Exploring every bay of Hvar island by sea kayak
PART 3: From Hvar to Stari Grad
We continue exploring every bay of Hvar island by sea kayak on our third day. We arrived to Hvar town in the part two. Basically, Hvar town is our summer home. Although everything we saw, and most of what we are about to see feels like a rerun, we were pretty excited to turn the corner around Pelegrin cape, and return to the north side.
It is worth mentioning that a larger portion of the Pelegrin cape is a hunting ground, divided by a fence that stretches from Uleni bok on south side to Duga uvala on the north, and because of that accessible only on foot.
Some of the more popular bays on the north we have explored before by other means than kayak, but many names on the map still held a lot of mystery. Now that we’ve seen it all, we are unanimous in the opinion that none of us expected to find so many beautiful bays, ideal for a kayaker, on this leg of our journey!
So, our kayaking day started from Pišćena, a we’ve covered 12km to Hvar. After a coffee break in Križna luka, we’ve entered port of Hvar and the tiny Mandrač port where hundreds awaited and applauded to our adventurous ideas, as seen on this photo 🙂
PART 3: FROM HVAR TO STARI GRAD
Leg lenght: 42km / 22.6nmi
Number of bays: 40
Bonj is one of the most popular bays in Hvar town, also known for its beach and the Amfora hotel. Being so popular also means we don’t have to “discover” it as you will surely come across if in Hvar.
Majerovica is just around the corner, big bay popular as a day clubbing area as Hula Hula bar is located there.
Podstine used to be a quiet, protected bay that offered an escape from the vibrant Hvar town. Today the bay looked more like a construction site because of ongoing built of the hotel above the beach.
There is a villa that used to belong to an influential former Yugoslavian politician Vladimir Bakarić, today property of Croatian government on one side, big beach in the middle, and a row of summer houses and a Podstine hotel built on the cliffy side of the bay.
Mala Garška is not so small as the name “small greek bay” would imply. There are three inlets; first one is a home to hotel Sirena, and has a rather nice beach to it. Also, a diving club is here. The middle and largest one, is a harbour for the vessels of the locals. Third inlet is a rocky notch.
Uleni bok bay is not very accessible from a kayaker’s perspective. There is no beach, but there are a couple of small piers that double as sundecks for the residents of 5 or 6 summer houses tucked in the bay. Looks peaceful, yet just a couple of minutes’ drive from all the commotion of Hvar town.
Vela Garška is accessible only on foot or by a vessel. It is a beautiful, well protected bay with two inlets, both having a beach. One on the right has a beach bar named Kalma, and the other has a tavern named Mareta. In the tavern you can get your hands around a cup of Turkish coffee, a kind of coffee locals prefer.
Since it is not that easy to access Vela Garška, most of the people you’ll meet here are on a sailing holiday, or kayakers as yourself. Definitely worth checking out!
Petrov bok is a notch in a rocky coast, so small we haven’t even figured it was a bay.
Mala tocila is very similar to Petrov bok, but this one we’ve taken photo of.
Vela tocila is a larger rocky notch with what appears to be an electrical grid infrastructure.Unpaved road leads to that infrastructure, and that’s about it.
Pelegrinska is a pretty big bay that sways east, and at its end there is a beach. There is no shade though, but there is a lot of no one around. Between Pelegrinska and Gnjiline, tip of the Pelegrin cape with its lighthouse awaits.
Gnjiline doesn’t make you feel like “Uuuu, the effort to get here was worth it”. It is a big rocky notch, and that’s about it.
Spilica is another big, deep rocky notch, but much more pleasant to the eye with all the pines around.
Parje is interesting and beautiful in many ways. Bay has two inlets, one on the left being accessible to public (only on foot or by sea), with nice beach and plenty of shade. Rest of the bay seems to be private. One of the wealthiest Croatian entrepreneurs “rented” that part of Parje bay for himself to enjoy.
There is a beautiful open-style hacienda, and bunch of boats and water toys parked around. Bay seems very peaceful, but the guards watching every stroke you make makes it somehow opposite of what paradise should look like, at least for everyone else.
Duga uvala or the “long bay” is exactly as its name implies – a long one, with a beach at the end. Based on the small shed, fireplace and a terrace built here, we can presume that it has something to do with the hunting. Hunters can access this bay by vehicle, since there is an unpaved road leading to it.
