Croatia is often seen as an escape from the fast-pace of the rest of Europe and many travellers come here to take some time out on an otherwise hectic trip. Hvar therefore comes out on top as the most popular choice for travellers as they long for the stunning coastline (there’s over 250km of it!) and the beautiful beaches.
Even as a tiny island, Hvar has an infinite amount of beaches on offer and knowing where to head is sometimes a puzzling task. So, we’ve put together some of our favourite beaches found on Hvar, focusing on giving you a bit of variety with some quiet, private paradises but also more up-beat, lively beaches.
If you’re in search of white sands amongst all the pebble beaches of Hvar, Grebišće is the one for you. The beach offers a sandy paradise surrounded by gorgeous pine trees that offer an escape from the mid-day summer heat. The soft ocean floor makes for a more comfortable paddling experience but you can still get yourself a deckchair and umbrella to treat yourself for the day. The beach is just below a campsite so there are plenty of facilities: a nice little café to grab some drinks and even a restaurant giving you the option of some local cuisine. There’s something for everyone here so feel free to head into the shade and have a go at some beach volleyball, tennis or even hiring out a water bike – a change from your typical, lounging beach day. In 2012, the beaches of the campsite Grebišće have been awarded a Blue Flag, which represents international ecological program for protection of marine and coastal environments. Currently, the Blue Flag is a much esteemed worldwide tourist label , heavily relied upon by an increasing number of tourists when selecting their holiday destination.
Grebišće is actually located near to another town on the island called Jelsa – a quieter place on the island around 27km from Hvar itself. It’s a town famed for its agriculture and in particularly its excellent local wines and olives – there’s a number of wine tasting tours on offer too. In Jelsa itself you’ll see a number of stunning architectural finds, including quaint churches and an exotic looking park.
There are buses to get you to and from Jelsa’s centre but from the town itself there’s a 2km coastal hike to get to the beach and so to avoid getting lost on your way we recommend hiring your own transport. There are two options here; either a car or a scooter (depends on your group size) and you can get a scooter for 250HRK or a car for 600HRK with these both being available to you for 24 hours. They come with a full tank of fuel but you must return it with the same.
Driving yourself across the island of Hvar and taking your time to check out all the scenery will be a day you won’t forget.
For our second beach it’s time to head out to the Pakleni islands just off the coast of Hvar. You’ll find Mlini beach on the island of Marinkovac which is the same island where Carpe Diem beach bar is. But the cove Mlini is a much calmer and laid-back paradise for those days when you just want to escape it all and unwind.
With a rocky beach but a soft sandy ocean floor there’s an element of luxury to Mlini, especially when you get a glimpse of the beautiful 4-poster canopy sunbeds available for hire. Grab one of these for the day and jump between snoozing in the sunshine and exploring around the rest of the island through the forest and coastal paths. There are also plenty of restaurants with tons of fresh BBQ and seafood on offer all in a simply unreal setting. You’ll see these restaurants as you walk from the boat – try to get one with a sea view!
To get here either jump on a taxi boat from 10:00am-1:00pm for around 40HRK or hire out your own boat for a bit more flexibility. They will bring you back from 4:00pm- 7:00pm but make sure you double check the times with the driver.
Luckily for you, one of our featured beaches is the closest beach to us at Hostel Villa Marija. But we haven’t chosen Pokonji Dol just because of its close proximity and in fact hundreds of tourists take a long hike up from the town centre just to see for themselves the beauty of this idyllic cove. To get here from the hostel, you’ll find a picturesque rocky path (bring sneakers!) that’ll take you all the way down to the beach. As you walk you’ll get glimpses through the trees of bright blue waters and a beautifully white shore – a perfect photo opportunity.
Once you reach the bay you’ll find yourself in a cut-off cove surrounded by rolling, green hills that make Pokonji feel miles away from the busy main port of Hvar centre. Grab yourself a coffee or even a cocktail at one of the two bar/restaurants found on each corner or try some of their seafood – guaranteed to be some of the best you’ll ever try (with this location it’s as fresh as it gets). This is a pebble beach but there are plenty of sunbeds to rent for the day at around 40 HRK and even a paddle boat with a slide to hire for the more adventurous! From the beach you can see a tiny island (it’s one of the Pakleni Islands) home to a small lighthouse amongst a rocky terrain – a unique view to say the least.
From here at Villa Marija, the quickest way to reach Pokonji Dol is to turn left out of the hostel, follow the road where you’ll find an orange house (use this as a point of reference – you’re going the right way!). After here you will find a crossroads and to the left a small sign pointing to the beach‘Mustaćo’ – simple!
At number 4 we have a rare find just a few kilometres up the coast from Hvar town. Zaraće beach is situated in a tiny town of the same name, but don’t let its size put you off as there’s plenty to see here. In the town itself, all the houses are traditionally built with stone exterior and authentic windows, doors and fences – not a lot has changed here over the years. As you head down towards the beach you’ll see panoramic views out to sea and a few Croatian islands sitting on the horizon. The bay is surrounded by rocks and cliffs, perfect for diving into the ocean or hiking out onto to get even better views of surrounding islands. In fact, these rocky shelters have tons of salt deposits on them which are actually used in the recipes of the restaurant located just further along the beach.
The beach itself is small and quiet all year round and the pebbles are very fine making it one of the more comfortable beaches to take your afternoon siesta. Of course the water is bright blue and clear – guaranteed here on Hvar. Perhaps a major highlight of this beach is this restaurant itself. Restaurant Zoraće boasts local, home-cooked meat and fish alongside great wines all with a stunning view of the bright blue Adriatic ocean. The rustic setting makes for an authentic Dalmatian dining experience and make sure you try the beef-steak as we believe it to be the best on the whole of Hvar island! In high season tables fill up quick so we recommend ringing to book (or we can do that for you!) and picking a table with a sea view.
To get here, again your best bet is to hire a car or a scooter and take a leisurely drive over the hills of Hvar island to uncover this beach of complete peace and quiet.
Think back to beach number 3 Pokonji Dol and how to get there and that’s the first step for uncovering this beautifully quiet cove. Mekicevic is a 20 minute hike along a coastal path (look out for views of the far-reaching blue Adriatic) where you’ll find ancient stone walls, shaded forest areas and some beautiful Croatian wildlife. As yachts and ferries pass you by, you’ll get glimpses of the bay itself in the distance, but it’s not until you actually arrive that you can take in the simplistic charm Mekićevica Beach. First off you’ll find yourself on a tiny pebbled cove with hardly a person in sight. The beach is surrounded by trees giving you that saviour of shade on the hottest of days and also a perfect place to explore. Whilst there are no luxuries of comfy sunbeds and umbrellas, this place still feels like a paradise with the only sounds and sights being the blue waves and the odd boat passing by.
Venture further through the woods and you’ll reach the Restaurant Robinson with its own private beach. The place is tiny and situated in a traditionally built stone hut but the food is fresh, home-made and delicious. If you’re not there to eat you can get yourself a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy the cool shade of their courtyard. You can spend the whole day here as a mini escape from Hvar centre and once the sun begins to go down and the heat gets less intense you can make the hike to Pokonji Beach and then back home to us at Villa Marija.
WRITTEN BY: Faye Hudson
BOKO d.o.o. za ugostiteljstvo i turizam
Lucije Rudan 7, Hvar 21450
Trgovački Sud u Splitu, MBS: 060327248,
član uprave: Ivan Boko,
upisani temeljni kapital uplaćen u cijelosti: 20 000,00HRK
Račun otvoren u Privredna Banka Zagreb d.d.
IBAN: HR 16 2340 0091 1107 1541 6