Looking ahead to the incoming summer season, we speak with Vrboska Tourism Board director Sandra Bogdanić
At one of the best nautical bays on Hvar Island, the tourism season does not rest solely on what nature has provided. A welcoming atmosphere, extended events schedule and accommodation upgrades are all part of what makes Vrboska an attractive destination. On March 21, 2018, here is what Vrboska’s head of tourism has in store this season.
The Senses Resort, a real quality upgrade in accommodation. Tell us about it, and what effect has Senses had on tourism in Vrboska?
The Senses Resort brought to Vrboska as a tourism destination a significant advance in hotel accommodation quality, resulting in guests of higher purchasing power, which is good for all involved in the destination tourism offer.
Another recent addition is the Carić wine tasting on the canal, including a wine which is now served in a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Holland. Tell us more.
The Carić family are renowned winemakers in the old part of Vrboska (next to the 2nd bridge), with their own sales and wine tasting room. Last year the first ambassador of Croatian wines in The Netherlands, famous sommelier Sabas Joosten, listed their Plavac Ploški 2009 on the wine list of the De Librije Restaurant (3 Michelin stars) this year. Appropriately on Women’s Day, Betty Koster from L’amusse was chosen to take his place. With such events, Vrboska has successfully positioned itself on the European wine map and this greatly contributes to the promotion of the destination.
Vrboska is also an important camping destination. What can guests expect for the 2018 season?
Vrboska is known for its nudist camp as one of the rare destinations in this part of Dalmatia where the camp covering around 2 hectares has its own beach, so nudists can enjoy a lovely camp, clean sea and rich gastronomy offer in the camp and nearby.
Nautical tourism is on the rise in Croatia, and Vrboska has the only ACI marina on the main island of Hvar. What are the trends you are experiencing, and give us some reasons why sailors should be checking out Vrboska?
When speaking of nautical tourism in Vrboska, its main characteristic is the Vrboska Bay, protected from all winds and the best natural harbor not only on Hvar Island, but in all of Middle Dalmatia. Along with safe berthing, sailors in Vrboska can take advantage of everything a tourism destination has to offer its guests – welcoming locals, a lovely town with historical and cultural heritage, lovely beaches and clean sea, rich gastronomy offer, cultural and entertainment programme taking place during the summer in Vrboska.
The sardine factory is one of the iconic buildings of Vrboska, and there are rumours that it may come back to life. Do you have a progress report?
No, I do not have any information on the rebuilding of canned fish factory. I believe the location will be converted into accommodation capacity or something similar.
Vrboska has some very unique tourism events. Can you tell us what is on offer this summer?
Vrboska has for several years hosted original events which have each year attracted more visitors. This summer Vrboska will also have a plentiful cultural-entertainment programme which includes the Žežin of St John, St Peter Days, meeting of a cappella singers from Hvar Island, race of crazy vessels, visiting concerts, numerous workshops for children and youth, theatre shows, musical evenings. This year, aiming to extend the season, we plan to host events through September.
Your favourite place in Vrboska, and why?
My favourite place is the old Vrboska, sometimes referred to as Little Venice due to a narrow bay crossed by several bridges of old architecture.
Three things most tourists miss in Vrboska?
For tourists the most interesting item in Vrboska is its historical and cultural heritage, expressed in the architecture of the church fortress, paintings of famous renaissance masters on display in the St Laurence church, architecture of old Vrboska and fishing museum. Vrboska offers wonderful beaches and clear blue sea and a rich gastronomy offer. The locals are very welcoming and glad to be of service.