Passports & Parsimony

major adventures on a modest budget 

Island Hopping and Missed Ferries: Adventures in Hvar, Croatia


According to the internet, Hvar is THE island to visit when coming to Croatia. The party scene is great (if that's what you're into), the beaches are beautiful, and the Old Town is perfectly picturesque. So, we weren't going to miss a chance to pay this place a visit!

To get to Hvar from Split, you'll need a boat ticket. Several boats and catamarans leave for the islands every day. We used Jadrolijna's catamaran, which takes about an hour each way. You can look at the boat schedule here. We bought tickets online, but you can also get them the day of at the port (I have an inkling they may be more expensive online). We paid 220 kuna for both ways. The boat was quite nice! There's air conditioning and bathrooms on board. Show up 15 minutes early -- those boats leave promptly at their time of departure (or maybe even a bit earlier!). You see later why I'm stressing this point so much...

Lou saw some dolphins jumping during our journey to Hvar, so keep your eyes peeled and don't miss them like I did!

Once you arrive, it's sort of like looking at a photo of Split with 50% boosted saturation. The water is that much bluer, the rooftops are a vibrant, cheerful orange. Everything is bright and beautiful!

We began by walking around the Old Town. Believe it or not, strolling leisurely in the Balkans never gets old! I wondered if all these towns would feel the same to me, but they didn't. Each one has a unique sort of flavor to it :)

Of course, Lou insisted we hike to the top Spajnola Fortress and check out the city view from above. Not bad, eh? There's even some pretty neat things to see inside the fortress!

view of Hvar from Spajnola fortress

After wandering around for a bit, we took a speedboat to the island of Marinkovac for 50 kuna. Apparently, there is great nightlife here, but since we came in the middle of the blazing hot afternoon, I can't confirm this. On the boat ride over, we hit if off with a fellow traveler and the three of us had a great time hanging out on Mlini Beach. He'd gotten the inside scoop from his Airbnb host on where to go -- lucky us! Mlini is a quiet but beautiful part of the bay! If you want to avoid the crowds it might be a good choice. There's even a tiny little island you can swim to from the beach if you like. But beware! The ocean floor is quite rocky and sharp, as is the shore of the little island. Don't know if I'd attempt that swim again without water shoes. Also, there are sea urchins. Do not step on one, or you'll be in for some unpleasantness! This happened to our poor friend, and he got a little cut up as a result. Ouch! But he took it like a trooper.

Marinkovac island in Hvar

After swimming, we got some bread and wine at Tri Grede, an outdoor restaurant with a fun, beachy vibe. Nice place to relax!

We then hopped a return boat back to Hvar and wandered about the town some more. For dinner, we ended up at Lola Bar, where the servers were really friendly and joked around with us. The menu is more American-ish than some other places we dined, but I didn't mind. I remember eating quite a lot of french fries there. Plus, I loved the music (lots of rock songs I grew up hearing in the States).

We were enjoying our dinner and chatting with our new friend so much that we missed out return ferry to Split! I realized at 6:40 pm that our boat was scheduled to leave in a mere 5 minutes. Yikes! We said goodbye to our friend and bolted for the dock, but when we arrived, the boat was nowhere to be seen. I think we missed it by mere minutes, but no cigar! Oops.

Stranded and exhausted from the running, we returned to Lola Bar. The waiters told us they were glad we missed our boat -- now we'd have to to stay on the island a bit longer! Our traveler friend had some extra space at his Airbnb and was kind enough to let us crash there for the night. The place was somewhat oddly decorated, but comfortable! We then got up early and caught a morning ferry back to Split!

When you travel, your day might not go as planned, but that's usually half the fun of it ;)

So remember, if you come to Hvar, don't be late for your boat. And watch out for sea urchins!

~ Lael

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