Croatia

Croatian Island Hopping

It’s not a secret that the Croatian islands are the real place to go when you are traveling down the Adriatic.  

Hvar was probably my favorite part of everything I saw in Croatia. The island was so beautiful, with so much to see and do.  I was travelling with my mom, so I wasn’t about to hit up every bar and club, but if you are looking for a place to party Hvar is definitely that place.  The Hula Hula Bar seems to be the place to go, which is seated out on the rocks, with multiple lounge chairs and cabanas, and loud club music. If you aren’t there to go out, there is still so much to do.  Hvar is a really big island, and really really rich in history, although this often gets overlooked due to the big party scene.  

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We stayed in Hvar Town, which is another beautiful, white marble town, on the south side of the island and it also serves as the main port.  On the North side of the island, you have the very old Stari Grad town, which is definitely worth seeing.

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The Plains

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The Plains

Nearby are the Stari Grad Plains, which are filled with numerous archaeological sites.  The plains are now currently used as vineyards, and the archaeological sites can be hard to spot among the fields.  You can pick up a map at the Stari Grad travel information office, that will mark the sites of any ruins.  Among the things you can find in the plains are ruins from Roman estates, and abandoned villages.  It is interesting how many of the ancient Roman walls are just standing there among the wineries, with no real markings or attempts to preserve the ruins.

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On the other end of the plains, are two other small towns, Vrboska and Jelsa, both are pretty and quaint, and another nice place to stop on Hvar.

Of course if you are visiting Hvar, you will probably want to see the Lavender. Lavender was one of Hvar’s main exports for many years, and they became well known for it.  The plant grows wild all over the mountains of the island, and is seen often.  We were told by a local, however, that about ten years ago there was a major fire that burned a majority of the lavender.  The people of Hvar tried to replant it, but it apparently isn’t quite what it used to be.

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Another popular export from Hvar: Wine.  We visited a beautiful winery called Tomic, where we tried a few different red and white wines, all of which were soooo good.  They also served us a special desert wine called Prošek.  Similar to Prosecco, but our tour guide seemed pretty passionate about how Prošek was created before Prosecco, so it is kind of a matter of national pride.

Vis, not far from Hvar, holds a few of the natural wonders of the Adriatric.  You have the famous blue cave, located nearby, which I wasn’t able to see because it was too windy.  Everyone says it is really cool, but I wasn’t really that crushed that I had to miss it. We did see the Green Cave, which is like a man-made less cool alternative to the Blue Cave.  Basically, the sun shines through an opening at the top of the cave and illuminates the water below, to create a really pretty glowing effect.

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I loved loved loved the Vis beaches.  They were a nice change from the rock sea entrances on Hvar and Buza in Dubrovnik.  Of course we visited the famous Stiniva Beach.  When we arrived the cove was so crowded with boats that I had to jump off the boat from outside the cove and swim in.  Luckily I had my Go Pro so I was able to get a few pictures.  Stiniva is very pretty, but unfortunately I didn’t have any shoes (since I had to swim to the beach), so I couldn’t hike up the cliff to get the best view, which is supposed to be unbelievable.
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Stiniva

We also visited Stoncica, which we did as kind of a make-up stop for not being able to visit the Blue Cave.  This beach isn’t as famous, but I actually enjoyed it more, probably because it was easier to swim in this area. It was just so photogenic.
Also, on our way back from Vis to Hvar we stopped at this super weird and creepy submarine bunker.  Apparently it was built to hide submarines from NATO, but they accidentally made it slightly too narrow, so they couldn’t fit anything in it lol.
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I loved Mjlet becaue it was a little different than a lot of the other places we visited in Croatia.  The majority of the island is a national park.  There are two bright blue salt water lakes surrounded by hills and woods. People rent bikes and ride around the lakes, exploring the park. There is also a small island in the center of one of the lakes with The Monastery of Saint Mary on it.  The Order of Saint Benedictine came to the island from Italy in 1150 and built the monastery.  They eventually gave up their rule in the 1300s.   It is also legend that Mljet is were Odysseus spent seven years after being lured by the sirens.  I wouldn’t mind spending seven years here.
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Categories: Croatia, Destination, Europe

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