expensive in Hvar!) cocktail place on the less busy side of the waterfront and settled in to some pina coladas and mai tais. They were boozy and not too sweet.
We set next to an older Italian couple, and we all admired an enormous bumble bee – the biggest we’ve ever seen!
Now we were fueled and a little drunk for our climb.
Half way up, we got the views we wanted, and decided to stop and explore the alleys of the city. It was a labyrinth on several levels and we enjoyed turning a random corner to see what we would find.
After our half hike, and then stroll, we started getting hungry – but first, we thought we should think about booking our return journey from Hvar to Split. We decided to book it with Kapetan Luka, and there was a tour office (Pelikano) in town that sold the tickets. This catamaran line offered a more favorable return time than Jadrolinija, since we had already done about everything we wanted to do on Hvar in 4 hours on foot. Since we decided not to get a scooter or a car, it would have taken too long to make it to the nearest town beside the Hvar City, called Stari Grad.
Next up was a snack. We found a sandwich bar on the main square called “Hello” that served cold beer, had WiFi, but unfortunately the sandwiches were just so so. The piva hit the spot, as always 🙂
The restaurant was on this square in Hvar, which is actually the largest piazza in Dalmatia.
Our last stop in Hvar before taking the catamaran back was to get some ice cream at a milk roll and crepe shop. I got a chocolate milk roll and Brendan had a nutella crepe.
Here’s a view of the alley to get to the ice cream shop.
We ate our treats back on the dock, waiting for our 1730 ride to show up. It paid again to queue up early for the catamaran ride back so we could find places together, and it was a slightly smaller one this time. We were back in Split in a split after a nice, rocking nap, and this time docked in a slightly different part of the city (more near the market) than in the morning.
I definitely recommend you do some island hopping if you find yourself on the Dalmatian coast to experience this way of living – everything is done slowly, and with joy. If we had had more time, we would have also checked out Vis – but, then we wouldn’t have something to do next time.
And that’s a wrap for Hvar!