Hvar Voted Top Tourist Destination on the Coast by Croatian Media
History, atmosphere, entertainment, image. Hvar Town tops the list after undercover tour of the Adriatic coast by reporters for Vecernji List.
Hvar Town justifies its tag as one of Croatia's most exclusive and popular resorts according to an undercover survey by Croatian journalists in a report published in Vecernji List on August 22 2011. Other resorts that rated highly included Bol on neighbouring Brac, Dubrovnik and Korcula.
In what must have been an arduous assignment, an undercover team spent forty days travelling along the coast, posing as normal tourists, so that they could get the same impression as "Franz from Regensburg and Karol from Prague" in order to discover the good and the bad in the 2011 Croatian tourism offer.
Croatian Tourism: The Good and the Bad
Far from merely trumpeting the virtues of Croatian tourism, the report cast doubts on the official figures released over the course of the summer, which indicate that the country is enjoying record visitors, up more than 20% in June over the corresponding month last year. If the numbers (with a general election round the corner) are correct, tourists are spending considerably less, due to anecdotal evidence from the numerous bars, clubs and restaurants visited.
A second observation was that about half of the seasonal workers in coastal bars were from other countries. Unemployment is a major issue in Croatia, even more so with the global crisis.
Hvar: The Town That Has Everything
The report also commended the coastal cities of Split, Zadar and Pula for their overall tourist offer, which Medulin ranked the worst. The most praise was reserved for Hvar Town, however, the destination the 'tourist patrol' had the hardest time leaving. Stating that "the town has everything and then something on top of that," the report highlighted three areas about Hvar:
Hotels: Hvar Town has a good selection of hotels, as well as private apartments, with Hotel Amfora mentioned for its swimming pools.
Atmosphere: A key component of the magic of Hvar Town is its accessibility for all. Celebrities spend time there as they are rarely hassled, while backpackers can enjoy the party atmosphere alongside the rich and famous, a fact noted by the report which notes that people can have fun together without distinction of background. "There is something there in these old streets, something magical."
Beaches: Hvar Town does have its upmarket and exclusive places, however, one reason why it is such a celebrity draw, and the reporters were particularly taken with the Bonj les Bainsbeach club below Hotel Amfora, which was also voted among the Top 20 Hottest Beaches in Europe by Times Online. At 100 euros a head, the reporters concluded that although it seemed expensive, the interior and atmosphere make it worth a million.
Depsite its exclusive and expensive image, Hvar Town was a surprise inclusion in this year's Sunday Times Top 100 Affordable Destinations in the Med, citing an example of a week's holiday with flights for under £400.
The tourist patrol team comprised of Krešimir Raguž, a veteran television report and journalist who has had a distinguished international career reporting on events from the 90 countries he has visited, and Petar Grubisic, a Vecernji journalist who has conducted similar patrols in the past.