As you make your way up the steep hill and a bead of sweat begins to roll down your neck, you might wonder, "Why am I enduring strenuous exercise on my vacation?" When you reach Hvar Fortress, your answer will be plastered across the horizon. As one TripAdvisor user says, "If you are staying in Hvar for a few days then going to the hilltop fortress is a must. The views are well worth the hike up." Officially called "Fortica Spanjola," this 16th-century citadel has acquired the colloquial name of "Hvar Fortress" as it presides high above the town of the same name. You'll be able to survey that town from these ancient fortifications, as well as the rest of Hvar Island and the surrounding islands that appear like gigantic lily pads on the Adriatic Sea.
The uphill trek might look (and feel) intimidating, but recent hikers predict it will only take you 20 to 25 minutes from Hvar Town. It costs about 20 HRK (or about $4 USD) to enter the fortress. In the summer, you can visit from 8 am till midnight, but by appointment only, the rest of the year. For appointments, call the fort's office at 021-741-816 and more information.
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#null Pakleni Islands
Some of the Pakleni Islands -- like Sveti Klement (St. Clement) -- will have small shops, homes and the occasional man-made structure. But most are simply untouched terrain -- quiet pebble beaches, isolated coves, lush pine forests. All in all, this chain lends itself to outdoors activities like swimming, scuba diving, kayaking and sunbathing. A TripAdvisor user remarks: "We spent day on sea kayaking trip to Pakleni Islands. Although we had never kayaked before, the trip was great. We absolutely loved our adventure." And if you are with children, be careful: many of the beaches here are clothing-optional.
Of course, the best way to get to the Pakleni Islands is on your own yacht. But, in case you don't have one (we don't either), there are daily ferries that leave from Hvar Town and stop at the major spots on this archipelago. The frequency of the ferries increases and decreases with the high and low tourism seasons. Prices vary greatly, so check with the Hvar Tourism Board office when you arrive to plan a day trip.
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