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Wundervoller Blick in den Hafen von Hvar, Bild: Dreamer4787 / shutterstock

Hvar – The longest island in Croatia

With an extension of 67.5 kilometers, Hvar is the longest island in Croatia. It is located just off the Dalmatian coast and is one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world for many travel experts. One reason is the long coastline, where one picturesque seaside resort follows the next. Inland, a true natural jewel awaits guests: vast lavender fields alternate with olive tree plantations and vineyards.

The journey is by plane via Split Airport. From here, ferries depart to Stari Grad, Hvar town or Jelsa. By car, you can take the Adriatic road or the A1 motorway to Split and take the car ferry to Stari Grad several times a day. The crossing is also possible from the Drvenik south of the town of Makarska.

On a beach holiday in Hvar

Pjaca Square, Hvar
The central Pjaca Square, Image: DaLiu / shutterstock

With an average of 2,726 hours of sunshine per year, Hvar is one of the friendliest holiday destinations in Croatia. The rugged mountains of the neighboring island of Brac keep out rain clouds and cold winds. Therefore, the bathing season begins as early as May and lasts until October. In the months of July and August, you can swim in water with temperatures of up to 25 degrees, and the sea on the coast is also good for refreshment in autumn with temperatures of around 20 degrees. In the immediate vicinity of the capital Hvar there are many smaller bays: On the western outskirts of the city is the beach Majerovice, which is ideal for cooling off after a sightseeing tour.

After a walk or a short drive to the west, Pokonji Bay can be reached. On the longest pebble beach on the island, a boat rental service provides variety during a relaxing day at the beach. Water rats like to use the bathing taxis to cross from Hvar to the beaches of the Paklinski Otoci archipelago. Particularly popular with families is the bay of Palmizana, where there is a long sandy beach. Since the water on the shore only gets deeper slowly, even the little ones can swim carefree. There are also numerous bays in the north of Hvar for a carefree day by the sea. About 10 to 15 minutes walk from the small town of Vrboska, Soline beach stretches over a wide coastal strip. Since there is an aqua park here, it is an attraction for many families.

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Holiday paradise for active people

Hvar, Dalmatia
Image: xbrchx / shutterstock

The island of Hvar is not only ideal for a relaxing holiday on the beach, but also for active people. The island is known for its extraordinary diving spots, among other things. Particularly popular are the amphorae on the Nordklüse, which a Greek merchant ship once lost when leaving the harbour. Today, colorful fish cavort on the relics from the past. Reef divers will find a true paradise in Selce: At up to 35 meters below the water surface, there is a clear view of eels, scorpionfish and marble rays. The beach of Vrborska has established itself as a popular meeting place for surfers. There are excellent wind conditions here, and there is also a water sports school with a wide range of courses. Adventurous people take the opportunity to let off steam with jet or water skiing on many beaches. The trend sport of standup paddling also provides variety.

The ideal travel time to combine a beach holiday with a hiking holiday are May and June as well as September and October. The highest mountain on the island of Sveti Nicola at 628 metres attracts ambitious visitors. Many hikers choose Sveta Nedgela as their starting point. From the start at the church, you first pass a mystical grotto to the abandoned monastery of Sveta Nedjelka. From here, serpentines lead over a steady ascent to the summit. In between, it is worth taking a break to enjoy the magnificent view of the interior and the sea.

Hvar enchants with unique relics from the past

Due to its excellent location, Hvar was a strategically important island thousands of years ago. This is also reflected in the name of the popular travel destination: it goes back to the ancient Greek word Pharos, which means lighthouse. The ancient Romans renamed the island Pharia, which became Fara and finally Hvar. Culture fans discover a particularly large number of relics from the past in the island’s capital. The mighty Fortica fortress has been enthroned on a hill 90 meters above sea level since 1282. A footpath leads from the centre to the complex, which today houses a museum with ancient amphorae and other artistic exhibits.

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The view of the sea and the other sights of Hvar is also unique: many of them are located around St. Peter’s Square. Stephan. Here, the cathedral’s bell tower rises into the air. A look into the sacred building is worthwhile because of the Baroque altars, which adorn works of art by renowned Venetian masters. There is also a church with the same name in Stari Grad. The predecessor of the basilica dates back to the 10th century. Inside, visitors can admire, among other things, a work by Francesco di Gerolamo de Santcroce, which shows, among other things, John the Baptist and the mother of Jesus. It is also worth visiting Tvrdalj Castle, which served as the summer residence of the popular Croatian poet Petar Hektorović.