Touring the Islands off of Split

Our last day in Split, we scheduled a boat tour of a few of the islands located near Split.  The tour group we used was Adriatic Pearl, http://www.adriaticpearl.hr.  If you are in Split and looking for a tour company, I would highly recommend them.  There were about 12 of us in the tour, plus the two young men who captained and navigated the boat.

By 8:00, we were all situated and heading out to the first island of Vis.  It took us about an hour and a half to arrive to our destination.  The first part of Vis that they showed us was the an abandon submarine pen.   In all of my travels, I have never seen anything like this.  img_3198

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The entrance to a tunnel that takes you to the center of the submarine pen. There are many tunnels throughout the island.

From 1950 until about 1989, Vis was used as a military base for the Yugoslavian army.  It was during this time that the submarine pen was built.  It was also during this time that many people left the island looking for work.  Today, the lack of development, due to people being away for so many years, has become a major draw for tourist who wish to see a town in its natural state.  The tourist who visit Vis today appreciate the quiet and unmodified state of the buildings.

We were in the town for about an hour to walk around, explore and have a cup of coffee.  I invite you to “wander” with me through my photos.

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Boats can dock right on the main street, which makes it very convenient for visiting restaurants or restocking before leaving for the next island adventure.

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Beyond the “downtown area”

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Reminded me of Dubrovnik!

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These sweet cats were outside of the local fish store.  I imagine it is a very good place to “hang out”.  The black and white cat reminds me of my in-law’s cat “Mittens”.

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This is one of my favorite photos from our whole trip!

From Vis, we visited the Green Cave.  We were supposed to visit the “Blue Cave” too, which from the photos I have seen, looks amazing.  However, the sea was too rough for the  boat to get into the cave.  So, we had to settle on just seeing the Green Cave.

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Entrance to the Green Cave

Unfortunately, for us, it was a cloudy day.  If it had been sunny, the sunlight would have shone through the hole in the ceiling of the cave and everything would have been green from the reflection in the water.

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Notice the hole in the top of the cave, where the sun shines in to reflect the green water.

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It was difficult to get a photo that wasn’t blurred while on the “rocking” boat.  I am sharing this because of the colors in the rocks.

From the Green Cave, we made a quick stop on the very small island.  Forgive me, I think it might have been one of the 16 islands in the Pakleni chain of islands but am not 100% certain.  I will say, that it was the one that I had the most fun on!  I thought I had the islands all in order but doing the research, I am not quite certain exactly which island this was.

There wasn’t much on this island at all.  When we docked, we were told that we would have a few minutes to explore or if some were brave enough, to go swimming.  There was a nice pebble beach near the wharf.  Sitting on a small hill, about a five minute walk, was a building that I thought was a private home.

David and I followed a path, which after about 10 minutes of walking, brought us to the other side of the island.

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The path that took us from one side of the island to the other.

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I think this sailboat, moored here looks so inviting.  No one around for miles – just peace and quiet.

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The rocky coast.

We discovered the building that we thought was a private home was more of a restaurant and possibly a place to spend a night or two.  We walked to the porch and were greeted by this sweet donkey…don’t you just love donkeys?  I do!  I just think they are so cute!img_3260

The establishment had personality….as did the proprietor and his buddies who were sitting at the table.  Reflecting back, I am so disappointed that I didn’t take their pictures to share with you.  The proprietor was “larger than life”!!  He had a couple days growth of stubble on his chin, dark hair and dark eyes to match.  He had a twinkle about him that made you immediately like him.  He was dressed in a well-worn pair of jeans and a shirt that was covered with a light-weight jacket.  He told me that he spoke 7 languages.

I asked if I could take some pictures as his place had much character.  He said of course.  David continued to pet the donkey and eventually, tired of waiting for me and returned to the wharf.

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Possibly this is a picture of the owner of the restaurant when he was younger but this is way to stern of a man for the one who I remember!

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Is this what it means to “have your ducks in a row?”

After I took my photos, I chatted with the men for awhile.  For a brief moment, they were talking among themselves.  It appeared that they were all agreeing on something and the owner then called to a lady who appeared in the doorway.  He made his request to her and she disappeared back into the restaurant.  I had no idea what was going on and was about to leave to go to the boat, when the lady appeared with a bottle of something and 4 glasses.

