Hvar island was voted by Conde Nast Traveler readers (2009) as one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. It is famous for its extraordinary natural beauty as well as for its cultural and historic heritage.
Hvar island has a mild and pleasant climate and boasts as being one of the sunniest places in Southern Europe, with more sunny days than Nice or Dubrovnik. It has a large fertile plane in the northwest, freshwater springs, hillsides covered with pine forests, vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards and lavender and rosemary fields. The island of Hvar became known as a health resort due to its curative properties (especially for respiratory problems and allergies) when the first tourists visited the island in 1868. Hvar Island was a major trade center and naval base during the times of the Venetian Republic, when it had its own fleet of merchant sail boats. That was a time of great prosperity and glory when many still existent palaces, fortifications, and communal buildings were built (one of the first public theatres in Europe was built in Hvar town in 1612).
Situated on the island of Hvar, is Stari Grad, the oldest town on the Croatian Adriatic coast. It was founded by Greek colonists from the Aegean island of Paros 385 BC and named Pharos. Later Romans who took over those territories called it Pharia and Croats who came after them – Hvar. It has been known as Stari Grad since the 14th century, which means the “Old Town” in Croatian. In renaissance times it was known for its fleet of sailing ships, merchants, noblemen, masons and writers (Petar Hektorovic being the most famous of them).
The testimony of those ancient times is found by the archeologists, who have been busy discovering ancient buildings, walls, inscriptions and mosaics all over this area. The town is adjacent to the fertile fields of vineyards, olive trees and lavender to the East. The division of land parcels dates back to the antique times and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
HOW TO GET HERE
Please refer to a specific web site for each transportation mode, as the annual schedule of flight, train, ferry and boat connections vary.
TRAIN – service to Split from several cities and neighboring countries.
CAR and BUS – highway A1 from Zagreb and Rijeka in the north, or from Dubrovnik in the south all the way to Split or Drvenik (ports of call for the island).
BOAT – there are ports in Stari Grad (the main one), Hvar, Jelsa and Sucuraj;
There are a ferry boats from Split to Starigrad 5-7 times daily (www.jadrolinija.hr) during the season. The crossing takes approximately 105 minutes.
Ancona, Pescara and Bari (SNAV, Blueline and Jadrolinija)
AIR – direct and stopover flights from various cities in Europe and Croatia to Split airport (28 km west of Split, close to Trogir);
Many official and low budget airlines fly to Split, such as: Croatian Airways (from Zagreb and various Croatian and European destinations), Austrian, Alitalia, Malev, Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Blue 1, Wizzair, Easy Jet, German Wings, and many others.