Back to basics, a 100% natural setting in the heart of the Adriatic.
Digital detox and total disconnection with Adrien Joveneau and his Belgian at the end of the world !
Today, I am meeting Didier Van Bellinghen, a Flemish guy of Belgo-Yugoslavian origin. After travelling around the world, Didier returned to his mom’s country to create Cast Away, an eco resort where travelers from around the world come to taste the virtues of simplicity. Before discovering that sanctuary on the island of Hvar, I’m waiting for Didier in the city of Split, a major harbour on the Dalmatian coast.
Two hours on the ferry crossing before we dock on the most attractive of the 1185 islands in the Adriatic: Hvar, 68 km long and 11 km wide.
Then off to Gromin Dolac, a small hidden paradise where the Van Bellinghen family first set foot in 1979. The place for those who seek simplicity, peacefulness and lushness, a true luxury in our modern world…
Set up and run an ecological resort like Cast Away looks like awesome holidays but it’s hard work. Every morning, Didier drives to Starigrad, about 30 km away, a real gem of a town where he will collect supplies for his troops before going to the ferry port to welcome new travelers.
Didier takes care of the transfers and his partner Mariann ensures the check-in. A well organized ritual with lavender juice as welcome drink and a brief introduction to the Cast Away saga.
And no, it’s not a golden prison! We escape whenever we want to wander in the hinterland. I recommend the wild hills with a dense maquis and the lavender fields cultivated in terraces. We enjoy their perfumes and a whole bunch of other essential oils! Ah, the power of the flower, you need to soak it up here in a convertible Beetle!
A paradise for nature lovers but Hvar is also very busy in the summer with an international jet set, especially in the main town that wears the name of the island. Located in the extreme-west of the island, it is surrounded by hillsides capped by forts. A mooring port for small boats and billionaires’ yachts, it’s ‘the place to be’ on the Croatian coast.
A crystal clear sea at the waterfront, beautiful white limestone walls, a pedestrian friendly town center, elegant buildings, small alleys and stairways, closeby beaches and islands are seducing more and more tourists.
The Pakleni archipelago, beautiful but with a very bad name: Pakleni in Croatian, means hell… Well, if hell looks like this, I’ll be the first to sign to be condemned.
My heart goes to the island of Palmizana: wandering in the magnificent sanctuary of plants from around the world surrounded by amazing contemporary art statues.
– Written by Adrien Joveneau –
Watch the “Cast Away” TV documentary right here:
Les Belges Du Bout Du Monde – Croatie (2019)
You can read the original news article in French on:
And listen to the radio show about Cast Away by clicking on the audiofile below: