hvar

Island Hopping Around Hvar (Bisevo, Vis, and Palmizana)

We were able to reserve a day trip to the Blue and Green Caves by shopping around the day before. Several companies offer various excursions from Hvar, it just depends on how much time you have and what you are interested in seeing. We left the port of Hvar around 9:30am with a return time of around 6pm.

We were grateful for another day of beautiful weather for exploring.

We were grateful for another day of beautiful weather for exploring.

We traveled by high-speed boat, which took us about one hour to get to our first stop, Bisevo. The tour guide recommended that we bring a long-sleeved shirt, which my wife was glad to have because the wind was chilly.

We traveled by high-speed boat, which took us about one hour to get to our first stop, Bisevo. The tour guide recommended that we bring a long-sleeved shirt, which my wife was glad to have because the wind was chilly.

The pier of Bisevo. Compared to the Blue Grotto in Capri, there were not nearly as many boats lined up to see the Blue Cave. We only had to wait about 10 minutes. The procedure was still the same: purchase tickets at the gate, then transfer to a smaller boat that is small enough to fit into the cave.

The pier of Bisevo. Compared to the Blue Grotto in Capri, there were not nearly as many boats lined up to see the Blue Cave. We only had to wait about 10 minutes. The procedure was still the same: purchase tickets at the gate, then transfer to a smaller boat that is small enough to fit into the cave.

The entrance to the Blue Cave is straight ahead. As you can see, the opening is very small. You have to duck down inside of the boat in order to safely enter the Blue Cave.

The entrance to the Blue Cave is straight ahead. As you can see, the opening is very small. You have to duck down inside of the boat in order to safely enter the Blue Cave.

We made it!

We made it!

The skippers were very skilled in guiding our boat through the small space. Only one boat was allowed in at a time.

The skippers were very skilled in guiding our boat through the small space. Only one boat was allowed in at a time.

We arrived to the Blue Cave just in time, around 11am. A small opening allows just enough sunlight to reflect off the bottom of the cave, which creates the natural blue glow.

We arrived to the Blue Cave just in time, around 11am. A small opening allows just enough sunlight to reflect off the bottom of the cave, which creates the natural blue glow.

The natural glow is created entirely by sunlight, no other forms of light were present inside the Blue Cave. The water was clear enough to see the fish swimming around inside.

The natural glow is created entirely by sunlight, no other forms of light were present inside the Blue Cave. The water was clear enough to see the fish swimming around inside.

bisevo croatia
Walking around the island of Bisevo, spectacular views of the coastline

Walking around the island of Bisevo, spectacular views of the coastline

We headed back to our boat to continue our day trip to the island of Vis.

We headed back to our boat to continue our day trip to the island of Vis.

vis croatia
vis croatia
Stiniva beach is located on the island of Vis. It is a hidden beach; only accessible by small boat or  by steep and narrow hike.

Stiniva beach is located on the island of Vis. It is a hidden beach; only accessible by small boat or  by steep and narrow hike.

stiniva beach vis croatia
Stiniva Beach was rated as the "Top Beach in Europe for 2016." As with most of the beaches we've encountered around Croatia, this one was also rocky and the water was cold. Still beautiful, nonetheless.

Stiniva Beach was rated as the "Top Beach in Europe for 2016." As with most of the beaches we've encountered around Croatia, this one was also rocky and the water was cold. Still beautiful, nonetheless.

Since we were there pre-season, it was almost as if had the beach to ourselves.

Since we were there pre-season, it was almost as if had the beach to ourselves.

Just a short boat ride down the island of Vis is the Green Cave, which was much larger than the Blue Cave.  When we were there they were not charging an entrance fee. However, I have since seen that this has changed. Be sure to takes some cash, just in case.

Just a short boat ride down the island of Vis is the Green Cave, which was much larger than the Blue Cave.  When we were there they were not charging an entrance fee. However, I have since seen that this has changed. Be sure to takes some cash, just in case.

Sunlight enters through a small opening at the top of the cave and reflects off the bottom of the cave in order to reveal the green glow that you see here. For those seeking even more of an adventure, we saw people climbing up the steep side of the entrance to this cave and cliff-jumping into the waters below.

Sunlight enters through a small opening at the top of the cave and reflects off the bottom of the cave in order to reveal the green glow that you see here. For those seeking even more of an adventure, we saw people climbing up the steep side of the entrance to this cave and cliff-jumping into the waters below.

One last stop before we head back to Hvar...

One last stop before we head back to Hvar...

The small island of Palmizana

The small island of Palmizana

Each island had it's own unique set of characteristics, but the clear turquoise-blue water was a refreshing and common theme throughout.  

Each island had it's own unique set of characteristics, but the clear turquoise-blue water was a refreshing and common theme throughout.  

Palmizana Island

Palmizana Island

As you can see, Palmizana is very small. Just a few restaurants line the shore.

