Things to see and do:
Hvar is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic. It extends out in an east-west direction and on its southern-south-western coast there are a number of small islets and islands. Along its northern side there are only two islands, Zečevo and Duga.
Amongst these islands, the most numerous are the Pakleni islands which are in the immediate vicinity of Hvar city. Due to its distinctive vegetation, these islands landscapes are protected.
The Pakleni islands (Fiery Islands) got their interesting name from a little known fact...tar and resin used for coating the bottoms of boats used to be cooked here.The western side of Hvar is the widest and mostly contains fields and small towns.
Hvar city bestows its beauty upon wide-eyed travellers with medieval fortresses Španjol (from 1551) and Napoleon (built by the French in 1810) and their hilltop fortressed walls, located high above, atop St Nicholas, offering a splendid view of below. The prison dungeon inside the Španjol Fortress is quite impressive and if you take a peek below, it's easy to imagine the sounds of the prison guards bringing food to the prisoners along the narrow dungeon walls, not to mention the despairing sounds of the the prisoners! Going around Hvar, you'll encounter historical charm with the Renaissance St Stephen's Cathedral (16-17th century) styled by local masters Karlić and Pomenić and the centre of the old part of town has a 15th century form. On the northern slope above the square are the partially preserved inner city walls of the noble Hvar palace. On the southern slope in the cemetery is the former Augustinian church of St Michael (Sv Mikule), dated from the early 15th century. On the eastern side of town, outside the city walls lies the 16th century Renaissance summer villa of Hanibal Lucić, a Croatian poet. On the corner between two bays is the Franciscan monastery with church of Our Lady of Mercy (1465-1471) which served as a sanctuary for sailors. Inside this church is a museum with a valuable art collection, the most precious work being the Last Supper. Under the main altar lies the grave of Hanibal Lucić. Hvar also has an armoury with the most monumental sculpture of civil architecture (1579-1611) atop an older one from 1331. Located under a huge vault stood a warehouse for the Hvar galley. On the floor above is the public theatre of Hvar from 1612, one of the oldest in Europe which was commissioned by the knight Pietro Semitecolo. The Benedictine monastery in Hvar is well known for it's craftsmanship of unique lace made from agave fibres.
Hvar is by far the sunniest island in the Adriatic and is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The scent within Hvar is difficult to miss with fields upon fields of lavender, heather and sage which offer a stunning visual and fragrant experience. The mountainous areas from Brusje to Hvar presents an exceptional view of the largest plantations of lavender on the island. A longer stay on Hvar will give you the opportunity for a thorough exploration.
Stari Grad (former Greek colony of Pharos) is positioned on a route which passes alongside the island and today's ferry port. The oldest town on the island and one of the oldest in Europe, it has been around since 384-385 B.C. Located here is also the summer villa of Petar Hektorović and the Early Christian church of St John (Sv.Ivan).
Jelsa is a town on the northern side of Hvar where the first hotel was built in 1911 bounded by the two highest points of the island; on the west St Nicholas and on the east, Hum. It came into existence around the chapel of St John of the Fields which was formed around a square and its current look harks back to between the 17th and 19th centuries. The churches of St Fabian and Sebastian are also in Jelsa. If you set out on a journey into the interior of the island not far from Jelsa, you'll come across the small villages of Pitve, Vrisnik and Svirće, which will bewitch you with their appearance and peacefulness.
Only 7km east of Jelsa, you'll find the abandoned village of Humac. The houses were built of polecat fur and stone and they're completely unique in their entirety of rural architecture. Below Humac is the Grapčeva cave, the most vital prehistoric findings from the Neolithic era, 5000-4000 B.C.
Close by Jelsa is Vrboska, which is hidden in the depth of the bay that contains a small islet in the centre. They call Vrboska ''Little Venice'' due to it's small bridges with which it is connected. There is also a Fishing Museum which is worth a look in as is the fort church of St Mary of Charity from the 16th century. This fort church was built in defence of the invading Turks of the time. Hidden inside the Baroque church of St Lawrence (Sv. Lovro) is a bona fide art treasure attributed to the Renaissance masters Tiziano Vescelius, Paolo Cagliari aka Veronese, Jacob de Ponte Bassano, Giuseppe Albardia,
Antonio Scuri, Tiziano Aspetti and the filigree artist Benvenuto Cellini. On the northern part of the island and near the city of Hvar is Lozna Beach, then Basina beach not far from Vrboska, and the beaches of Pokrivenik, Zaraća and Virak beside Gdinja. To head to the southern side of the island you must pass through a natural tunnel (hollowed out of the rock) beside a place called Pitve on the southern side up to Ivan Dolac. You’ll come across a gorgeous view of the islands Šćedro, Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula before exiting the tunnel. Until recently the tunnel functioned via a telephone at both ends. With a call you’d know if there was a car waiting to enter from the other end but now there is a traffic light in place. The locals dug out the tunnel so they could get from one side of the island to the other. When you pass the tunnel you’ll get to the southern side of the island which is beautiful and on which vineyards grow abundant with the ‘Plavac Mali’ (Small Blue) grape, located in Sveta Nedelja, Zavala. On this southern side of the island you can bathe on the Jagodna and Bojanić beaches which are situated between Sveta Nedelja and Ivan Dolac, so too are the Jedra, Srhov Dolac, Skozanje and Vela Lučica beaches. On island's eastern side lies the small port of Sućuraj which is also the starting point of the mainland ferry service (Sućuraj-Drvenik line).
Sućuraj was settled in the mid 15th century. The oldest and best preserved building there is the old Augustinian (and now Franciscan) monastery. Also partially preserved is the old Venetian fort from 1613. Nearby toward the south is the sandy Česminica beach and Bilina on the northern side.The island's mountains aren't very high, however, with their coastal slopes and marvellous sea views they are ideal for any hiker's aspirations. The possibility of sailing, mountain hiking, trekking are promising as too for diving.
Hvar and the island Vis are the hubs of winemaking in these areas, the history of which stretches back far into the past. Hvar possesses a number of local grape varieties ‘Bogdanuša’ and ‘Drenkuša’ which can not be found anywhere else. The southern side of the island is ideal for the cultivation of ‘Plavac Mali’ due to its sunny hillsides which give the wine its high quality. Renowned wine estates include Plenković, whose cellars provide the high quality wine ‘Zlatan Plavac’ (Grand Cru 2003), the Tomić wine estate where you can find Hektorović prošek (sherry) (Plavac Mali Barrique 2003), the Duboković estate (Medvid 2003), the Carić estate (Plavac Ploški Barrique 2005), the Plančić, Vujnović and P.Z Svirče estates.
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