Pakleni Islands

Marina Palmizana

By Ivana 21 March 2015

A major surprise in a semi-hidden location away from the crowds - probably the best meal of the year.

Marinas are a little like hotels - unless you are staying there, you have little reason to visit, and given the fact that I am about a million dollars short of that million dollar boat, my needs to use the facilities at the ACI marina have been somewhat limited.

Not being a boating type at all, I had never spent that much time looking at the marina, apart from a casual glance getting off the taxi boat in the harbour at Palmizana. I will confess that I was not 100% sure if there was a cafe, shop or restaurant, so an invitation to have lunch at the marina restaurant was a pleasant surprise, and a chance to investigate further.  

One can never tire of arriving on the island of Sveti Klement, the biggest of the Pakleni Islands. As chilled as the island of Hvar is, Sveti Klement somehow goes one better, and I like the charm of the taxi boats motoring slowly through the crystal clear waters.  

Upon arrival at the harbour, the packed boat of tourists all disembarked and all went in the same direction - except for me. They were heading in the direction of the southern bay and the restaurants of Meneghello, Toto, Zori, Bacchus and Laganini, but I ventured right along the shore. There were some buildings across the bay, and one of them presumably the restaurant. Indeed it was and as I took my seat, I also took in the view from the terrace - not a lot wrong with that.  

A selection of olive oils and a rather tasty starter. The spicy chilli olive oil was a definite hit.  

And then it got very interesting. An assorted fish plate was recommended as the main starter. Always up for trying something new, I agreed, and this is where the discovery of this hidden gem really began. One plate, five sensational seafood experiences. Prawns, anchovies with capers, tuna pate, octopus salad and a fabulous fish carpaccio served on a bed of rocket, rocket which comes from the garden behind the restaurant. Superbly prepared and presented, and a real treat for the taste buds - so many flavours to take in.  And I would have been more than satisfied to stop there, had not another course been ordered. Nothing could top that starter, surely?

Wrong. The great John Dory in a sensational cream of scampi sauce. it would have been very rude to lick the plate, but I was very, very tempted.  

After more than two years of writing about Hvar, I could scarcely believe that there was a restaurant of this quality about which I had heard very little. And that view out to the boats of the marina was the perfect backdrop.  

Time for dessert? I simply couldn't, my mouth still swirling with all those delectable flavours, but here is what I probably would have had if there had been room. 

Now I started to look at the restaurant from the viewpoint of the visiting sailor. What an absolute treat to have on the doorstep. And of course, with its location next to the boats, arranging yacht catering is no problem - simply place the order and have it delivered to your boat. With a licence until 2am, it is the perfect place to find that late night extra bottle of wine - the selection of island and Croatian wines was excellent, and there is plenty of Champagne on offer for that special occasion.  

The same goes for breakfasts, as Marina Palmizana also has a great breakfast selection from healthy fresh juices prepared daily to cooked breakfasts or perhaps a croissant or two delivered to the boat. 

Still savouring the flavours of lunch, I set off for my next appointment, past a massage service in operation close to the restaurant. There is so much to learn about this island, and one could spend a lifetime doing so. I may just do that...

To learn more about the Marina Restaurant on Palmizana, visit their website, or take a virtual tour of the bar, restaurant and terrace with 360 specialists, Virtual Tour.