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Explore the Pakleni Islands, a series of 16 wooded islands closely packed together just off the southern coast of Hvar. This half-day kayaking tour of the archipelago hops between islands, gliding silently though the translucent water to isolated areas where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. Discover hidden coves and bays, pebble beaches and quiet lagoons, many of which can only be reached by sea. Along the way, your local guide will talk to you about the islands’ history, local plants and animals, and the changes in the islands’ fortunes over the years.

Your private guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to the pier in Hvar town, where they will set you up with your own kayak and life vest and give you a quick tutorial on how to operate the sea kayaks. From here, you’ll paddle out into the Adriatic with your instructor leading the way.

You’ll learn that the islands are named after the pine resin that was once harvested here and used to coat the hull of ships and fishing boats. The islands are still densely forested and the first that you’ll pass, at the port entrance, is Galešnik, a former Franciscan quarantine for the sick.

From here, you’ll cross the channel to the main body of islands and have the option to explore different areas by kayak, combine paddling with a quick hike in the shade of the pine forests, or simply find a secluded place to stop and relax as you see fit.

Some options include visiting the rugged coastline of uninhabited Borovac or Planikovac where you can explore well away from the crowds, or paddling to Jerolim, an island of wide pebble beaches backed by white limestone and pine forests which is popular with naturists. Marinkovac Island by contrast, is best known for the good snorkeling conditions off Mlini Beach in the southwest, while Carpe Diem on the eastern side of the island, is a cocktail and lounge bar by day and internationally acclaimed nightspot after dark.

The islands cover a length of ten kilometres (about six miles) and your guide can advise you on the different places to visit by water or on foot. Your guide will carry refreshments for you to enjoy during the tour and you can stop in secluded bays, relax on a pebble beach in a deserted cove, or paddle from one cove to the next until it’s time to return to the pier in Hvar town.

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