Pronounced “Hvor” – This little place in Croatia is trending as the latest and most exciting “party” island to be. Being 4 girls on a Eurotrip and not having much to spend, we decided that this would be the ideal place to let loose and have some affordable fun.
We flew from Marjorca to Croatia. When we landed, we were quite amused by the size of the airport. It was tiny. We took a bus from the airport to Split ferry station (International flights only fly to Split or Dubrovni in Croatia). The Split ferry station is about 30km from the airport. From the ferry station, we took a ferry to the island of Hvar.
Regardless of what transportation means you use to come, undoubtedly you will experience a sea journey to Hvar Island. The most common problem travelers tend to have, is to get the ferry / catamaran schedule to match their itineraries. The biggest problem is that the regular catamarans has a schedule and it is suited to the needs of the people living on the island and working on the mainland – which means it is not all to great for a day-trip from Split to Hvar. In general, ticket reservation is not possible.
During summer, there are 4 catamaran departures in each direction. The first catamaran departure is at 10am from Split, the last departure is from Hvar is 3pm. As traveling time is about 1 hour, you have a maximum of 4 hours to spend on seeing Hvar town. (We wouldn’t recommend going for a day trip would not make sense). However, if you are interested in only doing a day trip, you will have about 4 hours to explore Hvar. In the summer, the catamarans are often full, so if you plan on catching the 10am departure from Split, it is advisable that you buy the ticket early in the morning or even better, one day ahead. Once you arrive in Hvar, the first thing you have to do is to go and buy you return ticket. For the 3pm departure, you will have to buy the ticket at the agency Pelegrini.
That was a bit of a digression, but it’s better to know the route than struggle like we did when we got there initially. We were so late for the ferry (remember these catamarans depart only at certain times, so missing it would be waiting about 4 hours for the next one), that while running to the catamaran with our huge bags, I miss-stepped and crashed into the side of a baggage trolley that left me in a lot of pain. Safe to say that we managed to get on to the catamaran and we were well on our way to Hvar (with a bruised leg in tow). The ferry was called the “JADROLINIJA.”.(Route Details)
The route was from Split to Stari Grad (town on the northern side of the island of Hvar in Dalmatia, Croatia). Once we arrived in Stari Grad, Hvar, we took a taxi to our apartment. Yes we managed to find a cozy apartment overlooking the bay. We found these affordable apartments called Lorenco Tudor (view info here : Lorenco Tudor Apartments).
These apartments are affordable and great for a group of friends. Per person, we spent R1600 in total for 3 nights (which is about R533 per night per person). The way the houses spill across the hill, hugging the bay, reminded me of Mykonos, Greece. The walk down to the harbour is pleasant. The walk back up to the apartment is like climbing Table Mountain (extremely painful and very steep).
When we arrived at the apartment, the cleaner was still busy working so we had to wait outside for a bit. Once we went into the apartment, it appeared cozy with one bedroom (with a double bed), 1 bathroom and a lounge area with a sleeper couch. There was a patio with a small table and chairs over-looking the whole of Hvar. Absolutely stunning. We were given fresh towels upon arrival as well as a bowl filled with sweets, chips, etc.
The first night we dressed up and walked down to the main harbour for dinner. When we got to the bottom, the place transformed into an “Ibiza” in Croatia. The bars were lively and there were so many tourists, music, markets, etc. I was surprised. I won’t go into detail about the dinner we had as the food in Croatia is nothing to brag about. It’s quite bland and boring actually. But we didn’t go there for the food.
We managed to get into one of the hottest bars on the island called “Carpe-diem” ( English translation – Seize the day)
The bar was full of the young and the beautiful, as well as the random old and weird. At first, we felt a bit under dressed and maybe the rand exchange rate wasn’t looking so great considering how expensive a cooldrink was – but after a few minutes in, it turned out to be a lot of fun. At 2am, the bar closes and everyone gets on a boat to the Carpe-Diem island (Stipanska Island) . Yes, I said an island! An island that parties till early hours of the morning. Being 4 girls, we decided not to get on the boat and leave to party island – I think it’s because we watch too many horror movies.
Now that I think about it, I wish we had. So not much can be said about the little party island we never experienced except that we should have taken the risk. It probably would have been worth it.
Apart from the party island, we experienced night markets, clubs along the stretch. Most of the day we spent lounging on the beach. The beaches in Croatia are rocky and the shoreline had no sea sand. I can recommend taking surf shoes with just to get into the water as it gets a bit painful walking over rocks. The water is clear blue and refreshing. We spent hours at the beach. Tip: It’s good to go very early so that you can rent a sun bed and umbrella.
We didn’t stay long in Hvar, I would recommend about 4-5 days and definitely stay over the weekend. Saturday nights are the big party nights. The only way to get off the island is to go down to the harbour and take the ferry back to Split, Croatia. We took a taxi down to the docks and walked with our massive bags over a rocky floor to the boat. Just a note – people are not very helpful when it comes to assisting you carrying your bags on the boat. They will watch as you struggle. With a long queue behind me, I lifted my suitcase with all the strength that I had and it was still very tough and slightly embarrassing having all these people watch you.
When we arrived at the airport, we were told that we were over the weight limit. They allow check in luggage -15kg and carry on 8kg (weight guidelines).
Our bags weighed about 22-24kgs. So we had to pay a phenomenal amount to check our bags in.
I would recommend traveling light if you do decide to fly to Croatia.
Croatia is definitely the up and coming holiday destination, with its clear blue water and cheap accommodation. The overall trip there was not as expensive as our trip to Spain and definitely worth it. So as they say in Croatia , “Seize the day” and as we say in South Africa “YOLO!” (You only live once)…..
For more info on Croatia have a look at the below websites :
2. Hvar Wiki
Photos : self taken