This past fall I started talking to my guide Sonja and her boyfriend Pavo about visiting his restaurant on Scedro Island. General idea was to have a special place that will provide superb meal on a unique location and off the beaten path. Scedro is not a mystery but it is not the most popular place on the coast and I was always interested in visiting after I learned of an abandoned monastery. Few weeks back, the weather was finally on our side and I was able to accept the invitation. Early morning drive to Split harbor, two hour ferry and then through the tunnel to the sunny slopes of southern Hvar. Small harbor of Zavala was beautiful on a gorgeous January morning.
The ride to Scedro is easy and fairly short on a beautiful day like we had. The monastery bay looks hidden when approaching till the little cove starts opening. It opens fully to a very charming group of fishermen huts. Typical Dalmatia.
But my main interest – besides a restaurant, of course, were the ruins of the monastery nearby.
The monastery was abandoned in the 19th century when, according to legend, last monk took down the main doors and sailed across – to Zavala on Hvar Island – on those very doors! I guess he felt lonely since there was no one else left on the island. The oldest remains are from the 11th century and still standing but the main building suffered greatly and the roof does not exist any more. Nevertheless, it is one amazing place!
Pavo was showing us the interior and even graffiti done by his ancestors marking when they first came to Scedro! Some of them are 100 years old. There is no one really living there year round but, in the summer time, they even have guests in their apartments. That must be one wonderful family holiday! Especially in a shallow and safe bay as this one is!
While the bread and fish were being prepared, we decided to go to other, more popular bay. There are three restaurants there and the bay is bigger but the one with a monastery is far more beautiful. In the other bay we met one of the restaurant owners who also told us about mehunja grapes that I never heard before. Now nearly gone, it was once regarded as the finest off all white grapes of Hvar and neighboring region. Hard to believe when drinking bogdanjusa wine but… these guys know better.
To get from one bay to another takes about 20 minutes. I noticed a very interesting burial mound by the road and there were traces of something that reminded me of roman roads but it just does not make sense to find it on this, god forsaken island off much bigger and important Hvar… And another curiosity is of a much later date: cars. Yes, there are cars on the island.
Not too many of them but there are several still active Lada Nivas. The only car rugged enough to survive this terrain. They were brought here by tying together two boats and loading a car on them in Zavala for this short but dangerous ride across to Scedro. Crazy! But it comes very handy when they are cutting wood or some vineyards works.
An then we returned to our secret cove. Hungry and in time for some grilled fish.
But the true star of this meal – and everyone’s who ever decided to eat here – was the bread. The Bread!
This bread is one of top 3 I aver had. Ever! In any restaurant or homemade. The special mix of different flours and traditional baking technique, make this a true delicacy! And it is one big bread weighing around 4-5 kilos! Eating superb meal outside, in January, with great friends… I love what I do!
And with the winter sun slowly falling behind the hill, it was time to leave. Excellent bogdanjusa was keeping us warm while watching shores of Hvar getting closer.
Pavo’s father was taking us across and the monotonous sound of the engine was putting us to sleep. Or was it too much bogdanjusa?
Scedro is definitely on our map. The true essence of Secret Dalmatia.
Those “Roman roads” are old donkey-cart paths, wide enough for today’s island cars, used for olive harvesting.
You love what you do, it shows in your world class itineraries.
@ Morgan – Trust me on this one. No donkey road has rocks on the sides. It was too much work and major waste of time. Here is what these look like: http://secretdalmatia.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/roman-roads-in-croatia/
@ Dubrovniklady – Thank you! It can always be better!
Divota amiko, ali je ščeta crikve…tribalo bi se to sredit…
what a great trip into secret Dalmatia, thanks for sharing!
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