A world of tranquility so close to the buzz of Hvar Town...
While the island's main attractions are understandably on the coast with countless gorgeous beaches and the pristine Adriatic, there are plenty of treasures of inland Hvar to discover on your holiday here.
One of the most remarkable is the village of Velo Grablje, located a few kilometres from Hvar Town on the old road to Stari Grad. With a population of just five people today, one could be forgiven for thinking that there was little of interest here, but the village was once the centre of lavender production for all Dalmatia.
Legend has it that a poor villager wanted to ask the hand of a lady in marriage and asked the priest for advice. Plant lavender, came the unusual reply, and sell the oil made from it. The villager did as he was advised, incurring the ridicule of his fellow villagers in the process.
But not for long. Soon he was exporting the oil as far away as Paris, became very rich and got his girl. Myth or reality?
Whatever the truth, the lavender tradition is rich in Velo Grablje, and an enterprising group of the village's youth (living in Split, Hvar Town and other locations) formed an association to revive the traditions of the village.
The results have been impressive, with the highlight of their efforts being the annual Lavender Festival in June each year, which is surely Croatia's most aromatic. The setting of the village itself is spectacular, lying as it does just below the old road and with gorgeous views towards the Pakleni Islands.
A world of tranquillity so close to the buzz of Hvar Town - that is the magic of the island of Hvar, there is something for everyone.
*Author - Paul Bradbury
*Photo Credit - Rafael Janic Photography