We’re students on student budgets with dwindling bank accounts and backpacks filled with scrunched up clothes so, naturally, it makes sense that we would spend 4 days on Croatia’s most luxurious and expensive island, doesn’t it?
The first thing we both agreed on, when we stepped off the ferry, was the incredible atmosphere. We saw million dollar yachts and fancy beach resort hotels and instantly we were excited to get a taste of the high-life. Well, we stayed in a hostel and ate our first dinner at a greasy burger joint on the outskirts of town with the locals, so by ‘a taste of the high life’ we actually mean ‘living vicariously through the lives of the people who can afford the yachts and hotels’.
That said, we spent a lot, a lot, a LOT of money here and we’re not even sure how. So, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll try and break down everything we did and we can all work together to figure out where this hard-earned cash has disappeared to:
The first morning was a rainy one, so we decided to take a hike up to the fortress. The walk is uphill but it’s not too strenuous as there are lots of little shops and ruins to look at along the way (a.k.a pretend to look at while you subtly gasp for air). The views from the top of the fortress are pretty cool. Not nearly as breathtaking as Mt. Srd in Dubrovnik but definitely nicer than the views from my bedroom window in Birmingham…
Fortress – FREE
All of a sudden, it tipped it down with rain and we realised that there was no point staying out (the novelty of running through rainstorms is slowly wearing off…) so instead decided to head back to the hostel to snuggle in bed with books and a Taylor Swift playlist on.
This may sound kind of lame, but we soon realised that no-one would judge us for doing those activities on the beach so why should we be judged for doing them inside on a rainy day? Plus, when you’ve been travelling for long periods of time it’s so important to relax and it’s also nice to bond with your hostel room mates!
Hostel – £14 per night
When the weather got better we decided to head to the beach, something that we found ourselves doing most days and probably the reason why we are both different races now… 👳
As fun as it was to play in the ocean for hours on end, we found ourselves wanting to fall asleep in the sun straight afterwards. The only problem with this is that the beaches in Croatia are all rock and pebble beaches, meaning that hiring sunbeds is a must for a comfortable experience.
Sunbeds – £10
One day, when the weather was particularly spectacular and the waves were super calm we decided to hire stand up paddle boards (or SUPs as they’re more commonly known). It was ridiculously fun, great exercise and I even managed to take Stitch out for a ride. I’m definitely Lilo now, right?
SUPs – £10
We soon realised that we couldn’t spend our entire time just lying by the sea so we booked a full day trip through our hostel which included renting a boat and exploring the surrounding islands. The speedboat was ridiculously bumpy and me and Ellie were holding on for dear life. After an hour and a half (!) of speedboating (pretty sure we got whiplash), we arrived at our first stop: The Green Cave.
It’s a beautiful cave with crystal clear waters, great for snorkelling and cliff jumping. We spent just under an hour swimming here and exploring the area before hopping back on the boat and heading to the next stop: The Blue Cave.
The Blue Cave is a world heritage site which means you can’t swim in it but me and Ellie were convinced it’s because you would turn into a mermaid, not because it’s a protected site. It’s a crazy sapphire colour and the light is super magical and that definitely means that supernatural goings on must occur there…
Getting to the cave is actually a bit of a hassle. You have to swap to a much smaller boat and only a certain number of people are allowed in the cave at a time, which means queueing for about an hour. If I’m honest, I can’t say it’s totally worth the wait. I mean, I think it’s a beautiful place but you spend about 5 minutes in there in total and it’s a very impersonal experience. I guess it depends on how eager you are to see it!
After circling the Pakleni islands and admiring the scenery, our third stop at Vis Island was a very relaxing one. It’s a tiny pebble beach hidden in a cove and our time spent sunbathing there was probably the most relaxing part of the whole day… we were definitely starting to feel tired at this point!
The final stop was on the island of Palmizana. It’s a luxury island with fancy beachside bars, so naturally we decided to grab some snazzy loungers and order the most extravagant cheese platter that we could find. We didn’t actually do any swimming here but it was nice to soak up the music and the bar vibes before the super long journey back to Hvar town.
Would 100% reccommend this trip as you get to see so much of the surrounding area and it takes up a full day so you’re not bored for a second. It seems like the best option is to book through a hostel as tour companies along the pier can charge twice as much for the same itinerary!
Day trip – £50 (plus £10 for expensive cheese)
We spent most of our nights getting glammed up and having an classy glass of wine under the stars (the lack of light pollution means that night skies here are spectacular!), watching sunsets on the beach and making sure to stop for midnight ice-cream breaks. Although we had some absolutely gorgeous nights together, we decided that we couldn’t bypass the partying completely… Now, Hvar is a party town and I’m not a party person. Well, I love a good night out but I’m not exactly a ‘pay £20 to enter a club’ kind of party person. My favourite reason to stay out until 6am is to dance like crazy with my best friends to cheesy music and then get an equally cheesy pizza afterwards… Sadly, Hvar doesn’t really offer this kind of scene. If you’re into repetitive club soundtracks and overpriced alcohol then it’s great!
Our night out turned out to be one of the funniest nights imaginable and we only bought 1 drink each (points to us for not spending money). We went to a beach side bar/club thing called Hula Hula and started out by just lying on loungers listening to the music. Before we knew it we were in the middle of the dance floor being offered unlimited free shots, surrounded by the strangest of characters.
We met guys from Brazil, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Australia… you name it. And notice how I said guys not girls – it was as if they were predators hunting for prey. Special mention to the group of Croatian guys celebrating a stag night telling us that it doesn’t count as cheating if they aren’t in the same country as their girlfriends/wives (logical, right? This is why I have trust issues)… As hilarious as our night was, I couldn’t help but feel like we hadn’t been missing out on much by staying in. Ellie has a boyfriend and I have never been the kind of girl to look for guys in clubs, so there was absolutely no ‘getting lucky’ for us but If you are interested in pulling an exotic (but probably married man) then I can assure you this is the place to be.
Our night ended with a crazy, giggly skip home with a stop in a souvenir shop before crawling into bed. Obviously, I thought we needed to purchase some reminders of our brilliant night out in Hvar and convinced Ellie to buy something she probably regrets right now…
Nightlife – A glass of wine and 2 cocktails each for about £15
Okay, so far it would appear that we haven’t spent much money at all but I’ve suddenly realised where the majority of our money has gone…. food, of course. From breakfast smoothies to burgers to pizzas to ice creams to salads to the occasional sit-down restaurant meal, we have well and truly eaten our way around Hvar. As I always say, NO RAGRETS, FOOD IS LIFE.
Food – £7 million gazillion billion
So despite the fact that we’ve made a pretty big dent in our bank accounts, we can still safely say that we wouldn’t change a thing about our time in Hvar. Plus, the best things in life are free, remember? The starry skies, sunsets, good company, exploring the backstreets, getting lost on mountain hikes, swimming in the ocean… Life doesn’t really get any better than this.
Lifelong memories – FREE
I am so glad we were able to make a stop on this awesome island! We’ve had so much fun and I can see why party people return to Croatia solely for this island. However, as a broke traveller who prefers sunrise-hikes to sunrise-stumbling out of bars, I’m not entirely sure it’s convinced me to plan a second visit…
Instead, I shall just treasure the memories we made and look forward to the 3rd and midway point of our Croatia tour – SPLIT! As always, thank you for reading and make sure to keep following our adventures online.
✌ and ❤, always!