Kayaking the Adriatic: Exploring Croatia with CroActive Holidays


Two years ago I practically rolled myself out of Italy (from all the eating) and eventually ended up on the coast of Croatia in Split.


Eating a LOT of meals that looked like this. Italy 2015.


The first thing I could think of was “Woah, I had no idea water could be this blue.”

It was a hue of turquoise, indigo, cyan, and teal all mixed together. Colors I had never seen before in an ocean. I immediately hopped on google to book a kayaking trip which is when I found CroActive Holidays.


What color do you even call this?!? #nofilter


I was spending a couple days in Split and knew I wanted to take an excursion over to Hvar (it’s only a two-hour ferry ride away). CroActive had an EXTREMELY reasonable package that would include a ferry ride to and from Hvar, a kayak rental, lunch on a secluded island and any gear that I may need during the tour.

The tour company office is a short walk from the center of Split and really easy to find. There we spoke with Vese, who explained our tour options over coffee and biscuits. She was a treasure trove of knowledge from ferry schedules, pick up points, places worth seeing along the way and local spots that weren’t even on my radar. She covered EVERYTHING.

Twenty minutes later we were booked for the first ferry out the next day for what was gearing up to be one epic kayaking trip.

Which it certainly was.

The next morning there was Vese waiting for us at the ferry port with breakfast. This part wasn’t even included in our tour so I was shocked to see little sandwiches packed in little brown bags just like mom would do it when we walked up. I quickly scarfed down the burek I packed because it would be rude to deny a homemade breakfast because I already ate….RIGHTTTT?!

Once in Hvar we were introduced to our kayak instructor. Once again the name is escaping me (damn you procrastinating Chantel). For the post sake we’ll call him Noodle because our BFF associate told me he was long and lanky, just like a Noodle.

Noodle was ready to get us out onto the water and quickly gave us the run down on how to work a sea kayak. Different from kayaks that people typically use, there is a rudder attached to the back of the kayak that is controlled by your feet with two pedals in the kayak. It makes steering a heck of a lot easier. At first I was a little intimidated by this new setup that I wasn’t used to but frankly, it made kayaking through the ocean SO much easier, not to mention that thanks to the rudder I didn’t have to use my arms at all to steer. #lazygirlwin


Totally trying to play it cool even though I lost my phone in the water 5 minutes prior to this. STILL HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE THOUGH. Hvar 2015.


We kayaked around Pakleni Islands, an archipelago that overlooks the port of Hvar. I practically gave myself whiplash looking over the sweeping views of Hvar and the depths of the ocean beneath me. My eyes were in a scenic paradise and I had no idea what I should set them on first.

The actual length from Hvar to our secluded lunch spot took about an hour to kayak to. We ended up at Mamato Bar on the island of Otok Marinkovic. There was NOBODY on this picture perfect beach. Our lunch was waiting maybe 5 paces away from the water. We could practically eat it from our kayaks it was so close to the water!


You really can’t complain when you’re sitting on a giant pillow, feet in the water, working on your tan, and eating the finest lunch Croatia has to offer. This was so far worth every penny I had spent thus far.

The kayak back to Hvar was relatively easy and just as stunning as the first trip. By the time we made our way back to the meeting point we still had about 5 hours to explore Hvar. Which was plenty of time to find a hidden beach, walk around old town and treat myself to a bela kava.


Not a bad beach to stumble upon. Hvar 2015.


The tour is designed for all levels. From beginner kayakers to pros, CroActive accommodates it all. Noodle was confident in guiding us and quickly solved any problems that arose while on the water. If you’ve never kayaked before then this is a great way to learn and if you’ve kayaked a million times this experience will stand out as one you’ll surely never forget.

From kayaking route, the customer service, the tour amenities, each and every working part of this tour and the company that stands behind it is perfect. Still, even two years after taking that kayak trip it is still one of my favorite travel experiences.


Feeling like the Little Mermaid, about to throw this starfish in my hair!!


Even though I did lose my phone on it, but that’s a whole ‘nother story you can read about here.

CroActive Holidays has a plethora of different tour options letting you unlock the best experiences in Croatia. From hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, SUP, sailing and so much more they have something for everybody.

Now the technical information. The specific tour I went on was called the “How Hvar Can You Go” sea kayaking tour. Most recently the price for the tour is 670 KN (95 EUR/112 USD) per person, the duration is about four hours and includes ferry ticket, sea kayak and paddle, light lunch and any equipment needed. Would I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY! Would I go on it again? WITHOUT A DOUBT!


The views alone are worth it!






16 thoughts on “Kayaking the Adriatic: Exploring Croatia with CroActive Holidays

  1. CroActive tours sound awesome! Thank you for sharing the tour company! I’ve been to Croatia a couple of times, and I absolutely cannot get enough of Croatian burek. If I could, I would seriously eat the pastry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Last week I arrived from Croatia… what an experience and as you say, the colour of the water there is just surreal. We decided to spend two days in Hvar and I regret we did not spend more. What a lovely island. I am also happy we were able to visit the Packleni islands, you should try next time you visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful activity to do in Croatia! I’ve spent a month in Croatia last year and had wished to kayak! I had the opportunity in Dubrovnik, but got extremely sick there so was limited to other activities. But yes, kayaking on the Adriatic looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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