Connecting Hvar and Norway: Meet the Other Jelsa

Total Croatia News


An interesting email from a school in a village called Jelsa. In Norway. Who is interested in starting a grassroots exchange programme? 

Having lived on Hvar for ten years, I have spoken to a lot of people and absorbed a lot of information. The potential of the island as a tourist destination is very under-exploited, and part of the Total Hvar project is to rectify that. 

Quality information leads to opportunites. Connecting that information leads to concrete tours, and we were very pleased to hear of the early popularity of some of the new tours for this season in Stari Grad, namely the honey tour (which is excellent) and the organic tour of the Stari Grad Plain. 

I have known for a while that there is one other Jelsa in the world – in Norway. With one of our stated aims being to develop the tourism connections between Norway and Hvar, it seemed to me an obvious idea to ask the other Jelsa if they were interested in some kind of joint project of communication, with the aim of perhaps providing a nice educational project for the schools and perhaps a small increase in tourism. I sent them an email a few months ago and received a reply telling me that my suggestion had been forwarded to the local school. 

Today I received another reply, from the school’s English teacher:

“Some time ago I received an e-mail from the tourist office in Suldal. I understand that they had received a mail from you, but unfortunately I have not read your mail myself. I am sorry you had to wait so long for an answer, but here it is. I am a teacher at the local school in Jelsa, Suldal. Our school is quite small, 19 pupils (six to twelve years old) and four teachers + one head master.

“It would indeed be nice for us to get to know people in the Croatian city called Jelsa.  As far as I know the name is not used anywhere else. As I teach English, it would be nice if I can ask my pupils to write letters to children in Jelsa, Croatia, and that we can learn something about your country and city.”


If nothing else, it could be a fun project for the schools. But there is a potential for tourism here in my opinion. The more seeds we plant in Norway about the island of Hvar, the more we will attract visitors. 

Anyone interested in working with us on this initiative, please get in touch. 


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