As you can see, Palmizana is very small. Just a few restaurants line the shore.

palmizana croatia
Just a short 15 minute boat ride from Palmizana and we were back on Hvar.

Just a short 15 minute boat ride from Palmizana and we were back on Hvar.

Dinner reservations are highly recommended at Macondo. We were able to secure an 8pm reservation outside (which are usually preferred over inside).

Dinner reservations are highly recommended at Macondo. We were able to secure an 8pm reservation outside (which are usually preferred over inside).

Lobster spaghetti, delicious and fresh!

Lobster spaghetti, delicious and fresh!

Frittare (fried fish, shrimps, prawns, squids)

Frittare (fried fish, shrimps, prawns, squids)

Another walk around Hvar at dusk

Another walk around Hvar at dusk

Beautiful sunset on Hvar

Beautiful sunset on Hvar

It's as if the boats are dancing in the water, happy to be a part of such a beautiful place.

It's as if the boats are dancing in the water, happy to be a part of such a beautiful place.

Sunset on Hvar

Sunset on Hvar

hvar croatia
While walking around this evening, we were able to book another day trip from Hvar tomorrow. Almost half-way into our vacation and we are so grateful for how smoothly our trip has gone.  Lately, we haven't planned detailed itineraries or extensive travel plans. We just go. We experience the culture. We make plans based on what we feel like doing in the moment. That's what you do while on vacation. Itineraries can possibly leave one disappointed. Or worse, miss out on an even greater experience.  "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber  And that's the beauty of a true adventure.

While walking around this evening, we were able to book another day trip from Hvar tomorrow. Almost half-way into our vacation and we are so grateful for how smoothly our trip has gone.

Lately, we haven't planned detailed itineraries or extensive travel plans. We just go. We experience the culture. We make plans based on what we feel like doing in the moment. That's what you do while on vacation. Itineraries can possibly leave one disappointed. Or worse, miss out on an even greater experience.

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber

And that's the beauty of a true adventure.

Hvar, Croatia

We woke up early this morning to catch the ferry from Split to Hvar, which was about a two-hour trip.  We chose to utilize the ferry for the majority of our adventure around Croatia, but many have also rented cars without any issues.

catamaran croatia
The bakeries in Croatia are AMAZING! Everything is baked fresh. I highly recommend the burek, which is phyllo dough stuffed with either meat, cheese, or a chocolate/sweet filling. I had this almost everyday.

The bakeries in Croatia are AMAZING! Everything is baked fresh. I highly recommend the burek, which is phyllo dough stuffed with either meat, cheese, or a chocolate/sweet filling. I had this almost everyday.

We arrived around 9am in Hvar, which gave us plenty of time to check-in to our apartment. The apartment was recommended over a regular hotel so that we could stay closer in the heart of the city. It was also much cheaper (around $60 USD/night in late May, pre-peak season).

We arrived around 9am in Hvar, which gave us plenty of time to check-in to our apartment. The apartment was recommended over a regular hotel so that we could stay closer in the heart of the city. It was also much cheaper (around $60 USD/night in late May, pre-peak season).

The views around the port of Hvar were so picturesque. The turquoise waters were so clear that we could see to the bottom.  It was almost as if the boats were floating in thin air.  Every morning when we went down to the port, the boat and yacht owners were eating breakfast with their friends and remained there for the majority of the day. Makes me wonder what else they do all day!

The views around the port of Hvar were so picturesque. The turquoise waters were so clear that we could see to the bottom.  It was almost as if the boats were floating in thin air.  Every morning when we went down to the port, the boat and yacht owners were eating breakfast with their friends and remained there for the majority of the day. Makes me wonder what else they do all day!

View of the port of Hvar

View of the port of Hvar

Take a walk around the island, lots of little hidden beach entrances and spots to discover. You will not find a bad view, even if you try.

Take a walk around the island, lots of little hidden beach entrances and spots to discover. You will not find a bad view, even if you try.

Tourism is one of Hvar's biggest industries. If you're not one for crowds, late May is one of the the best times to go (which is also pre-Yacht week)

Tourism is one of Hvar's biggest industries. If you're not one for crowds, late May is one of the the best times to go (which is also pre-Yacht week)

hvar croatia
Although there are several beach entrances around Hvar, make sure to take water shoes if you want to go in. It's a rocky beach and there are sea urchins everwhere!

Although there are several beach entrances around Hvar, make sure to take water shoes if you want to go in. It's a rocky beach and there are sea urchins everwhere!

hvar croatia
We were able to walk around Hvar without needing any other modes of transportation. However, you can rent a moped if you'd like to explore the island a little more.

We were able to walk around Hvar without needing any other modes of transportation. However, you can rent a moped if you'd like to explore the island a little more.

The entrance to Hvar's Fort, also known as Spanjola, which was built in the 16th century.

The entrance to Hvar's Fort, also known as Spanjola, which was built in the 16th century.

Just as Marjan Hill is to Split, Hvar Fort holds the best views of Hvar. Just look at this!

