Kids' Activities in Croatia: Art Classes in Dol on Hvar Island
Finding things away from the beach for children to do on holiday can be a challenge. Why not drop off the kids at an inland atelier in Dol for a morning?
The attractions of the family beach on a holiday to Hvar are obvious, a popular destination with its small pebble beaches and pristine sea, but there are also other activities for kids, such as art classes on a Saturday morning in Dol, one of the six inland hilltop villageswhich form the spine of the island.
Art Classes for Children
Each Saturday morning, from 1030 to 1300, children of all ages are welcome to spend the morning in an exquisite tumbledown setting of an art studio run by a resident Slovenian artist. Children from as young as two are encouraged to express themselves through art in a medium that they choose, whether it be drawing, painting or mosaic classes.
Parents can leave the children there and enjoy a couple of hours of peace and quiet, perhaps to enjoy a leisurely coffee in the local bar at the end of the track, or to head back to the waterfront towns of Stari Grad and Vrboska, just minutes away.
Many parents choose to linger, however, as the charms of the atelier extend far beyond temporary respite from the children. Set in a stunning hillside location, the atelier is located at the edge of the village and is a ramshackle collection of authentic stone buildings, each offering different art exhibits, the highlight of which is the main atelier, where the impressive works of Marinka and her late husband, Marin, are on display.
Visiting Artists to Dol
In addition to the art classes, the complex is also a haven for visiting artists, including a German sculptor on a recent visit, sat in tranquility at the end of the atelier's colourful garden with two students from Germany, who were learning the basics of sculpting with Brac stone (the chalky white stone from the neighbouring island has been used in prominent buildings such as the White House and Liverpool Cathedral).
To find Atelier Marinka, park at the village cafe and take the path to the right of the building, heading straight until the road forks. There is a sign "Atelier" to the right, and one of the most atmospheric experiences on the island awaits in the last building.
Suncokret Yoga and Meditation Retreat
Given the popularity of the coastal resorts, the inland villages are less visited, but there is much to discover for tourists willing to make an effort. Another hidden gem in Dol is the American-run Suncokret Body and Soul Retreat, a holistic yoga and meditation centre now entering its eighth season.
While the tourist focus on Hvar is understandably on the beach, the art classes are one more example of things to do away from the beach.