For many, the island of Hvar conjures up images of lavish parties and hob-nobbing with the glitterati in trendy restaurants and beach clubs. However, there’s more to Hvar than just its party scene. Just a little ways away from the main town of Jelsa, you’ll find Tvrdava Fortica, an ancient fortress that dates from before 500BCE. The climb up to the fortress is relatively easy and you’ll be rewarded with unbroken views of the gleaming Adriatic. If you prefer to get out on the water itself, there are plenty of mini excursions available. Here we reveal some of the best day trips to do by boat from Hvar.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Located just 10 minutes from Hvar by boat, the Pakleni Islands are made up of a cluster of small outcrops and hidden bays. On Sveti Klement, the largest of the Pakleni group, you can pop your mask on and snorkel to explore the crystal-clear waters around Tarsce Bay. After indulging in a swim, enjoy a delicious local meal at the tiny village of Palmizana, where you’ll find time-honoured dining establishments such as the Meneghello Restaurant.
This is the second-largest island in the Pakleni Island group and is perhaps best known for the sprawling Carpe Diem beach club on Stipanska bay. For something a bit more low-key, head to the other end of the island, where you’ll find the serene shores of Zdrilca and Mlini beaches. The calm waters, clean stretches of sand and variety of restaurants make it ideal for families with young children to kick back and enjoy a lazy afternoon.
Crvene Stijene (Red Rocks)
This natural phenomenon is a must-visit for anyone who spends time in Hvar. Composed of towering red limestone rocks that plunge towards the sea, the Red Rocks are the result of century upon century of erosion. While this attraction is only accessible by boat, you can easily hop off for a swim or snorkel, or even try a spot of (safe) cliff jumping on the left side of the rocks.
About 10 minutes away from the Red Rocks, you’ll find this secluded beach, which is mostly under the tourist radar. Because of its remote location, which is only accessible by boat, it doesn’t receive many visitors, so if you’re lucky, you might have the entire beach to yourself. Take a dip in the inviting waters surrounding the beach or simply flop back and bathe in the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
Situated in the Korcula Channel, close to the south coast of Hvar, this tiny islet is popular for boat-trippers because of its pristine beauty and earthy Mediterranean island atmosphere. With many well-paved trails, you can easily explore the little island on foot, visiting historical sights such as the remains of a 15th-century Dominican Monastery, as well the island’s highest point – Vela Glova.
You’ve heard of the famous Blue Cave on the Croatian island of Bisevo, but have you visited its lesser-known, but no less spectacular, counterpart – the Green Cave? Located on the southwest side of the tiny, uninhabited island of Ravnik, this cave glows an almost ethereal emerald green, a natural phenomenon caused by sunlight reflecting the green algae growing on the ceiling and the walls of the cave down into the sea. Unlike the Blue Cave, visitors are allowed to swim, and even snorkel, here, so be sure to pack your gear.
Kornati National Park is made up of 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs spread along the Dalmatian coastline, and is best accessed by boat. For adventure seekers, the islands feature rugged karst terrain packed with caves and grottos to explore. If you prefer something more laid-back, head to the sheltered bay of Vrulje, where you’ll find the family-friendly Core Restaurant serving homemade delicacies such as rockfish fritters and Adriatic octopus, best washed down with a glass of fine Croatian wine or two.
Situated just a little over an hour away from Hvar by boat, the city of Split is great for those looking to stretch their legs and do some serious sightseeing. The city’s ancient roots stretch back 1,700 years to Roman times, and Split’s old town grew from the palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian, in the third century CE. Today, the Unesco-listed Diocletian’s Palace is a living museum of sorts, comprised of narrow streets lined with colourful cafes, boutiques and restaurants.
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