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TOP CROATIAN DESTINATIONS:ISLAND HVAR, BAYS MALA AND VELA STINIVA, POLJICA/ ZASTRAŽIŠĆE

When we talk about island Hvar, what first comes to our mind is probably the city that bears the same name as the island. There is no doubt that Hvar city is one of European top destinations and rightfully so, for Hvar city is truly a beautiful historical town. However, once you move away from Hvar city and explore the island a bit, you'll find out island Hvar has a lot of offer. There are other historical cities to visit on the island, such as Jelsa and Starigrad ( see more herehere, here and here). Let us not forget about little villages and beautiful bays with crystal clear azure waters. Today I'll talk about two bays that literally took my breath away! Mind you, I've been vacationing on this stunningly beautiful island for most of my life, so when I say that these two bays stole my breath away, you can be sure it's pretty special bays that we're talking about. 

BAYS MALA AND VELA STINIVA - BAYS THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY

 In today's post, I will point out two beaches that are definitely worth a visit, Mala Stiniva and Vela Stiniva. Their names are quite descriptive (in Croatian that is). The name 'Stiniva' is probably derived from the word 'stone', as in Dalmatian dialect stone is called 'stina', and these two bays have impressive natural stone formations, so Stiniva would be a reference to their 'rocky' appearance. There are some impressive rocks that 'guard' the entrance to the bays. One bay is smaller than the other, but they are both equally gorgeous. Once you take a look at the photographs I have prepared for you,  the names will make sense to you and  you'll see why these two bays are called Mala (meaning small) and Vela (meaning big) Stiniva.



In fact, there is another famous bay in Croatia called Stiniva. Stiniva bay located on island Vis, was featured in many films and once it was even voted the most beautiful European beach by a popular travel portal. I haven't had the chance to visit that Stiniva bay on island Vis yet, but I sure hope I will some day! I have to admit that one looks dreamy as well. But back to the subject of the day, and that would be these two lovely bays. Besides the magical azure sea and beautiful beaches, these two bays also have some lovely historical houses, one of them dates back to 18 century and is build in late Baroque style.

Even if you don't plan to go for a swim, these beaches are worth visiting for the views alone. In fact,  when we visited this place a couple of years ago, my husband and I didn't hang on the beach that much either. Mostly because we were in a hurry to get back to bay Torac and return the car we borrowed from my parents. We went to Starigrad to meet an Australian student of mine who came to island Hvar to pay me a visit. We met her and her finance in Starigrad, and on our way back, we stopped here. Best decision ever! We really enjoyed these views. Odd  to think that I have spent so much time on island Hvar and haven't seen these bays sooner than that. My husband says it's only a matter of time before they shot some movie here. He is probably right, and we can both easily imagine this location being featured in some blockbuster.





How to get to Vela and Mala Stiniva?  

There are a number of options: hiking, driving, cycling or sailing. If you plan to drive there, please bear in mind that the road leading to this bays is extremely narrow. The distance from the main road is only a couple of kilometers, but the road isn't the best. Many roads on island Hvar are private roads, the reason for this is that the locals got bored of waiting for the state to do its job, gathered the money among themselves and hired someone to build the road for them. Those private and in some cases even DIY roads are often not as wide as a public road would be. So, maybe it is best to park some distance from the bay and just hike there. Cycling is a great option as well. Sailing to this bay is something I haven't tried yet, but I'm sure that it would be simply dreamy. You can hire someone to take you by boat or even rent a boat and get here yourself.

How to book accommodation in Vela and Mala Stiniva? 

Many houses do offer apartments for renting so there is a possibility of booking online. You probably won't be able to find accommodation almost anywhere in summer time without booking it in advance one way or another. Just arriving and asking for it won't do during the busy months, but if you make contact with the locals, you can inquire about  next year, book directly and save money you would otherwise give to the tourist agency. The choice of the manner of booking is up to you. If you google apartments Vela/Mala Stiniva, you're surely end up with plenty of search results.You can also consider booking someplace in the area. Naturally, you don't have to book a stay in this bay to visit it. I didn't book an apartment so I could visit it, we just drove there and back. The houses are private, but as far as I know all beaches are public beaches. 













VILLAGES ZASTRAŽIŠĆE AND POLJICA

When I googled these bays to check for more information, I noticed that some touristic guides attribute these bays to another village Poljica. It is possible that both village Zastražišće and these bays belong to the Poljica county. However, as far as I know, these bays belong to Zastražišće village. Speaking of which, Poljica is a lovely village as well. We once stopped there because my nephew got car sick back in 2014 and I was amazed by that village (that bears the same name as famous Poljica republic) was. If you want to have a look, I wrote more about that  Poljica village here.





Now, let me explain a bit how these two bays (and other bays on island Hvar) became populated and why do we have such beautiful old stone houses in them today. Most villages on the Southern side of island Hvar (the opposite site of Hvar city that is), 'have' their 'bays'. Meaning that the land in the bays is private property belonging to inhabitants of the villages. In the old days, these bays were filled with houses that served a different function. Most families would have one house in the village and the other house in the bays. These old bay houses were needed not for tourist but for work purposes. People needed to stay in them when they would go fishing or work the land and vineyards that were closer to the sea.  That is why most villages are located at the centre of the island. This was as much as for the protection against pirates as for other practical purposes.