I was invited to have a drink with them!  Why not????  img_3265

This is Orahovica which I learned was a popular drink, mostly among men, in Croatia.  This batch was made by the owner.  It is made from green walnuts, some kind of liquor (I think he used wine) and sugar and sat in the sun for 40 days.  They each had a shot and drank it right down.  I wanted to “taste” it so sipped mine.  I really liked it.  I don’t know how to describe the flavor.  It wasn’t sweet, was a little bitter and definitely had a “kick” to it.

The men told me that it was good for medicinal purposes….stomach aliments and was good for sex!  I called it “Croatian Viagra” and that got a good laugh.

All to soon, I had to make my way to the boat but what a fun afternoon it would have been to sit there, drinking a shot or two more with the men and sharing stories!

Our lunch stop was on Sveti Klement, another one of the Pakleni islands.  This island was much larger and had a few restaurants, small hotels and on the other side of the island, a large marina.  We were told that we would have 2 hours on this island.  I wish that we had just an hour on this island and 2 hours on Hvar, the last island we were to visit.

David and I were not really hungry so decided to walk around the island to see what it had to offer.  This island was less developed and had a very lush landscape.  The walkways were lined with a variety of cacti and plants.

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One of the paths on the island

Some of the cacti that we passed…….

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The marina on the opposite side of the island, off in the distance is the island of Hvar. 

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The coastline near the marina.

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Walking on the rocky coast, we saw this plant that looks like it had acorns.

As we returned from the marina, we passed this purple house……

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and came upon Meneghello Restaurant.  I love the coral color for the building. img_3296

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Not exactly certain what the purpose of the nets were around the plants but loved the colorful glass used for the top.

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More artwork on one of the outside buildings.

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I felt like I was walking through an outdoor art museum!

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The path took us past this building.  It appeared to be a bed and breakfast that was closed for the season.

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Looking down onto Palmizana Harbor where we docked the boat.

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Another area of the island that we walked to.  It offered beautiful views…such an untamed beauty on this part of the island.

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The view from where we stood.

My parting shot for Sveti Klement Island is of the walkway that took us to the wharf….img_3307

Our final stop was the island of Hvar.  We arrived about 3:00 in the afternoon and only had an hour to explore this island. I was kind of disappointed because I had heard so many wonderful things about this place and didn’t think that 1 hour would allow us to really get to really appreciate it all. I had even contemplated about spending a couple of nights on Hvar so we could get out to the rural area where the farms are.  It would have been difficult because of the winter ferry schedule so gave up on that idea.

I am just grateful that we were able to visit, even for just an hour.  It would be lovely to return and stay for a few nights.

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The town of Hvar with the fortress watching over it.

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The main plaza, St Stephen’s Square,  with a cathedral from the Renaissance era.

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A close-up of the fortress.  This fortress was built starting in the 13th century and was added onto right up to the 19th century.  We didn’t visit it because of the time allowance.

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Stairway to heaven?

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This cute little guy decided to be our “tour guide” and wouldn’t  leave our sides.

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A pomegranate or two ready for the picking!

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This took us back to the waterfront, where the boat was docked.

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The promenade was lined with the wonderful palm trees, that had the colorful orange berries on each of them.

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There was a picturesque park on the opposite side of where we were docked.

We left around 4:00 and arrived back at Split, just as it was just beginning to rain.  We were lucky that it only sprinkled a few times before we got back to Split.

It was about 6:00 PM when we arrived back at Split and I was definitely ready for some dinner.  We ate at Trattoria Tinel (tinel means living room in Italian).  I had black risotto, which is a specialty of the area.  It is black because of the squid ink used in the recipe.  I also had the delicious grilled veggie salad.  It was yummy!  David had the seafood pasta dish, which was very good but too rich for me.

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Black risotto and cuttlefish

Grilled Veggie and Cheese Salad

Beautifully presented, very fresh and delicious grilled veggie salad.

The day had been a full day of exploring.  With full tummies, we walked back to our apartment.

Wishing you, my reader, blessings!

2 thoughts on “Touring the Islands off of Split

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