The southern side of Hvar is… a bit harder to reach. Certain insights you may gain there are also harder to reach in the more noisy and more famous places. On the southern side of the island, you may encounter a celebrity or two looking for a different kind of vacation. There are no clubs or paparazzi there. In the long run, this side is no breeding ground for galled folk or for people who turned their backs on nature. This is a place of meditation, akin more to poets and people close to contemplation. The curious and the adventurous will also bode well here.
If you’ve recognized yourselves in this description or if you’re looking for a place to get in touch with the mentioned personality traits, please, continue reading.
Sveta Nedjelja, or locally Sveta Nedija, is located on the southern side of Hvar. You can reach it with a road taking you from Jelsa through Pitve, and then through a tunnel towards the south, descending towards the coast in a steep winding pattern. Recently, a new way to Sveta Nedjelja has been made available – an unpaved road that connects to the main road from the town of Hvar, above the cove of Dubovica, before the new tunnel on the Hvar–Stari Grad road. We recommend this unpaved shortcut from Sveta Nedjelja to Hvar only to the brave and adventurous.
In terms of visual appearance, Sveta Nedjelja is quite an impressive village. It is located under the islands highest peak – St. Nikola (626m), which falls steeply into the crystal clear sea. At this point of collision of mountain and the sea some of the most beautiful beaches in the world were formed. Right along the sea coast, a little village formed, with a boat dock, beautiful beaches, a restaurant, and houses for resting. In the vicinity of the coast are two low-lying islets called Lukavci.
Sveta Nedjelja originated long ago, when the villagers of Svirče came to this side to work in their fields, which still cover the steep nearby hills. The core of the village – old stone houses – is located above the newly built houses, cabins, and apartments. Today, Sveta Nedjelja is a permanent settlement with about 130 inhabitants.
Due to the perfect geographical location and climate, grapevine flourishes on the slanted, sunny hills of the island of Hvar. In Sveta Nedjelja, they make the best kinds of red wine from Hvar, just as much as Zavala produces the best whites.
The locals still fish, tend to the vineyards and olive orchards, grow lavender and rosemary, and produce essential oils of these cultures. When they’re not doing serious business, they like to relax with a glass of their excellent home-made wine or play football or bocce.
Just above Sv. Nedjelja there is a cave that dates back to the Neolithic. In the 15th century, the Augustinian monastery was built inside the cave. The motto of this solitary order is: Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one soul and one heart seeking God. We have to say that there is hardly a better place in the whole world to make this come true. Today only the remains of the monastery are left. However, the church survived the centuries and is still on the same spot. The energy you’ll feel in the cave is extraordinary, and the location is really worth the short walk from the old part of the village.
In recent years this small fishing and agricultural place became a favorite destination for free climbers. No surprise there, since the scenery in this area is truly irresistible. When speaking of the scenery, do not miss the trip to the majestic red rocks whose beauty is overpowering. Also, set a date for swimming in a nearby beach called Lučišće that we personally favor.
Sv. Nedjelja has two grocery stores where you can buy basic supplies. Also, there are two restaurants and cafés there. Noteworthy is "Bilo Idro", a restaurant with interesting architecture, located just by the sea. Family of Zlatan Plenković, a famous winemaker, owns it - which makes it impossible to go wrong with the choice of wine.
In case you need a bank, a doctor’s office, a pharmacy or a post office, you will need to go to the town of Jelsa, about a 20-minute drive away, or to the town of Hvar, which will take you about 30 minutes by car – if you don’t mind the gravel road.
Choices for recreation are numerous along the south side of the island. From free climbing to cycling, hiking, walking, diving, surfing... Or throw a hook into the sea, catch yourself a dinner and return to your roots when things weren’t so accessible!