Active Croatian Holidays: Walking and Hiking Tours on Hvar Island
There is plenty to discover on Hvar away from the beach, and the hiking tours on offer are a splendid way to discover the island's nature and heritage.
With evidence of human habitation dating back to Neolithic times and the Ancient Greeks, and with a wealth of flora and fauna to discover, the Lavender Island, as Hvar is also known, has much to offer the energetic tourist who is prepared to put on his walking boots.
Walks from Stari Grad
There are numerous coastal routes which are ideal for a leisurely stroll, including the pleasant 40-minute stroll from Jelsa to Vrboska, a popular walk for tourists staying in either town, with its small coves and pine forests.
Guests in Stari Grad can benefit from painstaking research and excellent collection of local walks compiled by a British owner of a property in Stari Grad. Peter Elborn's Walks from Stari Grad is a detailed and informative guide to 25 walks from the town, all personally researched and recorded.
Hiking Tours with Hvar Adventure
For the more energetic tourist, local outdoor activity specialist Hvar Adventure offer a range of hiking tours:
Velo and Malo Grablje (half-day) After a short transfer from Hvar Town, the tour begins from Velo Grablje, once the most important centre for lavender production in Dalmatia, but now a charming, almost-deserted village. Walkers learn about the traditional herbs and way of life, before descending to the spectacular abandoned village of Malo Grablje with its curious history. Continuing south to the fishing village of Milna, there is time to enjoy this pretty beach before a transfer back to Hvar.
Grabljes and Milna to Hvar Town (full-day) The full-day tour starts with the Grablje route above, but also includes a pretty coastal walk from Milna back to Hvar along a rocky path.
Humac, Grapceva, Island Peak, Tor and Grod (7-day package) For more serious groups of hikers, Hvar Adventure has prepared a seven-day all-inclusive package which takes walkers to some of the island's most interesting spots. Starting with the abandoned shepherd's village of Humac and the Neolithic Grapceva Cave, the tour heads up to the peak of Hvar at Sveti Nikola, with its panoramic views. A day's sailing to neighbouring Vis gives respite to tired limbs, before the Grablje and Milna route is explored. The final leg begins in Jelsa and the climb to teh Greek tower of Tor and ancient settlement at Grod, before a welcome descent to the Tomic winery for much-needed refreshment.
As with all hiking tours, it pays to be prepared, and minimum requirements for any walking tour are good walking boots, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water. There are a range of other activities on Hvar, including rock climbing, while there is never any shortage of water activities.