Day 4: Beautiful Hvar Island - Lavender and Mountain Views
I had an early morning start to pick up the rental car so that I could get a ferry from Drevnik, Croatia, to Hvar island (Sućuraj). In low season (May), there are only very few ferries operating. We arrived at Drevnik just as the 10:00 ferry was pulling away. I expected that this would happen as the earliest we could get the car was 8:00, and the journey to Drevnik was expected to take two hours, minus time for filling out the paperwork for the car and waiting in the immigration queue for the small sliver of Bosnia and Herzegovina that anyone using the coastal road must pass through. We waited until 13:00 for the next ferry. We parked our car at the front of the queue and waited. At Drevnik, there are a couple of cafe restaurants, and we admired the views over the Adriatic.
Once on the ferry, the journey time to the island was only twenty-five minutes, and the views of the mountains from the ferry are beautiful. Despite being on the edge of the high season, the small ferry was busy, but there was still room for other cars. With many more ferries and available space, I can only imagine that Hvar is extremely busy in the summer months.
The accommodation for the next two nights was located in Hvar Town, which was on the opposite side of the island. The total journey is probably around an hour, but we stopped off along the way to admire the beautiful views. The south-eastern side of the island has particular amazing views of the mountains on the mainland, and there are also views of neighbouring islands. Soon after leaving the port, the road climbs into the mountains. The roads are small and quite narrow, and I advise letting other cars go in front so that the ride can be enjoyed. (It's also probably not the safest road, but I didn't run into any issues.)
On the way to Hvar Town, we drove through several fields of lavender with glorious views of the sea on both sides of us. The island of Hvar seems to be almost completely covered with beautiful lavender. In fact, the island is known for its lavender.
The roads on the island are generally okay, except for a few places. Steer clear of unpaved roads if heading onto a mountain. (I will discuss this more in a moment.) Some of the roads on the island are sheer drops with no guard rails in places, and some of the local traffic goes quickly along these roads. I'm not a fan of extreme heights, so a couple of areas of no guard rails on a bend frightened me. However, if you can get over the heights, the views are stunning. In fact, the island was voted one of the most beautiful in the world.
Hvar island has several attractive villages and some abandoned villages. Spend longer and you can take a boat to surrounding islands and have a chance to relax and soak up the atmosphere. One of the abandoned villages visited is Humac, and it was based on an ancient settlement near where there is a cave. A dirt road from Humac leads up into the mountains with beautiful lavender on both sides. On the way to try to find this cave and following signs, we ended up overlooking the village of Jelsa (with a viewing platform). Further up, a man-made and single track dirt road winded around the mountains, and it started to climb up around the bend. At that point, I got very frightened as there were no guard rails, and the single-track dirt road got narrower and did not look sturdy enough to hold over a tonne of metal car. The car was slowly reversed back around the mountain. (This was probably the single most frightening adventure in my life, and I was shook up for the remainder of the day.) Besides the frightening experience with narrow dirt roads winding up mountains, the beautiful views and lavender fields were the highlight of the day.
After this experience, we drove to Hvar Town, and we spent the evening in the old town. Singing was taking place in front of the beautiful cathedral, and we stopped to listen. We enjoyed walking around the harbour and exploring the winding streets by lamplight.
A small lighthouse in Sućuraj, Hvar greets us.
Beautiful mountain views and small boats on the way from Drevnik to Sućuraj
The abandoned village of Humac, Hvar
An abandoned building in Humac, Hvar
A building in the abandoned village of Humac, Hvar. This purple plant was also discovered in the village.
Fields of lavender, Hvar
Fields of lavender, Hvar and mountain views in the background
An insect flies next to a lavender bloom
A circular stone hut stands in the middle of nowhere near Humac, Hvar. I assume that these were built for those keeping animals. The building in the foreground is actually an alter. It's solid except for the small window.
This layered pile of stone may have been another stone hut. I didn't investigate it.
On the side of the crossroads is a cross and purple iris flowers. I think it is a grave, perhaps.
The purple iris flowers look beautiful in front of the mountains of the island of Brac, in the distance.
The dirt road winds through fields of lavender with various mountains in the distance.
A cactus flower
On the first night, we had dinner at a restaurant near the monastery; these beautiful yellow lemons were on a table.
St. Stephen's Cathedral in Hvar Town; singing is taking place in front of the cathedral.
Hvar Town lamps
Cobbled narrow streets of Hvar Town in the evening
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