Flashy, trashy Hvar. This is how Lonely Planet: Croatia describes the town of Hvar. With 2760 hours of sunshine a year, Hvar is the sunniest place in the country and a magnet for the yacht set – as well as a day trip from Dubrovnik. When we visited Hvar in the off season, however, this idyllic little town was quiet and peaceful – except for a massive storm that raged across the island. So instead of soaking up the sun, Daniel and I watched as magnificent waves swamped walkways and flooded buildings.
With a population of 4,000 (which swells to 20,000 in the summer), the city of Hvar felt like a metropolis after our visit to sleepy Bol. There were two restaurants open that we could find, the excellent Mizarola and the swanky BB Club at Hotel Riva. Typically we would avoid a hotel restaurant, especially one billed as a “Yacht Harbor Hotel,” but we were short on choices. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that BB Club serves marende – a warm, hearty meal favored by locals that is typically served around lunchtime. Yum – and for 55 kn a person ($8 USD) it is quite a deal.
Be aware that visiting Hvar in the off season means that you can be hit with some pretty wild weather. After wandering around for a day and exploring the empty streets of Old Town and the Spanish Fortress, a huge storm rolled in. The gale brought with it a historically high tide which crashed over sea walls and flooded buildings. We walked along the coast in 30 mph winds, watching the angry roil of the ocean as boats slammed into each other.
Daniel and I had planned to leave the next day, but all boats were cancelled due to the storm. So we walked around town instead. We passed a group of fisherman attempting to dislodge boats from a pile where they had crashed into each other. As we walked to town, we had to avoid giant rocks strewn about the path that previously formed the seawall. A statue along the coastline was entirely missing. This same storm, we were to learn later, caused unprecedented flooding and damage in Venice.
So, not the visit we planned for but a memorable one none-the-less. And our AirBnB host was super gracious – she even gave us a ride to Supetar on the other side of the island to catch the car ferry after catamaran service was cancelled.
Here are some photos from our visit to Hvar.
Where are we now?
Location: Hvar Town (Hvar Island) Croatia
Dates: Sunday, November 10 to Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Vagabonding Journey Status: days 41-43