Voting began for European Best Destination 2018 on January 18, 2018, and TCN is taking a closer look at the Croatian nominee, the island of Hvar. Today’s topic – beaches.
Where to start? There is something for everyone! Europe’s sunniest island, one of the world’s cleanest seas and beaches to die for. From the harder to find, such as the small sandy beach of Perna on the Pakleni Islands, above, to more famous and more popular beaches. We start on the Pakleni Islands.
Tourism on the Pakleni islands began in 1906 in Palmizana, as bay of Vinogradisce is often referred to. It is the biggest attraction on the largest of the Pakleni islands, Sveti Klement, and some outstanding restaurants and accommodation are available. The most popular Pakleni destination for a day trip from Hvar Town.
Kordovon on Jerolim
The small island of Jerolim is a naturist island, and was actually named as CNN’s top FKK beach in the world in 2011. Head to the other side of the island once you dock, to one of the most chilled places in all Dalmatian – Mare’s place. FKK, family, gay, a true melting pot and one of our top recommendations for a visit to Hvar.
Stipanska, aka Carpe Diem Beach
Another water taxi from Hvar Town will take you to Stipanksa, better known to many as Carpe Diem Beach. While the Full Moon Parties and other nightly entertainment may be its most famous attraction, for some upper scale service and a well-equipped beach club, this is the Pakleni stop for you.
Or choose from a host of other choices – Zdrilca is on the same island as Stipanska (Marinkovac) but a world away, and with some rather fine dining options – also connected by water taxi.
Hvar Town without the Pakleni Island is not blessed with beaches, but there are some great options, the most popular of which is Pokonji Dol opposite the lighthouse of the same name. Just don’t ground your yacht there, as happened a few years ago.
Hvar’s most famous beach spot combined with a little social life is Hula Hula, not a bad spot for sunset.
Bonj les Bains
As for the most exclusive, that title would go to the beautiful Bonj les Bains, a 1930s colonnade under Hotel Amfora, with fine dining, massages, waiter service and private cabanas. It was named in top 20 beaches in Europe by The Times in 2010.
The southern bays towards Stari Grad are more popular than those off the old road from Hvar Town, which is good news is you are looking to escape the crowds. The bays close to the village of Brusje are divine. Here are our top 5.
The southern bays are the most popular, however, and no wonder. Drive along the new road from Hvar Town to Stari Grad and you are spoiled for choice before the tunnel. Fish restaurant and family swimming heaven in Milna.
More fine dining and unusual rock formations are factors in the Zaraca beach experience.
Dubovica is often included in lists of top ten beaches in Europe, and there is no surprise as to why.
So lovely it deserves a second photo…
Zukova on Kabal
Stari Grad is not blessed with great town beaches (although Hotel Arkada does a great job for its guests),but it is close to the Kabal Peninsula, where you can truly escape the crowds and find your own little slice of Dalmatian heaven. Zukova Bay, near Rudina, is arguably the pick of the bunch.
One of the most popular family beaches is Soline, a short walk through the pine trees from Vrboska, complete with restaurant and kids playing area.
Vrboska FFK (copyright Romulic and Stojcic)
Vrboska is also a very popular naturist destination, and Vrboska has an excellent FKK campsite and beach just outside the town.
More family beach fun can be found in Jelsa, with the most popular beach, Mina, located under Hotel Hvar, and having a shallow sandy base.
As does Grebisce in the next bay, complete with campsite.
But those beaches in the south keep calling… Travel through the Pitve Tunnel and you have an excellent selection. Although tiny, for many this little gem is regarded by some as the best beach on Hvar – Luscice, a short drive from Sveta Nedjejla, and reputed to have magical procreational powers. If it worked for you, get in touch.
Ivan Dolac is famous for its wine, and also for its family beaches, and the pretty southern resort village is one of Hvar’s most popular beach holiday destinations.
Closely followed by Zavala, the small village which is also the gateway to the island of Scedro.
Head off the beaten path by turning left along the non-asphalt road at the big church in Zavala, and you will arrive in the almost abandoned village of Gromin Dolac, complete with divine beaches and no crowds.
Eastern Hvar is a lot less discovered than its western counterpart, and there are so many bays to choose from. Among the nicest is Vela Stiniva in the north, where you can also rock climb.
The most famous beaches to the east, however, are teh so-called Gdinj Bays, a selection of idyllic beaches to the south of the village of the same name. Simply take the snaking road down to the coast from Gdinj to find out why. Several have bars and restaurants as well.
Hvar beach heaven – will slice will be yours this summer?
With thanks to Visit Hvar for many of the photos and for this excellent overview of Hvar’s beaches in the video below.
Have you voted for Hvar as European Best Destination 2018 yet? Do so here.