Charming stone architecture of Dalmatian houses makes Hvar a place from the past which enchants every visitor. You find many stone villages (mostly nestled on the hills) which managed to preserve their centuries old rural type of architecture: small village squares, narrow streets and households that consisted of a house with a courtyard, a well and a small shed for cattle. It is well worth taking the extra trip to these villages. They offer an original and unforgettable experience. I fell in love with Pitve with its well preserved traditional stone houses and truly stunning views. Zaraće, Dubovica, Vrisnik and the abundant village of Malo Grablje were all very interesting as well. Loved the little details on the façades, stone stairs and balconies, wooden doors and shutters.
Also a stroll through the picturesque streets of Stari Grad and the old part of Hvar town reveals centuries old architecture. They are adorned with white stone houses and have an atmosphere so special that throughout the years many of visitors have become their permanent residents. I wouldn't mind that either. Well, perhaps some day :)
The island of Hvar is known for its numerous bays. If you imagine yourself on a holiday far away from the noise, traffic and stress of everyday life, this is what you are looking for. We mostly explored the southern side of the island where are stretching numerous bays with beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches, such as Dubovica, Zaraće, Milna, Jagodna, Bojanić Bad and Zavala. There are many more but we had no time to explore them all.
Houses in bays were built by local inhabitants as fisherman weekend houses and were later redecorated for tourism and renting. Some of the bays are so secluded that there is no electricity. Houses have solar panels and large pools for water. It's ideal for Robinsone tourism, without a car and tourist crowds, alone with the colours and sounds of nature. Some of the bays are completely uninhabited and others reachable only by the sea.
Lying on the pebble beach or in the shade of a pine tree, warm and crystal clear sea, the noise of crickets and waves... make you wish you never leave :)
Instead of staying in one place, it's worth it to go on an excursion. The island has so much more to offer than the tourist-packed towns on the coast! A good way of doing this is to rent a scooter for 250 kn per day (2007).
Assuming that you start from Hvar town, a good one-two day trip (less than 100 km) could be Hvar - Milna (small village on the coast) - Stari Grad (oldest town on the island) - Vrboska (beautiful village on a bay) - Jelsa (second largest town on the island) - Dol (a village inland) - Brusje (a nice view on the islands of Brac and Vis, perfect for sunset) - Hvar.
Fondest memory: Hvar has excellent restaurants. See my tips.
The Arsenal building used to be a storage of ammunition and crops since 14th century. In the early 17th century, local authorities decided to open a theater on the upper level of the building, mainly because Venice had shifted it's mail military base to Kotor.
After The Golden Age of Hvar's community in 15th and 16th century, marked both by lyrical and social turmoil, wise Venetian Petar Semitecolo, the governor of Hvar at the time, decided in 1611 to refurbish that space into theater.
The theater was completed in
ANNO SEVNDO PACIS MDCXII
It was the first public theater in Europe - open to general public, all citizens of Hvar.
Favorite thing: If you want to see the other face of Hvar, which is a little less popular than the sea, swimming and sunbathing, you have to forget about cars, boats, engines and gasoline, and join the pedestrians of Hvar. Walking in the fresh and bracing air is the most pleasant form of physical and spiritual recreation. A stroll in the outskirts of Hvar is a great opportunity to discover the Mediterranean nature of Hvar, the sweet-smelling botanical garden, the variety of the flora and fauna, Hvar's vineyards, olive groves and its diligent farmers.
Our car ferry's destination on Hvar was Sucuraj, a sleepy little village on the east side of the island. From there, we drove the length of the island to the town of Hvar, located on the other side.
After having done this, I strongly recommend taking the Split-Hvar ferry, which does not require you to drive through the island. The road going from Sucuraj to Hvar is extremely narrow, has many hairpin turns, is on high cliffs in some places, and has no shoulder or guard rails. There is just barely enough room for two cars going in opposite directions. I was a nervous wreck by the time we got to Hvar. Of course, all that was fixed with a serving of Gregada (local Hvar dish) and a fine bottle of Hvar wine in an outdoor cafe right on the Adriatic.
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