Vineyards, Family Beaches and Southern Sun: Ivan Dolac on Hvar
Hvar's southern coast is one of Croatia's most popular spots, with the family beaches of Ivan Dolac one of the main attractions. A brief overview.
First mentioned in the 15th century, the old stone village of Ivan Dolac still exists above the main road, but most visitors turn left into the heart of the new village and keep going until they hit the beach, for that is Ivan Dolac's main attraction: quality family beaches on the island's southern shore.
Beaches such as Suplja Stina, Lucisce, Jagodna, Paklina and Petarcica have proved popular with tourists, many of whom return every year to the same places and host families.
Accommodation and Facilities in Ivan Dolac
Apart from the main towns of Jelsa, Stari Grad and Hvar Town, Ivan Dolac has the widest selection of rental accommodations on the Internet, with owners offering a combination of clean apartments, terrace views of the sea and easy access to the beach. Campers can pitch their tents at the family-run Camp Paklina on the beach.
For such a popular resort, facilities are somewhat lacking. While there is a shop for bare essentials, the nearest supermarket for shopping is in Jelsa, a 20 minute drive away.
A great place to eat, both for its waterfront location and freshly caught fish by the owners is Spila Restaurant. The terrace is superbly located and the excellent menu, including some rarer Dalmatian dishes such as meat pasticada with gnocci and fish stew, is accompanied by the local house wines and grappas.
Some of the wines in Ivan Dolac are among the best on the island, a combination of skilled wine-making and the sun-drenched south-facing southern vineyards, with the red wine from the mali plavac grape particularly worth trying.
Getting to Ivan Dolac
Given its popularity and the abundance of rental property on the Internet, several visitors get caught out with transport when arriving by ferry, assuming that there will be a bus connection. There is not. Ivan Dolac is about 20km from the main Stari Grad ferry and involves either a trip through the Pitve - Zavala tunnel or the new rough road to Sveta Nedjelja. Most apartment rentals will come with collection from the ferry, but it is worth making sure.
The Deserted Stone Village of Jagodna
Shortly after Ivan Dolac and high above the sloping vineyard that are a feature of the southern coast is the deserted stone village of Jagodna, one of the prettiest and most unspoiled villages on the island. Largely a collection of stone buildings in various stages of disrepair, the small church has been recently renovated. It is possible to reach Jagodna by car, although the road is rough and a four-wheel drive is advisable. The journey is worth it for the spectacular elevated views on offer.