Island Hvar attractions are not popular only because of its natural beauties, crystal blue sea, pebble or rocky beaches, hidden bays and coves or scented lavender fields, but much more.
Tourist attractions on Hvar island are also numerous cultural and historical monuments, churches, town squares, local parks, caves, fortresses as a testimony of its glorious past.
With its cultural and historical heritage, Hvar island is one of the oldest and the richest regions of the entire Adriatic coast and Croatia.
Just to remind you that Stari Grad on Hvar island, was founded in 385 BC as a Greek colony, known as Pharos.
From classic must-see island attractions, there are countless things to do and see on Hvar. Start with my travel guide and get all favorite Hvar attractions from Hvar town, Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska.
Town Hvar Attractions
Hvar Croatia is the biggest town on the island Hvar, called the “Croatian Madeira”. Hvar receives more than 2724 hours of sunshine each year, more than anywhere else in the country.
Medieval Hvar is a small town that lies between protective pine-covered slopes and the azure Adriatic Sea. The main street is the wide promenade that runs along the harbor, where you will find the most important sights.
The most important monuments to see:
- Hvar’s cathedral, with Bishop’s palace, on the biggest square in Dalmatia – Hvar’s Piazza.
- Hvar Fortress (called Spanjola – Spanish), built above old city in the mid 16th century will thrilling view of the city of Hvar and surrounding Pakleni islands.
- Hvar’s theater (and Arsenal) is one of the first and the oldest theaters in Europe. It was founded in 1612. Erected on the ancient Arsenal (a space used for repairing of galleons)
- The Franciscan monastery was founded in 1461 with exceptional old masters collections.
- Dominican monastery from the 15th century on nearby island of Scedro. During the tourist season a boat travels daily from Zavala to Scedro but it’s possible to rent a boat from Hvar port. Once a year, on the first Wednesday in July, the Holy mass is held in honor of Gospa od milosrđa (Our Lady of Mercy), followed with ‘Fiesta on Scedro’ with Dalmatian food, top quality wine and ‘clapa’ (a gang) singing that lasts deep into the night.
For more info visit Tourist board of City of Hvar (information office), Trg sv. Stjepana 42, tel/fax: + 385 (021) 741 059, (021) 742 977, or visit their website.
Tourist attractions on Hvar gallery:
Stari Grad Hvar Attractions
Stari Grad (Old Town), on the island Hvar is older than Hvar town and one of the oldest in Croatia. This old town known as Pharos, was founded in 385 BC by Greek colony.
The Romans forced out the Greeks in 219 BC. Later, Slavs settled the town and it became the capital of the island until 1278.
Due to its special position, it is enclosed on the one side with the land and the fields of lavender and vineyards, and on the other side it is protected by the sea. It’s situated at the end of the 5 miles long bay.
Stari Grad Hvar must see attractions:
- Stari Grad highlight is Tvrdalj, the poet Petar Hektorovic’s 16th century fortified castle with fish pond and beautiful garden that reflects the poet’s love for fish and fishermen life. His poem “Fishing and Fisherman’s Complaints (1555) is one of the most important literary texts in the Croatian language of the 16th century.
- The Stari Grad Plain on the island of Hvar is an agricultural landscape that was set up by the ancient Greek colonists in the 4th century BC, and remains in use. The plain is generally still in its original form. This plain is Croatia’s 7th location protected by UNESCO. Find more on Wikipedia website!
- Another highlight is the old Dominican monastery, founded in 1482, damaged by the Turks and later fortified with a tower. Don’t miss a treasure of the Monastery: the “Mourning of the Christ” by J. Tintoretto (1512. – 1594.) as well as old manuscripts. Who is Tintoretto?
- If you like hiking, take a walk to Stari Grad plain. Stari Grad Plain is a cultural landscape that has remained practically intact since it was first colonized by Ionian Greeks from Paros in the 4th century BC. This plain has become also UNESCO heritage. While hiking you will inevitably notice numerous ancient stone walls and trims. Trims (small stone shelters) with stone walls are testimony to the ancient geometrical system of land division used by the ancient Greeks. You will see both examples watching the above slides.
For more info, call Tourist Board of Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 1, Phone: +385 (0)21 765 763, or visit the official website.
Jelsa Hvar Attractions
Jelsa town is a small picturesque settlement situated in a bay on the north side of the island of Hvar.
After Hvar town, Jelsa is a second settlement on the island of Hvar in terms of population, with about 3500 residents. It’s only 30 km from Hvar town, 10 km from Stari Grad and 30 km from Sucuraj the easternmost settlement.
Jelsa Hvar must see attractions:
- Baroque church of St John in the 15th century. This church is placed at the picturesque town square, and surrounded by the Renaissance and the Baroque houses. See this church on the slide above!
- In the 70-ies of the 19th century the public Garden of Jelsa was completed and within it we can find the statue of the captain Niko Dubokovic. This Park is one of the biggest and prettiest in Dalmatia. Watch the slide! Find out all about Niko Dubokovic!
- Not far from Jelsa, just between Stari Grad plain and Jelsa, two archeological sites are worth visiting. One is a tower at Tor, only 210 meters above sea level, looking straight down to the Jelsa harbor. The other one is Galesnik. a ruined medieval hilltop settlement. It’s not so easy to find both places, but if you are hiking lover, you will see these signs, indicating you are on the right direction.
You can get more info at Tourist Board of Jelsa, Riva bb 21465 Jelsa, phone: 021 761 017, or see their website.
Vrboska Hvar Attractions
Vrboska Hvar island is one of the most picturesque villages on the island. This tiny city on the north coast of Hvar island, lies at the bottom of narrow curving fiord with several bridges, sometimes called ‘a little Venice’.
Vrboska Hvar tourist attractions:
- St.Mary church – In the middle of the village stands out a fortified church St.Mary built in 1580 to protect the village from Turkish attacks. From the church roof you can a beautiful view of the countryside and the sea. Opening hours: Mon-sat 10:00-12:00
- Fisherman’s museum. In order to preserve the fishing tradition in 1972 was open this museum that holds an interesting collection of traditional fishing nets, tools and equipment. To demonstrate the difficulty of fisherman life, museum shows also a reconstruction of fisherman’s house. Opening hours: Mon-sun 10:30-12:30 – 18:30-21:00. You can see both attractions on my image slide!
If you need more info about Vrboska you can always call Vrboska Tourist Board, Vrboska bb, 21 463 Vrboska, tel: + 385 (0)21 774 137, fax: +385 (0)21 717 255, contact them through their email [email protected], or visit their website.