Hvar marks the third time abroad this year, which for me is definitely adventurous as I usually go away once, but they say third time's a charm when it comes to tanning right? I will say my tan looks much better than my previous two trips, however I have spent the last week in bed sick because of air-con - I'm cold-blooded, I don't need more cold!
I digress, as this trip was a fab balance of relaxation and exploring; before now Croatia was never on my to visit list but since our trip I'd definitely return and, of course, recommend you stay as well.
The island of Hvar is beautiful albeit a little tricky to get to, and something you need to plan ahead and be prepared for; it is best to fly to Split airport and take an airport shuttle straight to the port. From plane to getting a seat on the bus takes 10 minutes, it's just a quick passport check and then you stroll right through the exit. The bus costs 30 Kunas (Kuna is currently 10 to the £1, so £3 for a 30-40 minute air-conditioned bus journey. Trust me. You want air con then) and it is best to take the shuttle which leaves in sync with arrivals, but roughly twice an hour.
To get across, it is best to take the catamaran by Jadrolinija - it is 100% necessary to book as far ahead as you can to get the best time as popular times fill up quick (usually 3pm to Hvar and 8am from Hvar to Split). You can however visit the individual ticket stands both in Split and Hvar and see if there is space 24 hours before, as the hold back some availability for island hoppers, and this costs 11 Kunas to change the booking (£1!!)
There are boards updating information regularly and a map plus ticket office which can point in the right direction, and I'd suggest you want to arrive 15-30 minutes before departure, so take that into account with flights and bus etc. The price is also between 55-90 Kuna (£5-10) and takes an hour from Split to Hvar (plus, there is wifi! Well, if you get the good boat that is)
So you've got to the island and the main city of Hvar, a small yet very architecturally pleasing city that smells one moment of salty seaweed and the next of fresh potent lavender - which the island is famed for growing, and I can confirm the scent is unbelievable. There are several hotel couriers awaiting, so if you're staying at a specific chain or resort they can whisk your luggage up the winding roads for you whilst you explore the seafront, the restaurants and main square - I do have some food recommendations coming up soon, don't worry ;)
Also coming soon is a closer look at where we stayed - Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort - which is a 10 minute walk along the seafront, passing lovely views of blue sea and active crickets, but not a chance to wear your new shoes the first time, or heels. Too many cobbles for that.
The architecture is a true delight also; I love photographing buildings and people and culture, and Hvar had more than enough to get me away from the pool and snapping happily. The island was once a port for Roman Emperors and traders, hence the influence in architecture and even the people - there's plenty of Italian restaurants and influence to keep your stomach happy ;)
Although we mainly stayed by the pool, there is plenty to explore - the old fortress that surrounded the city from attack is visible on top of the many green hills, boats and water taxis offering snorkelling and island hopping trips to the smaller nearby islands, and several other trips including the various churches and monasteries, but also a great mix of nightlife if that's your thing and quiet areas to fall asleep with a good book - 22 going on 90.
As I mentioned, I've a few little recommendations up my sleeve so keep your eyes peeled for those; in the meantime, have you ever been to Croatia or Hvar? And how cute is that dog??!
Lots of Love,
Thank you to Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort for hosting us on our trip.
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