I am often asked when is my favourite time of the year on Hvar, for this is a very diverse island with so many different things going on at different times of the year.
In Jelsa it is Easter, with all the build-up to the UNESCO Easter Procession of Za Krizen, as the town wakes from its winter slumber, and extended families are reunited in joy over this religiously important weekend. There is so much positive energy, and thoughts are focused on a positive summer and season ahead.
But for Hvar Town, my favourite time, and one of the most relaxing times to visit, is October. Here are five reasons why October 2015 is a great time to come on a break to Hvar Town.
1. Experiencing a community emerging from yet one more successful tourist season. This is a difficult atmosphere to describe accurately, but the end of the season (much earlier in other parts of the island) is a time where locals truly relax, move from running round catering to the needs of peak season tourists, and begin to catch up with friends and family they have hardly seen for months. The relaxed pace of life is reflected in their interactions with visitors, and late season tourists often comment on a much more involved tourism experience than in peak season, when locals have more time to engage. Walking round Hvar Town in such an atmosphere, exploring the back streets and browsing the shops, is a joy.
2. The celebrations of St. Stephen’s Day, the day of the town on October 2, are one of the most important in the Hvar Town calendar, and the traditional religious procession is accompanied by various events to bring a real festival atmosphere to the town. Take a look at a snapshot of last year’s atmosphere for a piece we did for Google News. Some events are still to be announced, but this year’s Big Game Fishing Hvar Cup will coincide perfectly.
3. The late season weather. Hvar is known for its sunshine, with an average of 2,718 hours of sunshine per year. This is a fact which has been quoted for years, but confirmation of Hvar being the King of European weather appeared this summer, with French media proclaiming Hvar as the warmest place in Europe on average. So if you are looking for some great October weather (and check out that Google News snapshot above), where better than Hvar?
4. A unique insight into traditional life on Hvar. With the beaches emptier, the nightclubs closed, and the majority of tourists back in their home countries, the focus of Hvar’s tourism operators turns to the fields. Your luxury restaurant owner in August will be less stylishly dressed in October, as the entire island heads out to the fields, first for the grape harvest in September, and then for the olives. Both are an essential part of Hvar tradition, and renting a bike, scooter or car and driving through the fields gives one a great snapshot of the real Hvar as it once was (and still is) before the arrival of tourism. Locals are bonded to their fields, and the offer to help out at a family olive harvest is a very rewarding experience, and a chance to enhance your Hvar holiday. The winemakers too have more time after the busy harvest, and this is an excellent time to taste and discover the 2400-year heritage of the fascinating Hvar wine story.
5. And what better way to combine your discovery of this chilled time of year than by combining it with a luxurious special offer from leading hotel group, Suncani Hvar? With their never-ending summer 15% discount still in operation, a more enticing option for those looking for a little pampering and Hvar exploring is the 30% discount offered in their recently-released Autumn Holistic Wine Experience. The package includes:
• 3- night accommodation for two in Superior Room
• Hearty in-room breakfast with daily fresh locally sourced farm produce
• Sensori® Spa Wine Therapy for two: 30 minute Sensori Glow treatment, 30 minute grape berry scrub, 1 hour full body massage with rejuvenating grape berry seed extract**
• Exclusive Sensori Spa Rituals indulgence gift
• 1 hour Wine road Tour and Wine Tasting at Premier Croatian winery**
If you thought Hvar was all celebrities, beaches and parties, come and take a look in October – it is a magical insight into an island unrecognisable in peak season.