Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Blue Cave 2019: Wait in Midday Sun or How to See Island Vis as Well

June 12, 2019 - The Blue Cave of Bisevo near Vis is one of the top day trips in Central Dalmatia. What you need to know to avoid a long wait in the midday sun, and how to maximize your day from Hvar to see the island of Vis as well.  

Like many tourism jewels, the Blue Cave is a lot more popular than it was even ten years ago. Back then, apart from day trips from neighbouring Vis and a little from Hvar, there were hardly any tours. Fast forward to a booming Split, and these days there are many daily tours from Hvar, Brac, Split and other destinations. The result?

blue-cave-vis (3).jpg

Yes, you guessed it - what can be a fairly lengthy wait in the hot midday sun as the queue of boats in front of you slowly gets to this wondrous natural treasure. The last time I was on Vis a couple of years ago, several of the locals told me it was almost like watching a motorway in the channel between Vis and Bisevo. And the sad reality is that in order to get the most from your Blue Cave experience. Tash Pericic wrote a typically honest and impartial piece on the Blue Cave experience from the point of view of a yacht hostess for TCN a couple of summers ago, which I heartily encourage you to read if you are planning a visit. Check out the August vibe in the video below, from 2017.

The key to getting the most out of your day is to get there before the crowds. Not only will there be less waiting time, but you will also have less time in the hot sun, which can be a real issue in the peak summer months. And bear in mind that if you are starting from as far away as Split, you are going to join a reasonable sized queue. Some agencies sell the tour, and the wait is part of the package, while others try and use the opportunity not only to get to the Blue Cave early when it is cooler and less congested, but also then to make much more of the day by including the wonders of the magnificent island of Vis in the itinerary, as well as a visit to Palmizana on the Pakleni Islands. 

blue-cave-vis (1).jpg

Starting and finishing in Hvar Town, just an hour by speedboat to the Blue Cave, the Hvar Tours Blue Cave tour starts at 08:00 from Hvar Town, leaving plenty of time for the Blue and Green Cave, a swim at the famous Stiniva beach, before an outstanding tour of Secret VIs with local experts, before an hour on the Pakleni Islands and home in time for an evening out. 

Certainly beats sitting in a queue in the midday sun! Here is what is on offer.

Experience an island that is the birthplace of European cricket outside the UK. An island which has had huge British military impact over the centuries and houses Allied cemeteries, soldiers who paid the price for the strategic positioning of Vis in the Adriatic which has attracted visitors – friend and foe – since time immemorial. An island which was closed to foreigners until just 25 years ago as it was home to the largest missile base in former Yugoslavia with its own submarine base and secret military installations – all these you will visit. An island which hosted the first sailing regatta in the world. An island of fabulous wine, food, tradition and history, reassuringly far from the mainland, and one whose second town has more families living from fishing than tourism. An island of outstanding natural beauty, of traditional stone Dalmatian stone villages and fertile fields contributing to the healthy and natural Mediterranean diet. 

And an island that many tourists visit only for a famous beach, Stiniva, which was voted the best in all Europe, as part of a visit to neighboring star attractions, the Blue and Green Caves, but missing all of the above. It is like visiting Paris but missing out on the Eiffel Tower, or Venice and San Marco Square. Stand out from the crowd and join us on our private tour of Secret Vis, one of the most fascinating islands of all. Join our local experts to explore the island's rich military history, bizarre sporting claim to fame and fabulous food and wine, including its indigenous white wine gem, Vugava.

Two tours for the price of one, and wait until you exchange your Blue Cave and Vis stories with other tourists who spent much of the day queuing... 

This is a group tour three times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Tour description:

Of course, it would be foolish not to visit those popular attractions above, but in order to get the most out of them, it is advisable to do them first, before the crowds – two amazing caves and the best beach in Europe for a little swimming. Not a bad way to start the day before we discover Vis away from the crowds. 

Suggested itinerary – please note that an earlier departure is possible – even advisable given the growing popularity of the caves. It should also be noted that crowds at the Blue Cave may delay the schedule somewhat. 

08:00 Hvar town departure and straight to the Blue Cave. The early bird gets the worm, and enjoy the relative peace and lack of queues, unlike other tours which arrive later in the day.


09:00  The Blue Cave  is a water-logged sea cave located in a small bay called Balun (Ball in the local dialect), on the east side of the island of Bisevo and about 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 km) from Komiza. The grotto is one of the best known natural beauty spots on the Adriatic and a popular show cave because of the glowing blue light that appears at certain times of day.


09:40 Stiniva bay – hard to spot with its cliffs protecting its location, Stiniva is divine, a small ray of heaven which is collecting several international accolades, the latest of which was voted the best beach in Europe by European Best Destinations. Enjoy the moment with a dip in true Dalmatian heaven. 

10:15  Another cave, another colour, including time for a swim at the Green Cave, which is not as popular as its Blue cousin, but well worth a visit. The Green Cave (called Želena Spilja by the locals): a small opening in the ceiling of the cave lets the sunlight pass through, creating an image very similar with a flashlight cone in the night. The cone is also visible in the water and you can clearly see the spot where it hits the seabed. 


11:00 Collection by Pino Vojskovic and our Vis team for the Vis Inland Tour. Discover the role the British have played over the centuries on Vis, with their forts, Allied cemeteries and role in refugee evacuation to the Sinai Desert. And as fascinating as those stories are, Vis is famous for its submarine base (you will visit), as well as its tunnels and ramparts built into the hills by Tito, as well as a missile loading site. Imagine a current tourist island which was closed to the world just 25 years ago.


