May 7, 2020 – TCN Talks a video guide to the history, etiquette and secrets of the legendary Pitve Tunnel on Hvar, complete with its own Zlatan Otok wine cellar.
One of the main fun experiences for tourists on the island of Hvar is the adrenaline run through the Pitve tunnel to the south side and Zavala. It is like no other tunnel you will find back at home…
The tunnel opened in 1963 when the Yugoslav army drilled through 1.4 km of rock to bring water to the south side of the island. It was a fairly crude effort, and there was no attempt to render the rock once construction was completed, which makes it one of the great undiscovered film locations today.
The tunnel is 2.3m wide do there is only room for one-way traffic. Traffic lights operate in the season, but out of season, locals are left to judge for themselves if they can make it to one of the two passing places built in the tunnel before meeting any oncoming traffic.
And the tunnel has one big secret that not so many people know about, and even fewer have seen – its own wine cellar!
When the tunnel was originally constructed, two large storage rooms for water were constructed. Only one of these was actually used, apparently, which gave an idea to Hvar’s famous winemaker, Zlatan Plenkovic from the Zlatan Otok winery in Sveta Nedjejla.
Zlatan, who sadly passed away suddenly a few years ago, managed to come to an arrangement to use the empty space as a wine storage facility in the early 1990s (thanks to his widow Maja for the information). The constant cool temperatures are ideal for wine storage.
If you drive slowly in the Pitve tunnel as you enter from the north, you will see both storage rooms about 30 metres in on the left.
You can learn more about the Pitve tunnel in the latest TCN Talks vlog, following our visit last week.
For more news from the island of Hvar, check out the dedicated TCN section.