Hvar is the fourth largest of Croatia’s islands at 182 square miles (300 square km) in size. It is even sunnier than Brac, getting almost 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. There is however enough rain to keep the island green and to maintain the beautiful fields of lavender, rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme and the carefully cultivated vineyards. For this reason, many people remark that in the spring the island smells like a herbalist’s shop! When visiting, you must purchase some lavender oil (or lavender itself), which is the main export of the island.
Local hoteliers pride themselves on consistently good weather – if there is more than four hours of rain per day, they give a reduction on your stay and if snow falls, your stay is free! The main resorts are Hvar Town, Stari Grad, Vrboska, Jelsa and Sucuraj.
Hvar (and in particular, Hvar Town) is increasingly obtaining a reputation as something of an upmarket destination in Croatia. This is partly because it can be a little on the pricey side (everyone always exclaims how “expensive” the coffee is) compared to some other destinations, but it’s also favoured as a destination by the rich and famous (or fabulous) who sail into town on their amazing yachts. In recent years, Prince Harry (who famously fell into a pool whilst dancing at Carpe Diem Bar); Jay-Z & Beyonce (who debuted her baby bump there) and Roman Abramovich have all been spotted.
There’s still plenty for those of us who don’t have a mega-yacht, though! It really is a beautiful island, and well worth a visit or a longer stay.