The Truth About Hvar: What Makes It Special and Why It Is the Favourite Destination of Many Travellers

Hvar, also known as ‘the island of sunshine, beaches, wine and olive oil’, is by far the best known Croatian island. It welcomes many celebrities every year and has become increasingly popular among younger generations as a luxury and party destination.

Its global reputation dates back to 1997, when the Condé Nast Traveler magazine listed it among the ten most beautiful islands in the world. Its rich history, superb cuisine, diverse nightlife and breath-taking nature are the reasons why both global celebrities and those in search of unique holiday locations choose Hvar. Here the relaxed Mediterranean way of life can be felt in every detail. However, all of this is only a tiny bit of the island’s unique story. Continue reading to find out more about what it has to offer and what to include on your must-do list!

The island’s breath-taking beauty is the first thing you’ll notice when you set your foot on Hvar. You’ll simply know that you’re about to experience something special. Discover Hvar’s stunning nature, turquoise sea and beautiful beaches as well as its rich cultural heritage and culinary offer to learn why this island is the ultimate ‘bucket list’ destination. With excitement around every corner, set against relaxing lavender fields, vineyards, olive groves, and charming islets and beaches, you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime. The perfect climate is also one of its unique traits: more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year make it a year-round destination. You definitely won’t need an umbrella!

We know it can be difficult to choose from such a wide range of options, so here’s a piece of advice: don’t miss out on the Pakleni Islands. Book a sailing tour through the crystal clear waters and experience this wonder of the nature, favoured by many sailors. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, choose one of the secluded coves with sandy or pebble beaches and leave all your worries behind. And if you’re up for some fun and excitement, lose yourself to the enchanting rhythms of world famous DJs that Hvar gladly hosts. Should the thoughts about getting back to your everyday routine and leaving this chunk of paradise make you sad, don’t’ worry – this happens to all Hvar visitors.

So make the most of your stay to explore the island’s fascinating history and cultural heritage. Take a walk to Fortica, the 16th-century fortress in the town of Hvar. Not only will you get to take a perfect selfie with panoramic scenery behind you, but you’ll also learn more about the medieval amphora collection it houses. A walk to the fortress is worth every effort and will definitely do you good after a day-long lazing on the beach.

Petar Hektorović’s Tvrdalj (fortress) is another interesting site. This well-known Renaissance poet dedicated many years to bring his vision to life by erecting in Stari Grad a summer refuge with a fish pond and a dovecote, a place where humans, animals and plants lived in perfect harmony. The building bears more than twenty inscriptions in various languages; sort of a book carved in stone. No photograph can capture the vibe of this special place – experience it first-hand and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Take this opportunity to explore the picturesque streets of Stari Grad. They’ll take you to the tiny square of Škor, an oval-shaped public space surrounded by typical houses with stone staircases (‘skalinada’), where you’ll feel like a time traveller. Lingering over a long coffee, like locals do, is a great way to savour the ambience and simply enjoy the moment.

Don’t pretend you’re indifferent to the island’s culinary delights – they’ll win you over anyway! Locals know best, and most of them will advise you to try ‘gregada’. It is a traditional dish reflecting Hvar’s long history, since the legend has it that it was brought by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. At the time, poor people experimented with ingredients at hand and created dishes that would feed generations. Gregada is one such dish: you need fish, white wine, potatoes, onion, garlic, parsley and homemade olive oil. Its contemporary versions available at local restaurants also include fresh seashells, crabs and shrimps. Make sure to treat your palate to the dish that invokes flavours of ancient history, and complete it with a glass of white wine.

Hvar’s superb wines enjoy a global reputation. The long history of winemaking dates back to before the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, when its highly-praised wine was exported throughout the Mediterranean. So its title of the ‘wine island’ is a well-deserved one. Sun-kissed vineyards on steep slopes facing the sea produce grapes of a truly specific flavour. Visit one of the local wineries, stroll through a vineyard and pair a glass of wine with homemade cheese, prosciutto or salted sardines. Hvar is just the right place for wine lovers: each variety has its own story and winemakers will gladly share it with you. Be sure to try Plavac Mali, the most famous wine of the region. See for yourself if the local legend is true: on Hvar even the avid beer drinkers become wine lovers!

There are numerous attractions and leisure options on the island – for example, you can go cycling along pebble beaches and enjoy stunning vistas or take a kayak tour to the Pakleni Islands. Diving is another great option to explore hidden caves and enjoy the crystal clear sea rich with wildlife. Don’t forget to capture some of those memorable scenes, your Instagram will thank you!

Diverse nightlife is one of Hvar’s highlights, so make sure to get the best of it. Beach parties by the hotel pools last all day and are an ideal option if you like sipping cocktails with local ingredients, listening to good music and enjoying the true Mediterranean lifestyle.

So how does it all sound? Are you ready to visit and explore one of the most unique Mediterranean islands?

Already buying a ticket and booking accommodation?

Great, we can’t wait to see you on Hvar this summer!

Bloggers, journalists, tourist guides, artists, entertainers and all kinds of hospitality experts and enthusiasts have gathered under the ValamArtists handle to lovingly bring you the best out of the Croatian holiday experience. Enjoy the ride!
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