Sveta Nedjelja

09 Jun 2024
Sveta Nedjelja (also spelt Sveta Nedilja) is in many ways the opposite of Hvar Town, a village-sized community with no big hotels, loads of intimate family accommodation, minimal nighttime noise and bags of beach-side potential. Helping to retain its semi-discovered status is its relative geographic isolation. Although located only 12km east of Hvar Town as the crow flies, there is no direct route: only a gravel road that runs above coastal cliffs and has no crash barriers on the sea-facing side. (Suitable for exhilarating mountain-bike rides, perhaps, but not for holidaying drivers.) Getting to Sveta Nedjelja afely involves a roundabout route: you have to drive to Jelsa, turn inland to the village of Pitve, and then go through a rough-hewn road tunnel drilled decades ago by the Yugoslav army. A single-lane tunnel controlled by traffic lights, it's a startling experience in its own right.
Once you get there, Sveta Nedjelja is spread across a steep hillside more or less directly beneath the island's highest point, the 626-metre-high Sveti Nikola. The upper part of the village is the oldest part, with a huddle of stone houses swathed by vineyards. The lower, shoreline part mostly comprises modern houses built over the last few decades.
Located beneath the vineyards that produce some of the island's best Plavac mali grapes, Sveta Nedjelja is home to the Zlatan otok winery, and many local families make their own. With only two café-restaurants in the village, one of which sits beside a small yachting marina, Sveta Nedjelja provides just the right level of comfort but without the hubbub.
Sveta Nedjelja's beaches are nothing if not varied: there's a sequence of rocky sunbathing slabs along the coastal path; to the west, a small bridge to the former steamship dock at Veli Kamik is a popular place for jumping an diving; to the east, a path descends to the cute shingle beach of Zagon, whose shallow waters are popular with families. Non-beach activities include climbing the paths that lead up the hillside above the old village, passing a cave once inhabited by monks and still home to a tiny chapel used occasionally for services. Trails continue up onto the mountain ridge above, which offers fantastic views of the coast, with the islands of Šćedro and Korčula spread out beyond.


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