Your journey to Gdinj will look something like this: you will reach one of the ports of the island of Hvar - Stari Grad, Hvar, Jelsa or Sućuraj. You might stay there for a while, gathering the courage to set out for your final destination, aware of the fact that you might miss the charms of civilization there. However, you are brave and do not give up. You drive towards Gdinj. Bravo, that is our favorite type of guests, those who have a sense for the different, and who are adventurers - at least somewhere deep in their hearts.
You will notice that, regardless of the initial starting point, the level of tranquility rises with each kilometer that brings you closer to the village of Gdinj.
Gdinj belongs to the municipality of Jelsa, located 25 kilometers away, and it represents the most eastern point of the municipality. On the western side, its nearest village is the village of Zastražišće, located 8 kilometers away, whereas on the eastern side is the village of Bogomolje, 6 kilometers away from Gdinj.
The small village of Gdinj calmly resides at 361 meters above sea level. On the southeastern side there is a view over the peninsula of Pelješac and the island of Korčula, while on the northern side, the island of Brač and the mountain Biokovo rise as protective older brothers.
Gdinj is not one unique village that just clustered by the road that passes there. No. The village of Gdinj is actually a group of eight villages in one place: by the names of Bonkovići, Stara Crkva, Banovi Dvori, Vrvolići, Visoka, Talkovići, Dugi Dolac, and Nova Crkva.
Villages such as Gdinj are not a norm; they are not something that happens frequently, so the logical question is what can be expected from a vacation at such a place?
When you look at the island of Hvar on the map, you will notice that Gdinj is actually located on the eastern third of the island. However, we would dare to state that realistically it is precisely Gdinj that can be seen as the very heart of the island of Hvar. Sućuraj is closer to Gdinj than the town of Hvar, but the influence of both centers is approximately the same here, i.e. it is almost non-existent.
As it has been stated previously, Gdinj belongs to the municipality of Jelsa, but it is also quite far away from the town of Jelsa. Maybe it is precisely this distance that saved the peace and calm of the true heart of the island.
The Gdinj of today has around one hundred permanent inhabitants, who mostly belong to the older, low-profile population. This was not the case before; one hundred years ago, just over eight hundred souls lived in Gdinj. This drastic population difference, caused mostly by socio-economic conditions, is most clearly visible when you look at the beautiful, but mostly empty local stone houses, proud representatives of the typical Mediterranean architecture.
When you enter Gdinj by car, those houses, with their balconies and courtyards, make the already narrow road even narrower, as if they were calling for your attention. When you pull to a stop - the silence that entwines those small stone castles will call upon, and make almost opaque, the ghosts of past times. Give them a chance; they are definitely not evil ghosts because life in this idyll had to, without a doubt, generate good people.
The most significant building in Gdinj is the Church of St. George, which is almost one kilometer away from the center of the village. The church was built in the Renaissance-Baroque style, and it dates back to the sixteenth century.
Gdinj is connected by road with the Pokrivenik bay, which is located on the northern coast of the island of Hvar. The bay is deeply cut into the very island of Hvar, and with its high, imposing rocks, it is protected from the wind, which makes it a perfect natural shelter for ships of all sizes. What is especially interesting about the bay are the caves. One of them, Badanj, guards the remains of the island’s Neolithic life. If you are interested in history, it might be a good idea to visit the Grapčeva cave located in the village of Humac. For example, when driving from Gdinj to Jelsa, you can make a short trip to Humac. Humac is the starting point for an excursion to the Grapčeva cave that dates back to the Neolithic era. It is a cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. It is the birthplace of the civilization and the culture of Hvar, and it is also one of the oldest archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. If you want to enter the Grapčeva cave, the Tourist Board of Jelsa will give you all the information you need.
Let us go back from the Neolithic period to today and the Pokrivenik bay. At the end of the bay is one of the most beautiful pebble beaches on the island, and there are also some old fishing houses with a boat dock which give this place its special charm. The bay also has some restaurants which serve fresh fish and traditional Dalmatian dishes.
In Gdinj you can also eat in a restaurant, but you can also buy some basic food in the local supermarket. However, if you need a bank, a post office, or a doctor, you will have to drive to Jelsa. We definitely recommend that you visit Gdinj and Pokrivenik by car - because of the distance that stretches between those two locations and the rest of the island, everything else would be impractical. A bicycle would also be an interesting choice - but only if you are in good shape and have a strong desire to be in a more direct contact with the enchanting nature in which Gdinj and Pokrivenik are rooted. You already know that we can help you with the bicycles, cars, and all other means of transport.
In Gdinj, time has stopped. It was not put to a stop abruptly, as it was the case in Pompeii. In Gdinj, the hands of the clock grew increasingly tired and each new round exhausted them more and more, so eventually they died; they simply stopped moving.
Under the starry sky of Gdinj, during the long nights, you can discuss far and wide whether that is good or not. It is the ideal scenery for such a subject. We believe that it is sometimes good for people if time stops. It makes people pull themselves together, heal from the crowded everyday schedule of life, and it is in those fairly stolen moments that people enjoy the real life.
*Picture shows one of the coves belonging to the village of Gdinj.