The next island we visited in Croatia was Hvar. There wasn’t a direct ferry from Bol to Hvar Town until later in the day, so our host recommended that we take the excursion boat that stops in Hvar Town first. The one way trip cost 100 Kuna each (about $20 Canadian). They provided some juice, a sandwich and wine (at 9:00 in the morning!!!) on the trip over. Here I am on the boat as we are leaving Bol Harbour.
The boat ride was less than two hours, and very enjoyable sitting out in the sunshine 🙂 When you approach the harbour of Hvar Town this is what you see.
Our hostess was very kind and met us down at the bus station behind the harbour to give us a ride up the hill. As was true in every apartment we rented in Croatia… we were up on a hill again. Excellent for the view, but a hard climb in the heat. That being said we did it twice a day most days, and I survived even though I’m not in the best shape 🙂
This is where I have to expound the virtues of our hostess and the apartment. Our apartment was called Apartments Marina. If you click here (Apartments Marina) you can take a look at them!
We booked the studio apartment, and were very impressed with the level of finishing, the full kitchen and the price. It had fast free wifi, air conditioning and a balcony with a terrific view. If you are going to Hvar I would definitely recommend staying there! You do have to walk up a hill if you don’t have wheels with you, but if I can do it in 35 degree heat, you can too 🙂
For some reason I didn’t take photos of the inside, but here is a view off the balcony!
And another view at sunset 🙂
The best thing about this apartment was our hostess Marina. She was easy to reach even though we didn’t have a phone (she answered emails very quickly!) and was available for anything we needed. She gave us a ride to and from the port, her mom did our laundry, and she gave us any kind of information we could possibly need. It felt like staying with a friend. So… when you visit Hvar (which you know you want to now that you’ve seen my photos) you should definitely stay at Apartments Marina. (No, she didn’t give me any incentive to say that! 🙂 )
Hvar is a pretty “happening” island. It is known as a place where the yachts dock (and the super yachts!), and the young people party. We are neither of those people but still found plenty to love about Hvar. In the evenings we would walk down by the harbour and choose a restaurant for dinner. The food was always great (if not a bit expensive!) and there was plenty going on to watch while you ate. We also enjoyed walking by the yachts and then looking them up online later to see which crazy rich people owned them 🙂
Here is the main square in front of the church in the evening. There was always lots going on!
We didn’t realize what a happening party town it was until the last morning when we left on the ferry at 6:35 in the morning! There were people everywhere still… some in quite a state of disarray. While we walked from the parking lot at the bus station to the ferry dock (about 5 minutes) we saw one guy barfing, a guy with no shoes and a towel wrapped around a bleeding foot, a beautiful girl doing the walk of shame, and three girls sleeping on benches. Yep, for real. We were so shielded from all of this up where our apartment was, we didn’t even realize it was going on.
In the evening (when us old people were down in the town) there were lots of people in restaurants, children playing in the squares, and local families visiting with each other. This was my favourite thing to watch. I was particularly fond of the little boy who thought it was great fun to throw a plastic bottle in the air and then run to where it landed. It makes me much happier to see kids doing this, rather than chasing Pokemon with their phone! Steve liked watching the little guys playing soccer that were using the church door as their goal.
The old town itself was pretty small, but included lots of very beautiful little side streets with restaurants and shops.
The most beautiful views in Hvar come from the Fortica above the town. You can see the Fort lit up above the town.
One day we decided to walk up to the Fortica. I wasn’t sure what the walk would be like in the heat, but to be honest it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The hardest part is the first part where you walk up the steps through the old town.
I know the photos don’t seem to capture how many stairs there really are, but trust me it is a hard walk up in the 35 degree heat 🙂
After you pass through the town you come to this gate. This is where the walk becomes much easier.
You’ll notice there is a poster for the Hvar Half Marathon in August. I can’t even imagine what that is like. This is a hilly town and VERY hot! I am immensely in awe of anyone who can do a half marathon… especially here!
Anyway… the rest of the way up to the fort is a gently sloped path through the trees. This was wonderful as it provided some shade and was much easier walking. See how much happier I look in this photo? 🙂
The rest of the walk up rewarded us with some stunning views over the harbour!
Part way up you come to an old abandoned stone church.
Then we continued the walk up to the very top, where some nice strangers took our photo for us 🙂
Once you get to the top you can enter the Fortica. As you round the back to the entrance you see there is indeed a road… so if you happen to have wheels (which we didn’t) you can drive up to the top 🙂 Also don’t be surprised that this is where you find out there is an entrance fee to get into the Fort. It was about 30 Kuna each to get in. There was no doubt I was paying to go in after we had walked that far 🙂
The fortress and the walls were started in medieval times, and continued to be constructed and renovated over time as the “owners” of Hvar changed. (Ottomans, Venetians, Spaniards…all the conquerers liked it here!)
The main reason to visit the fortress is the view. It is the best view over Hvar town and the harbour.
Honestly, there isn’t much else to do up here. There is a small museum and a glimpse into what the prisons looked like.
There is also a cafe, which is an excellent spot to stop for a cold drink in the shade after your long walk up 🙂
Would I recommend that you visit the fortress when you are in Hvar? Definitely! The view is well worth the the climb and the price of admission.