We spent 11 wonderful days in Stari Grad, a quaint seaside town on the island of Hvar in Croatia. After packing and moving around every few days, the longer stay here was welcomed. We were able to slow down and just enjoy the little town and the beach every day.
Stari Grad is located on the northern side of the island of Hvar and is one of the oldest towns in Europe, founded by Greeks of Paros island in 384 BC. They are celebrating their 2400 birthday this year! We seem to keep missing all the big events in places we visit as Stari Grad’s celebrations will be in September. Personally, I’m ok with that as I don’t do well with big crowds 😉
Have you ever struggled with deciding between a beach or culture & history vacation? Well, Stari Grad will give you both and more. You won’t be disappointed with the food either as there are plenty of restaurants for your choosing . We only tried two and they were both great. Though the first place, Jurin Podium was my favourite. The Squid Risotto was delicious!
Getting to Stari Grad and Escaping Split!
Getting to Stari Grad is fairly easy. Ferries run from Split to Stari Grad a few times a day. Croatia Ferry explains the different routes very well. We bought tickets at the harbour in Split with Jadrolinija for about $23 CAD for 2 adults and a child. We only spent 2 days in Split and couldn’t wait to get out! The hectic feel of the place had us on edge and knowing we would be on a ferry in less than 48 hours kept us sane! It was a big disappointment as we were really looking forward to this city and exploring Diocletian’s Palace. If you are like me and don’t like crowds, summer is the worst time to visit Split. We couldn’t see much walking the narrow streets of the palace except tourists. I know I would have felt much different about Split if we had visited in October perhaps!
There are plenty of apartments to choose from in Stari Grad as the town’s main focus is tourism. Our Airbnb was less than a 10-minute walk to the center of the town. It was pretty tiny but fit our budget well! It would work nicely for a couple who wouldn’t be cooking much. Our hosts were fantastic and helpful. We were treated to fresh strudel one day and on our last day, they were kind enough to drive us to the ferry.
Day to Day in Stari Grad
Our days in Stari Grad couldn’t have been more relaxed. Mornings would be spent at the beach followed by lunch at home. Bruce would spend the afternoon working and I would work on Bookshop Blog which we are trying to revive. We tried to encourage Kasm to explore outside by himself. We did succeed a little bit but that’s still a work in progress. We will, however, be renting our future accommodations keeping in mind an area where he can safely go out and play.
Almost every night after supper, we would go for a walk in town. We explored every little alley in the old town. I could walk those little narrow streets every night and wouldn’t tire of it.
Walking along the Stari Grad harbour was not so shabby either. We were all in awe of the gorgeous yachts anchored for the evening and would daydream what it would be like to live on one 😉
And I certainly can’t forget to tell you about my daily trips to the Green Market. It may have been one of my favorite things to do every day. Depending on how our day would start, I would walk over to the Market at some point to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables. The Market is tucked away at the end of the harbour not far from the bus station. There are three stalls with lots of fruits and vegetables. I always went to the middle stall. The ladies were sweet and she always threw in a free fruit or vegetable into my bag. The peaches were just divine and we didn’t go a day without eating them. I would also make a pit stop at the bakery to pick up a fresh loaf of bread. I think the boys would agree if I said we made some killer sandwiches for lunch every day. They must have been as Kasm would devour two!
We stuck to this schedule for most of our stay but did take a hike through the Stari Grad Plains (Maslinovik) one day. It was a very pleasant walk among fig trees, grape vines, and some ruins. We didn’t finish the whole walk as it was just too hot and we needed to get out of the sun. But if you like to do something else besides the beach and exploring the town, I highly suggest one of these walks.
Kasm and I also visited the Live Snake Exhibition in Stari Grad one afternoon while Bruce got some work done. He thought it was the coolest thing and even got to hold a couple of snakes. I know! I wouldn’t go anywhere near those things. But I did take a picture of him 😉
We really enjoyed our time in Stari Grad and hope you’ll get to visit this gorgeous part of the world one day.