The air on the island of Hvar is filled with the scent of lavender, the island’s main crop, which covers the land in a spongy grey-blue cloak every spring. Hvar is a beautiful island – a slim, green slice of land punctured by jagged inlets and a steep central ridge streaked with long grey lines of limestone.
Hvar Town is the island’s capital and a well-preserved historic town. Its development as a tourist resort has been sensitive and tasteful. The grainy-white and brown buildings of the baroque-style harbour-front follow the contours of the bay, with pine and palm trees squeezed into every nook and cranny. The medieval town is largely pedestrianised and has an elegant air about it.
After Dubrovnik, Hvar Town is the most fashionable of the Adriatic resorts amongst the Croats themselves, with plenty in the way of boutiques. In early evening you really must grab a seat at one of the cafes that surround the harbour and spend an hour or two watching the people go about the business of seeing and being seen. Later on, you’ll see the same people in one of Hvar Town’s chic nightclubs.
In terms of sight-seeing, visit the town’s cathedral, wander through the streets of Groda – the grid of narrow lanes that backs up the hillside north from the main square, climb to the Citadel and visit the Franciscan monastery.