Places to visit in Hvar
• Hvar Town
Beside Dubrovnik, Hvar is the epicenter of the Dalmatian travel industry. Holidaymakers come to be around the yachts lined along the harbor and among the revelers forking out more than top dollars to party into the night. In high season this pretty petite Venetian capital of 3000 locals on the island’s south-west tip overflows with 30.000 visitors every day. They swarm the attractive waterfront and adjoining main square Pjaca doing coffee, the nearby market and the modest sights by morning, the beach by day and the bars by night. Sit on the stone wall of the haven and take in the view, the square beneath you is dominated by the Renaissance façade and bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Stephen. Then walk through the narrow streets of Groda to admire the little houses one a top of the other or along the promenade by the shore to Podstine. You can also go the other way, past the Franciscan monastery to Križna Luka and to the farthest bay of Hvar in Pokonji Dol. Whichever you choose, make your way back to the square, buy a newspaper and sit down with a cup of coffee.
Visit nearby: Brusje, Velo Grablje – Malo Grablje, Dubovica, Zaraće, Milna
• Stari Grad Town
When the agricultural plain around Stari Grad was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List the focus was thrown onto this hitherto sleepy but delightful town and surrounds. With its new status have come new walking and bike trails, and the likelihood of further investment in the infrastructure of a town which offers a complete contrast to its trendy neighbor. The heartbeat of the town was always on the south side of the cove, beneath Budinjac Hill, and it was only in the 20th century that has been extended to the north shore. It is ideal to enjoy morning and evening strolls through the town, walk to Tvrdalj and return through the gardens past via Srinjo to Škora the beautiful town square lined with harmonious old stone houses with summer concerts bringing a breath of jazz, classical piano, klapa singing or chamber music to the sombre buildings.
Visit nearby: Dol, Selca, Rudine
• Vrboska Town
Vrboska is also a delight with its tiny stone bridges, two marinas and just enough restaurants and bars to keep the yachties happy. There is a sense in these towns that except for a few mad weeks it is just you, the locals and ancient stone décor. This pretty small town is the most picturesque place not only on the island of Hvar but in all Dalmatia and it is no wonder why it is called as Little Venice. Along its waterfront and extending to the very end of the bay is a row of well-proportioned buildings belonged to Hvar’s past ship-owners and traders of the 16th century. Mediterranean folk architecture sits side by side with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque features. The furthest part of this stretch of the shoreline, known as Podva Vrboska is known for its islet in the middle of the bay on which a miniature park is built. The canal is fed by a stream which is plentiful in winter and with the facades of the old houses reflected in the water, the effect is extremely picturesque.
Visit nearby: Basina, Zečevo
• Jelsa Town
A burgeoning café and gallery vibe fits well with the low-key attitudes of this small charming town further east along the coast. It is a fine example of old neighborhoods where stone houses, ornate colonnaded balconies and winding pedestrian promenades, polished by centuries of travelers take top billing over discos and clubs. In Jelsa’s serpentine alleyways, fo instance, quality eateries have sprouted up. This typical small Dalmatian village has also some unique features beside its marina waterfront and square, such as Slatian Stream which flows along the western edge of the square and the vineyards which seem to be almost trying to enter the village. To the south is dominated by the highest peaks on the island, St. Nicholas and Hum.
Visit nearby: Vrbanj, Svirče, Vrisnik, Pitve, Zavala, Ivan Dolac
For a real insight into the complete history of this lavender-covered island head to the thin strip extending east for 60 km to the isolated but charming port of Sućuraj. There is not much to do in Sućuraj but it is perhaps the most old-fashioned place on the island, except in the tourist season, when the ferry dock is bustling with activity day and night. There are plenty of fish in Sućuraj waters and the fisherman often offer them for sale on the waterfront usually in the morning when they return with their catches. You can enjoy the company in one of the local bars or cafes, go for a walk or visit the Church of ST. George after whom the village is named. Since SUćuraj is located at the very tip of the island, it is surrounded by the sea on almost all sides and there are pleanty of places to bathe. Sućuraj has two olive oil refineries and a fish-salting plant and both products are delicious.
Visit nearby: Plame, Humac, Poljica, Zastražišće, Vela and Mala Stiniva, Pokrivenik, Gdinj