Wine and dine off the tourist track, enjoy the culture and gastronomy
Contrary to the popular belief, Hvar is not just a party island. It may be the best party island in Croatia, but it still has many, many other things to offer. One can spend days here, just exploring local cuisine through the eyes of the local chefs. You can discover new beaches every day and learn about Hvar’s history by visiting fortresses and monasteries. It is an island of culture as well as fun. Who says that two can’t go together? Whether you want to spend your time lounging on the beach or renting a scooter for the adventure across the island, then Hvar has you covered.
The cultural heritage of the town of Hvar
If you like to visit old places that can make you feel like you went back in time, then head to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a renaissance structure then you can enter and see paintings from the same period. If you love sunsets (even though the best ones are seen from the beachfront of Hotel Podstine) you can come to the Cathedral in the evening so the light shines beautifully through the stone arches. When you step outside you can enjoy the town’s main square. This is where you are most likely to indulge in one of the favorite things to do for the locals – people watching while slowly sipping coffee. Next, head up to the fortress, built by the Venetians in the 16th century and then rebuilt in 1557. The best part is the view from the top as well as the exhibits inside it. The next place you have to visit on your cultural tour is the Franciscan Monastery, whose tower you can see from everywhere in Hvar. It is notable because of its renaissance architecture and paintings from the same period inside. You also must visit its beautiful garden and see its most famous artwork – the Last Supper. If you wish to see how locals lived here back in the day, before tourism took over, you can head to Malo Grablje. It is a beautiful abandoned village, not far outside the town of Hvar. What used to be a place full of people, is now just a memory of what villages here used to be, before people left in the 1950s in search of a better life.
Gastronomy – all about wine and fish
If you are a gastronomy aficionado, you will like Hvar, the island of wine. Here, winemaking is more than 2400 years old. There is also the oldest surviving Plavac Mali vineyard (a red sort related to Zinfandel) in the world! If you like wine, you should take one of the organized tours, which give you the chance to sample local produce. Leaving the island without trying a dish called “gregada” would also be a major faux pas. This modest fish stew is thought to be the oldest way of preparing fish in Dalmatia. Numerous restaurants and taverns of Hvar are offering a wide range of specialties, like octopus baked under a baking lid, black risotto (made with cuttlefish), or lobster with capers and olives. To round your perfect meal, visit one of Hvar’s patisseries and enjoy some of the traditional pastries. The traditional Paprenjak contains a unique mix of honey and black pepper and also has sugar syrup or honey, butter or fat, eggs, nuts, pepper, and various spices such as clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg in it.
Hvar for adventure seekers
Cycling, kayaking, and scuba diving are among the favorite for adventure lovers. A really popular cycle route in Hvar is a 20km ride from Hvar town to Stari Grad. Bike paths are designed for recreation and those who seek a real challenge. Cycling through Stari Grad Plain enlisted on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list, or to the top of St. Nicholas, the highest peak on the island is a real pleasure. If you like kayaking, one option is to take a sea kayak tour from Hvar Town to the Pakleni Islands. This group of 14 islets and rocks dispersed in front of the town of Hvar got their name by the tar used to preserve wooden boats. The dispersion of these islands and their beauty provide excellent possibilities for paddling in sea kayaks as well as for swimming and snorkeling. With countless hidden coves and crystal clear waters, Hvar Island is a scuba diver’s paradise.
Whatever you choose to do during your holiday in Hvar, you can always count on Hotel Podstine to welcome you back for a good night’s sleep and a day of much-needed relaxation Happy exploring!