Been There: Hvar & Dubrovnik, Croatia
Hi all, Louise here. If you are following us on Instagram or Snapchat (usernames: mintmag.ie), then you’ll have seen that I recently took a trip to Hvar and Dubrovnik in Croatia. It’s such a beautiful place and is a great spot whether you want to chill out in the sun, go exploring or dance into the early hours of the morning. Here’s a few things to note if you’re thinking of going!
Ok, listen up, because this could make or break your trip! You can fly to Dubrovnik from Dublin with Aer Lingus but there’s only one flight a day (take note if you’re planning on connecting to the boat to Hvar). Hop on the airport shuttle bus (you can buy tickets once you come out of arrivals, they’re around €10) for 30 mins and you’ll be at Dubrovnik’s main port. To get to Hvar, there is only one boat a day that leaves at 4:30pm but you must call ahead and book at least a week to guarantee a space. The same applies for returning – only one boat leaves Hvar every day for Dubrovnik at 9am. This takes 3.5 hours and is around €20.
Hvar – Amfora Grand Beach Resort:
Situated just a stones throw away from Hvar Town, this beautiful 4* hotel comes highly recommended. The best bit about it is the pool area – with it’s private cabanas, swim-to-beach-bar, waterfalls and a separate area for kids, you can easily spend every day here. The rooms in the hotel are crisp white, modern spaces with very comfortable beds. Breakfast is an array of continental and local cuisine that will keep you going till lunch time. The only negative thing to note is don’t go for the buffet dinner!
Dubrovnik – Royal Princess Hotel:
The most impressive part of this hotel has to be the rooms. The spacious suites have a separate living room, kitchenette and 2 bathrooms, as well as a bed you could get lost in! It’s less than 10 minutes in a taxi to the Old Town where I would recommend eating, as although this hotel is on a resort with a couple of restaurants, I wouldn’t recommend the food.
Zori – Palmižana Island:
This isn’t actually on Hvar Island but on it’s small neighbouring island that has not much on it apart from a couple of eateries. Hire a private speed boat to take you over (about €70 return and he’ll pick you up when ever you’re finished) when the sun is setting and it’s a memory you’ll have forever. Sit under palm trees and twinkly lights and indulge in a delicious steak or seafood. It’s also a busy spot to visit in the daytime too.
diVino – Hvar Town:
This beautiful alfresco restaurant overlooking the harbour of Hvar Town, is the perfect place to yacht-watch whilst enjoying beautiful presented food and great service.
Restaurant Kopun – Dubrovnik Old Town:
Situated beside a stunning church, this family run restaurant serves local cuisine in a casual al fresco setting. Be sure to get the Croatian dish of capon – it’s a rooster stew served with gnocchi and is really tasty!
Bonj les Bains Beach Club – Hvar:
This beach club next to the Amfora Hotel is a luxury swap to the sun beds on the pebble beach nearby. It has it’s own private decking with cushion covered loungers, private cabanas and waiter service. Piped chilled out house music will be your theme tune for the day whilst you go from sun bathing to cooling off in the crystal clear waters.
Rent A Moped:
Renting a moped is the best way to explore Hvar (you can of course get a car if you’re not confident on a moped.) From Hvar Town, head East along the coast and stop at one of the many beautiful beaches for a swim (Milna, Zaraće). We stopped off at Dubovica as had heard it was more secluded and less touristy, and that it was. There was nothing there but two small beach-shack-cafes and lots of unspoilt crystal clear waters.
From there, head to Stari Grad town and stop for a drink and a spot of boat watching. Then continue to the small village of Dol, where you will find a family run winery and restaurant called Santa Marija. The food is fresh off the farm and seriously tasty – trying some of their homemade wine is also a must (non-drivers of course)!
You can continue onto Jelsa at the other end of the island but you will need to refuel. Alternatively, take the mountain route back to Hvar Town through Brusje village – breathtaking views is what awaits you.