Tuesday, 3 October 2017

City Guide - Hvar, Croatia


Here comes the fun stuff, introducing the party island of Croatia, Hvar. Situated to the west of main land Croatia and to the South of Split and Brac, it is so accessible by Ferry and took us about 2 hours to get to from Split. This stunning little island stole our hearts and our dusty dancing shoes were well and truly used to their max here. This was our fourth stop along our Interrailing trip and 100% my favourite. Once again the weather was shocking for the majority of the time (think stuck in a marquee in torrential rain and thunder storms...), so we have lots of recommendations on what to do when the weather is sh*te (and sunny too!). I hope you find this helpful...

WHERE TO STAY?



We stayed at Villa Marija Youth Hostel as a friend highly recommended it. When we were booking hostels this was by far the cheapest and worked out at about £5 per night each (bargain!). So we decided to stay 5 nights, the longest stop over we had - and it was so worth it! We even wanted to extend our stay after that. The hostel is situated up a hill (which is the only downside when walking back from a night out) roughly 20 minutes outside the town centre. The staff are so friendly and gave us so much information based around our interested - 'touristy' stuff, beaches and nightlife! We shared a 14 bed dorm room, which we were extremely sceptical about to begin with but it was absolutely fine and one of the most enjoyable parts as you met so many different people. The only negative about this was that we had to share one shower and toilet between the 14 of us, so good old fashioned English queues were formed in the evenings! However you could always go and use the showers in any other room. The rooms had lockers for any valuables and the bedroom was cleaned daily. The hostel also provides breakfast in the mornings for a small price and there is also a Pizza takeaway shop downstairs that does room service!! Nightlife wise, the hostel runs a bar crawl every night, where you drink and socialise on the terrace with everyone until 10:30, when they transport you all down to Kiva - more on this later. It is such a lovely, clean, cheap and sociable hostel that I would recommend to anyone!

WHERE TO EAT?


We went out to eat twice in Hvar, once for Pizza (duh!) and once for lunch. Both restaurants were situated on the seafront and were relatively affordable. We had pizza at La Cucina which was lovely and we also shared a bottle of wine. The second restaurant was called Vita Health, which as you can probably guess from the name, was very health and just what we needed after plenty of nights out! Amelia and I had salads and Lucy had a Tuna sandwich. The food was lovely, however slightly over priced. Both restaurants had seating outside, which was great until Hvar decided to chuck it down with rain and flood the streets resulting in us wading back, shoes and socks in hand to shelter in the local supermarket! Its a cracking story trust me!

WHAT TO DO?



We got up to some interesting things in Hvar, many of which I would highly recommend. On the first morning we got up early and trekked up to the Fortress. It took us roughly 30 minutes to get up there and the views were insane from the top. There is actually a museum and cafe within the Fortress but we decided not to go in as it was quite pricey.




That afternoon we decided to rent a boat from the marina with three other girls that we met in our dorm. It came to about £8 each. We took said boat out of Hvar and over to some of the local islands called the Paklinski Islands. Once we tied the boat up we wandered over to a lovely beach that had massive bean bags to rent and lie on. We spent about 3 hours sun bathing here and then hopped back on the boat to go for a drive. It was all very relaxing until our engine decided to cut out and we became stranded and seriously considered abandoning ship! Long (very very long!) story short we were eventually rescued after some questionable English to Croatian translation, and made it safely back to shore! Regardless of this escapade, I would still say that this was one of the most enjoyable days of the whole trip as you had complete freedom and could literally drive over to any island and park up. The seas were gorgeous and the typical turquoise blue colour you see everywhere in Croatia.



On other days we usually just chilled at the Pokonij Beach (about 20 minute walk from town) and Robinson Beach (about 20 minute walk from Pokonij Beach). Pokonij Beach was lovely, however could get very busy. It has two beach bars on the beach that serve relatively affordable food, and the views are amazing. Although a little farther round the coastline Robinson beach is so worth it purely for the scenery. The restaurant is ran by a local family and is very expensive, so I would 100% take food with you!




Now for the good stuff - nightlife! Everyone always talks about Carpe Diem which is the main club on the island. It is situated on a small island off Hvar and takes about 20 minutes to get there by boat taxi. Now we never actually made it to Carpe Diem due to the weather, but if we had had gone, we would've done the Booze Cruise that runs from the Carpe bra in town. The cruise costs 170HKN which includes an hour open bar on the boat, free entry to a Jazz Bar and also free entry into Carpe Diem itself! As Carpe Diem is 200HKN to get in by itself, its a no brainer really! We also went to Kiva Bar and Lola Bar on all of the other nights we went out on. Kiva Bar is more of a small club that plays all of the feel good cheesey songs, alongside some current dance music (my fave!). Lola bar was hilarious, expect free shots, fire and a health and safety mayhem!  If you're going to Croatia and like a good night out, you'd be stupid not to go to Hvar for a few nights!



And that's everything this little Island has to offer - well that we did anyways! Lots of people that we met also recommended a trip to the Blue Lagoons whilst in Hvar, so that may be something to check out whilst you're there? Have an amazing time on my favourite little island, and party hard!

Lots of love, Katie xo
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