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The island of Hvar

22 November 2011 No Comment

The respected Forbes magazine rated the central Dalmatian island of Hvar neck to neck with the Carribean, the Maldives, Hawaii and the Bahamas in one of its issues. This island was, more than once, put on lists of the most beautiful islands of the world by the world media. It is famous for its indented coastline, clean beaches and plenty of sunshine, untouched nature, smell of lavender, olives and wine. It is precisely the island of Hvar that has the most hours of sunshine in Europe – 2700 of them a year.

The Greek colonization chose this island as an important strategic and nautical centre. Its name today comes from the Greek word Pharos – lighthouse. After that the Romans turned it into Pharia, the Dalmatian Romans changed it to Fara and in the early Middle Ages the Croatian immigrants re-named it to Hvar.

The longest Adriatic island of Hvar has plenty of beaches, so every guest can find a beach suited to their needs.

For parents with children the ideal beaches are Soline, Grebišće and Mina, while for larger groups and more entertainment the best beaches are Petarčica, Mlaska, Palmižana, Ivan Dolac and the town beaches Laterna and Banj. For couples the best beaches are Maslinica, Dubovica, Pern and Bonj, which was listed among the most beautiful beaches in Europe by the British newspaper The Times. Lovers of nudism will enjoy the beaches Glavica, Zečevo, Stipanska and Šćedro.

Underwater fishing is forbidden in the Hvar area, but divers are recommended diving around the islet Vodnjak and cape Stambeder. The canal between Hvar and Brač is ideal for windsurfing and on the south side of Hvar there is a cliffbase, a garden for climbing, located above the sea. Mountaineers will also have plenty to do in Hvar. There is a steep climb through vineyards and olive groves to the 626 metre high hilltop of Sveti Nikola.
Hvar is widely kown for its nightlife and has gained world fame thanks to crazy fun its visitors have in the nightclubs like Carpe Diem – a favourite among the elite, Club Veneranda, Beach Bar Hula Hula, Nautica Bar, Kiva Bar, Splash Beach Bar and Vertigo Club.

The inland of the island is completely different to the tourism orientated coast. Here there are villages with preserved rural architecture with small shops, narrow streets, stone houses with small yards and church bell towers. Along 20 km, there are the villages of Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Dol.

The towns and villages of Hvar

From all the sites of the town of Hvar, the Pjaca or the Square of St. Sjepan is definitely worth pointing out. This is one of the most beautiful and largest town squares in Dalmatia. On the north side of the Pjaca is the Hvar Cathedral, which was dedicated to the pope and martyr St. Stjepan, the patron saint of the parish and the city of Hvar. Arsenal, a shipyard, built in the 16th century is one of the most preserved in the Mediterranean.

The Benedictine monastery with a museum was founded in the 17th century. It became world famous because of `agava` lacemaking and this tradition has been nurtured for more than a century. The city walls, from the turn of the 13th to the 14th century surround the oldest part of the town and stretch to the fort Fortica which was built in the middle of the 16th century on the foundations of a medieval castle.

Stari Grad

The oldest town in Croatia was founded by the Greeks from the island of Paros, in 384 BC, the same year that the Greek philosopher Aristotel was born. It was built in the place where the sea bay transcends into the fertile island field and has been since ancient times covered in vineyards and olive groves. For centuries it was the sanctuary for sailors and today is an ideal place for long walks and bathing at the Lanterna beach. The museum, the Dominican monastery and numerous churches are only some of the sites worth visiting in Stari Grad. The most famous town site is the castle Tvrdalj, a Renaissance summer resort of the Croatian poet and Squire Petar Hektorović, from the first half of the 16th century. Although built at the time of Turkish invasions as a defence fort, the castle has a beautiful romantic garden and fish pond.


Jelsa is an important tourist centre with a rich offer, located on the north side of the central part of the island. From ancient times Jelsa has been known for its quality wine and it offers guests quality accommodation, cultural and entertainment programs and numerous sports and recreation facilities. From the interesting sites there is the church of St. Ivan from the end of the 17th century, the early Gothic church of St. Mary, the `pjaca`(square) and the `riva`(sea front promenade) which in 1870, with the drying out of the swamp, became one of the most beautiful parks in Dalmatia.


This village is located in the long winding bay that reminds of a fiord. The end of the bay is made up of a canal and an islet which is bridged in a few places, because of which Vrboska is called Little Venice. Here stands one of the most special churches in Dalmatia as the trademark of the village as well as the fishing museum which gives an interesting insite of the fishing tradition on this fishermen`s island,


This is a favourite Hvar resort with a large pebbled beach and beautiful underwater. It has a long tourist tradition.

Interesting sites

Starogradsko Polje
Starogradsko Polje, the largest and the most fertile field on the Adriatic islands, stretches across six kilometres from the Vrboska Bay to the Starogradsko Bay. From 2008 it has been on the UNESCO list of protected world cultural heritage.The sectioning of the field is one of the masterpieces of Greek culture in the Mediterranean, which has, despite the stormy historical events and multiple additional sectionings, stayed almost in the same form up to this day and age. This landscape has preserved a system of large plots of land from the time of the Greek Faros (4th century BC) and is the best preserved ancient land parcelling in the world. In the area of the field there are almost 120 archeological sites from prehistoric times up to the Middle Ages.

Interesting facts
- One of the oldest public theatres in Europe was built in 1612 in Hvar
- Ivan Vučetić, a police officer from Hvar, was the first in the world to perfect the technique of finger print identification

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