The Fisherman's House

Sveti Klement, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Book from Book from £133 per night

Beachside guesthouse with 6 rooms and a rustic restaurant, on a car-free pine-scented island near the Croatian island of Hvar
At the quayside in Hvar Town, lined with flashy yachts and palm trees, you'll be met by Thorkild in an inflatable speedboat. He'll whisk you away from the tourist melee, across the deep sapphire-blue Adriatic, spray splashing from the waves. After an exhilarating 20-minute journey, disembark in Vlaka Bay, with its serene turquoise waters and pebble beach, walk through a glade of towering Aleppo pines, and you've arrived.

The Matejević family opened this welcoming pension (guesthouse) in 1964. The third generation - Perina Matejević and Thorkild, her Danish husband - are now in charge, with children, cats and a dog adding a homely atmosphere. Guests congregate on the shaded restaurant terrace, where wooden tables with fisherman's lamps are surrounded by pink hydrangeas, to feast on fresh seafood and homemade wine. Accommodation is in 6 basic but comfortable rooms, each with a private terrace. While you're here you'll realign with the elements: swimming in the sea before breakfast, exploring the paths that criss-cross the islet, snoozing in a hammock. Although there's no year-round population, locals still tend vineyards and olive groves, and archaeological excavations in Soline Bay show the Romans had summer villas here some 2000 years ago. A time-tested hideaway.


  • A peaceful location at the quiet end of Sveti Klement island, immersed in nature and surrounded by turquoise sea
  • Superb meals using local seasonal produce and the owners' olive oil and wine; generous rates are half-board
  • A fantastic adventure for families - no traffic so kids can basically run wild
  • Next to the guesthouse is a pebble beach with sunbeds and sea kayaks, and paths lead through lush Mediterranean vegetation to other coves with crystal-clear water
  • Perina's driftwood sculptures and colourful paintings add a lovely arty touch


  • Meals are generally served communally and the dinner menu is set, though you can eat privately a la carte if you prefer
  • The islet location means you're cut off from glamorous Hvar - no ritzy nightlife, but perfect for star-gazing
  • No local shops - the nearest is a tiny general store 5km away where you can buy essentials
  • Rooms and bathrooms are basic, but perfectly adequate – after all, you'll be spending most your time outdoors
  • Cancellations within 60 days of stay incur a hefty charge

Best time to go

Ideally, try to come here in either June or September, when it's warm and sunny (but not sweltering hot), the sea just right for swimming and the island not too crowded. Note that trendy Hvar Town does get very very busy in July and August and the overflow reaches as far as Sveti Klement. May and October can also be nice, but the weather somewhat unstable, with occasional rain, and the taxi-boats are infrequent.

Our top tips

Pack a copy of The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage by Jan Morris, which explains Venice's historic role in Dalmatia, with several direct references to Hvar. A Croatian-English dictionary would be fun too.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6
  • Half-board (breakfast and dinner) included in rates; restaurants
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2018
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


From the restaurant, paths of pebble mosaics lead through lush foliage of palms, oleander, prickly-pear cacti and lavender, to the guest bungalows. Each of the 6 bedrooms has a private terrace or balcony. Four rooms sleep 2, while 2 rooms can sleep 4 (double bed plus sofabed, suitable for either 2 children or one adult).

Our room had a comfy bed with white wrought-iron bedsteads (some have four-posters) a tiled floor, and whitewashed walls decorated with Perina's artworks, made from driftwood and pebbles. The ensuite bathroom was small but spotlessly clean, with a shower, washbasin and WC. Our little terrace had a rattan chaise-longue, a table and 2 chairs for sitting out amongst the leafy planting. Note that rooms have no TV, no minibar and no air conditioning (windows have mosquito nets, so you can leave them open for a gentle night breeze).

Features include:

  • Mosquito net
  • Terrace


You're in for a treat here, with meals prepared from organic local produce (artichokes in May; tomatoes and courgettes in July), plus homemade wine and olive oil. The setting is lovely too, with seating on a stone terrace, or on a raised wooden platform overlooking the olive groves. Yachties put down anchor in the bay and come ashore for dinners of barbecued fresh fish or brodet (Dalmatian fish casserole).

Overnight guests awake to a generous breakfast (7-10am) of yoghurt, muesli, eggs cooked-to-order and good strong coffee. Dinner is a set communal meal, with all guests sitting together at long wooden tables. We loved the delicious moussaka and fresh salad, followed by pancakes and homemade limoncello (lemon liquor). It's fun and sociable, with mixed nationalities - the perfect opportunity to practice your French, Italian or German. If you prefer to eat separately, you can request your own table and order à la carte.

For a change of scene you can walk to other guesthouse eateries or the restaurants at Palmizana hotel (approx 5km).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Spend your first day unwinding - chill on white wooden sunbeds in Vlaka Bay, swim, then snooze in a hammock
  • Hire a 2-person sea kayak and paddle along the coast to discover hidden beaches (ask Perina to pack a picnic for lunch)
  • Walk across the island to Palmižana and the ACI marina, stopping at several beaches along the way to swim
  • Take a water taxi to Hvar Town ( with its elegant Venetian-era architecture - the cathedral, hilltop castle and Europe's oldest public theatre - and hip restaurants
  • Try scuba diving with the excellent Viking diving centre ( based in Hvar Town
  • Get up early and go fishing with Perina's father, Tonči, on his boat, afterwards Perina can cook what you catch for lunch
  • If you're here in September, help with the grape harvest and wine-making process

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Sailing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Wine tasting


Adventurous kids will love this secret island hideaway, where they can roam wild in nature, swim in the sea and try kayaking. The owners have young children themselves so they're totally wise to the needs of families. We think it is best suited to children over 4.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

The larger rooms, with both a double and sofabed, are ideal for families with 2 small children or one teenager

Kids Activities nearby:

Pebble beaches, kayaking, fishing

Families Should Know:

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)


  • Airport: 40km (Split; 30 min-bus, then 1-hr boat to Hvar, then 15-min boat transfer to the island)
  • Basic shops: 3.5km (15 minutes by boat, Hvar)
  • Hospital: 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on ferry schedules
    Emergency room: 15 minutes by boat (Hvar) or 12 minutes by helicopter (Split)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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