o. Orphrys Rhodostephane 7/5/2019

In search of Hvar’s wild orchids

We’ve been enjoying the springtime sight of Hvar’s wild flowers for many years now. I’ve taken lots of photos, diligently looked up their names and created flower guides to keep track of what we’ve learned. But until quite recently, I’d not seen any wild orchids on our wanderings. They are quite seasonal, so you have to be on the lookout in April and May, and know what you’re looking for. So the first few orchids had to be pointed out to me, after which I got the idea, and started to look more carefully. It’s amazing how many of these delicate flowers are there among the greenery, just waiting to be seen!

Almond blossom

It’s almond blossom time on Hvar!

The almond is the first tree in bloom hereabouts, and gives a very cheery signal that the year has turned, and we’re heading into Spring! A native of the eastern Mediterranean, Prunus Amygdala can be found all around southern Europe, and anywhere else with a similarly mild climate. On Hvar, we probably have the ancient…

Calm morning

A cold and frosty morning in Vrboska

Hvar in February is beautiful, appearing in a completely different light from the heat of summer. This morning, for instance, I was drawn to take my camera for a walk by the most perfect atmospheric sunrise. Somewhat unusually, we were enveloped in dense fog, with very little of the wider landscape showing, meanwhile the sun…

Dubovica cove

Dubovica cove – a beach picnic in January

Dubovica cove is popular in summer, you can tell by the number of cars parked by the roadside above it. In contrast, yesterday ours was the only car to be seen as we set off down the trail to the beach. The sign points to Dubovica and Sv Nedelja, which is several kilometers further along the coast, and the path is clearly marked by our local hiking society, the Hvarska Planinarska Društvo. For the moment, though, we were just taking advantage of a glorious winter’s day, and had brought a picnic to enjoy on the beach.

Top of Učka

Exploring Istria: on top of Mt Učka

Where better to start a visit to Istria than standing on its highest peak, from where you can pretty much see all of the peninsula laid out before you. On a clear day, all the way to the Italian coast!  The coastal range of Učka (1396 m = 4580 ft) is the stunning backdrop for…

Hvar pjaca

Flying tour of Hvar and Korčula

The last time we were treated to aerial views of the island was when we flew in the seaplane, now sadly no longer an option. But this week, himself was invited for a tour of Hvar and Korčula from a two-seater plane. Take-off from Stari Grad International airport, where there are currently several planes on…

Sack nearly full!

Lavender harvest festivities in Velo Grablje

It’s the end of June, so it’s lavender harvest time! Shame, really, as I love to see the purple hummocks decorating the hillsides. Unlike Provence, where the lavender is grown in great long stripes, here the bushes are kept separate, giving more of a pattern of dots. And, given the steepness of the fields, the…