A Perfect Naturist Paradise
Natural Hvar, the island which has it all - the sunniest island in Europe, its very own lavender festival, a Mediterranean Diet which is inscribed as UNESCO intangible heritage. With such healthy and natural attributes, it should perhaps come as little surprise that Hvar is also one of the Adriatic's top destinations for naturism.
Naturism, more commonly known as FKK after the German phrase for 'free body culture', takes on official - and perhaps more prevalent unofficial - forms on the island, as one reader from The Guardian found out in 2011, as her tale of seeing a lithe naked woman emerge from a cave, before jumping into the sea and harpooning an octopus won Short Story of the Year. You can read the tale here - https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2011/nov/11/hvar-island-croatia-dalmatian-coast
Naturism is well-organised on Hvar, and it has been also well-established since the 1960s when German tourists descended en masse, and where better to express their free body culture than on the sun-soaked premier island of Croatia? It is thought that the origins of naturism in Croatia date back to 1936, with abdicating British monarch Edward VIII and his new wife Mrs Wallace Simpson asked to go skinny-dipping on the island of Rab. And while that is the perceived wisdom, there is photographic evidence of naturism on Hvar as far back as 1908.
Hvar's naturism credentials have also received international acclaim. The Pakleni Islands have their very own 'FKK island', and a wooden sign made of driftwood among the trees on the tiny island proclaim that Jerolim has been welcoming naturists since 1896. CNN named Jerolim the top FKK beach in the world back in 2012. A short water taxi from Hvar Town, Jerolim is a true hidden gem, one which has also been used as a fashion shoot by Vogue Australia.
The main FKK centre on Hvar, however, is Vrboska. Among the lush pine forests about 1km from the town is Kamp Nudist, a well-equipped campsite, complete with naturist beach, which has proven popular with naturists for decades. It is secluded, but also very close to the most popular Vrboska beach, Soline. Naturists on the east of Hvar also have the option of using the campsite of Mlaska, close to Sucuraj, half of which is given over to FKK tourism.
But it is in the lesser-visited coves and bays over the island where you are likely to come across FKK tourists, as they relax in the natural beauty of Hvar. And not all of them will be wielding a harpoon and hunting for octopus...
*Author - Paul Bradbury
*Photo Credit - FKK Jerolim by Majda Moškatelo