Must see

The island of Hvar is one of the most beautiful islands of the Adriatic sea

Monastery remains

If you would like to feel like Indiana Jones, if even for a short time, undertake the two-hour adventure by climbing to the cave above the village of Sveta Nedjelja in which are hidden the remains of an Augustinian monastery.

The remains of the Augustinian monastery in the cave above Sveta Nedelja

It will take you 30 minutes, or 40 minutes if you stroll, from the church in Sveta Nedjelja, following a marked path through vineyards and olive groves.

Do persist – even though you do not know what awaits you behind the stone doors, overgrown with gnarled roots …

The Grapčeva Cave

If you are interested in archaeology, Hvar has much to offer. Close to the town is the Grapčeva cave where a special type of ceramic has been found, with spiral decoration in red, yellow, grey and white. These type of artefacts and this decoration has only ever been seen here, resulting in the title of “Hvar culture” for this neolithic art.

Legend has it that it was precisely here that Odysseus fought with the one-eyed Cyclops

Grapčeva cave is regarded as the cradle of Hvar culture and civilization and is one of the most important sites of the early Stone Age (5000 – 4000 BC) and one of the oldest on the Adriatic and in the Mediterranean. The earliest depiction of a ship in Europe has been found on a ceramic shard in this cave.

It is located at 239 metres above sea level and was the centre of cult worship. There are two halls, a larger one of 22 by 23 metres and a smaller one of 13.5 by 5 metres, surrounded by corridors and smaller rooms. The stalactites and stalagmites resemble a silent organ from another era, creating both silence and echo, and offering a magnificent and unforgettable sight.

Starigrad (Pharos),
Tvrdalj Palace

Take a walk along the Starigrad harbour front as well as the Starigrad plain where the Greek division of land into plots 2500 years ago is still retained – one of the few examples of its kind in the world.

Starigrad (Pharos) is the oldest town on the island and one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded by the Ionian Greeks from the island of Pharos in 385 BC when they began to colonize the island by establishing polis Pharos.

Starigrad’s most significant architectural monument is the fortified palace of Tvrdalj, home of the poet Petar Hektorović. This monumental Renaissance structure has a long facade facing the sea. The exterior exhibits the defensive architecture of the Neretva style, while the interior is in the refined style of the high Renaissance.

Hektorović built the palace for himself and his friends, but also as a shelter for his family and local inhabitants in the event of a Turkish attack.

Petar Hektorović (1487 – 1572) was a Croatian poet, landowner and first recorder of popular songs. His most important work is the canto “Fishing and fishermen’s complaints” (1556), a realistic epic poem based on a three-day excursion with the fishermen Pasko and Nikola. Hektorović was a refined Renaissance intellectual with a sense sense for the details of everyday life.

Interesting facts

In 47 BC, off the island of Šćedro, the definitive battle for control of the Adriatic took place, where Caesar’s fleet defeated that of Pompey.

The fortress housing the astronomical observatory of the town of Hvar, was built by Napoleon in 1811.

The oldest public theatre in Europe was built in 1612 in Hvar town.

The Franciscan monastery in Hvar town possesses one of the best-known depictions of the Last Supper, by Matteo Pontonia. It also has Ptolomey’s atlas from 1525.

The town square, known as the “Pjaca” (pronounced piazza), is the largest town square on the Croatian coast.

The „Follow the cross” procession.

For the past five hundred years, the island of Hvar has featured a unique tradition – the “Follow the cross” procession. The deep spirituality of the island population, during the sixteenth century, gave birth to this ritual, which has placed Hvar on the UNESCO list of intangible global cultural heritage.

“The central part of the Procession is the Lamentations of the Virgin Mary, an octosyllabic Passion-related text dating from the 15th century, sang in a dialogue form by chosen singers – kantaduri.„

During the night between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the procession symbolizing the Way of the Cross sets out from six of the island’s towns; Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska. At the same time, processions start from six parish churches with a cross-bearer ahead, wearing a heavy cross as a symbol of prayer or gratitude, as his own or family pledge. The cross-bearer is followed by white-clad members of ancient religious cofraternities, and of course the faithful.

They stop in front of churches and chapels in other villages where greeted by priests and return to their parish church before dawn. The people in the Procession pass 25 kilometres in 8 hours. During the ritual, the processions from each village must never meet the others.

Many come to Hvar to witness and participate in this unique combination of pilgrimage, a walking tour of the Adriatic’s longest island, religious music and candlelight.

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About us

SKALINADA is a family owned hotel-restaurant, opened in 1990, in the small and quiet village of Zavala on the south side of Hvar island, far from the crowds and noise of mass tourism.


Zavala 162 • Hvar
21465 Jelsa • Hrvatska

tel: +385 21 767 019


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