2:00pm Arrival in Vis Time and free time to explore until 4pm. Alternatively, you can book lunch at Roki's estate, a veritable feast of Dalmatian peka, and the sitting of one of the most remarkable stories in Dalmatia, for your host Roki was solely responsible for continuing one of the island's more unusual claims to fame – the oldest cricket club in Europe outside the UK. With regular international games and tournaments on the edge of the military airfield which played such a crucial role in World War II, the stories and setting are a match for the excellent gourmet experience. Please note that this lunch must be booked in advance, as do two other additional options, wine tasting at Lipanovic of Roki's. 


4pm departure for the Pakleni Islands, the island jewels of Hvar tourism.   

5pm Arrival at Palmižana, the most popular spot on the largest of the Pakleni Islands, St. Clement, where among the other unusual attractions, there is an arboretum and art gallery and peacocks freely roam. 


6-6:30pm Return to Hvar.

For more information about the tour, visit the Hvar Tours website

To learn more about the magical island of Vis, check out the Total Croatia Vis in a Page guide.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Top 11 Croatia Travel Experiences American Tourists Seek: New Survey

What are the Croatia travel experiences Americans are looking for in Croatia? A new survey reveals all.

One of the highlights of this week's Days of Croatian Tourism on Hvar, which finished on October 25, 2018, was a presentation from Al Merschen of Myriad Marketing, on the results of a detailed survey of wealthy American tourists and their potential interest in visiting Croatia. Among the various results of the survey which were covered in Merschen's presentation (an overview of which you can read here), he revealed the top 11 things Americans want to experience when visiting Croatia. In descending order... 


11. Croatia Travel Experience - Olive Oil Factories

They say a fish in Dalmatia swims three times in its life - firstly in the sea, then in olive oil during preparation, and finally in excellent Dalmatian wine. It is one way to enjoy three of the main attractions of life in Dalmatia. Croatian olive oil is EXCELLENT, among the best in the world, and it is little surprise that it is on the list of American desired experiences in Croatia. The next step to aid that process would be to build an online resource to facilitate tourism interest in olive oil.  


10. Croatia Travel Experience - Zagreb Christmas

A lesson for all in tourism worldwide - how to create a new product in a successful tourism country, far away from its main attractions - the coast and in summer - and within just a few years become the 10th most sought-after experience. Advent in Zagreb has been voted the best Christmas marketplace for three years in a row. A wonderful time to visit Croatia. Here is the TCN guide to Advent in Zagreb 2017.  


9. Croatia Travel Experience - Korcula Island

The birthplace of Marco Polo and also the 2018 Best Destination in Croatia, according to the annual Vecernji List Tourist Patrol. Thinking of visiting? Here are 25 things to know about Korcula


8. Croatia Travel Experience - Hvar Island

And if you are looking to combine as many of these Croatia travel experiences as possible, you are in luck - the island of Hvar is just a short catamaran journey from Korcula. Hvar, which is celebrating 150 years of organised tourism in Europe this year, is also home to the most island sun in Europe, the oldest public theatre in Europe, and the most UNESCO heritage of any island in the world. Here are 25 things to know about Hvar.  


7. Croatia Travel Experience - Game of Thrones Sites

Croatia is popular for so many reasons these days, but there has been a real surge of interest in recent years from the hit HBO series Games of Thrones, which was filmed in various locations in Croatia. Learn more about the top 5 Game of Thrones tours in Croatia


6. Croatia Travel Experience - Art Museums

Did you know that Zagreb has more museums per square kilometre than any city in the world? Allegedly, and many of which are art museums. Good news for our American guests, as Art Museums features high on the list of desired things to do. 


5. Croatia Travel Experience - Wineries and Vineyards

What to say? Croatian wine is fantastic! With more than 130 indigenous varieties, including the original Zinfandel, Croatian wine is so good TCN built an entire website to celebrate it. Learn all about Croatian wine on the TCN Total Croatia Wine website


4. Croatia Travel Experience - The Blue Cave

The Blue Cave on Bisevo - one of the great natural tourist attractions in Croatia. Located close to the island of Vis, the Blue Cave tour has become insanely popular in recent years. Here are some things you need to know if you are planning a visit to the Blue Cave


3. Croatia Travel Experience - National Parks

More than 10% of Croatia is covered by national parks and nature parks. Visit them, they are amazing. UNESCO World Heritage Site Plitvice Lakes, above, is magnificent in different ways all four seasons of the year. 


2. Croatia Travel Experience - The Old Walls of Dubrovnik

With more than a million people a year now walking the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old walls of Dubrovnik, the walls were popular enough. Then came Game of Thrones and Kings Landing - no wonder the walls of Dubrovnik are almost at the top of the list. There is plenty more to do in Dubrovnik once you have finished a stroll around the walls - 25 things to know about Dubrovnik


(Photo credit Igor Tomjenlovic)

1. Croatia Travel Experience - The Dalmatian Coast

 And, with such a high quality of places to visit and things to experience, what could possibly be the most desirable experience for American tourists in Croatia? Why, heaven of course - the Dalmatian coast. 

To learn more about Al Menschen's presentation on American tourism interest in Croatia, click here


Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Truth About the Biševo Blue Cave

This photo in the header is already misleading. You cannot take your own boats into the Blue Cave. So, is visiting the Blue Cave worth it?

Monday, 10 July 2017

Blue Cave is Red Hot: Visitors wait for Hours in Queue on Biševo Island

Judging by the photographs coming from Biševo, crowds are enormous, and tourists wait for several hours to see this pearl of the Adriatic

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Book Your Next Blue Cave Adventure with Mario Rent

Founded in 2004 on the island of Hvar, Mario Rent has over a decade of experience, guaranteeing high quality service and the best rates in town. Offering a variety of services from boat rentals to water taxis, private excursions to adventure tours, Mario Rent has got it all.