March 25, 2018 – TCN continues looking at the best beaches in Croatia. This time here is Top 5 Hvar, the best beaches on the Pakleni Islands.
© Romulic & Stojcic
Today we’re exploring the beaches of the Pakleni Islands, a place many of you who have visited Hvar know well. The Pakleni Islands are located just off the southeast coast of Hvar island, and if you’ve ever stood on Hvar’s famous Riva promenade or climbed to the top of the fortress in Hvar Town, then you’ve undoubtedly made eyes with this chain of isles.
Though popularly translated to “Hell’s Islands”, the Pakleni Islands actually get their name from the word ‘paklina’, referring to the pine resin once used for shipbuilding. The largest island in the Pakleni group is Sveti Klement, while Marinkovac (famous for Stipanska Bay) and Jerolim see the footprints of Hvar tourists steadily throughout the peak season.
At approximately 10 kilometers in length, the Pakleni Islands are a jewel of Dalmatia that attracts many sailors, sun-seekers, swimmers, nudists, and nature lovers throughout the busy summer. While they are anything but undiscovered today, Pakleni does boast some of the best swimming spots in the region – and with the scorching days quickly approaching, we’re confident you’ll be adding these sunny sanctuaries to your Hvar to-do list.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the best beaches to visit on your Hvar Town holiday.
We’ll start with a beach on Sveti Klement I have frequented for years and easily consider my favorite in the area – Vlaka. Located on Sveti Klement’s northern shore, Vlaka is the go-to for those looking to escape the busy crowds and blistering heat of Hvar town to instead relax in the quiet of a glistening bay. Home to vineyards, the remains of a Roman spa, and magical mud used by locals to heal their skin, Vlaka boasts very few amenities. In fact, the nearest restaurant, Dionis, is a good hike up the hill – but surrounded by olive trees, citrus, lavender, the smells of freshly caught fish on the grill, and a limited menu including only what the family-run establishment could find that day makes the trip well worth the effort. Their aubergine pie, local wine, and zucchini fritters have tourists returning to this rustic restaurant on each visit back to the island – and this, I promise, is something I can confirm. If you’re hoping to see Vlaka with a bit more life, an excellent time to visit is on the last Sunday in July where the inhabitants of the island celebrate their patron saint, Sv. Klement. Flagging down a taxi boat from Hvar’s Riva makes Vlaka accessible in no time, and remember, it’s smart to prepare your beach mats, snacks, drinking water, and anything else you might need for a day at the beach – you won’t find anything to buy on these rocky shores.
© Visit Hvar
Located in the bay next to Palmižana, beachgoers looking to steer clear of the typically rocky and pebbled beaches will find their safe haven at Perna, one of the only sandy beaches the Pakleni Islands’ offer. Perna is a sandy-bottomed beach which welcomes those looking to break away from the loud music, beach bars, in-your-face-advertising and busy crowds – and yes, this is another beach where visitors should prepare their beach-day essentials, from snacks and water to mats and activities for the kids. Perna beach brings in tourists by taxi boat and even kayakers row their way to this bay for a visit. Perna bay is also one of the most interesting in the Pakleni chain as it has been home to tourism since 1906. To give you an idea, this is five years before the first hotel opened in Jelsa.
© Romulic & Stojcic
While the island of Marinkovac in the Pakleni chain is most famous for Stipanska, one of my favorite bays here is Ždrilca. Located on the opposite side of Marinkovac island, Ždrilca is easily connected from Hvar Town by water taxi and accessible in minutes (and a round-trip ride here will cost you just 40 kuna). A good place to visit if you’re looking for a beach day with all the bells and whistles, Ždrilca not only offers wonderful dining options (Tre Grede being exceptionally good), but it also supplies all of the amenities including lounge chair rentals, umbrellas, bean bags, massages, and even mats covering the pebbled-beach for easy access to the water. A shallow beach that is inviting for both young children and grandparents, the more adventurous swimmers at Ždrilca can hop over the hill for a clothesless dip on the rocky coastline opposite the main part of the beach.
Though the video below shows Ždrilca and konoba Tre Grede in 1991, you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t look so different today.
© Romulic & Stojcic
A beach most of you may know well is Stipanska, also located on the island of Marinkovac. Home to Carpe Diem beach, Stipanska is not only a paradise for those looking to enjoy a top-class beach club by day, but at night, Carpe Diem beach hosts a full moon party which sees Hvar nightlife at its peak. If you’re not looking to party at this beach until the early morning hours, Carpe Diem is a stunning island oasis for 20-somethings where all of the amenities can be found for the perfect beach day, from lounge chair rentals, cabanas, and umbrellas to chill music, a swanky restaurant, and hip cocktail bar. Perhaps best of all, for those looking to strip their swimsuits, Carpe Diem also claims to be nudist friendly. Carpe Diem beach at Stipanska is one of the closest beaches to Hvar town, and easily accessible by water taxi during the day and night.
Last but not least, we bring you CNN’s top FKK beach in the world in 2011, Kordovon on Jerolim island. Though most people know Jerolim for ‘Amo Beach’, precisely where the taxi boat arrives, if you walk just 40 meters through the woods, quirky artwork, and nap hammocks, you’ll find a utopia that not only brings out the best in nude beach culture, but is one of the most relaxing ways to spend your day. Though lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent (and at one of the more reasonable prices in the area), Kordovon doesn’t offer much else for beachgoers. Mare’s Place, however, does offer cold drinks and some light snacks, and if beachgoers need to escape the scorching sun, they can chill under the pines and admire the driftwood-crafted art made by local artists. Jerolim’s Kordovon beach is the perfect pebbled paradise and is located less than 10 minutes away from Hvar Town.
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