Široka uvala or the “wide bay” is…. hold your breath… a wide one, with not much that a kayaker can use. One interesting thing is an exposed entrance to a tunnel of some kind. We are not sure what it is used for, we can only presume it was a military thing, and we can guess that it is connected to a tunnel above Mala Garška bay, now in use for telecommunications.
Vela Vira is a part of a bigger bay shared with Pribinja. Vela Vira today is a commercial port for the local fishing fleet, providing logistic and transport of fresh fish. A paved road leads to it, as well as to Pribinja.
Pribinja on the other hand is known for its camp named Vira. It is a big camp, with lots of shade and terraces, one big beach that even locals from Hvar town favour for their day at the beach. This is where we’ve called it a day, one that started in Pišćena, 36km ago. Camp was not open when we were there, so we stayed for free. Beside the camp, there are more than a few summer houses spread around the bay, and a tavern Ringo, that had a good reputation amongst its guests.
Jagodna is a deep bay with three inlets, one beach, and a bunch of summer houses grouped around. Unpaved road connects it to the paved one. Peaceful place.
Zastupac is a simple bay with 5 or 6 summer houses at its end. No beach, though.
Lozna is a peace of paradise. Home to the Little Green Bay hotel and just a few summer houses, offers one big pebble beach and a lots of shade. Lovely bay!
Sviračina is by shape and size similar to Lozna, but offers completely different experience. Just one residential house on one side of the bay, and a big plot of farmed land above the beach. Connected by an unpaved road.
Ivančev bok is a notch. Nothing there. Basically, all the bays that had “bok” in its name very completely uninteresting, with the exception of Uleni bok.
Vitarna is a big notch in a rocky coast.
Stiniva is just lovely! It is a big, wide bay, with a beautiful beach protected by a pier, and a small church. It looks like a summer home for some 10-12 families, and there seems to be some permanent residents judging by the agriculture in the background.
Tatinja bay has two inlets and two beaches. One on the right (west) has more of the “original” look, while the other one looks occupied by the single summer residence that does not fit well with the environment.
Grabovac looks like a pretty intimate community sharing a beautiful beach. Looks authentic and tranquil.
Beričina is one of the most beautiful bays a kayaker can stumble upon. Remaining of old cottage, pristine pebble beach in front, pines around, accessible only by sea….just perfect!
Boke is just as beautiful as Beričina, minus the cottage. We’ve enjoyed our break here. If we had to choose a place to stay overnight, this would probably be it.
Lučišće is as lovely as Stiniva, and without the pier. Small church is right there on the beach….big pebble beach, and just a few houses around. Wineyards in the backround give the extra touch.
Veli bok continues the row of intact bays with picture-perfect beaches one can have for themselves. Just perfect!
Mali Grabovac is next in line for this beauty contest. Just look at it!
Čisti dolac is a piece of paradise. We just hope that the owner of this small stone house….would be me.
Gračišće is when we started asking ourselves “why haven’t we came here before?!?” This one has two inlets competing for the title!
Balunić is a rocky notch, but with shade.
Zaborje is a bigger rocky notch with even more shade, and some kind of a rocky beach that a skilled kayaker could use.
Radočin dol is more of an opened style bay, with a big beach stretching along. Maps show that there is a summer house, but it is far from the beach, and tucked into the shade of pine trees.
Sveti Ante is beautiful bay. It has a pier and a beach, and one modern house built in the traditional way at its entrance. Also, lot of agriculture around.
Maslinica is a big bay very close to Stari Grad. Things here are about to change when a newly built hotel complex opens. Next to Maslenica is the new port of Stari Grad. This is where the car ferries from Split berth.
Duboka is a part of Stari Grad. Looks like a favourite beach for the locals and their guest on the south side of the town. Promenade that connects Stari Grad to the ferry port passes along this bay.
Stari Grad has a big, colourful and welcoming bay, and its marina is becoming more and more popular each year. History of Stari Grad is complex, and is out of scope of this blog entry, but it is definitely worth exploring. Stari Grad is where we took a longer break (a week or so) to avoid some serious weather systems to pass through, before we continue our last leg to Jelsa.