Area: 300 km² - Width: 105 km - Climate: mild Mediterranean
See & Air: impeccably clean, with no industry around 3000 hours of sunshine annually - sunniest Adriatic island
The island of Hvar is the queen of the Croatian Dalmatian islands. It has been famous since the antique because of its important strategic and nautical position, the rich of the various historical periods, the culture and natural monuments and the literature.
Thanks to the mild climate, the warm winters and pleasant summers Hvar receives many guests, scientists and travellers, who are attracted by the dense mediterranean nature, rich tradition and arhitecture, and nightlife.
Lately, the worldvide celebrities are coming here to see what is it about. And what is Hvar really about?
While separation from the mainland can sometimes be a handicap, it also provides some protection from the factory chimneys and other misfortunes which come with civilisation. Instead, there are vast fields of lavender, ancient olive trees and vineyards, in immaculate harmony between man and nature.
There are wine and olives, so a guest wishing to get closer to nature will stop at a small inn (Hvar "konoba") rather than a top quality restaurant. He will taste real home-made wine instead of some famous sparkling wine, he will sing the old island songs and forget the monotony of the everyday routine. Every guest is really a Guest here.
The Dalmatian and Hvar cuisine follows a trend of modern nutritional standards. A light cooking of foods (usually in water and on grill) and a lot of fish, olive oil, vegetables and self grown grasses, which can be found down the sea shore, is the reason why this cuisine is considered very healthy. Dalmatian wines as well as the olive oil and salty olives have been respected since ancient times and the sort names reveal that (Grk: from the island Korcula; Prc: from the island of Hvar). Well known wines include Posip and Dingac from the Peljesac peninsula; Babic from Primosten; Vugava and Plancic from the island of Hvarand Posip and Grks from Korcula; Marastina from Lastovo; Malvazija from Dubrovnik, etc. and also Prosecco (a sweet desert wine), a very strong origin and fruit brandy and liqueurs.
Fresh sea fish (dentex, sea bass, gilthead, stone bass, mackerel, and sardine) on grill, broiled or marinated; then there are the mollusk (squid, cuttlefish, octopus), crab (scampi, lobster) and seashells (mussel, oyster, Noahs arks) cooked in a fish soup or prepared in a risotto.
From meat specialties, prosciutto is certainly without a rival, smoked ham and dried out on wind, served generally with goat cheese and with dry and salty green and black olives, capers and creeks.
Lamb is also much respected, especially cooked or baked on an open fire, Dalmatian beef stew (paticada) with gnocchi, which is served in many restaurants. Cooked vegetables is also a favorite meal (chard with potatoes, tomato sauce), it is very often a mixture of breed and self grown vegetables, seasoned with olive oil and wine vinegar or served with meat (manistra-pasta with minced meat, arambasici-filled wine leaves).
Pension Matijević can make your vacation very interesting and attractiv.
● table tenis
● rent a bicikle
● rent a boat
● children playground
With a little good will and desire for a different vacation, you can choose from the following offers and surrender yourself to enjoyment on one of the prettiest islands in the world.
● Hiking-by foot and through hiking paths
● Panorama flights
The trip to the vineyard and the grape harvest
In the 4th century b.c. the Greek have gave us the wine in the Starigrad area and enviously organized the production of wine. The Roman people cultivated it and since then the wine has been preserved on all productive areas of the island, and winegrowing has stayed the basis of life for centuries on the island.
At the end of the past century Hvar counted 5750 vineyards, which represents more than 19% of its total area. That was the time of the vineyard-wine bloom of the island, because during that time the European vineyard owners were hit with diseases (vine pest and oidium), and the demand for the Hvar wines grew.
Many island ports have been built during that time. All the floods and tides were stopped and the population of the island grew 30%.