Just as Marjan Hill is to Split, Hvar Fort holds the best views of Hvar. Just look at this!

View from Hvar Fort

View from Hvar Fort

View from Hvar Fort

View from Hvar Fort

hvar fortress spanjola croatia
spanjola fortress hvar croatia
We spent a good majority of the day here, but who wouldn't?

We spent a good majority of the day here, but who wouldn't?

Another view from Hvar Fort

Another view from Hvar Fort

hvar fortress croatia
The entrance to the prison cells of Hvar Fort.

The entrance to the prison cells of Hvar Fort.

The prisons of Hvar Fort. The windows were just big enough to let light in, but too small for one to climb out. A lonely place indeed.

The prisons of Hvar Fort. The windows were just big enough to let light in, but too small for one to climb out. A lonely place indeed.

Why can't the gift shops in the U.S. hold as much character as the ones in Europe? Unfair to compare, I know.

Why can't the gift shops in the U.S. hold as much character as the ones in Europe? Unfair to compare, I know.

spanjola fortress castle hvar croatia
Bird's-eye view of Hvar Fort

Bird's-eye view of Hvar Fort

St. Stephen's Cathedral in the center of Hvar's town square

St. Stephen's Cathedral in the center of Hvar's town square

Today marked our actual anniversary!  So, we spent it celebrating at this highly-recommended restaurant, Dalmatino's in Hvar (not to be confused with the Dalmatino's we will later visit in Dubrovnik).

Today marked our actual anniversary!  So, we spent it celebrating at this highly-recommended restaurant, Dalmatino's in Hvar (not to be confused with the Dalmatino's we will later visit in Dubrovnik).

They start you off with a carob liqueur to clear your palate

They start you off with a carob liqueur to clear your palate

dalmatino hvar croatia
Carpaccio "Amor"; sliced octopus, olive oil, lemons, capers, and fresh bread

Carpaccio "Amor"; sliced octopus, olive oil, lemons, capers, and fresh bread

Gnocchi "Istria"; black gnocchi with black truffle and shrimp in a creamy wine sauce. I would like to re-name this dish "pillows from heaven." It's one dish that I dream and reminisce about often; one reason alone why I would travel back to Croatia. 

Gnocchi "Istria"; black gnocchi with black truffle and shrimp in a creamy wine sauce. I would like to re-name this dish "pillows from heaven." It's one dish that I dream and reminisce about often; one reason alone why I would travel back to Croatia. 

The sea bass with fava beans and feta mousse was also good, but not as memorable as my Gnocchi. The gnocchi was just that good.

The sea bass with fava beans and feta mousse was also good, but not as memorable as my Gnocchi. The gnocchi was just that good.

Lavender liquor to finish the meal

Lavender liquor to finish the meal

...or so we thought! Dessert wine, made in-house. Delicious touch to compliment the end of our meal.

...or so we thought! Dessert wine, made in-house. Delicious touch to compliment the end of our meal.

Our usual stroll around the city at dusk, waiting for pictures at sunset.

Our usual stroll around the city at dusk, waiting for pictures at sunset.

Hvar at dusk

Hvar at dusk

Sunsets always seem more memorable when you're on the other side of the world. Either that, or you make more time to stop and enjoy your surroundings...

Sunsets always seem more memorable when you're on the other side of the world. Either that, or you make more time to stop and enjoy your surroundings...

Sunset on Hvar

Sunset on Hvar

hvar croatia
Bird's-eye view of Hvar at sunset. Can you spot the fortress?

Bird's-eye view of Hvar at sunset. Can you spot the fortress?

Comparable to Split, the Main Square of Hvar has lots of restaurants with outdoor seating. Most of which tend to come alive after 8pm. The marble cobblestone pathways seem to also be a common theme around Croatia, which adds to it's hidden and unexpected charm.

Comparable to Split, the Main Square of Hvar has lots of restaurants with outdoor seating. Most of which tend to come alive after 8pm. The marble cobblestone pathways seem to also be a common theme around Croatia, which adds to it's hidden and unexpected charm.

hvar croatia
The alleys of Hvar are narrow and filled with many stairs. Keep this in mind if you happen to get an apartment in the city. Luckily, we had rolling luggage that also converted into backpacks. A lifesaver for us!

The alleys of Hvar are narrow and filled with many stairs. Keep this in mind if you happen to get an apartment in the city. Luckily, we had rolling luggage that also converted into backpacks. A lifesaver for us!

hvar croatia
As mentioned before, night-time shots are some of my favorite ways of capturing the beauty of a city.  Life is calm, the day is done, and everything is back in it's place. We signed up to take a day trip to some surrounding islands tomorrow. Stay posted to see where we go!

As mentioned before, night-time shots are some of my favorite ways of capturing the beauty of a city.  Life is calm, the day is done, and everything is back in it's place. We signed up to take a day trip to some surrounding islands tomorrow. Stay posted to see where we go!