Sveti Klement island, nr Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
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Sveti Klement island, nr Hvar, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Bohemian retreat nestled in lush botanical gardens on a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea (approximately 10 minutes by boat from Hvar)

Bohemian retreat nestled in lush botanical gardens on a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea (approximately 10 minutes by boat from Hvar)

This is art and nature in perfect harmony, an Arcadian idyll on a Dalmatian island. Professor Eugenio Meneghello bought a 300-hectare wilderness in 1906, complete with 2 pebble beaches, and planted it with pines, palms, exotic shrubs and aromatic herbs like rosemary and lavender. One century and 3 generations later, his family are the pioneers of eco-tourism in Croatia. His granddaughter-in-law Dagmar and her 3 children still tend their forefather’s ‘Garden of Eden’, but have turned it into an exclusive hideaway with a cluster of villas and bungalows and 2 restaurants, all built of local stone.

Interiors have been painted deep, vibrant colours and are decorated with unusual driftwood sculptures and contemporary artwork. The result is a discreet yet spiritual escape from the modern world. Popular with flora loving families and hippies at heart, it’s a great place to while away the days eating fresh seafood, swimming in the bay, and hiking to hidden bays and coves.


  • The two excellent restaurants, Meneghello and Toto's, which are surrounded by fragrant plants, crystal-clear water and almost constant sunshine
  • A haven of flora and fauna - the island is car-free, there's limited WiFi, and no in-room TVs or phones
  • The carefully designed buildings blend harmoniously with the environment, and most have terraces overlooking the glistening ocean
  • Just a 10-minute water taxi from Hvar Town's cultural monuments and hip eateries
  • The laid-back and friendly vibe: we were taken, by jeep, to our villa and then ordered to relax and not to worry about checking in


  • Hvar Town, and to a lesser extent this end of Sveti Klement Island, heave with tourists during July & August - it's possible you'll experience some noise
  • Logistics: water taxis and only 2 cash machines on the island
  • This is a rustic, bohemian retreat - those seeking luxury may be happier elsewhere (e.g. no WiFi in rooms, only in the main restaurant, no pool, and limited commercial activities and infrastructure)
  • The abundant wildlife can sometimes include mosquitoes at night and wasps at breakfast
  • Kitchenettes are little more than a fridge and kettle - fine for snacks and drinks but not enough for meals

Best time to go

The island can get very crowded in July and August, so we think the best time to visit is May-June or September-October, when you’ll have more of the island to yourself; the temperatures are milder but the sea is still warm enough for swimming.

Our top tips

If you want to explore the nearby coves and bays, there is a dirt path leading through the island's lush vegetation. As you traverse this trail, you'll have the chance to discover hidden spots, take in breathtaking views, and experience the untouched beauty of Palmizana. Shorts and comfortable footwear are recommended, as well as sea shoes to protect against sea urchins on the rocks (a sign that the sea is clean).

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10 bungalows and villas
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 16 Oct 2024 - 30 Apr 2025
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service


Palmizana offers various individually designed stone bungalows and villas, with interiors that are either whitewashed or painted in vibrant colours. Some have exposed stonework and cool tile floors; all are furnished in a Mediterranean style and accented with Croatian art.

The bungalows (sleeps 2-4) are mostly 2-room buildings with 1 bedroom and a living room with a sofabed (making an additional bedroom). Our favourite, the Green Bungalow, is a studio space with steps leading up to a mezzanine level with a small porthole window. We stayed in the Violet Bungalow, which felt very private. All rooms are air conditioned and have small fridges. There are also the Romina Bungalows, which can be rented as one unit to large families or groups of friends.

The villas (sleeps 4-6) all have basic kitchenettes for coffee and snacks: fridges, kettles and basic crockery. The 2-bedroom White Villa quickly established itself as one of our favourites: lying directly on the beach with a private path leading down to the shore, it has an enormous terrace overlooking the bay.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cots available
  • Fan


There are 2 restaurants onsite: Meneghello is the hotel restaurant run by Dagmar, while Toto's is a separate venture by her son, Denko. Both have huge terraces overlooking the ocean and serve a variety of seafood, grilled meat and fresh vegetables from the island’s garden. Much of it is cooked over an outdoor open-fire oven.

Breakfast is served on the terrace at Meneghello. Expect fresh fruit, croissants, bread and jams, plus eggs and pancakes cooked to order. For lunch, we picked Toto’s as it lies directly on the beach on the south side of the island (just outside the hotel), and serves fresh fish and seafood. We chose bruschetta and octopus salad; other specialities included monkfish in white wine sauce, bulgur with shrimps, and tuna sashimi.

