Pakleni Islands (Pakleni otoci), also known as Paklinski, is an archipelago of 18 islands and islets sprinkled right in front of the Hvar Town at the western edge of Island of Hvar. Here are the names of the islands: Mali Vodnjak, Veli Vodnjak, Travna, Lengva, Borovac, Sveti Klement, Dobri Otok, Vlaka, Gojca, Mlin, Planikovac, Marinkovac, Sveti Jerolim and Galisnik.
If you are looking for one of the best day trips from Hvar island, don’t miss this amazing chain of islets with crystal-clear waters, secluded beaches and easy hiking trails. Walk to the top of Vela Glava Hill to see the views of the whole archipelago, an ideal late afternoon hiking trip to watch the sunset.
The name of the archipelago is derived from ‘paklina‘, an old Croatian word for pine resin that used to be harvested on the island. Local shipbuilders used paklina to waterproof their boats.
How to get to Pakleni Islands?
The nearest point to the archipelago is Hvar Town on the Island of Hvar. From there you take a water taxi or private transfer to any location in Pakleni. Note, there is no regular public transport of any kind to the archipelago. On the above map, you can see all relevant car ferry and foot passenger catamaran ferry crossings that you can use to reach the archipelago.
- To get to Pakleni from Split get either a car ferry to Stari Grad or a fast catamaran ferry to Hvar Town. Once you arrive in Hvar Town (getting there from Stari Grad), there are numerous speedboats that can take you to Sveti Jerolim, Sveti Klement, Palmizana or any other destinations on Pakleni. Suitable for a quick day trip from Split.
- To get here from Dubrovnik, Mljet or Korcula your options are to either take a fast catamaran ferry to Hvar Town and then a water taxi to Pakleni or to drive to Drvenik and take a car ferry from there to Sucuraj and drive to Hvar Town.
- If you are getting here from Brac, car ferries are via Split. For foot passengers, take a fast catamaran ferry from Bol (Zlatni rat) to either Hvar Town or Jelsa (bus info).
- From Vis and Bisevo island, you have an option just once a week, on Tuesdays to get a direct fast ferry to Hvar Town and a water taxi to the archipelago. The alternative is to get there via Split, daily ferry crossings are available.
- From Lastovo, get a fast catamaran to Hvar Town, or, if you are travelling by car, you have to get here via Split and Stari Grad.
- See also which private speed boat tours are currently on offer
- For all the latest ferry schedules and ticket prices check the croatiaferries.com website
Map of the best beaches and hiking trails on Pakleni Islands
Where to find the best beaches on the Pakleni, near the island of Hvar? Here is a handy map with references to 11 popular beaches and swimming spots in the archipelago. The map also shows hiking paths so make sure you take your hiking boots or walking shoes while visiting this lovely group of islands. Click on the above map to enlarge the image, once enlarged, right-click and save. Keep it for your reference next time when you visit the area.
Snorkeling at Pakleni
One of the best activities around this archipelago is definitely snorkelling. I already mentioned in snorkeling post that one of my favourite locations in the whole country is to snorkel here at Pakleni. I usually choose patches that are less busy with tourists, such as Tarsce bay or Marinkovac Horn Raznjic (see the above map).
You can choose most of the beaches to start and eventually work out what are your favourite snorkeling spots. That will mostly depend on how long are you staying in the area – if you are staying just for a day, focus on Jerolim or Palmizana area. If you are staying longer, explore Bok, Tarsce or Okorija bays.
Whichever starting point you choose you will not be disappointed. The crystal clear waters of this archipelago are easy to snorkel in as the visibility is excellent. What you have to make sure is to watch out for passing by sea traffic, such as speed boats. For safety reasons, keep close to the coast and don’t attempt to snorkel across the bays. Instead, snorkel along the coastline where are a majority of interesting underwater features you can see around here anyway. You will see numerous fish species up to 5 meters depth, which is safe and very close to the shore. (see my video of feeding a fish while snorkeling)
List of Beaches
- Palmižana (Vinogradišće)
- Tarsce – one of my favourite snorkeling spots in Croatia