Hvar: The Sunny Croatian Island

Croatia has more than 1,000 islands scattered along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. One of the most fashionable destinations for tourists has to be the colourful island of Hvar which attracts a fair share of celebrities arriving on luxury yachts and boasts 2700 hours of sunshine a year. Hvar is one of the longest and largest Croatian island and is located in the Central Dalmatian archipelago off the coast of the Makarska Riviera. The easiest way to arrive is by catamaran or ferry from the city of Split on the mainland.

(St Stephen Cathedral. Photo credit : Tomeq183)

With its Venetian style streets and architecture, its rolling lavender fields, and it’s celebrity chic, Hvar is an attractive choice of holiday destinations. The 16th century  Venetian-era town of Hvar has a charming main square, Pjaca, which features St Stephen Cathedral with its beautiful bell tower and a selection of Venetian paintings and baroque altars.

In Hvar Town you’ll find a good selection of restaurants and cocktail bars. Try the fish dishes at the Macondo restaurant, set just off the main square, or enjoy an evening drink or two at the chic beach cocktail lounge, Carpe Diem. For lodgings check out Wimdu.com who offer a good selection of alternative private accommodation in the town center.

(View of the Pakleni islands from a luxurious apartment terrace)

After a morning coffee in the main square take a stroll along the palm-lined seafront promenade to do some celebrity-spotting. Then, just a 20 minute walk, or a short taxi ride away, climb up to the Hvar Fortress which promises spectacular views of the harbor and the neighboring Pakleni islands below. The fortress museum features a prominent collection of amphorae and other objects from ancient times and the Middle Ages.

Just to the south of the town you can also visit the Franciscan Monastery which was built in the 15th century as a retreat for sailors. It houses  a collection of paintings and other artifacts. The pretty cloister with its rounded arches dominates the walled complex.

If you prefer to leave the town and explore the rest of the island there are many places to go and some other quaint towns to visit. You can go to one of the lovely beaches such as Dubovica which can be reached by car from Hvar Town with a short hike down to the beach. Take a mountain bike trip across the lavender hillsides or go on a Kayaking tour out to the Pakleni Islands.

Panorama of Hvar town. Photo credit : Chensiyuan

However you plan to spend your time on Hvar, if you plan to stay for a couple of weeks or just quickly visit during an island-hopping adventure, you can be sure that the sun will be shining and the clear sea will be glistening in this wonderfully sunny paradise.

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