On the southern hillsides of the island rectangular terraces can be found, laid out in a slope so they are maximally exposed to the sun. These hoarse positions called the car beaches enrich the colorful small towns Zavala, Ivan Dolac and St. Nedjelja. Many vineyards, some on the altitude of 620 meters, are harvested by hand. These are the vineyards of the autochthonic plavac mali (which is also called the ruby red, passionate plavac) shone upon the sun almost all throughout the year.
The Hvar winegrowing has changed its appearance over the past twenty years. These days the harvest lasts from the end of August until the end of November.
There is a possibility of participation in the harvest and processing of wine for people who have a tempting desire and want to get to know this tradition.
You will see how it once was done on our sunny island.
Procession with the Cross
One of the oldest customs is the procession for Easter which takes place between the six parishes-Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Cvir?e, Vrbanj and Vrboska.
This procession is held at night between Thursday and Friday before Easter, and it is called To the Cross, and is mentioned for the first time in the year 1658. This 400 year old tradition begins at 11 P.M. on Thursday night and lasts of 8 hours, around 22 kilometer. From all of the six parishes the procession start at 11 P.M. and is seen out by the priest. Not one of the processions never and nowhere meets with the other.
The processions start to proceed in the course of the solar circle, so they dont meet-which is bad luck according to the folk belief. The cross carriers carry a cross 18 kg heavy, which is covered with a black cloth. The candle carriers follow, the singers follow as well: the cross carriers are dressed in white tunics. The procession wasnt held only on the year 1943, at the time of the World War 2, when the Italian occupation of the island was happening.
This procession is the way of thanking God for saving the island from the cholera and death that was devastating at that period.
History of Hvar
The name of the island of Hvar
It is considered that the name of the island comes from the oldest form of Pharos which the Greek gave to their newly founded colony in the year 384 b.c. Italian names existed for Hvar such as Lesina (means stick on Italian, which suits it due to the shape of the island).
The short history of the island
Pharos was mostly an agricultural colony. The plan of the field partition on the fertile Starigrad plain is an exceptional historic document. The Roman people had started to attack the Illyric, and the tribe Delmat, two centuries before the new era. They used the ports on the island Hvar for their strategic and logistic goals, as well as the ports on the Pakleni islands, and the island ?edro. On ?edro (the Roman Tauridi) there was a ship shelter.
In Roman times there was a whole net of farming and rural houses close to the water spring, while the high concentration of the building was on the area of present day cities of Hvar, Stari Grad and the surroundings of Jelsa. In that time Hvar was the island of winegrowers, fishermen and tradesmen, which is confirmed by the numerous archeological findings: from the ceramic fragments from the Grap?eve caves which show a ship with two sails and a spiral twisted bow with the inscription. The way of life in the ancient Hvar is further revealed by the findings of the maritime archeology linked to shipwrecks of merchant ships.
The island experienced a bloom in the 16th century. There was an increase in the winegrowing and production of wine and it not only satisfied the needs of the island but there was also leftover for export. Fishing also represented an important source of profit to the local population. Shipbuilding was also very important. King igmund (1416) wanted Hvar to send him skillful shipbuilders for the building of galleys, fast vessels on paddles and sails and brigantines. One of the fatal happenings in European history happened in the Hvar channel close to the Vis Island. The Austrian fleet made out of mainly Dalmatians against the Italian fleet. That was the last battle which was carried out in a traditional manner, the direct collision of ships.
In the year 1147 Venice occupied Hvar and established a bishopric. In the year 1420 the Venetian came again and staid until 1797. Hvar was the richest, independent parish of the Venetian Dalmatia during that period. The Italian island occupied the island Hvar after a long battle in the year 1919. Their occupation lasted until the signing of the Rapal agreement in 1921, with which Hvar, as well as almost entire Croatia, became a part of the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, later named Jugoslavia. It became the Socialistic Federative Republic of Jugoslavia after World War 2.
The island modernized in the second half of the 20th century, taking on the positive and negative characteristics of the modern age. After the acknowledgment of Croatia as an independent country, January 15th 1992, Hvar was given a new administrative status, in the frame of a whole territorial organization which was implemented at that time.