Sunday, November 11, 2012

Western Hvar: The Pelegrin Peninsula on Croatia's Premier Island

Hvar's most expensive accommodation, a hunting reserve, planned golf course, luxury camping and stunning natural beauty: check out the Pelegrin Peninsula.
Western Hvar: The Pelegrin Peninsula on Croatia's Premier Island - Miranda Milicic Bradbury (http://)
Turning left out of the main car park in Hvar Town and following the signs for Vira, the road rises high above the town and past the Spanish fort, before entering one of the least populated and naturally beautiful parts of the island, the Pelegrin Peninsula. It is difficult to envisage a greater contrast between the party atmosphere in Hvar and the utter peace in the numerous bays and coves with nobody about. For all its tranquility, Pelegrin has been in the news recently as a battleground between environmentalists and developers.
Villa Floriana: Hvar's Most Expensive Rental
A large tract of the peninsula - 589 acres - is run by Riccardo Mazzuchelli, ex-husband of Ivana Trump, after he was awarded a concession to run a private hunting resort. The resort's villa, Villa Floriana, is advertised at $15,000 a week on the Internet, sleeps ten and is popular with the rich and famous for its secluded bay and total isolation.
Golf Course on Hvar?
Several attempts to exploit the potential of the peninsula with its close proximity to Hvar Town have so far been unsuccessful. Developers have put forward proposals to build a gold course and luxury villa complexes, but these have been fiercely opposed by environmental groups, who argue that the magnificent natural forest reserves, twice proposed for national park status, and cultural heritage including Neolithic caves, would be adversely affected.
While a golf course may be welcome for keen sportsmen, the two main problems apart from the opposition to development are sourcing sufficient water and being able to attract sufficient year-round membership, given the relatively short season on the island.
Luxury Camping at Camp Vira
The pebble beaches, turquoise sea and pine forests make for an excellent base for a relaxing holiday, and the revamping of Camp Vira into the island's most luxurious auto camp by owners Suncani Hvar have made the peninsula more popular with campers. Facilities in the camp include a supermarket, cocktail bar, playground, free Internet, restaurant, diving school and organized entertainment for children and adults.
Views of the Pakleni Islands from Panorama Restaurant
Arguably the most stunning restaurant setting on the island is one of the peninsula's highest points. The Panorama restaurant lives up to its name, with breathtaking views of the numerous Pakleni Islands below and equally stunning views to the picturesque Pribinje bay behind. The restaurant is completely isolated and is a very romantic place for a sunset dinner, offering good Dalmatian fare.

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