For your first day on Hvar Island, check out my previous post where I suggest walking around the town of Stari Grad, including climbing up Glavica Hill to thoroughly explore one of the oldest towns in Europe before relaxing on a beach of your choice (we stayed on a beautiful pebbly pay in walking distance from the centre of town).
On our second day I was still feeling pretty ill and the morning started off pretty miserably as after a full hour’s searching I had to succumb to the defeat of having lost the sunglasses that I’d only bought the day previously. However, I was still positive about the forthcoming day’s adventure and Josh gave me his sunglasses because he’s a sweetie (after a long time pouting and moping about). As soon as we were ready we jumped on the next bus to Dubovica Bay. This is on the bus route to Hvar from Stari Grad so pretty easy to reach. We spotted this beautiful bay on our first bus ride to Stari Grad from Hvar and knew we had to come back and explore.
Things to do in Hvar
From the bus stop we had to walk down a rocky trail through the arid bushes down into the bay. The view over the beach was beautiful and I nearly tripped up over rocks multiple times on the way down as I refused to put my camera down for a second. We eventually reached the beach, passing a few beautiful stone seaside houses on the trail down. There was a restaurant with a rustic beach aesthetic; an washed-up wooden boat separated it from the rest of the beach, with a fishing net draped over it and chalkboard offering seafood and other delights. Stone houses with orange tiled roofs nestled into the surrounding hills. Palm trees and olive trees bordered the beach like a lush green frame. The colour of the sea astounded me: it was so vividly green in the shallows and gradually darkened almost imperceptibly as it became deeper but suddenly it was blue, dark blue. I wandered along the silver pebbles a little while, stepping carefully around the beach-dwellers lounging in the sun. On the other side of the small beach tucked away in the back was an adorable beach bar. It was covered over with a roof weaved with bamboo from which little planks hung on string, painted an assortment of dark blue, minty green and pale red. Some were illustrated with adorable drawings of starfish and dolphins. The floor was scattered in colourful beanbags and large cushions where tourists lazed about drinking watermelon martinis. I loved the relaxed, beach vibe of the place. We ordered ourselves a couple of iced coffees and I drunk mine whilst taking photos of every little detail of the beach. Meanwhile, Josh chatted to the owner of the bar, asking about nearby caves that we could explore.
Caves and Coves of Dubovica
Once we’d finished our coffees, we made our way around to where the barman had said the caves could be found, clambering along the rugged coastline. The houses on the hills played jazz from their open windows and we passed by a small child with a tiny fishing rod trying his luck. It only took a few minutes before we came across the caves; they were bright red inside and contrasted beautifully against the vivid turquoise of the sea. Josh changed into his swimming gear and climbed down to explore the caves, where he met a couple of snorkelers who were also attempting to swim into the caves. I, on the other hand, climbed further along the coast and frolicked among the rocks, exploring the little sea pools and their critters. It was a lovely morning exploring Dubovica beach and its wonders. It felt like we’d discovered the tucked away gem of the island, far away from the popular towns of Stari Grad and Hvar. For lunch we sat amongst the rocks on the coast, eating our sandwiches and watching the boats sail past, the sun warming our bare feet.
After a good couple of hours at Dubovica, we climbed back up the slippery hill, through the prickly bushes this time as we were far from the trail. I complained loudly about how this was inappropriate activity for someone as ill as I. On the way up we came across the strange sight of an old rusty microwave settled on a pile of large rocks. On further investigation, we realised that inside the microwave was what looked like a dusty, withering bible… someone’s idea of art, perhaps? As we neared the top of the hill we noticed that the bus was waiting at the stop so we quickened our pace and thankfully caught it.
Onwards… to Hvar town.
After another super full bus-ride, consisting of me gripping onto the poles to avoid flying headfirst out of the window upon a drastic change in direction, we arrived in the stylish town of Hvar. I found myself gawping at the architecture that surrounded us, it was all a beautiful creamy white colour and looked like marble it was so smooth. The buildings behind the port had large arched windows and stone balconies. The square was surrounded by cute little boutiques and restaurants. Along the port there was line after line of shiny, colourful boats. All I could think whilst walking around was that everything was just so charming. It was busy compared to Dubovica and even Stari Grad but that didn’t take away from how precious it was.
Upwards… to Spanjola Fortress
It didn’t take long for us to want to climb to the highest point of the town, the best way to see any new place. So we began the trek to Spanjola Fortress that overlooks Hvar. The way up took us through some cute narrow alleyways with a pretty steep incline and we passed a couple of fancy restaurants on the way, as well as a cute tabby cat that was relaxing in a doorway but sadly didn’t want to be my friend.
The higher we climbed, the more intriguing the view became, peeking through the cream houses and trees. As we reached the fortress trail, the houses cleared and the view became complete before us. The left side of my view was made up of a patchwork of red roofed houses, close-knit and piled up upon the hill. On the right half was a stretch of deep blue silk embellished with the beautiful jewels of the Pakleni Islands. Tiny, round and fluffy with green trees, the Pakleni islands were amazing to see from this height protruding from the Adriatic sea. I was spellbound by the view. Much to my present self’s irritation I took about 100 pictures of this view from every angle possible as I walked along the trail, Josh storming off ahead as he grew impatient with my lagging behind. The light of the sun as it prepared to set washed over the view like liquid gold. It was perfect. Upon reaching the fortress, we found out that we had to pay to actually enter and walked away pretty quickly. I felt like I’d already seen the best of the views on the way up.
Chasing the Perfect Sunset
Instead we headed out on the main road towards what was marked on our maps.me app as the ‘best sunset spot’ by another user. It was pinned on a little crag off the edge of the island and we skipped along the road at a fast pace in order to get there before the sunset. It was hard to navigate how to get to the coast from the main road, as although we seemed to be but metres away, there were private residential areas in the way. After a long time wandering back and forth, we made our way down a little alleyway and reached the sea. We were soon met another disappointment, however as our ‘best sunset spot’ had been seemingly taken over by what seemed like an organised gathering. Repetitive EDM music pumped out of speakers and hordes of teenagers jumped up and down on the pier. We raved about how it was a shame that such a beautiful natural spot had been taken over by a throng of drunkards, feeling mildly like a pair of grandparents in our spite. We wandered along the beach, away from the music and it didn’t take us long to find an even better spot, round the curve of the coastline among the rocks, quiet and alone.
This was where we were when what I call ‘the most perfect sunset in the world’ occurred. The atmosphere became drenched all at once by a vivid, glowing orange; the sun’s rays distinctly stretching out from the horizon’s edge like fingers stroking the sky. The sun slowly slipped behind the horizon and we said goodbye to its warmth for another dark night after the most perfect day.
Our couple of days in Hvar was like an island dream.
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