Hvar - the Pakleni islands and a hidden fish restaurant (Pansion Tonci)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Our mode of transport for the day

The water around Hvar (even in the harbour) is so clean and crystal clear that it is a magnet for sea urchins. Mind where you step!
Hvar Town, another old walled city on a Dalmatian island in the South of Croatia is a yachting and backpackers paradise. Turquoise waters, bars lining the harbour front and right round the coast, plus endless opportunities to explore hidden bays and discover bars, restaurants and beach clubs in seriously secluded locations.

That's exactly what we decided to do when we hired a boat for the day and left the main island in search of a fisherman's shack on one of the Pakleni Islands (Palmizana) where we could indulge in a lot of fresh seafood.

Unfortunately the sea was slightly more choppy than we expected. And the island we were heading to was a little further away that anticipated. We had a few hairy moments getting to the island (and managed to wash the boat onto the rocks at one point), but eventually made in there unscathed.

Determined to find our fish, we ventured inland, and spotted the sign to Pansion Tonci, along with a fish skeleton picture. Divine intervention.

This family run restaurant is just set back from the beach, on the Hvar-side of the island, and offered a selection of grilled fish, caught that morning (we didn't get a choice on what kind of fish we were served, it was just whatever was landed that day), capers from the mainland, olive oil from their own groves and white wine they had made themselves from their own vineyard behind the house.

There was even a hammock available for a quick sleep after our meal, before we headed back to Hvar (which was incidentally a very scary trip back given the waves had grown significantly since we left Hvar harbour that morning).

This meal has been one of the highlights of the whole trip so far. Definitely worth nearly capsizing for.

Homemade fish pate

Anchovies with local capers and olive oil from the garden

Pansion Tonci's own white wine... this is a fresh, new wine and only lasts for one season. We were told at the end of the Summer, they have a big party to finish off what is left in the barrels

Deep fried courgette

Grilled Barracuda

Homemade apple cake to finish off the meal

Quick post-meal siesta

Next stop, the Istrian islands and Losinj.

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