Total Hvar

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me
Home > Blog > Island News > Vlaka, a Slice of Heaven on the Edge of Paradise
Vlaka, a Slice of Heaven on the Edge of Paradise

Vlaka, a Slice of Heaven on the Edge of Paradise

Written by Paul Bradbury Tuesday, 11.09.2012. 22:13:10 Posted in: Island News, Tourism

The only certainty about a day in the company of Jelsa winemaker Andro Tomic is that the unexpected will happen. The plan had been to pick his cabernet sauvignon grapes on Sveti Klement, which we did, but there was so much more to the visit to the northern coast of the biggest of the Pakleni Islands, and I can't believe how much we crammed in to a morning and still managed to be back on Hvar with all grapes picked by lunchtime. 

I diligently picked for about two hours until the first rows of grapes were picked, then went to get another container. Andro caught me and asked me if I would like to visit the Roman spa and the healthy mud baths. Given the choice of that or returning to the heat and more grapes, I grabbed my camera and pretended to be a journalist.

As with most things with Andro, nothing was straightforward or direct.  We hadn't walked 30 metres until he beckoned me into a house to greet the owners with the most amazing salt. I never thought I would blog about salt, but here I am... it was amazing. 

Apparently there are waves from the sea, and the sea water gets stuck in puddles on the rocks. Because it has been such a dry summer, the salt is deposited on the rocks, leaving the simple task of scooping up the salt. The lady we met had 100kg of salt for the year. It was delicious, a little sweet, and I gratefully accepted the bag,this after attempts to pay had failed. 

 The tour of the neighbours continued, and it was Pension Tonic next, complete with wonderful tree house for the kids. 

Finally we got down to the water and the Roman villa complex which had been a spa almost 2000 years ago.  

But not before we found time for a beer in a restaurant with a stunning location and view. 

There are some Roman remains, the most prominent of which is this wall. Lack of funding is hampering more exploration. The Roman settlement is on the water, close to a beach known for its therapeutic powers, with the healing powers of its mud good for the skin (or so I was told by another member of our group, who filled a bottle with it for later use at home). 

Whatever the truth, it was another divine spot on the island I first visited earlier this year at the better known resort of Palmizana. Vlaka was more rustic and felt more of a community. 

There were about ten diversions on the way back, including tracking down Maja from Hvar TV, who was deep in conversation with this gentleman, who it turns out is the only full time resident of the island. A poet as well, we listened to some of his work, before heading off to the vineyards for lunch. 

We didn't get there straightaway, and I was treated to a small lecture on rosemary on the island, and the possibilities to develop it. I admire the energy, drive and personality of characters like Andro. Quite how he finds the time to make the (for me) best wine on Hvar as well is beyond me.  A quality day. 

Paul Bradbury

Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes, 25 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Croatia and the island's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island and am co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj. 

I have lived on Hvar full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Hvar, I also run: Total Split (, Total Inland Dalmatia ( and Total Munich ( 

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Dalmatian Hotspots. 

I also write for Google News via Digital Journal - see my range of articles here

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - out in 2014
Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2014

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)
Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)
Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here.
Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

 I am available for writing services. Please contact me on


Want to promote your business with Total Hvar?

We promote the best businesses on Hvar - funded 100% by local businesses, Total Hvar promotes quality businesses in all sectors for an annual fee. Check out our price list for this season here.

letak landscape en no typo 

<< Expand >>
>> Collapse <<

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment. Optional login below.