Travel Diary – Croatia (Part I: Hvar)

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Summer has got me feeling the travel bugs.  One of the most memorable summer destinations I’ve been to is Croatia from two years ago.  My knowledge of Croatia was limited to 1) Game of Thrones since part of the show is filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and 2) Yacht Week, where people sail, island hop and party for a week straight.  What I didn’t realize until I got there is the plethora of natural beauty this Adriatic country had to offer.

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I went for 6 days and 5 nights (3 days 3 nights in Hvar and 3 days 2 nights in Split).  My itinerary was as such: Hvar -> various islands -> Hvar -> Split -> Plitvice Lakes -> Split.

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Breathtaking view upon arriving Hvar

To get to Hvar, you fly into Split Airport, then take a bus from the airport to the pier, from there you’ll take a ferry for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Hvar.  People at the airport and pier can speak English because they deal with tourists often, so it’s pretty manageable to find your way around.  Upon arriving Hvar, I was welcomed with clear sky, shimmering deep blue water, charming Croatian buildings, and a comforting sea breeze.

General Travel Information

  • Currency: Croatian Kuna
  • Language: Croatian.  People who work in touristy parts can usually speak basic English.
  • Voltage: The standard voltage in Croatia is 220 volts.  The outlet has two round holes which is the same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, etc.
  • Data: you can purchase a SIM card. There’s free WiFi at some restaurants and bars, but WiFi is not everywhere and the connection can be spotty, so I would still recommend getting a SIM card.
  • Transportation: If you stay in touristy areas, you can walk to places.  However, you do spend a lot of time on boats to goto islands so you end up taking a water taxi or book some sort of day trip.
  • Best time to go: Summer for the beautiful scenery and plentiful parties
  • One souvenir to buy: LAVENDER!  I’m obsessed with the smell because it’s so soothing.  The country is known for its abundance of lavender so get a little something of lavender (oil, candle, pouch, etc.) when you’re here!

Activities / Sightseeing

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Boats, boats, boats by the Hvar pier

Walk along the Hvar Pier & Main Square.  This is where you get off of the ferry.  The Main Square is where St. Stephen’s Cathedral is, which is pretty much the main historic attraction of the city.  The view from the pier is one you can’t miss – these pictures don’t even do the view justice.  The sound of the sea, sapphire water, and ocean breeze make you suddenly carefree.

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Yes, the water is THAT blue

Island hop.  The are multiple little islands in the region and there are tours that take you on a day trip to the more scenic islands.  There are tourism companies along the pier so I recommend booking the tours when you get there and you can check out the combinations you want to visit instead of booking them online in advance.

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Blue Cave.  It’s a really popular stop for many of the island tour packages I mentioned.  You take a small boat to go inside the cave where the water is clear and glow-in-the-dark blue.

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Swimming outside the Green Cave, can you spot me? 🙂

Green Cave.  Not far from the Blue Cave and it’s similar where the water inside the cave is of a turquoise color.  This stop is usually bundled with Blue Cave.  The nice thing about this cave is that you can swim into and outside of the cave.

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Croatian beaches have pebbles instead of sand

Pakleni Islands.  Scenic islands that the tour took us to.  Going to these islands is totally worth it because they have some pristine beaches that are less crowded.  You can kayak at some of these islands.  It’s the perfect way to relax after a night out and recharge for another night of partying ahead.

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Mlini Beach.  My favorite beach out of all the ones we went to on our tours!  I found it to be the most peaceful with the cleanest beach.  It’s part of the Pakleni Islands.  This picture above is like a scene straight out of a music video…but better!!

Nightlife.  One of the main reasons why Hvar is so popular, so be sure to check out some clubs/bars.  Here are some recommendations:

  • Carpe Diem: most famous club of Hvar. You actually have to hop on a boat to get here because the club is on an island 10-15 minutes away from Hvar.  The club provides scheduled boats or you can take a water taxi.  It’s an outdoors club and it has day and night clubs.  Day club is like boozy brunch with DJ and night club is the usual.  I’ve heard that a lot of celebs party at this club.  I saw an LA Clipper when I went.
  • Pink Champagne: On Hvar itself.  Indoor club and it’s decently spacious.
  • Hula Hula Beach Bar: I didn’t goto this one but a highly recommended bar.  My friends who went all liked it.  As the name suggests, it’s by the beach.

This was the first half of my trip, I will post about the second half where we went to Split in part II – stay tuned!

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