Hvar – an island of heritage or nightlife?

December 6, 2021

Hvar Starigrad
Summer residence of the poet Hanibal Lucić in Starigrad

What’s it like – Hvar?

It’s quite often called the Saint-Tropez of Croatia. At the same time, it has a history that goes 4000 BC. The notion of Hvar culture refers to pottery that was more sophisticated than the one after 2000 BC.

Nightlife in Hvar is colorful. Streets are filled with travelers, people dining in kala (Mediterranean narrow streets). Every corner echoes with music, while the colors of the sea are sparkling under the stars. And the following morning, a fleet of boats is coming and leaving the port. They take travelers to discover nearby islands or continue their voyage towards Split or Dubrovnik.

A melting pot of people, culture and life

Hvar is located in the middle of the Adriatic sea. Equally away from Venice and from the Strait of Otranto – west, and east. That’s why it has one of the most glorious ports dating to the Middle Ages.

It was a Venetian port, a French military base, the preferred destination of Austria-Hungarian noble ones. (The Hygienic Society was the first travel agency in Europe to be opened in Hvar in1868.) And today, Hvar is on a bucket list of numerous travelers.

In a day, I speak between two or four languages with travelers from all over the world. As you can imagine, it makes an exciting and colorful day.

Australians, Americans, Brazilians, Chines, French, German, Slovenian, Russians, you name it, regardless of the order and origin, you’ll find them here.

It’s a melting pot of people, culture, and life. Hvar offers plenty and it’s only up to you to choose what you are looking for.

Hvar agave plant
Full moon above the Franciscan monastery and a statue of a fisherman

Historical monuments are everywhere you go

Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, cathedrals, or churches. Ruins of Medieval fortified towns, pavements, museums, all speak of a long and diverse history on the Mediterranean. Greeks called Hvar Pharos and today, locals call it For. And it truly was a pharos (a lighthouse, on a small island near Alexandria) for all the sailors that sailed through the Adriatic sea.

(Uf!, my thoughts just flew off…What a wonderful coincidence that Hvar was called Pharos, just like one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.)

But let’s get back to Hvar. The Franciscan monastery was a dormitory to sailors that came to Hvar in the Middle Ages. In the same monastery, you’ll find the 17th century Last Supper by Palma Junior, confirming my words.

And above the town of Hvar stands a Fortress. Called Citedala, Fortica, or Spaniola, and it was built between 14th and 16th centuries. Fortified churches and monasteries all across the island: in Jelsa, Vrboska, or Starigrad. Private houses stand like relics of ancient times. Sometimes for rent, and sometimes proudly used by a fistful of fishermen and farm workers.

Pavements speak of countless wine barrels that were pushed through our streets. They speak of fishermen, sailors, families, and courage that survived centuries on their own.

Places to visit

Hvar port
Port of Hvar

Hvar town, Starigrad, remote villages in the interior of the island: such as Vrboska, Pitve, Vrisnik. Then local taverns, family farms or wineries, and so on.

Regardless is it a daily excursion to Hvar or a few days’ itineraries, whichever way you go, you won’t be disappointed.

Hvar town offers everything from nightlife to museums and historical sites. While the northern side of the island is more of a rural area. There you’ll discover family farms and wineries, as well as the cycling and hiking aspects of tourism.

Hvar should be your kick-off point and from there you can easily book your daily tours all around.

Things to do

Daily excursions to nearby islands: Paklinski islands, Vis, Biševo, Korčula, or Brač, are always fun and exciting. The turquoise color of the sea and Mediterranean cuisine will literally twist your mind.

Hiking excursions will let you dive into still undiscovered history and nature all around. The scents of vineyards, lavender filed, wild herbs all around will fill your lungs. And the path will unveil a remarkable history as you discover places from another time.

Outdoor scavenger treasure hunts will fill your day with excitement and thrill. It’s a step from everyday life into an adventure and imagination.

treasure hunt Hvar
Outdoor treasure hunt city tour “Tale of Hvar

All kinds of sports: from soccer to windsurfing. Diving, rock climbing, sailing, running, cycling, and the list just keeps ongoing. I’m personnaly into windsurfing. It’s just awesome.

Wine and winery tours. Ooooh, you beautiful drop of the sun! There are over sixty registered wine producers on the island, which makes a long and fulfilling itinerary in wine tasting. Austria-Hungarians understood the value of our land in the 19th century, that’s why it was encouraged to plant vineyards all across the island. Today we proudly produce authentic sorts of grapes: mali plavac and bogdanjuša.

Then dinning in old taverns, restaurants, hotels, on the beach, in a boat, in the sky, everywhere. Mediterranean cuisine is something to be rediscovered on a daily basis.

What after

Well, all over again.

If not, there are daily ferries that can take you to Dubrovnik or Split. And from there, you have a whole world on your palm.

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