When we got off of the seaplane on the island of Hvar, Croatia, everyone headed off to their hotels in Hvar town … so we thought we’d made a big mistake by choosing to stay in Stari Grad!! Luckily and very quickly we realised, that for us anyway, it was by far the perfect choice as we found it unspoilt, beautiful, quiet, relaxing, walkable, atmospheric and totally charming! And better still, without actually knowing it, we had booked the idyllicly placed Heritage Villa Apolon which was so beautiful with the most amazing views that we enjoyed every morning at the al fresco breakfast – heavenly!
Hvar island is small and easy to drive around so wherever you stay you won’t miss out as all of the lovely towns and beaches are very quickly reached by taxi, scooter or hire car! Hvar town is stunningly set on the water, around a harbour, with loads of bars and restaurants which obviously means lots of hustle, bustle and people! Lively and vibrant, yes it was – but we had a day visit there which was lovely but more than plenty for us!
We happily returned to the more sophisticated, slower paced Stari Grad where we got lost in the labyrinth of cobbled, narrow streets of gorgeous stone houses with the most extraordinary weathered doors – which we can’t get enough of photographing when we are travelling! With the winding alleyways you never quite knew what you were going to come across next … around a tight corner an unexpected open and airy square, along a quiet street of closed up private homes a beautiful public garden appears, courtyards, a tiny hole in the wall local cafe, a random art gallery, a huge church suddenly looming up out of the cobbles … it really does have it all!
Stari Grad felt so authentic with lots of locals going about their daily business with but a few tourist thrown in … it never felt over run with visitors and definitely hasn’t been spoilt by tourism … it’s a real gem! And even if at first sight you think it’s small, there is actually lots to see and discover which is our favourite thing to do – get lost and go with the flow – always works out to be the best way of seeing somewhere new!
Of an evening it is just as wonderful … the boats that have moored up all along the length of the town get lively with chatter which in turn floats over to the many waterside bars and eateries just adding more atmosphere and magic to this great spot which we so enjoyed! The perfect end to a day was sitting and watching the glorious sunsets with the boat lights dancing on the water … and then, with the many characters from all over the world that had dropped anchor for the night, coming ashore for dinner adding even more of a friendly feel to the delicious restaurants that quickly filled up and served us well! Stari Grad we have a soft spot for you and will return some day!
Don’t miss our seaplane review! A fairly new service, super quick, fun & an experience!