That is probably why Zastrašiće was an important place even in Ilyrian tibes. If you didn't know, Ilyrians lived here before the arrival of Slavs. In the case of island Hvar, we also had some Greeks who came to live here after the catastrophic earthwake on Greek island Faros and founded the Starigrad city. It's all very fascinating and I'll write more about it in the future. I woke up early this morning, so that I have time to put this post together. It's something I wanted to talk about for a while now. So, I'm happy I have finally found the time to post about these two bays. As I admitted, these photographs were taken a few years ago, but I know you won't mind. They are still relevant because not much has changed.

 Hvar is very long but also quite narrow. This is very useful because from 'the middle grounds' you can see both sides of the island. This is an obvious advantage. If you a tourist, and you want to drive across the island, you'll be rewarded with some truly beautiful views. Perhaps it will be enough to take your mind from the bad roads (not all roads on the islands are bad but some are). I must admit that I was surprised to find out that there are people who enjoy these kind of roads and will even pay a ferry ticket to come on island Hvar just for the purpose of driving on these roads. So, I suppose that it maybe depends on the taste.  Anyhow, I'll leave you with a map of the island and a photograph of a beautiful church in Zastražišće. Enjoy your weekend!









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Comments

  1. Zaista prelijepe destinacije! Super post, slike su odlične!


    Vildana from Living Like V

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Ivana, once again I regret I have never been to the island Hvar as I see again how beautiful it is there! And that these bays have stolen your heart definitely doesn't surprise me as it looks definitely adorable there. Thanks for sharing, you made me wish again to be soon back to Croatia :)
    Cute summer dress btw!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a beautiful island! It looks so relaxing! Have a great weekend Ivana!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Odličan post i fotografije! :)
    Pogledaj moj novi post
    www.minnieart.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. The views are absolutely incredible! I think you're probably right about it being a likely location for a movie.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful! I can definitely see a movie being made there.
    Looks so peaceful!

    www.fashionradi.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh what a beautiful island! The bays are beautiful and I agree, definitely would make a stunning location for a movie! :)

    Definitely good to share the pics, even if they were a little older! :)


    Hope that you are having a great weekend! It's another quiet one here as another winter bug is making its way through the family, ha!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. I learned so much from reading this post! Truly beautiful place!

    Natalia | Lindifique

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh dear, you would be a magnificent tourist guide! I have never been outside of my country and it has been a childhood dream of mine to visit Europe! You have a lovely country dear and seeing your warm smile makes me so happy and now I couldn't contain this dream of visiting your wonderful place! Such a glorious time to enjoy it. <3

    love lots,
    Tin

    mypoeticisolation.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, fantastic place! The pictures are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very beautiful place! Have a great day.
    https://chicchedimamma.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Divan post, Hrvatska je prelepa :)) <3

    Novi post
    https://sassyprimadonna.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. what a nice blog post
    thank you for sharing

    vnssachn.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a beautiful place! My aunt visits here all the time, during her summer vacation. I envy her photos.

    Joy to the World!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What beautiful rocks! I cannot wait for the movie that some lucky producers would be making there. Perhaps, they'd make the story about hiking gone wrong hahaha...I really adore that picture of you standing near the succulents by the edge. I don't know if they are succulents but those look super huge, kind of like giant aloe vera plants. It's very interesting finding out about these two bays that you go to vacay a lot. They do look serene and you're right, the sights alone can be rewarding for those who don't want to swim. I'd love to spend some time in these kind of bays, just nature-watching and appreciating. Hopefully you will get to go there one of these days and take more photos including your bay outfit! Have a relaxing Sunday love :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nature watching and appreciate are some of the most relaxing activities. Thank you!

      Delete
  16. Croatian islands are definitely on my list to visit. Great one thanks for sharing.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. They both look like stunning places to visit. Thanks for sharing±

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh very amazing photos sweetheart
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. The Pictures are adorable, how beautiful it is!

    lovely Greetings <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, I'm glad you found it beautiful.

      Delete
  20. Predivne fotografije i destinacije! Jadran je zaista pun malih predivnih mjesta i svaki put me iznenadi kada otkrijem neka nova!

    http://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. This place looks very gorgeous! It definitely goes on my bucket list.

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your pictures are making me wish for a holiday! Would love the visit these areas one day.
    https://anicheberry.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your country is gorgeous! The views in Mamma Mia-2 are very similar to what you show us here - the same rocks and turquoise water... dreamy! I bet they will make a movie or two in this place quite soon!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, those two bays look terrific, I've read somewhere that second part of Mamma Mia was shot in Croatia and on the first sight, the views look exactly the same as the ones I've seen on cinema, so maybe about this film your husband talked about :D

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, they shot Mamma Mia 2 on island Vis! I think my husband predicted they will shoot Pirates of the Caribbean here some day. Who knows?

      Delete
  25. This was a really useful post! I really liked you sharing details of places on Hvar as I didn'treallyknow what to think apart from the fact it was very popular!!! Croatia is SUCH a beautiful country!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you Kezzie. It really is a beautiful country.

      Delete

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