In June 2006, I went to Croatia for the first time, and I fell in love with that incredible country.
At that time, the country was not on the tourist radar, and few people knew and visited its islands and paradisiacal beaches.
Nowadays the town of Hvar is the “new” Ibiza, with several nightclubs, bars and restaurants full of tourists and celebrities.
However, at the time, I found an excellent flight and hotel deal for the island of Hvar, more precisely to Jelsa, a small town on the north coast. Not very sure how we would get there, and without much information about the area, we decided to go.
Over eleven years later, we returned to Croatia for our summer holiday where we spent 5 days on the beautiful island of Korčula (read more here) and 9 days on the Makarska Riviera.
Then, one day, we decided to revisit Hvar, to see what that stunning island looked like after so many years.
As we were in Tučepi, on the Makarska Riviera and we had a car, we went to Drvenik where we took a ferry to Sućuraj, in Hvar Island.
The Jadrolinija ferry takes only 35 minutes, and the scenery is impressive. More info about their timetable and prices here.
From Sućuraj, we drove towards Jelsa, checking out some different beaches along the way.
If you would like to go directly, it takes about 1 hour to Jelsa and 1h30min to Hvar Town. However, I ought to say that the roads are a bit tricky, and for those who feel nauseous on curvy roads, this is not a great option.
Also, from my experience, the West is more developed than the East side of the island. Hence the roads have been better-maintained over there.
On our way to Jelsea, we stopped in a couple of beaches that were breathtaking, like Mlaska, Smrska, Uvala Kozja – Bogomolje, Zavala and Veprinova.
All of those were almost empty in September so we could swim into that fantastic turquoise sea and enjoy those quiet places in peace.
It is a lovely bay on the north of the island, near the ferry harbour of Sućuraj.
Around the bay, there is a modern auto-camp that offers caravan site, bungalows and a restaurant with Dalmatian and international cuisine. Just bear in mind that half of the beach is a nude beach (fkk).
It is located on the south side of Hvar Island, near the village of Gdinj and it is part of the Gdinjske vale.
There is no parking, so you should leave the car at the roadside.
The bay has a small dock and at the shore is with fine gravel, rocks and pines surround it.
Definitely, a calm and peaceful place for those who want to be away from crowded places.
In fact, this little bay, in the pictures below, is between Smrska and Kozja and we found it exploring the tiny roads on our way.
Unfortunately I forgot to save it on the map, so I cannot pinpoint it to show you the exact location.
The beach in the photo below is the actual Uvala Kozja. Though we didn’t stop there, you can see that it is another beach in the middle of nowhere, with transparent waters of stunning colour.
Actually, it can’t go wrong with any beach in the southern area of Hvar.
It is a bit more developed than the other ones. I imagine that in high season it must be more crowded than the others that I mentioned above.
As I went in September, the beach was empty, and it was my favourite one!
It has a few apartments and rooms to rent it and a small family restaurant serving delicious fish with an incredible view of the turquoise sea.
The water is clean, calm and the shore is made of pebbles.
We went to Zavala late afternoon, and we didn’t have much time to explore it because we wanted to go to Jelsa before catching the ferry back to Makarska.
The village offers awesome views of the island of Šćedro, Korčula and Pelješac Peninsula.
There are plenty of accommodations to rent it and a couple of restaurants to enjoy the famous wine, which is said to be the best on the island.
The beach is with pebble and has a crystal clear water where families can enjoy.
Unfortunately, unlike 2006, where we spent a week in Hvar, this time I only had one day and I wish I had more time to explore it further.
At that time, we visited only the west side. However, I don’t have many photos, and I believe that most places have changed a bit, so I prefer not to write about that previous experience.
As you can see, I love Croatia! The people, the cuisine, the beaches, the architecture, in short, I think everything is incredible, and without a doubt, I hope to return soon to visit other islands.
And if you are interested, check it out this post here about the lovely village of Jelsa. Leave a comment or subscribe to our newsletter to receive more notifications about it the newest posts.
Have a great day!