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Island Hopping from Split, Croatia
Split is a city with a split personality – half party hotspot, half historic and cultural idyll. Its
red-roofed buildings scatter next to the green oasis of Marjan's Hill in a muddle of lanes and alleyways with the well-preserved Roman ruins of Diocletian's Palace forming a square at their centre. From the top of the hill, and throughout the port town, the verdant islands beckon from the cool blue of the Adriatic. After a brief stop in the city, we set off to explore some of the islands that called to us. We left the Dalmatian shoreline behind and headed off on our island hopping adventure.
First stop was Solta, which we had been looking at from the city. Though it is close to the centre of Split, it is perhaps less well known than some other neighbouring islands and is somewhat less visited. We traversed this hilly island to the little port of Maslinika. Maslinika was a strange mixture of yuppie yachtsters and traditional fishing folk, and we spent a happy few hours just watching the scene and having a quiet drink.
Next, we voyaged on to the neighbouring island of Brac, where we swam off a beautiful
pine-backed pebble beach and floated in the shallows in the warm sunshine. After exploring the town of Supetar and taking in its historic sights we hitched to the southern end of the island where we found the charming historical town of Bol – the oldest settlement on Brac. In hilly Bol we viewed the Venetian architecture and the ancient Dominican Monastery then, feeling energetic, we climbed Vidova Gora, to the highest point on the island. The views were outstanding. Hiking back down to the main road of the island, we made our way next to our camp site, by the ancient coastal village of Milna. There, we watched the sun go down over the Adriatic, and looked forward to the next part of our adventure.
Hvar was our next stop. We started in Hvar town, where in spite of its status as a favourite celebrity haunt, we failed to see anyone we recognised. We did see, however, a stunningly picturesque town, and we enjoyed wandering its ancient streets. We had a drink in a chic bar, but knew that the party hard evening entertainment in the town and environs would not be our cup of tea so we got out of dodge and headed instead round the coast to some of the quaint fishing villages and quiet coves that are less frequented by the young party crowd. It was clear, in spite of our fears before we came, that in spite of its popularity, Hvar remains almost entirely unspoiled. That night, in our camp site, we slept surrounded by the scent of the lavender we had bought earlier that day, for which the island is famous. The perfume and the fresh night air mingled to create a near-paradise as we watched the sun go down over the ocean once more.
1,700 years old
2nd Largest City of Croatia
79.38 km2 (30.65 sq mi)
22.12 km2 (8.54 sq mi)
2,244/km2 (5,810/sq mi)
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