Quiet and peaceful little village of Vrbanj is located in the heart of Hvar Island. The village dates back to the Roman period and the remains from that era prove how people from Vrbanj knew how to live their life to the fullest even then – two oil presses and some remains of a leisure villa are found in the village.
However, the first mention of the name Vrbanj dates back to the first half of the 14th century and it was named after the Croatian word for willow – vrba.
Vrbanj has reached its economic peak in the late 14th and early 15th century when most of the population focused on shipping and shipbuilding industry. That is a rather unusual occurrence since the village is not located near the seashore. In the 15th century people of Vrbanj start gravitating towards the shore in order to increase their budget with fishing industry. They settled the area that was originally called “Vallis Varbagni” and that later on developed in the town of Vrboska.
The most notable historical event associated with the village of Vrbanj - the rebellion of the commoners - occurred in the early 16th century and the leader of the people was Matija Ivanić from Vrbanj. Uprising started due to desire of the commoners to participate equally in decision-making processes. Their goal was also to stop the violent tyranny of the noblemen towards the commoners. It was the social revolution that preceded the famous French Revolution. Although the uprising ended badly for the commoners, the people from Vrbanj are very proud of the role of their ancestors in the rebellion. To commemorate those events, in the center of Vrbanj the "Home of Matija Ivanić" was dedicated to Matija and all the Hvar rebels.
Another important locality in the center of today’s Vrbanj is the Church of the Holy Spirit (Sv. Duh), which was built in the 18th century and still is the proud holder of various Baroque paintings and silver liturgical objects.
Today’s Vrbanj has a population of less than 500 people and the major economic branch is agriculture.
Although small, village has all the necessities: cafés, couple of grocery shops and a post office. Right in the neighborhood there is an excellent restaurant called Bogo, but not far away, in a village Pitve and Vrisnik, there are some interesting authentic restaurants as well. The vintner Plančić, whose wine tasting center is located right in the village, makes Vrbanj a "must visit" place.
The most beautiful and authentic Dalmatian Konoba is very well hidden inside the village of Vrbanj. It is the best preserved Konoba on the entire island whose owner is multitalented Miki Bratanić.
Konoba is an important, almost mandatory part of every traditional Dalmatian stone house. Even nowadays many of them serve as a place for making and storing wine same as the place for storing the agriculture tools used in the fields. In the olden times Konoba used to be a center for all things important – gatherings around food and wine with dear ones and an occasional traditional sing-along.
Chock full of pressing equipment for grapes and olives, assorted jars, bottles and goatskins, old wooden storage barrels in various sizes in combination with modern stainless steel barrels make this Konoba a great time machine.
The owner Miki, who is also a dialect poet, has a good wine and excellent Prošek. His 2010 Prošek was named after the aforementioned Vrbanj hero Matija Ivanić to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Uprising. Just bear in mind you have to call in advance if you wish to visit Miki’s Konoba.
We definitely recommend visiting nearby Stari Grad Plain, also known as Ager and Hora, that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2008. Stari Grad Plain is a unique and amazingly preserved cadastral plan dating back from ancient times. The best way to experience this cultural sensation is by bicycle.
The nearest larger towns are Jelsa and Stari Grad (5km) and the closest beach is in Vrboska (4km). In case you enjoy walking in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful nature, just head towards Jelsa and in about 15 minutes you will reach the charming wine village Svirce. If you follow the old road towards Stari Grad, in approximately 20 minutes you will reach the picturesque village of Dol.
In case you want to take a trip to Hvar Town – a "tourist mecca" of the island (approx. 23km), or if you want to visit the beaches on the south side of the island (approx. 16km), you’ll definitely need a car. If you’re not planning to arrive with a car you can always rent it in our agency.
We don’t have any specific recommendations for packing - just bring your toothbrush and your swimsuit; everything else you can find in Vrbanj - including harmony and inner peace.