Hvar is not just a gorgeous island and charming town, it's also the centre of the Hvar Riviera which comprises a cluster of offshore islets that are among the best the Adriatic has to offer. Taking its name from 'Paklina', a resin once used to coat ships, the Pakleni Islands offer small, secluded beaches, deserted coves and sun-drenched hills.
The closest island is Galesnik, directly opposite Hvar town and now known for Eco-Ethno Island Hvar, a popular dining spot.
Behind it is Jerolim, named after a now-disappeared church. Jerolim is a favourite among naturists who generally stroll away from the main jetty and stretch out on one of the shady coves. The islet is rocky but there are pine trees and maquis for shade. it's conveniently equipped with showers and a shop.
Nearby is the other island of Marinkovac which contains Stipanska, now the site of the flashy Carpe Diem Beach Club. Another idyllic cove on Marinkovac is Zdrilca which has several pebble beaches.
The largest Pakleni island is Sveti Klement (sometimes called Veliki Otok or Big Island) most famous for beautiful Palmizana hamlet. Here, azure waves lick a sandy cove surrounded by pine forests, heather fields and breezes scented by aromatic herbs.
Palmizana has been a favourite getaway for Hvar islanders since the turn of the 20th century when a Professor Eugen Meneghello built a summer house and inn there, the Meneghello Place. This idyllic spot now hosts villas, an art gallery and Zori restaurant and lounge bar.
Nearby Vlaka is a small fishing village reachable in an easy hour walk from Palmizana. Scuba divers love Palmizana for the vibrant underwater life.
There are a limited number of vacation rentals on Palmizana and Stipanska. All require a one-week minimum stay.
The Meneghello Place
The luxury villas and bungalows on Palmizana are decorated with flair and originality. Paintings from contemporary Croatian artists hang on the walls and the exterior gardens are exquisitely maintained.
Holiday Home Dessa
This beautifully decorated home is 100m from Palmizana beach.
The Diamand of Hvar
Only 100m from Stipanska beach, this rustic vacation home has a sun terrace and fully-equipped apartments.
Robinson House Moj Mir
Also in Stipanska and 400m from the beach, there are wonderful views from the apartment terrace.
Robinson House Nikolina
Only 500m from the beach, this two-bedroom house has a terrace and patio.
The absolute best way to get to the Pakleni Islands is to have your own boat and dock it at the ACI Marina at Palmizana, or the cove of Zdrilca. If not, no problem. You can still get there by daily passenger ferry from Hvar town which drops you off in Jerolim, Stipanska or Palmizana. There are daily ferries but naturally they are much more frequent in summer.
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