While in Split, I took several day trips to other parts of the region, including a few islands just off the coast. That said, this post won’t just be about Hvar (as written in the title), but rather one of the day trips I did to it and nearby islands. An all-day affair, it was tiring, but the gorgeous, crystal-clear water and beaches made it a pleasant time.
During my second full day in Split, I headed out to the Riva to meet up with other tourists to take a boat ride to five islands just off the coast. Our boat was a bowrider, and it was fast, going fast to the point that the wind whipped our hair and bounced up and down every time we hit a bump in the water. It was thrilling, and even more importantly, it got us to our destinations quicker than otherwise.
Our first stop was at the Blue Cave, located just off Bisevo. A main tourist draw, this cave is distinctive for, of course, its blue color, illuminated by sunlight that comes in from below the waters and thereby giving its fluorescent aqua glow. We had to first dock in Bisevo before taking a smaller boat to the cave, as the place is incredibly tiny and only accessible one-by-one. While small, it nevertheless was a brilliant blue, and I found it to be one of the highlights of that day.
As there’s a Blue Cave, there’s also the Green Cave. Personally, I didn’t find the Green Cave as impressive, but all the same, it was bigger and legend has it that, if you “touch” the green light that enters the cave, you stay young forever. Not sure if it rings true, but one can dream!
We continued to cruise through the Adriatic waters, stopping by a small beach just for photo opportunities before reaching the Blue Lagoon (not to be confused with Iceland’s eponymous hot springs). With crystal-clear water, we had the opportunity to dive and swim a bit, all the while snorkel and check out the fish underneath. It reminded me much of my time in the Bahamas in 2014, where I snorkeled in crystal-blue waters. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any fish in the Blue Lagoon, but I still loved how beautiful it was, as I could see the depth of the ocean for miles and miles.
Nearing lunchtime, our boat took us to Carpe Diem Beach, which apparently I heard has a crazy nightlife. However, it was very chill during the day, as I got food at the bar with wonderful views of the sea. Service was incredibly friendly, and I had a pleasant time relaxing by the ocean– granted, I ended up getting a horrible sunburn on my back, but still, it was a good place to rest until we reached Hvar.
Our final stop of the day was in Hvar, probably one of the most well-known islands off the coast of Split. Besides being a beach resort, it’s also home to a huge nightlife, which is perfect for locals and tourists to escape to during the weekend. Likewise with Carpe Diem Beach, I visited Hvar in the day time, so there wasn’t so much to do. By that time, I was already getting pretty tired, and all I did was go up to its fortress for views and stroll the promenade before relaxing at a bar. It was pretty expensive, similar to Dubrovnik and Split, and I found Hvar to be rather underwhelming.
Around 17:15, we headed all the way back to Split, returning sometime around 18:30. It’d been a long day, and I returned to my hostel to rest for the remainder of the evening. Overall, I would say that the day trip proved to be slightly underwhelming, as most of the time was spent getting to places (ranging from 40 minutes to over an hour in transit), and not enough time at each destination. I didn’t find the Green Cave or Carpe Diem Beach particularly interesting, but the Blue Cave and Hvar were the highlights of the day. It ended up being 113€ for the boat tour, which was really expensive, but I guess I can say that I’ve visited some of the islands off of Split, as I’d wanted to do so.
Personally, I would say that it would be better to just pick and choose the specific islands to visit and take the ferry to explore on your own, which would be cheaper. Then again, you would need to give yourself a full day on each island, as off-season timetables can be quite limited. I’d opted for the day tour due to time constraints but, if I were to do it again, I would choose to do the ferry option on my own.
More travel adventures coming soon. Next up: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia!