Opposite the Dalmatian port of Hvar lies one of Croatia’s most well kept secret – the Pakleni Islands.
These islands are made up from a little set of ‘micro islands’ that are full of gorgeous beaches (sandy and pebbly) and secluded rocky coves to picnic in and lose yourself in the romance of island hopping in minature.
The water here is probably the clearest in the whole Mediterranean with the fresh water currents that pass through on their way to Italy. It makes for fantastic beach combing and snorkelling!
Catch the ferry to Hvar and then it’s just a short boat ride (taxi’s abound) to the first island. The islands have names like Jerolim, Marinkovac and Sveti Klement and you’ll quickly soak up the relaxed ambience and natural beauty of this small archipelago. The air is redolent with thyme and the sound of cicadas fills the heat laden air lulling you into afternoon siestas.
The islands are uninhabited but are fantastic for nature lovers and for escaping the crowds in the Summer. The nearest island, Galisnik, is home to the oldest building in the island which was built as a quarantine centre by the Franciscan monks who had their monastery on the mainland. It’s well worth a look.
The islands are a great day out if you want to escape the mainland for a while or even stay overnight in one of the bed and breakfasts there. If you’re feeling more active hire your own boat or kayak. Scuba diving is great as the reefs and underwater caves are full of history and you can be shown the best of them with Viking Diving.
Meals are usually taken at the local restaurants on the main island or you can take a picnic with you if you prefer. We love the seafood and the locally produced white wine at Restaurant Antonio at Zdrilca Bay on Marinkovac.
The ferry trip from Split to Havr will set you back about £14 one way and a water taxi to the island around £4 return.
Here’s a very cute video by the local yacht club to give you a quick idea of what the islands are all about!