In the evening, both restaurants start buzzing as visitors with yachts (who keep their boats at the nearby ACI marina, or anchor in the bay) begin arriving for dinner. This time Meneghello is the main attraction. Its deep fuchsia walls are hung with playful modern art, and fresh colour is added by enormous terracotta pots of blue and pink hydrangeas. We enjoyed a dinner of tomato and basil bruschetta, prosciutto, cheese and figs to start. Mains were seafood Buzara (local seafood stew) and a grilled seafood platter.

All guests have tables reserved at Meneghello, but if you're staying for a full week you may wish to try some of the other restaurants and beach bars on this tiny island. Many people may choose to take a 10-minute water taxi over to Hvar Town, where our favourite spots were Fig Cafe and Black Pepper. Remember to let the hotel know if you decide to eat elsewhere so that they can cancel your reservation.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Fridge
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • The Palmizana beaches are lovely, but be sure to check out alternative bathing venues on the other Pakleni islets. For those who want an all-over tan, Jerolim or Stipanska are devoted to nudism

  • Dalmatia is a sailor’s paradise. Charter a sailing boat or a motorboat for a day from Hvar Town and go exploring along the coast and islands - skippers are available for those with no sailing experience. The islands are surrounded by numerous coves that act as safe harbours for boats

  • The water is ideal for snorkelling or diving, with excellent visibility, a stunning variety of fish, coral reefs and shipwrecks. Palmizana can recommend agencies offering diving trips from Hvar Town

  • Hvar Town (approximately 10 minutes by water taxi) includes a 16th-century cathedral overlooking a magnificent piazza (the largest in Dalmatia), an arsenal, a 17th-century municipal theatre (the oldest public theatre in Europe), 2 monasteries and a hilltop castle

  • Be sure to stroll around the gardens, taking in the sheer variety of flora

  • Dagmar is a keen patron of the arts, so check out her small gallery at the Meneghello restaurant, which showcases pieces from her private collection, including Roman and Greek amphorae found by her husband (he was a great scuba diver)

  • Attend a Hvar Summer Festival open-air performance - we recommend the classical music concerts in the cloisters of the Franciscan monastery

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures


Children are welcome and it's a great place for them: the shallow pebbly beach on the doorstep is ideal for youngsters and they will love the tortoises and peacocks on land. As the island is car-free, they can run around and explore freely. It's great for extended family breaks, too.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

If you're travelling on a group family break opt for the bungalows or villas located next to each other. Villas have basic kitchenettes and sleep 4-6, and Bungalows sleep a maximum of 4 (that's with children on an extra bed in the lounge). White Villa is not suitable for children under 12 since it's a split-level villa with an open staircase. We recommend Yellow Bungalow, Pink Bungalow and Violet Bungalow for families with toddlers.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available


Babysitting can be arranged if requested in advance

Baby equipment:

  • Toys
  • Baby cots
  • Baby baths
  • Potty

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The 2 restaurants (on-site and nearby) serve up kid-friendly food - pancakes, steak, fish, barbecues, ice cream, kebabs - and can sometimes provide half-sized portions on request.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Beach just steps away
  • Gardens to play in

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Snorkelling (bring your own gear)
  • Children's playground at the ACI Marina

Families Should Know:

There are some steps in the gardens and various spiky plants and cacti. There are only 2 shops on the island, selling basics, so bring anything you think you won't be able to get hold of (e.g. high-factor suncream). Bring sea-shoes for the kids, as there’s lots of pesky sea urchins at the beach.


  • Airport: 1 hour+, depending on ferry schedules
  • Emergency room: 15 minutes by boat (Hvar)
  • Hospital: 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on ferry schedules
Kid Friendly:


Palmizana is on the tiny island of Sveti Klement, one of the Pakleni otoci (Pakleni islands) that make up the Hvar archipelago. The island is only reachable by water taxi - staff at the hotel can recommend agencies (but you'll need to book these yourself).

By Air:
It is easiest to fly into Split (40km), situated on the mainland.

From the Airport
There is a small port 500 metres from the airport, where you can arrange to be picked up by an exclusive taxi boat service and dropped off at the small port of Palmizana (the hotel can recommend agencies).

Or, take the airport bus to the port, then catch a catamaran to the island of Hvar. From here you'll need to arrange a water taxi to Sveti Klement, which is a short 15-minute hop away.

By Sea:
The most convenient port of arrival is Hvar Town, served by a Jadrolinija ferry as well as Krilo or Tp-Line catamarans through summer.

By Car:
Cars are not pemitted on the island but if you need one to explore other parts of Croatia, see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you once your booking is confirmed through


  • Split 40.0 km SPU


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 8 independent reviews from i-escape guests


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