Hvar, Croatia – September 24th to 27th 2013
Initial Thoughts: Before arriving I had read that Hvar was an excellent destination for nightlife seekers, yacht owners and high-end restaurant diners. So it was with trepidation that I descended from the ferry that had brought me to the island. It isn’t that I don’t like late nights filled with sparkling drinks, multi-course dinners over looking the water or mixing with the glitterati, but I simply was not on that trip. Honestly, that hasn’t ever really been my travel scene and I didn’t think a trip with my parents was going to be the time to start. My initial fears proved to be true. To me it felt like Hvar was trying really hard to be a sophisticated, luxury destination but that it didn’t really deliver. The coast had incredible waters but no beaches, the town was underwhelming and the excess of yachts did nothing to improve the ambiance. Granted I did not take advantage of the venues that Hvar is famous for, so perhaps I missed out on its best feature, but in my experience it wasn’t one of the most interesting places in Croatia.
Best Moment: My favourite memory of Hvar speaks clearly to my travel style – simple and budget friendly. We had rented another Air BnB apartment, this time outside of the town up on a hill, and the view from the balcony was stunning. We decided to avoid the crowds, the overpriced meals and the long waits by cooking ourselves dinner in our own kitchen. We had antipasto appetizers, red wine, delicious fresh gnocchi, and watched the sunset over the ocean. Quiet, peaceful and the view was glamorous.
Take Away: If you travel to enough places you are bound to find some that simply don’t mesh with your travel style. As a do-it-yourself, budget traveller I didn’t find that the nouveau riche culture of Hvar suited me. I think I would have had more fun in Hvar had I been with some friends and willing to splurge on a few luxuries. Based on the people I was with and the type of experience I wanted, I found that Hvar didn’t compare to other Croatian destinations like Zadar. While I love seeking out new locations and I don’t like to judge a place before I’ve experienced it for myself, I think it is important to realize that it isn’t necessary to like every destination and sometimes moving on to somewhere else is the right idea.