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An island off the coast of Croatia, Hvar is one of the global media’s favorite Croatian island. Unspoiled and affordable, this is a summertime wonderland for celebrities, yacht travelers, and families. Hvar town, the capital of the island is one of the best preserved historic towns of the Adriatic. Some of the few treats in this island are gently rolling hills, lush vineyards, gorgeous beaches, secluded coves, luscious restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
Landscape and climate
Hvar is 68 kilometers long and 10.5 kilometers wide, covering an area of 297 square kilometers, making this is 4th largest Adriatic island. The island is a typical Mediterranean vegetation, particularly the islet of Šćedro which is rich in various Mediterranean trees and plants. Hvar has 4 municipalities, namely the city of Hvar, Jelsa, Staru Grad and Sućuraj. The climate of Hvar is characterized by mild winters and warm summers.
Getting around Hvar
Buses meet the car ferries at Stari Grad and go to various destinations like Hvar town. Visitors can also rent a car to get to the other parts of the island, as well as a scooter or moped. The roads in the island can be windy and steep and has no guard rails, so extra care is needed. There is also a convenient water taxi or rent sailboat Croatia that takes passengers directly from Stari Grad harbor to the ferry.
Things to see and do
The Town Square in Hvar is one of the largest and most beautiful in Croatia. Measuring 4,500 square meters, the town was developed around this square. At the end is the Cathedral of St. Stephen, built during the 16th and 17th centuries. The cathedral was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Turks, but parts of the original cathedral can still be seen inside.
Hikes and walks are also very popular activities in Hvar. The Pakleni archipelago has secluded strands of white sand, pine groves and hiking trails. Come sundown, a stroll up the old lanes from the Town Square leads to a higher lane. This is the Španjola Fortress which gives a great view of Hvar town and the Pakleni Islands.
Visitors can also explore the Pakleni Islands on their own by getting sailboat charters from the harbor. The islands are very close and make for an exciting adventure, and the boat can be anchored anywhere around the islands. There are also frequent water taxis that go the islands every half hour or so.
Eat and drink
Quality seafood restaurants are becoming the rule in Hvar town, while traditional inns in the interior are great places to try grilled and baked meats. One particular specialty in Hvar is gregada, which fish stew cooked in white wine. It should be noted, though, that only a few restaurants serve it in single portions, so it should be ordered for two or more people to make it worthwhile.
As for wine, the best known local variety is the red Plavac mali, while the Bogdanjuša grape produces dry white. There really is no bad wine in Hvar. The house wines served by local restaurants are mostly from a nearby vineyard and are frequently very fine.