Stepping out onto the open tarmac at Athens airport, I suddenly realised the small toy aeroplane in front of us was the one we were catching to Dubrovnik. I froze. All I saw were the two vintage propellers. Ah, where was the engine? Why are there only four small steps into the cabin? I wasn’t the only passenger almost in tears. With the strong winds, I wondered if we’d even make it off the ground. One of the last passengers to enter, we carefully walked down the two by two cabin and settled into our baby blue worn leather chairs. Embracing the late 60s vibe, with our wedding playlist on high, we jetted off into the clouds. Let the Croatia adventure begin!
After missing out on tickets for the last ferry to Hvar, we caught a taxi to Drvenik to catch a local ferry across to the island. Our two hour road trip along the rugged Dalmatian coast began with breathtaking views of Dubrovnik Old Town. Curving along the Adriatic Sea past cliff side vineyards, olive groves and orchards, we unexpectedly passed The Bay of Stones, a stretch of sea renowned for their oysters. We soon found ourselves pulling over by the side of the road to enjoy freshly shucked natural oysters with our driver prepared by an old Croatian fisherwoman. Sometimes the best travel moments are the most unexpected.
Waking up in the centre of Hvar in a little Airbnb, we explored the small coves along the island and came across beach club Hula-Hula, away from the main pedestrian fare. We happily settled back into our day beds with views of the azure water, watching the super yachts roll in. An afternoon of swimming, reading, local grilled prawns, spaghetti aglio olio, Calipos in the sunshine and a few Karlovacko beers. A helicopter had everyone captivated as it landed on one of the super yachts. Only in Hvar…
We happily settled back into our day beds with views of the azure water, watching the super yachts roll in. An afternoon of swimming, reading, local grilled prawns, spaghetti aglio olio, Calipos in the sunshine and a few Karlovacko beers.
Days blurred into one; relaxing mornings spent drinking coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice with locals off the main square. Long days by the beach, soaking up the sun. Nights drinking rosé down hidden cobbled laneways and exploring the city without the heat of the sun. For authentic Mediterranean fare, Macondo does a great seafood spaghetti filled with local mussels. Fig Cafe is another great spot for summer salads filled with watermelon, feta and prosciutto – perfect on a warm Hvar night. It’s owned by a Croatian local who spent some time in Melbourne, taking great pride and influence from our foodie culture.
If you’re spending a few days on the island catch a water taxi to Carpe Diem beach club for an oasis of straw hut sun beds, bohemian vibes and the most picturesque white pebbled beach. Snorkel, laze the day away with a good book or try stand up paddle boarding on the calm waters. Tip: be sure to reserve a sun bed in advance as its a popular little spot. Also, try and make dinner reservations if you can and be sure to book the ferry a few days before departure – there are limited seats and they sell out fast! From the fortress Fortica Španjola you can catch the best views of the island and adjacent Pakleni Islands. Go early morning to beat the heat and some of the crowds.
The perfect mix of history, opulence, culture and youthful atmosphere, Hvar is the ultimate island destination.
Next stop, Dubrovnik.
LOCATION / HVAR, CROATIA
STAY / AIRBNB