‘Stari Grad’ literally translates as ‘old town’ and this name is best explained by the fact that this awesome place of architectural wonder was first founded all the way back in 384BC by Ionian Greeks from Paros. The fact Stari Grad has been preserved so well means that the town is full of ancient stone walls and stunning streets of traditionally built houses – very little has changed over the years. It’s a UNESCO protected heritage site and the oldest town on the island of Hvar so it’s a must-do to venture out for a day trip to Stari Grad from Hvar town during your stay with us. Read on for our guide to spending the day (or a few days!) there.
Things To Do.
First up, we’ll start with the main sites and attractions within and around the town. Situated at the back of the main square you will find Tvrdalj ‘castle’ a quiet haven to explore tucked away from the bustle of Stari Grad centre. The small castle-like structure was built by the famous Croatian poet Petar Hektorović who made it his life-long work to construct a place where wildlife could thrive. Tvrdalj is therefore home to an eclectic selection of Mediterranean plants, weird and wonderful fish species and many exotic birds. But it’s not just wildlife you’ll uncover here as there is a hidden collection of inscriptions found all over the walls, whether they’re poetry or quotes, in Italian, Croatian and Latin – the work of Hektorović set in stone. You can get yourself entry to this unique quiet spot for around 15HRK.
The second thing you must do whilst in Stari Grad is to venture into the Stari Grad Plain – a natural paradise filled with vines and wild plants that is one of the oldest examples of organised agriculture. The plain is enormous and provides some absolutely outstanding views if you know where to go. Amongst all of this you can find a number of ancient Roman and Greek ruins which are a great way to guide your walk. There are a few options you can choose from, including 1 hour to 2.5 hour guided walks into this vast, green plain and Stari Grad tourism board has some great routes here that will lead you through the best bits of the area.
Stari Grad can also compete with the views found from the fortess in Hvar town with Glavica Hill and the panorama it provides of Stari Grad town and the nearby Brac Island. To get there you’ll just need to take a 20 minute walk from the main road and at the top of the hill you’ll find a stone cross and a tiny little chapel making it a serene and quiet place to rest and take in the views after the hike.
To get a dose of history and culture whilst staying on the island head to Stari Grad museum where you’ll find some interesting highlights of the island’s history – from a feature on shipwrecks to an art feature on ancient postcards! Entry price is 20HRK if you’re interested in finding a bit more about what it was like here in Hvar hundreds of years ago.
Of course you can’t visit anywhere on Hvar Island without checking out the beaches and so our recommendations for Stari Grad are Lanterna Bruna and Maslinica. You’ll find Lanterna Bruna at the
end of Stari Grad town, around a 10 minute walk from the centre, with this pebble beach being ideal for swimming and snorkelling, with plenty of shade and even a bar if you want to take it easy after the coastal walk. Head out to Lanterna Bruna at sunset and you’ll get some amazing views. Maslinica is ideal for those searching for sandy beaches on Hvar Island and you’ll actually find this beach close to the ferry port at Stari Grad around 2km from the centre – therefore its perfect if you fancy a hike (or you can whizz there on a scooter!) with a snooze on a sandy paradise at the end.
If you’re having a day trip, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to try out some of the local restaurants and the tasty meals or drinks they have on offer. Erimetaz is a little gem found at the edge of town – a tiny stone building with a beautiful terrace offering authentic, home-cooked Dalmation food. The place is ideal for spending an evening watching the sunset over in Stari Grad.
For a more simple, laidback lunch in the centre head to Bistro Kod Damira where you’ll find great food at affordable prices all in a cosy setting.
You have a few options to get yourself over to Stari Grad with the first being public transport. Check Cazmatrans (the local bus agency) for the timetable of Hvar to Stari Grad but these typically run at 9:45am in the morning and return throughout the afternoon/evening.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bit more flexibility you can hire your own transport. A scooter will cost around 200HRK and a car 500HRK and these both come with a full tank of fuel but you must return them with the same! Come talk to us at reception if you’re interested in booking one of these.
WRITTEN BY: Faye Hudson
BOKO d.o.o. za ugostiteljstvo i turizam
Lucije Rudan 7, Hvar 21450
Trgovački Sud u Splitu, MBS: 060327248,
član uprave: Ivan Boko,
upisani temeljni kapital uplaćen u cijelosti: 20 000,00HRK
Račun otvoren u Privredna Banka Zagreb d.d.
IBAN: HR 16 2340 0091 1107 1541 6