Tourist Info Hvar and Attractions on the island of Hvar
Hvar, the island in Adriatic Sea, is the longest and the sunniest Croatian island. It is a part of the central Dalmatian archipelago with the area of 299.6 sq km (length 68.2 km, width up to 10.5 km) and population of 11,459 inhabitants. Hvar Island is administratively part of the Split-Dalmatia county in Dalmatia, Croatia.
The major places (all on the coast of the island) are: the town of Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Sucuraj and Vrboska. Other places on the coast are: Milna, Sveta Nedilja, Ivan Dolac and Zavala. Places which aren’t on the coast are: Brusje, Grablje, Selca kod Starog Grada, Dol, Rudina, Vrbanj, Svirce, Vrisnik, Pitve, Humac, Poljica, Zastrazisce, Gdinj, Bogomolje and Selca kod Bogomolja.
Island Hvar is separated from the island of Brac (by the Hvar Channel), from the island of Vis (by the Vis Channel), from the island of Korcula (by the Korcula Channel) and from peninsula Peljesac (by the Neretva Channel), while the east cape of the island (Sucuraj) is located just three nautical miles away from the mainland (Drvenik on Makarska Riviera). In front of the western part of the southern coast of Hvar are Pakleni Islands (Pakleni Otoci), and in front of the middle part the island of Scedro. A crest stretches across the middle part of the island, with the highest peak Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas) (628 m); north of it is the fertile Big Field (Velo Polje). The northern coast of the island, with the spacious Stari Grad Bay and a number of coves, is much more indented than the southern.
The island Hvar is famous for its pleasant Mediterranean climate. The island is characterized by gentle winters, warm summers and many hours of sunshine (2,718 hours a year). Maximum temperatures are never too high to render agriculture impossible (the highest recorded temperature of 37°C was reached in 1935). An average air temperature in the winter months is 9.1°C (in January 8.4°C, in July 24.8°C). Snow occurs very rarely; in January there are three snowy days in ten years and in February only one.
The island of Hvar was populated already in the prehistoric times and later inhabited by the Illyrians, who came into conflict with the Greek colonizers in the 4th century BC. In Oglavak and Koscak (near Sucuraj on the east cape of island) was the position of the Illyrian queen Teuta place. Numerous tumuli on the island are of Illyrian origin. Hvar accepted the Greek settlers but was the only one that had an Ionic settlement (Pharos, today Stari Grad). Hvar played an important role in the Roman-Illyrian conflicts, when its rulers (Demetrije Hvaranin) tried to preserve its independence. In Roman times Hvar lost its earlier importance.
In the 7th century island Hvar came under the Principality of Croatia (Kingdom of Croatia since 925 till 1102). In the following centuries Hvar recognized the sovereignty of the Croatian-Hungarian ruler, the Bosnian King Tvrtko, the Split Duke Hrvoje, the Dubrovnik Republic, Venice, France, Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia and, finally, Republic of Croatia (since 1991).
In the 16th and the 17th centuries Hvar was a prominent centre of the Croatian literature (Petar Hektorovic, Hanibal Lucic). The town of Hvar and other towns and villages on the island have numerous architectural and cultural monuments, which bear witness to outstanding artistic traditions of the island, the economic prosperity of its population and the relations Hvar used to maintain with cultural centres of the past centuries.
Friendly people, well-indented coast, numerous picturesque and intact beaches and bays, virgin nature, very rich historical and cultural inheritance, the scents of lavender, olive trees and wine are the reasons that island Hvar welcomes more and more tourists each year.
The fortress (or a citadel) in Hvar town, perched on a hill above the old town was built at the beginning of the 16th century (in the time of Venice). In 1579 it was restored after explosion of powder-chamber. Its final appearance came after many reconstructions. During French rule some additional reinforcement building was done. The barracks and observation post were built during Austrian rule. It hosts a prominent collection of amphorae and other objects from the ancient times and the Middle Ages. From the fortress toward the town square lead the city walls, built in the Middle Ages. This fortress dominates over the city. There is a beautiful panorama view of the town of Hvar and Pakleni Islands from the fortress.
The Cathedral of St. Stephan in Hvar town stands on the eastern side of the main square. It was built on the site of an early 6th century church. Present appearance the Cathedral received in the 16th and 17th century.
Hvar town loggia and a clock tower from the 15th century together are the only remains of the former Governor’s Palace.
The night life in Hvar is what attracts the numerous young people from around world. A typical party day in Hvar involves getting up near noon, having a fresh fish with domestic vegetables and virgin olive oil, then taking a place in excursion boat to one of the Pakleni Island bays, enjoy perfect sea and beautiful people around.