Four places to visit in Dalmatia

Visiting Bol Beach Croatia

Arriving in Bol we made our way down a long tree-lined pathway towards Bol Beach. There are small cafes at the start of the path. We stopped at one for our typical lunch of Pizza and beer. You can catch a trolly train here that goes directly to Bol Beach, about 2 miles down the path.

We decided to walk to explore the other sites before relaxing on the sand. The pathway is on a ridge above the water and provides fantastic views of the crystal blue Adriatic below. There are beaches, cafes, and dive shops all along the beach as it widens out to form Bol Beach.

Thick woods cover the land side of the path, except for a few resorts and small inns that line the pathway. A couple of the resorts are huge, indicating Bol is catching on quickly as a prime vacation spot.

The beach at Bol is considered Croatia’s most spectacular beach. It’s renowned for the golden sandbar (Zlatni Rat), which wraps around a wooded forest forming a triangle-styled point that’s just out into the Adriatic. We found a spot and set up camp.

Just beyond the swimming area yachts and boats are lined side by side. The beach was crowded, but in September most of the Euro-tourists were back and work and school, so it was not too bad.

The water was warm and enjoyable. After two days of hiking around Trogir and Split it was good to chill out for one last day of sun and fun.

Traveling to Trogir Croatia

We took a day trip about an hour north of Split to the famed city of Trogir. We left the confines of Diocletian’s Palace for the local bus station. Catching the bus to Trogir is very easy, the schedules are in plain sight and people are very helpful in providing directions.

After a bit more than an hour of traveling through local roads, we arrived at the gates of Trogir. It reminded me a bit of a land-based Korcula. Church towers and tiled roofs appear behind heavy stone fortified walls. Like Dubrovnik, Split and Korcula, Trogir is a registered Unesco World Heritage Site. It’s claimed by UNESCO to be “a remarkable example of urban continuity”.

The city is small which makes it very manageable on a day trip. The town features some great things to see such as St. Lawrence Cathedral, a wonderful waterfront with open-air cafes, Kameriengo Fortress, Radovan’s Portal, and excellent beaches.

Exploring the Island of Korcula

Korcula (pronounced Korchula) is a stunning island known for its secluded beaches, uninhabited neighboring islands, exquisite arts, and rich culture. It’s thought that the famed explorer Marco Polo (1254-1342) was born here.

Much like Dubrovnik the city of Korcula is encased in a stone fortification with defensive towers and one of the most beautiful castle gate entries I’ve ever seen.

Our driver dropped us at Orebic, where we caught a water taxi across the bay to Korcula. The boat was a beautiful wooden taxi boat that could hold maybe 30 passengers. Its low-slung hull put us just above water level. As we cut a path through the deep blue, warm waters of the Adriatic the perspective of the approaching fortress city was enhanced by our low eye line.

We exited the boat and walked up the grand stairs of the main gate into the city. We wandered across the city to the far side and had lunch, which consisted of my usual pizza and beer. Others had great success with fresh fish.

After lunch, we found the destroyed ruins of what is supposed to be Marco Polo’s house. I got some good shots through what used to be the windows, through to what looked like the main fireplace in the house.

There is a museum there that likely explains the whole Marco Polo story, and provides background on the house and its place in the history of Korcula. We decided our limited time was best spent exploring.

We found wonderful streets with quaint houses, elaborate garden gates, and a church at the peak of the city, which provided some excellent interior photo opportunities.

What a place to see! I can’t recommend this beautiful city enough. I would love to return to experience the local area some more.

Bol, Croatia
Photo by Oliver Sjöström from Pexels

Guide to Hotels and Restaurants in Hvar

We stayed at the Hotel Amfora, which is located conveniently about 5 minutes walk from Hvar Town. We loved the location because it was close to Hvar Town, within walking distance from excellent local rock beach areas, and stylish enough to provide comfort to travelers that are used to sophisticated accommodations.

We stayed at the Hotel Amfora, which is located conveniently about 5 minutes walk from Hvar Town. The hotel is situated on a steep hill overlooking a tranquil cove that offers a small private beach. We found a better area for sunning and swimming farther down the paved pathway about 15 minutes away.

The hotel is huge, and still shows remnants of being a proletariat vacation spot during the darker days of Communist Yugoslavia. Today it’s a sophisticated boutique hotel that is modern, stylish, and considered a top-notch luxury hotel by European standards.

Between the Hotel Amfora and Hvar Town, there is a great outdoor lounge bar that is a must-visit at sunset. The view of the Hvar bay from comfortable cushy chairs with a cocktail in your hand is a fantastic experience that is not to be missed.

The beaches are all rocky and not comfortable with a beach towel alone. Lounge chairs are available for 5 HRK per day. Our favorite beach spot offered a small refreshment hut where we could get sodas, beer, and snacks. Some spots have ladders to get in and out of the water.

This is something to look out for because the rocks are several feet above the water and there are sea urchins. The ladders make getting in and out easier.

Lunches were normally spent at the cafes along the marina. I found the pizzas to be consistently good, but salty like all the food in Croatia. The most memorable dinner we had was at a restaurant a few blocks up from the marina on one of the steep small streets that offer a variety of shops and restaurants.

Our waiter was a wildman. He provided great service and recommended fish dishes that were incredible. At the end of the dinner, when the restaurant was almost empty, he brought out Croatian Liquor and started doing shots with us and one of the other waitresses. It was a wild night, the perfect way to celebrate our last night in Hvar.

If you can’t get a booking at Hotel Amfora, I would suggest Hotel Hvar, which is located just next door to the Marina and seems to be very nice. We had cocktails there and really enjoyed the environment. My only concern would be the noise from Carpe Diem Nightclub, which is around the corner.

The other place to check out would be The Palace Hvar. It’s the oldest hotel in Hvar, beautiful inside and out which translates to very pricey in the peak season. The Palace Hvar is located at the marina and showcases supreme views from its patio and marina-facing rooms. Right next door is the famous Hvar Theatre, the oldest theatre in Croatia. See also an article about Dubrovnik and its beaches.