Which would you pick for beauty and old towns to walk down and nice beaches to lay on the sand? Thanks!
I haven't been to Brac or Mljet, but here are my thoughts on the others: Split is a large city. We stayed at Base Rooms inside Diocletian's Palace for two nights, which we found to be just right. It was interesting and there was a beach within walking distance. Vis is a small, less-visited island accessible via daily ferries from Split. We loved Vis. We stayed in the main town (Luka?) which was small and focused on the busy yacht harbor. We loved sitting with a glass of wine watching them dock, some of them obviously more experienced than others. If we go back, we'd stay in Komiza, on the other side of the island. Gorgeous little fishing village with good beaches and several decent restaurants. From Komiza you can catch boats out to a pretty good "blue cave." Vis is a quiet, beautiful island, inexpensive, good place to chill out. Hvar is much larger and busier. More things to see, obviously, than Vis. A scenic old town. Some pretty good restaurants. Hotels can be fairly expensive here but you may be able to get a good price for an "apartment" or "sobe" which is generally attached to a private home. These generally come with lots of steps. From Hvar you can take inexpensive boat trips out to some almost deserted islands, which again we loved. Our favorite had nothing but some sunbeds & umbrellas lined up, a big rock to dive off, and a wonderful outdoor grill restaurant. You can rent a car or motorscooter to explore Hvar. Korcula is smaller than Hvar. A pretty little island, with a scenic walled town. Good restaurants. Seemed a little less pricey overall than Hvar. You didn't mention the Dubrovnik area, but if you're going there, we prefer staying in Cavtat (a gorgeous fishing village just south of Dubrovnik) and taking day trips into Dubrovnik when the cruise ships aren't there.
We really loved Korcula, found it utterly charming, uncrowded, quiet and delightful. It's small and there's not that much to see other than enjoy the town, so a full day and 2 nights was plenty for us. We thought Hvar was a real mixed bag: definitely some charm and a cool old town, but it struck us as pretentious and suffering from excessive trendiness. We were only there for half a day and were glad to be moving on to Korcula. We did not find Split nearly as enjoyable or as impressive as we had expected. It was really packed with crowds which made it hard to like. Dioclesian's Palace was interesting (we also stayed at an apartment inside) but was less interesting and less impressive than we had expected. To some extent your experience will be colored by what time of year you go - some of these places will be completely overwhelmed with tourists during high season, but delightfully "all yours" if you time it right. We went in May and were still turned off by the crowds in Split. Rab was our favorite place in Croatia - take a look. Didn't go to Vis, Brac or Mijet so can't help with those. We don't waste time on beaches when we're in Europe - when we want a beach experience, we go elsewhere. Hope that helps.
All great suggestions but I'd toss in Rovinj (full disclosure, David, we haven't been to Rab) or Trogir. Rovinj is a bit larger but full of adventures and miles of beaches (sand? try Florida for sand). Great art, historical sites, water sports, dining, music, etc. Trogir is smaller but much to offer - Split could be a day trip to the Place - it's only 30 min. away. Enjoy.
Hi Brendon, I run painting tours to Croatia (live in Ottawa, Canada) and my pick would be Split, Hvar and Korcula... now in all honesty I have not been to the others... but you could include Mljet (and by default Dubrovnik) with the Split-Korcula option. If you flew into Split and stayed there for a few days (actually 1 would be enough given you really only want to see the Palace and old town), then you could catch the catamaran from Split (it leaves every day at 5 or 6pm depending on the time of year) and it stops in Hvar and then Korcula. So stop in Hvar, stay a few days and then hop on the catamaran again and come to Korcula. Lumbarda (7km from Korcula and easy to get to by bus) has 2 sandy beaches. From Korcula make your way down to Dubrovnik either by ferry or bus and I would recommend staying in Cavtat which is out by the airport but has access to both Dubrovnik and Mljet and is a lot cheaper then staying in Dubrovnik. Cavtat is gorgeous in its own right. Then fly out of Dubrovnik! Notes: 1. If you are travelling in the summer, book your accommodations ahead of time. 2. again if travelling in the summer, then buy your catamaran tickets the morning you are leaving...they do sell out! Unfortunately you cannot buy these online or the day ahead of time... very frustrating! Let me know if you have any further questions? Happy to help
Bol is the most scenic (and well known) beach on the island of Brac and it was well worth a visit. I stayed in Supetar in Brac and took an easy bus day trip to Bol and it was gorgeous (soft sand, clear water, even a nude beach - but lots of people)
As David from Seattle wrote "We thought Hvar was a real mixed bag: definitely some charm and a cool old town, but it struck us as pretentious and suffering from excessive trendiness". Though I am from Hvar myself, I couldn't agree more.
Maybe, I suppose not to do so, but I do it, because I feel there is unspoken concern of the native inhabitant here - many wonder, when the charm and the feel of home-like atmosphere Hvar once used to have will return - in early time the old one used to gather playing cards and sing, the young one used to play at the main square pouring life into the streets. Is it all replaced with new trends? well, not fully - those have moved bit outside of old town, in konobas around fireplace or even to the vineyards in small huts. People indeed left of their best for the tourists - it needs a bit of luck to stay at a house where you find those who care to make you feel at home - then, the real Hvar may be rediscovered... by the guests and by the natives - the asleep soul of town needs a kiss to wake up - Those who wish will find it - it is a promise... If you need some tip, well, than call me.