What to expect from Prisinjak?
Prisinjak bay is located on the south side of Hvar Island. It is a perfect place for those who wish to leave a busy modern life and return to their roots. The closest larger village to Prisinjak is Zastražišće (approx. 6km) and the closest larger town is Jelsa (approx. 20km).
Prisinjak is actually a beautiful beach. The surrounding nature is intact and the place offers various activities.
You can swim, dive, and catch fish there if you’d like, but it is probably the best for simple enjoyment and quiet contemplation. The most precious thing about Prisinjak is its exclusivity – meaning only a few can enjoy this sun bathed beauty with an extraordinary view of the sea and the island of Šćedro. Prisinjak offers the ultimate Robinson Crusoe-like experience.
What to expect from Zastražišće?
Zastražišće is a village on the higher planes of Hvar Island. It is located on the altitude of 193m and was originally built as a pastoral village. The village is named after the nearby hill Vela Glova (305m). The last watchtower on the island was on that particular hill and the word "guard/watch" translates as "straža" in Croatian – hence the Zastražišće.
Zastražišće village consists of several hamlets: Mola Bonda, Postronje, Donje Poje and Grudac. Such scattered arrangement was a result of the fact that its inhabitants originally lived as cattle breeders and distance between hamlets was good for livestock grazing.
The common for all the hamlets is the school and a parish church with a graveyard. The parish church of St. Nicholas (Sveti Nikola) was built on a small hill in the 19th century and its position offers one of the best views on the entire island – the mountain slopes of Biokovo and the whole Makarska Riviera. This church and the church of St. Barbara present the entire sacral architecture of the village.
However, the biggest attraction of Zastražišće is an olive tree that was determined more than 2000 years old - making it one of the oldest olive trees in Croatia and beyond.
Today’s population of Zastražišće is approximately 200 people and the village belongs to municipality of Jelsa. The locals are mostly engaged in agriculture and the main crops are olives, grapes and lavender.
Lets not forget to mention the most famous winemaker of the eastern part of the island. It is the winery Vujnović from Sućuraj whose wines, as Prč or Ivan Dolac Barrique, we strongly recommend.
If you are of adventurous spirit and want to explore the bays around, here is the brief info on the topic. Bays on the north side are, from west to east: Vela Stiniva, Stanji Mir, Sinjava, Dubac, Kjušna, Kruševa, Milna and Pokrivenik. These bays are generally uninhabited during winter with the exception of bay Vela Stiniva, Milna and Pokrivenik. The bays on the south side are: Veli Bok and Moli Bok, Jubinka, Tamna Spila, Prisinjak, Zoboja Mola and Zoboja Vela, Duga Pazuha, Varbinjka, Kobil Dolac, Repavac, Vratinja Paklina, Badnjena, Črvanj, Golubinka, Vitarnja, Strvanj, Križna Lučica.
In the village there is post office and a small grocery store where you can get all the basic supplies. In Vela Stiniva there is a restaurant, but if you are in a need of a bank or a doctor you will have to go to Jelsa.
What to expect from Jelsa?
The town of Jelsa is situated on the northern side of the island, just by the seashore. The story says that the whole place was formed around the chapel of St. John (Sv.Ivan). Today, on that mythical place there is a Baroque chapel from the 17th century with octagonal plan and a charming square around it. The square was built in the period between 17th and 19th century and hasn’t changed shape since.
The most important historical event in the town of Jelsa occurred in the second half of the 16th century, during the Cyprus war. Turkish naval forces landed and invaded the island. The town of Hvar, Stari Grad and Vrbovska were destroyed and Jelsa was the only town that expressed significant resistance. To commemorate those times stands the parish church of Sts. Fabian and Sebastian that was fortified at those times. Its neo-Renaissance façade was added in the second half of the 19th century in the event of a wedding of Austrian emperor Franz Josef I and empress Elizabeth, known as Sissy.
Today’s Jelsa is a nice little Mediterranean town with pleasant climate that guarantees mild winters and pleasant summers. The center of social life is town square called Pjaca located just below the parish church. It is a place where locals meet to exchange news, comment on daily events and whisper occasional gossip. As good hosts they are always happy to share their relaxed atmosphere with the guests.
Besides the pleasant coffee drinking culture, so typical for Mediterranean, Jelsa has an enviable gastro offer. There is a great restaurant called "Me and Mrs. Jones" and if you are into something more traditional try tavern "Nono". We also recommend a beautiful winery and wine boutique of family Tomić as well as traditional and charming wine cellar of Ivo Duboković. In both those places you can enjoy the high quality wine while getting to know the history of winemaking. You can experience the blend of their past, their present as well as their vision of future.
Traditional, cultural and religious symbol of Jelsa is a nighttime procession "Za križen" (Following the Cross) which was included 2009. on UNESCO's World Intangible Cultural Heritage List. It takes place on Maundy Thursday before Easter and hasn’t skipped a year for five centuries.
Jelsa is also famous for its "Fešta vina" (Jelsa Wine Festival), a fun event that takes place every year during last week of August. Traditional Jelsa Patron saint is "Vela Gospa" (The Assumption) that is celebrated each year on August 15. A superhero called Lavanderman, an irresistible charmer with his purple outfit is one of the modern symbols and protectors of the town.