Looking for the perfect Hvar souvenir?

Looking for the perfect Hvar souvenir to remind you of that special holiday on Croatia's premier island? As Europe's sunniest island, and the home of organised tourism in Europe with the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868, Hvar is an island rich in natural goodness and treasures, and the good news is that there are plenty of high-quality, locally-produced souvenirs to reflect Hvar's natural goodness.

Here are our top five:

1. Paprenjak

Perhaps the most traditional – and certainly the most tasty - Hvar gift is paprenjok, a delicious honey-based biscuit with a history dating back to the twelfth century, when the ladies of Hvar prepared them for their sailor menfolk before they embarked on long oyages. Paprenjok comes in a range of designs, and there are still a few ladies making the biscuits to the original recipe. The decoration is an art form in itself, and the skilled ladies are adept at producing custom-made designs. And they taste delicious!

ps. More interesting facts and recipe you can find on the very sweet website Plates&Planes:


2. Lavender

The village of Velo Grablje, home to the lavender festival, was once the centre of lavender production for all Dalmatia, and the Hvar is sometimes called the Lavender Island. The aromatic fields on the old road from Hvar to Stari Grad in late June are a must visit when the lavender is in bloom, and there are plenty of lavender souvenir products available as an aromatic reminder of your time on Hvar. Among them are small lavender bags to freshen up your car, and highly prized lavender oil, which has many healthy properties. One Hvar land owner living in Los Angeles produces his own oil each year, and places a drop on his LA pillow each night, and claims to sleep like a baby. Hvar of course has its own superhero, Lavanderman, whose range of souvenirs in Jelsa gallery Dalmacijaland, are unique.

3. Wine

Hvar, the island of lavender, is also Hvar, the island of wine. With a wine tradition dating back 2400 years, Hvar has a fascinating wine story, with several indigenous grapes only grown on Hvar. Hvar wine is sold from China to California, and its wines have achieved great success in international competition. Main producers to look out for are Tomic, Dubokovic, Caric, PZ Svirce and Zlatan Otok. Wines can be bought directly from the wineries or through several island souvenir shops.

4. Olive oil

In 2013, Hvar received yet another UNESCO intangible heritage, the Mediterranean Diet, one of seven places throughout the Mediterranean to be so inscribed. At the heart of the Mediterranean diet of course, is olive oil, an essential ingredient on every Hvar dining table. Most families have their own olive groves and produce their own oil, but there are also some very high quality producers, such as Bozic in Svirce, who won gold in New York. And did you know that the world's most expensive olive oil comes from Hvar? A rather unusual limited edition appeared for sale in luxury London store Harrod's a couple of years ago, 0.2 litre bottles with flecks of gold inside, which quickly sold out for an extraordinary price of £750 a bottle.

5. Lace

Another high-quality and unusual souvenir also has UNESCO's blessing, the agave lace made by the Benedictine Nuns in Hvar Town. The nuns have been living in the centre of Hvar Town now for more that 350 years, and their unique lace-making from the agave plant (from which Mexicans make tequila), has resulted in one more UNESCO intangible heritage for Hvar, and one more excellent souvenir option for the island's many visitors. 

*Author - Paul Bradbury 
*Photo Source - http://blog.vecernji.hr/veljko-barbieri