- Length: 68 km
- Width: 10,5 km
- Surface: 299,7 km2
- Length of the coast: 254,2 km
- The highest peak: 628 m (St. Nicolas)
- Population: 11 500
Hvar Croatia belongs to the central Dalmatian island group of the Adriatic and lies in an east-west direction at right angles to the coast. The eastern promontory of Hvar is only 4.5 km away from the mainland, while the western one faces the open sea. It is the longest of the Adriatic islands.
Hvar (68 km long), is also the fourth largest in area (300 sq. m). The longitudinal road which links the town of Hvar with Sućuraj at the eastern end of the island is 84 km long. The high plateau between St. Nicholas hill (626 m) and Hum (603 m) which extends from Sveta Nedjelja to Jelsa and is partly under pine woods and partly under arable land is marked by distinctive beauty and a fresh climate. The flat part of the island between Stari Grad, Vrboska and Jelsa is under fields which produce excellent wine and extra virgin olive oil. Read Hvar travel guides, write comments and ratings.
The first inhabitants of Hvar Island were Neolithic people( 3500 to 2500 B.C) The Illyrians, who fought battles , first settled the island. The Greeks colonized the island established the colony of Faros on the site of present-day Stari Grad.(384 B.C.) The Romans conquered the island in 219BC but it was not an important outpost for the Romans and there are a few remains from that period. With the collapse of the Roman Empire, Hvar came under Byzantine rule.
Hvar has been described as “the Mediterranean as it used to be”,one of Europe’s best hidden gems ” ” and an “unspoiled island”. A visit to Hvar confirms this impression. The Island’s attractions include spectacular limestone hills, beautiful beaches, fields of scented lavender, caves, sheltered bays, woodlands, picturesque villages, mosaic-patterned olive gloves and vineyards clinging to hillsides, views over the surrounding islands and the mountainous mainland, and mountain forests. Moreover, these attractions have not been destroyed by rampant high-rise tourism.
Hvar Food & Vine
Dalmatian cuisine is another major plus of the region. The food is fresh and tasty. Naturally, pride of place goes to fish and seafood fished from the local waters and prepared with imaginative sauces and savory seasonings. Many “the best Croatian wines” are made on the island. There are over 700 kinds of wine in Croatia, made from 54 grape types. You should visit Dubokovic winery https://www.facebook.com/dubokovicwines/?fref=ts
Hvar Island is characterised by gentle winters, warm summers and many hours of sunshine. In fact Hvar is officially ‘the sunniest place in Europe’, enjoying 2,715 hours of sunshine per annum, with the warmest and driest months being from May to October. Hvar has an annual average of 7.7 hours sunshine per day and 3.8 hours of cloud. Gentle and moist winters (January Hvar has an average temperature of 8.4° C) also makes Hvar and excellent spot for winter tourism.
Hvar Island is situated in the Dalmatian Island region of Croatia. Dalmatian people are known for their friendliness, relaxed nature and hospitality. Their lifestyle has been influenced by the Mediterranean climate which leads to a lack of urgency & fuss.
A visit to a hidden inland village will often lead to an unexpected invite for coffee or a glass of wine. Dalmatian people are proud of their rich heritage and often lead a traditional lifestyle based around near-subsistence agriculture, fishing etc.
Many tourists visit Hvar for the reasons listed above. However, the islands also offer numerous activities (either formally or informally), particularly in the summer season. These include walking, cycling, motorcycle hire, swimming, scuba diving, boating, photography, painting, health-based tourism, naturism, windsurfing and rock climbing. Hvar Town has a summertime reputation as a “party town”, famous for its after-beach party, and spectacular nightlife.
Medieval Hvar lies between protective pine-covered slopes and the azure Adriatic, its Gothic palaces hidden among narrow back streets below the 13th-century city walls. A long seaside promenade winds along an indented coast dotted with small, rocky beaches. The traffic-free marble streets of Hvar have an air of Venice, and it was under Venetian rule that Hvar’s citizens developed the fine stone-carving skills that resulted in a profusion of beautifully ornamented buildings.
Cultural heritage of the Hvar town: City Fortress(1278-1551), City Lodge(15th-16th cent.), St. Stephen’s Cathedral(15th-18th cent.), Benedictine Nunnery and Church of St. Anthony the Abbot/17th-18th cent), Franciscan Monastery(15th-16th cent.), Arsenal & Historic Theatre(14th-17th cent), Summerhouse of the poet Hanibal Lucic(16th cent)
Stari Grad is one of the oldest European towns
Exactly 2400 (384 B.C.)years ago Greeks from the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea founded a city and named it Pharos (Φάρος). Pharos became an independent city-state (polis). It minted its own coins, had its own pottery workshops and enjoyed an abundance of food from its fertile plain – Chora Pharou (Xορα Φαρου), today the best preserved Greek land division on the Mediterranean.
Stari Grad (Old Town), on the Hvar Island northern coast, is older than Hvar town and is very attractive. Stari Grad lies along a horseshoe-shaped bay with charming beaches. The town has numerous picturesque squares, and charming streets.
Vrboska lies in a picturesque cove at the end of a long bay. It is surrounded with pinewood forest and lovely beaches.
Vrboska was developed in the 15th century in a deep wooded bay on the north side of the island and is situated on a narrow channel extending inland from a wide and well-protected bay on the northern coast of the island. It is the “parent” settlement of Vrbanj, and the surrounding inland villages (Svirce, Vrisnik, Pitve).
The village offers an unusual sight on a karst island: old stone houses hvar rising on both shores of a channel spanned by several small bridges. This has led to its nickname of ‘little Venice’. In the channel itself, in the centre of the village, stands an islet (342 sq m). A whole network of walking paths lead under the thick shade of pine-trees down to the swimming beaches.
Jelsa is a small seaside town, port and resort 27km east of Hvar town surrounded by thick pine forests and high poplars. A popular alternative to Hvar town, Jelsa’s intimate streets and squares give it it’s laid back atmosphere. The town is also within easy reach of swimming coves and hvar sand beaches.
Jelsa emerged in the 14th century as a port for the inland village of Pitve and spread around the churches of St Fabian and Sebastian and St John in the Field. In the 16th century a fort was erected over the town to protect it from the Turks and by the 19th century it had grown into a prosperous fishing village.
In the middle of the 19th century the marshes around the coast were drained and the town gradually spread out. In 1868 the public library became the first public reading room in the Dalmatian Islands, and in 1881 it became the centre of Matica Hrvatska, a celebrated Croatian literary
Villages on the south side(Zavala, Ivan Dolac, Sv. Nedjelja)
Picturesque villages, on a slope by the sea with several beautiful pebble beaches. The village Zavala has a harbour with a jetty and a road link with Jelsa through road tunnel. Below the village, a string of beautiful beaches lapped by a crystal clear sea.
Sveta Nedjelja is a famous centre for the production of the best types of Hvar red wine (plavac) and is a popular tourist destination.
West from Zavala and east from Sveta Nedjelja is the small village of Ivan Dolac. Dating back to the 15th century, the village’s main occupations are agriculture and tourism, the same as almost all the villages on the south side of the island
These inland villages on Hvar are set back from the coastline between Hvar and Jelsa and are no further than 3km from the sea at any point(Brusje, Selca, Rudina, Dol, Vrbanj, Svirče, Vrisnik, Pitve). Each village has its own character and identity. A combination of landscapes gives the villages some truly exceptional views and tranquil locations.
However all of them give a unique insight into hvar village life in Croatia. Every inland village is unique in its own way however they all offer a unique insight into Croatian culture and characters of the local people.