Running in Croatia: The First Hvar Half Marathon in August 2011
Tourists looking for a more active holiday on Croatia's premier island should bring their running gear for the inaugural Hvar Half Marathon in August.
The latest addition in an expanding range of outdoor activities on the island of Hvar is the inaugural Hvar Half Marathon, which is due to take place on August 20 2011. The race, which will take place at the peak of the island's tourist season, will start from Stari Grad and continue along the old road to Hvar Town.
Running the Old Road to Hvar
To avoid the worst of the summer heat, the race will start at 1830, leaving from the square in front of the Petar Hekorovic palace, before heading out of town for the steep climb to Selca. Starting at sea level, the route reaches a maximum elevation of 429m before descending back to sea level at the finishing line, the impressive St. Stephen's Cathedral in Hvar Town's main square, which is Dalmatia's largest at 4,700m2.
The majority of the route, 21.70km in total, is through fields of lavender, olive groves and vineyards, passing through two old Dalmatian stone villages, with sea views to both sides of the island. The first runners are expected to cross the finishing line between 1930 and 2000 while it is still light, although the majority of participants will arrive after nightfall and be treated to a stunning descent with the old town of Hvar lit up.
Entry Fees and Prize Money
Race organisers have produced a helpful route map on YouTube, videoing the entire route by motorbike. Entry fees for the race are 100 kuna (about 15 euro) for runners registering before July 31, 150 kuna for those registering thereafter, with prize money for various categories ranging from 3,000 kuna for the winner to 1,000 kuna for fifth place. The organisers, who have produced a route planner for interested participants, will host a post-event dinner and party.
Adventure Tourism on Hvar
Known traditionally as the sunniest island on the Adriatic and an exclusive destination for the rich and famous, Hvar is emerging as an adventure tourism destination. Led by pioneering local activity specialists, Hvar Adventure, the island's tourism offer is expanding each year.
With the close proximity of the Pakleni Islands opposite Hvar Town, there are numerous options for sea kayaking, sailing and scuba diving. Non-water activities centre around hiking, cycling and an ever expanding range of rock climbing routes, which afford the climbing clear views to the bottom of Hvar's legendary pristine sea.