After a delightful evening in Dubrovnik, we rented a car, drove up the coast to Drvenik, and took a 35-minute car ferry across the water to the island of Hvar. The drive up the coast was lovely, and I couldn’t get over the color of the water when we were on the ferry. I’m not sure pictures even do it justice.
We drove almost two hours across the island to the city of Hvar. One of the things that surprised me about Croatia was that it felt more desert-like than tropical.
Our apartment host was out of the country on the day we arrived, and he wasn’t very clear about how we would enter the apartment other than to tell us that a family member would let us in. We waited in the crazy heat for about 30 minutes before one of my friends found a 9-year-old girl who had the key to let us into our apartment. So weird!
We dropped our things and made a beeline for the beach!
The water was super refreshing, but I am not a fan of rocky beaches! (Where is the sand in Europe?!) Two of us bought rafts for floating in the sea, and I invested in a quality beach towel featuring the Croatian flag. (Neither of these items made it back to Switzerland with me, but they were fun for the time we had with them.)
That evening, another friend joined us. She’s a new friend that I met at the English wedding I went to in May! Turns out, she had another wedding in Greece and met up with us afterward! I love when worlds collide. After she arrived, we walked into the center to go to dinner at Konoba Menego, which was fantastic!! The restaurant was dark and wooden, and it felt like a tavern or pub. There was dried meat hanging from the ceiling, and an incredibly friendly wait staff. The menu is limited, but everything they serve is authentic Croatian made with local ingredients. The plates are not very big, so they recommend ordering several to share. We did that, and it was amazing!
In the morning, we didn’t wake up to an alarm! (Hip hip hooray!!) We enjoyed breakfast in the center. (Well, honestly, more like avoided being stung by the bees who thought we were there to feed them breakfast.)
Then, we climbed up the hill to the Hvar Fortress overlooking the Old Town. The walk up was lovely, and the views were spectacular!
After our walk (and a tremendous amount of sweating…did I mention is was hot, hot, HOT in Croatia?!), it was time for the beach. We decided to walk a little further along the water than the day before. Our new spot on the boulders was perfect, and we had a lot more space to swim (or rather, float!) than the previous day.
[These rafts were such a great purchase!!! I literally think I spent hours on mine!]
[Hooray for a pedicure! My first one ever in Switzerland courtesy of a 50% online coupon that made it roughly the cost of a normal pedicure in the US.]
For dinner we went to a restaurant recommended by my Croatian colleague, Rick Steves, AND our apartment host – Gariful! We decided to go for the catch of the day. You pick one out of the case, and they grill it for you. I honestly don’t even remember what kind of fish it was, but it was YUMMY!
On the final morning, we went to meet one of my expat friends from Switzerland. We only overlapped by a couple of hours – just enough time to give her our rafts, so she could enjoy them during her stay!
I snapped one final photo of the boats on our way out of town. There were so many docked the whole time we were there!
Almost everything I heard before going to Hvar was about how rowdy it was. While I still believe this to be true, I’m grateful that we managed to have a much more relaxing experience than expected. While the rocky beaches would probably keep me from returning, I enjoyed our time on the island.