It was before 8am, all bright and early for a summer morning. My friend/summer travel buddy, Ji Inn, and I were sitting side by side on a bench, munching on bread we bought from a nearby stall as we awaited the departure of our dalmatian coast cruise.
It was too early for a long conversation, and too bright for our bare eyes. So we sat in partial silence, munching on our bread, heavy headed from the lack of sleep, listening to the crashing of the waves, watching people hop on to their boats, but still excitedly awaiting for our turn.
Finally, we boarded a mini speed boat with approximately 9 other people, and were on our way, bidding the shore farewell, zooming across the water, and the having strong wind blowing in our hairs and faces. It looked to be a pretty exciting day.
B L U E G R O T T O ( B I Š E V O )
After cruising for 20 minutes, we arrived at our first stop. We hopped off the speed boat, and on to a smaller boat that took us into the Blue Cave.
Because the entrance to the cave is insanely small, the speed boat that we were on originally couldn't sail through. In fact, we had to bend down in order for the mini boat to pass into the cave. The guys rowing the boat kept going "BEND DOWN! BEND DOWN!!!" When we were passing into and out of the cave.
The blue cave was probably one of the most interesting caves i've been to. The entire cave was dark, and the water was shining blue. Deep, saturated blue.
The entire time, I had no idea why the waters of the cave were blue. I thought it was some reflection of the sky, but there was no opening and the sky isn't even that blue, so instead of wondering too much, I just marvelled at the beauty and classified this magnificence as one of mother nature's unusual phenomenons.
I did, however, overhear another guide on the other boat explaining some stuff to the people on his boat. Sadly, the rower/guide of the boat I was on did not further explain or give us any information of the cave. We just rowed silence, well, apart from the rapid shutter sounds from everyone's camera.
V I S I S L A N D
We didn't get to spend much time in the blue cave because there were so many people queueing and only about 2 mini boats that rowed into the cave from the shore. After roughly 10-15 minutes in the blue cave, we all hopped back on to the speed boat and continued sailing the seas on to our next destination.
See the fisherman in the image above? Our skipper told us that he is one of the oldest fishermen around! He's been fishing for tens of years! What dedication, and just look how cool he is! So much respect for him rowing that boat all on his own, casting the net and fishing for a livelihood.
Vis Island was one of the stops that I didn't seem to really care for sadly. It is one of the oldest island / towns in the region, but apart from having a very unique older style of architecture, and SUPER SUPER clear waters, I didn't get a super vivid impression of it.
Guess it could be partly because we didn't exactly have THAT much time there. I do, however, remember how insanely clear and lovely the water was!
To be honest, an hour to explore Vis was a really awkward amount of time. I got bored after 20 minutes or so because I'd seen most of the things in that amount of time. 1 hour was more than enough for exploring around coast/beach area, but, barely adequate for the whole island. Even if we RUSHED through, we'd still not complete it. I'm pretty sure Vis had much more to offer, but when you're on a day cruise as such, you don't have half a day to explore a small old town. Guess that's one of the downsides of such cruises.
So, after a cone of ice cream and some walking around, we were once again back on the boat and heading for our next stop.
The Green Cave, unlike the blue cave, was a little bit of a disappointment. It wasn't as green as I thought it would be. In fact, it was just green at one spot and all the different speed boats were crowding in that small area it was so hard to take a decent photograph or to even appreciate the cave for what it was.
This part of the cruise was also a miss.
Stiniva Cove and bay area, although looks nice in pictures, was also little bit of a disappointment. Partially because we thought we'd get to spend more time in the bay as we were all geared up to hop into the waters for a swim, but weren't allowed to.
By this time, we were a little hungry, a little upset, and mostly just jealous because we had yet to enter the water and were seeing how other people from the other boats were jumping in with their floats. Our skipper told us how dangerous (and crowded) it was to be swimming in the cove and promised us we'd get our chance.
So we continued on sailing and, suddenly, he said, "yeah we'll anchor here and you all can hop in for a swim, or head up the beach if you want."
1. The beach was empty.
2. There was only 1 or 2 other boats around, and THAT WAS IT.
The water was ours. IT WAS ALL OURS.
The clear, clear, waters. It was incredible to be swimming and snorkelling (not much to see actually) with practically no tourist or other people in sight!
The water was sparkling and absolutely clear, it was quite unbelievable. Croatia indeed has one of the clearest waters ever! We could see sea urchins from where we stood on the boat! Thankfully, no one stepped on any! And as you could tell, we were all very excited to be able to swim in that clear blue water. The mood was high once again.
H V A R
After maybe 2 hours of swimming, everyone got a little hungry, and we eventually ended our day off at the lovely town of Hvar. I remember seeing instagram pictures my friends put up of the clear waters of Hvar and thinking to myself "Oh, how I wish I could fit that town into my itinerary when I'm in croatia!"
Turns out, I managed! It was totally unexpected that my friend and I would end up going on a day cruise that ended off at Hvar.
Hvar, although has gorgeous clear waters, had more to offer than just its beach. Besides after swimming in that clear gorgeous greenish blue waters in the middle of no where, we had sufficient playing and the water and didn't mind being on land.
Instead of hanging out at the beach, we took the advice of our Skipper, and headed up to explore the Hvar Fortress to get and amazing view of the whole town. We did pay to go into and explore the fortress. Although it was cheap, it wasn't worth it.
Do NOT pay to go in, just enjoy the view from around the fortress!
As you can tell, it was one jammed pack day.
I should commend myself for being able to squeeze the entire day into one post, and narrow down 200++ of pictures to just 30.
The cruise I went on took me from Split - Blue cave - Green Cave - Stiniva Coast - Hvar and back to Split at the end of the day. That costed about $90 per person, there about, and a small lunch was provided. We didn't have to pay any entrance fees on top of that.
I would definitely recommend going on a day cruise from Split. You don't have to take the one I took, because they tried to squeeze lots of stuff in one day. There are many other more relaxed (or intense) options, depending on what you like. All you have to do is just google or approach the individual umbrella stands along the harbour to find out more about what services they offer.
The dalmatian coast is indeed worth sailing and cruising across. However, bear in mind that like any other cruise, there are good and bad points, and there will be times where you'd be disappointed. Regardless, I had a great time, and given that I didn't have a lot of time in Croatia, this day-cruise was a good fit. I'd give this cruise trip a 7 out of 10. At least that's an A!
Pretty wordy post, but I hope you enjoyed/gained something from it anyway! x