Friday, July 30, 2010

Hvar, Croatia

Hvar is the second largest Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea off of the Dalmatian coast. It’s been ranked as one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world. I totally agree. Hvar has become a hub for every globetrotter with a sailboat. The island is filled with palm trees, orange and lemon groves, olive plantations, vineyards, and fields of lavender, rosemary and sage. It’s Croatia’s sunniest island getting over 300 days of sunshine per year.

My flight from Prague was delayed and I just barely caught the last ferry of the night to Hvar with 5 minutes to spare. The ferry from Split to Stari Grad (47 Kuna = ~$9) took just under two hours and then it was a 20 minute bus ride to Hvar Town.

Hvar Town is a small medieval town on the southwest of the island. There is a citadel on a hill above town that was built in the 16th century. From the top of the citadel there is an awesome view of the city and the Pakleni Islands.

On the east side of the town’s main square is the Cathedral of St. Stephan. The cathedral and bell tower dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It was built on the site of a 6th century church.

The arsenal was built in the 13th century. On the first floor of the arsenal is a theater that was built in 1612. It is one of the oldest in Europe, as well as, the first municipal theater.

In the 15th century the Franciscan monastery was built as a retreat for sailors.

Hvar is known for its nightlife which tends to go well in to the next morning. But the beaches are the best! Directly opposite Hvar town is the Pakleni archipelago and a roundtrip water taxi is only 33 Kuna ($6) to Saint Jerolim Beach.

These wooded islands with rocky beaches and clear blue water are absolutely beautiful. The only drawback is the constant hum of the crickets. It sounded like those annoying vuvuzela horns that were so popular during the World Cup matches. But armed with a book and my iPod, I was able to block it out and just enjoy the sun and the water. Hvar has been very relaxing and a great way to start off my Croatian vacation. Now off to Split

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of it! Thanks for sharing what sounds like a fabulous place.