Plan your trip to Hvar Island before you come here. Here are at least two of the best beaches on Hvar Island you can’t miss: Zaracé and Dubovica.
After spending a whole day exploring Hvar Town and its neighboring coves, the next morning, Pat and I woke up bright and early and decided it was time to rent a set of wheels and go explore other parts of Hvar Island. My goal was to see as much of Hvar island as possible, but with our ferry for Vis leaving at 4:15PM, time was of the essence. My goal was to see the best beaches on Hvar Island: Zaraće, Dubovica, and Sveta Nedilja. Of course, I was over-ambitious and didn’t account for the fact that Pat and I would be lustfully gazing at the beaches, rock formations, and crystal clear blue waters for more than just a split second. We would be taking it all in, spending at least 30 minutes at each location. In the end, we were only able to see Zaraće and Dubovica in the time that we had, but I was content with that. More excuses to go back right?
You can’t reach the best beaches on Hvar Island without your own transportation, unless you plan on renting a boat or water taxi to take you around the island. Transportation options in Hvar Town included: mopeds, quads, motorcycles, cars, or buggys. We decided to drive an ATV because of cost, ease of use, and quite frankly because it’s the best way to see an island out in the open. All transportation options are located in little stalls next to St. Stephen Square. We were in search of the best ATV for our needs, the key is to get an ATV with power to get you up those steep hills. If you have a weak ATV, you end up traveling uphill at the pace of a snail…like 2 miles per hour. We found a decent priced ATV for a half day and were on our merry way in search of the best beaches on Hvar Island: Zaraće and Dubovica.
1. Velo Zaraće
Our first stop was Zaraće beach. To get down to Zaracé beach you drive down a narrow, winding dirt road towards a long T-shaped rock protruding out of the Adriatic Sea. The end of the dirt road turns into a line of vineyards on either side of you leading out towards the sea. The drive all of a sudden comes to a stop and you have a choice, go right or go left? Pat and I decide to start off to the left. There are two beaches under the village of Zaraće. The first is Velo Zaraće, or bigger Zaraće on the east side—this was the beach on the left.
Did you know Zaracé has a population of 3 people?
Getting to Velo Zaracé meant walking down a stone, concrete path to a long rock formation that extended out into the sea. On the rocks was a beautiful cabana, part of the beach restaurant Gego. To get to the beach you had to cut through Gego restaurants ocean side garden shaded by bamboo screens draping over pergolas and large palm trees. The white, pebbly beach had a few large rocks at the end of the cove, where people could create a more secluded and intimate hideout. Within minutes Pat and I were on the beach, and immediately I began stripping my clothes off in readiness for a dip in the Adriatic Sea. After laying out to dry on a hot towel over the small pebbly rocks, Pat and I packed up our things and headed towards the second beach on the West side.
The crashing waves form natural salt deposits on the Velo Zaracé rocks. That salt is used in preparation of Gego restaurants’ food. How cool is that?! It’s worth a visit even if it’s just
2. Malo Zaraće
Malo Zaracé means exactly what you think—smaller Zaracé. Malo Zaracé beach is the incredible massive rock you see as you make your way down Zaracé on your ATV. The rock creates a barrier between the sea and land creating a small cove with a tiny beach accessible to people through a staircase. The rock has staircases that lead down to the crystal blue waters.
To get there you have to walk through a super short wooded area. We saw a sign that said massages. We walked by a sign that read “massages,” apparently people were giving massages by the beach! We headed down towards the tip of the long rock occasionally making our way down staircases. This wasn’t the spot to swim per se—the rocks at the bottom were slippery from the crashing waves—but it was stunning. Many people come to Zaracé for underwater scuba and diving.
After exploring Zaracé, I hopped on the back of Pat’s quad and we made our way back up the gravel road to the main road. Our next destination: Dubovica beach or cove, considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Hvar. The only way to reach it is by dropping off your vehicle at a small parking lot on the side of the road and hiking down a 10-minute, rough terrain hill so you need to come prepared with the right shoes. The cove is far from tourists given it’s a bit more tedious to reach, but it’s well worth the trek. There is one small home-style restaurant on this white pebbly beach. It’s the only place to eat in the cove, but you won’t want to eat anywhere else anyway. The menu is primarily seafood prepared by the proud owner who probably caught your fish that very morning.
We were short on time so decided to head straight to Stari Grad for some exploration and lunch in the early afternoon. Between Pokonji Dol, Strand Mekićevica, and Robinson beach and cove the day prior and Zaracé and Dubovica on the second day. I had gotten a good taste of just a select few of Hvar’s hundreds of stunning, secluded and dotted coves. You’d have to spend over a week here to experience them all…!
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