My Guide to the Central Dalmatia Islands of Hvar, Vis & Brac, Croatia

 In Croatia, Europe

 Whenever people asked where I was going in Croatia, and I replied with ‘Hvar’ as one of the Islands I was to visit. The reaction was the same.

Hvar is INSANE.

So from the word go, Hvar had a lot to live up to.

Not as many people had heard of Vis, neither Brac, but from what I got the chance to see – each island is as beautiful as the next.

These 3 islands form the most popular of Central Dalmatia’s Islands and are easily accessible by boat transfer/ferry from Split (mainland).

From London you can Fly direct with easyjet to Split (SPU).

Read ‘My Guide To Split’ here.

The best time to visit these islands?
The most popular time to visit these islands, and when the weather is warm, is between May – October, with tourists flooding in between July & August. June and September are your best bets to avoid major crowds and grab that air of relaxation. 

Between November – May a lot of hotels and restaurants will shut down, with some exceptions staying open at New Year. 

I visited the islands rather briefly as part of my trip with The Yacht Week & here’s what i found:

HVAR

I visited Hvar in the height of summer when the million pound yachts were pulled up on the riva front and the restaurants and bars were bustling with a pretty young crowd.

The reason i’ve heard so many good things from my friends about Hvar? 
It’s a gorgeous town and they are known to throw some pretty good parties.

Apparently it’s also pretty good for rock climbing and scuba diving!

Lining the front of the Riva (where you will most likely arrive into  if by boat) you have plenty of open air restaurants and cafes where you can indulge in some creative refreshments and grab a hit of shade as you watch the world (the yachts) go by.

Heading away from the Riva you’ll meet with the main square, St.Stephens Square, where you’ll find the main restaurants, shops and little walkways leading you into Hvars hidden wanders.

At the back of the square, as you can see in the photo above, is the gorgeous Cathedral of Saint Stephen, and its to the left of here you can find the main bus station, taxi rank and car hire services.
It is here you can also access the path that leads you up to the Fortress (the castle visible from the ground level) which, if you choose to climb, will get you these gorgeous views…
 
It’s an average climb up to the Fortress (20 minutes) with plenty of options to stop along the way. There’s a small fee to pay to go inside and explore & there’s also a cafe in there too.
TIP: Sunrise and Sunset up here is meant to be UH-may-zing.
My favourite place, and a healthy hotspot worth noting, was Vita on the Riva front.
Where to go out out?
The words on everybody’s lips in Hvar is Hula Hula and Carpe Diem.
Both of which I can very much agree with. 
Carpe Diem is your Ocean Club of Hvar and Hula Hula is just a seriously cool beach front bar with a PERFECT location to watch the sunset.
For pre drinks, cocktails at the gorgeous Adrianna Hotel rooftop bar  or Kiva bar, both of which are still located in the centre of Hvar. 
After party? Carpe Diem Island.
 

Where to Stay?

Among the eateries on the Riva front, you have a selection of luxury accommodation (Adrianna – suncanihvar.com, Yacht Harbour Hotel – suncanihvar.com, Hotel Park Hvar – hotelparkhvar.com), but step out the back of the main square and you’ll find hostels at a slice of the price.

Air Bnb is always a great option for a bargain and a real local experience.

VIS 

Vis is the furthest of the 3 islands from the mainland, and for that reason the waters are the clearest.

There are 2 main spots on Vis – Vis Town (North East) and Komiza (West), connected by the islands main 20km road. 
Buses and taxis run frequently between the two- so access is easy.

Mopeds are a popular option for tourists looking to explore the island, along with Kayaking where you can go as far to reach the island of Ravnik from Rukavac and paddle into the Green Grotto. 

Stiniva Cove (South, not far from Rukavac) is a beautiful and popular bay which can be accessed by kayak through the narrow entrance.

Recommended walking trail: Mount Hum (560m)

I stayed in Vis Town briefly on my visit which was another gorgeous experience, slightly similar to Hvar in that it’s a popular spot for Yachts to pull in and has a Riva front filled with hotels, coffee shops and restaurants.
My visit included a morning smoothie from the only freestanding harbour stall and a run along the water out of the main stretch of Vis Town to find some empty secluded pebble beaches.
On the way back I stepped away from the waterfront path and explored the local accommodation and side streets which I found to be of my favourite kind.
Light stones and wooden shutters…

Another seriously gorgeous place that you must go and explore if you come to Vis is Fort George

Aka the PERFECT wedding venue.
& where Yacht Week host the most epic party of the week.

Enough said.

BRAC

Despite having only popped to the West side of the island for a brief dinner in Milna Town at Dupini, followed by a Mojito (Fjaka), I have to say they were both INCREDIBLE and were sourced by a local genius for us. 
So I’m going to go ahead and recommend those straight away if you head over to this popular sailing spot.

The most famous beach, not only on the Brac island, but in all Croatia, is Zlatni Rat beach located in another town on the islands called Bol. 

Bol is the largest tourist center on the island with a million restaurants, places to stay and things to do.

I’d love to go back and explore Brac at some point and would hate to inform or recommend you wrongly.

Short and sweet for Brac, but definitely one to add to the Itinerary if you fancy an island hopping adventure on the Dalmatian Coast.

To see my Island experiences in Croatia come to life, you can watch my Yacht week video here:

To see Split come to life and the road trip we took to Krka, watch here:


Have you been to these islands?!
Have you got any foodie / adventure recommendations??



Thank you for reading, lots of love…
Mollie xxxx

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