Treasures Awaiting Discovery
While the beaches close to the main towns and resorts on the island may be well known, the eastern bays of Hvar offer something completely different to tourists - and locals - wanting to escape the summer crowds.
The island east of Jelsa is much less populated and visited than its western counterpart, and that affords plenty of options for people looking for some peace and quiet. With the opening of the second stretch of the Jelsa - Sućuraj road at the end of March next year, travelling times to the eastern bays will be reduced, and so perhaps now is the best time to investigate.
One of the most picturesque places to visit - and via perhaps Hvar's most unusual road - is Mala Stiniva, a pretty little collection of houses on the water, but inaccessible by the road itself. What makes the road so special? Our advice is to find out for yourself, drive to the fork in the road, then take both turns and email us with your suggestions of what was inside the engineer's head. Mala Stiniva is a short drive left from the village of Poljica.
Carrying along to the next village of Zastražišće, another left turn takes you to Mala Stiniva's bigger brother. The impressive sheer cliffs above Vela Stiniva are home to some of the best rock climbing on the island, and its gorgeous bay offers tranquilllity in a small village with its own restaurant and tourist accommodation in season.
With its central road going through the eastern spine of Hvar, there are choices north and south, and there is no doubting the best options for south-side sun - the fabulous Gdinj bays. Take the signposted right turn at the church in the middle of the village, and enjoy a spectacular snaking descent to the water, with gorgeous views of Korčula and Pelješac (not if you are the driver, however!). Once on the water, there are a selection of divine little bays, many with a bar and/or restaurant and with some of the best swimming on the island. Well worth the day trip from Hvar Town and other very busy places.
The village of Bogomolje used to be one of the biggest on the island, and indeed had a daily ferry until 1965 in the northern bay of Bristova. Those glory days have gone, and things are a lot quieter now, and the beneficiary of that has been Nature, with more glorious beaches away from the masses on offer.
And of course, should you be looking for some quality villa accommodation away from the world, you know where to come for the best selection on the island: http://villashvar.com/
*Author - Paul Bradbury
*Photo Credit - Rafael Janic Photography