Remote Islands in Croatia: Scedro off the Island of Hvar
Used as a port for Roman ships and boasting a 15th Century monastery, the largely deserted island of Scedro off Hvar's southern coast is a hidden gem.
While many tourists flock to the party atmosphere of Hvar Town, there is a lot more to discover on Croatia's premier island than the main town, billed as the new St. Tropez. There are also several smaller islands worthy of investigation, including the picturesque Pakleni Islands, in front of Hvar Town, and the much less visited island of Scedro, which sits in splendid isolation off the southern coast, opposite the popular resort of Zavala.
The Origins of Scedro
There are two theories surrounding the origin of the island's name, which the Romans renamed Tauris, both with Slavonic origins. The old Slavonic word stedri, meaning "charitable" refers to the two deep bays, Veli Porat and Mostir, which have offered shelter to ships for almost 2,000 years, while scedrota means "lovely" or "delightful," both words which can be used to describe this pretty island 2.7km from Zavala.
Dominican Monastery at Mostir
Apart from enjoying the island's outstanding natural beauty, the main tourist site is the remnants of a Dominican monastery in Mostir, which dates back to 1465 and was finally abandoned in the 18th Century, as the problems of piracy became too great.
One Island, One Resident Family
Living on Scedro since the early 20th Century, the Kordic family are the only family who live almost all year round on Scedro, and they offer a unique accommodation package allowing tourists to experience the island through local eyes.
Visitors have the opportunity to see local life as a fisherman, wine and olive grower or bee keeper, as the family goes about its daily business. The majority of the excellent food on offer in the standard half-board package is grown or caught by the family, and includes a decent line in wine and rakija, the local firewater.
Accommodation is basic by necessity, as there is no electricity or mains water on Scerdo, but a limited electrical supply is available through the family's solar systems, while drinking water from a well is available. There are no problems charging phones and laptops. What may be sacrificed in creature comforts is more than compensated for in stunning sunsets and excellent hospitality on a large terrace.
How to Reach Scedro
Scedro is most easily reached from Zavala, one of the main resorts on Hvar's southern coast. A new, rough route from the main road from Hvar Town to Stari Grad has recently opened, allowing tourists to reach Zavala through Sveta Nedelja, although the main route is through the Pitve Tunnel, a road journey not many forget in a hurry. Collection from Zavala can be arranged by appointment.
While the isolated nature of a stay in Scerdo will not appeal to all, the tranquil setting and walks in the island's fields of lavender, rosemary, heather and pine forests offer the perfect way to detox from stressful living.