Discovering Hvar Island, Croatia
Where to travel next? You want somewhere accessible where you feel safe? Somewhere affordable where you are able to experience a genuine traditional holiday that isn’t over touristy and not on everyone’s agenda! That place is the beautiful Island of Hvar; welcoming holiday makers for decades when it was part of the then Yugoslavia. Although the island’s main town has become a very popular place to be seen, the rest of the island has changed little over the years. It is a cliché, but you really will feel as if you’ve landed in paradise.
The capital of the island, Hvar Town is a picturesque fortress town; a traffic-free gem sitting in a bay with a large piazza dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It can get busy in the height of summer with day trippers pouring in, so visit in low season for that special experience without the crowds. The rich and famous have been visiting for many years and Prince Harry even made an appearance. It has a glamourous air about it, not least due to the many yachts moored in its harbour. Monument upon monument greets you around every corner and you will even find Europe’s oldest public theatre here!
The Island’s Resorts
A main road slices through Hvar Island bringing you to Milna, Starigrad and on to Vrboska, Jelsa and Zavala. There are small resorts dotted all around this island, many being an oasis of calm wrapped around stunning bays and harbours. Life is laid back and there are no signs of large developments here, just you and the locals living side by side. Starigrad is situated in a deep inlet, with cobbled streets, historic sites and fabulous local restaurants. This gem of a place has a far more sedate feel than neighbouring Hvar Town. You will come across many small bays around the island which you can approach by car, bicycle or on foot, taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic, if you’re lucky without company!
With more than 2,700 hours of sunshine each year, this small Adriatic island is said to produce some of the best red wine in Europe. With vineyards and olive trees adorning the landscape this area has been agricultural land for over 2,400 years and has the protection of UNESCO as a world heritage site due to its archaeological importance.
Where to Stay on Hvar Island
You will find an array of hotels available both in Hvar Town and around the island. A good 4* hotel could cost around £200 per night in June, but there are many much cheaper options and it will depend on the time of year. In the beautiful resorts of Jelsa or Starigrad you can get a highly rated room for around £30 a night.
From the UK there are numerous flights each day to Split on the mainland. A 40-minute bus/taxi ride will see you arrive at the port of Split where you can transfer over to the island on a ferry to Starigrad, taking around 2 hours. If this option is not for you and you want to splash the cash, arriving on the Island within an hour, you can take the airport speedboat direct to Hvar Town.
Finally, if you decide to visit this beautiful island for your next trip, book your airport parking as soon as possible to get the best deals.