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A place in the sun

Croatia’s summer spirit is distilled to its finest in the skinny, vividly coloured island of Hvar

FOR EARLY SUMMER SUN in Croatia, your best bet is the island of Hvar. Its average of 2,724 sunny hours each year tops the national league tables. Head there now, when days are at their longest, and the odds will tip even further in your favour. In late June you should also be able to catch the island’s famous lavender fields in bloom. Part of Hvar’s appeal is finding hidden coves along the coast. Dubovica (pictured) is a pebble beach curving round aquamarine waters, with a handful of places to get seafood, a cold beer or even a watermelon martini. Access is part of the adventure: by boat from Hvar Town, or a steep path snaking down from the island’s main road. More easily reached, thanks to regular water taxis, are the Pakleni Islands, which dot the sea like something bubbled out of a lava lamp. There are many deserted lagoons around this mini archipelago – as well as a few beaches where the dress code is as nature intended. Hvar itself is 40 miles long, and visitors mostly gather at its western end. Take the roads further east and you’ll find the quiet town of Stari Grad, founded by the Ancient Greeks; and just inland are World Heritage-listed fields that follow a layout decided 24 centuries ago.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - July 2018
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