UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stari Grad Plain

UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stari Grad Plain Vedran Rafael Janic

October 7, 2019 – Hvar’s 5 tourist boards will promote the island as one destination. A look at how that might look promoting UNESCO Hvar heritage. 

 It may come as a surprise to some, as it did to me, to find that the island of Hvar has five tourist boards, each tasked with the job of promoting its own part of the island. If you think that is crazy, look at Brac where there are 7 or 8… After long discussions, the 5 Hvar tourist boards have decided to come together and will promote the island as one brand and with one strategy. As I understand it, the tourist board directors will rotate the position of main director each year, and the mayors will also do the same in their capacity of President of the Tourist Board. 

So what kind of projects may the island promote together as one island? There are several that come to mind, including one I came up with for all the UNESCO Hvar heritage. For the 6 UNESCO Hvar heritages the island possesses is more than any other island in the world. We will come to them in a minute. For a visit to Baranja last week showed another obvious and popular activity – wine and walk tourism. 

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In Baranja, they have 12 wineries spaced over 12km and there is a map (pic of one of the stations above). They pay an initial fee and get a glass and holder to put around their neck and off they go. In Baranja, they have 12 wineries spaced over 12km and there is a map (pic of one of the stations above). They pay an initial fee and get a glass and holder to put around their neck and off they go.

Plancic in Vrbanj, Pavino in Stari Grad, Zuvela in Ager, Caric and Pinjata in Vrboska, Dubokovic, Tomic, Huljic in Jelsa, Marjan in Pitve, Ahearne in Vrisnik, PZ Svirce. Plenty to see on the way in terms of island sights, and some thought would have to go into the route and whether or not to include all these, but there is the makings of a fun way for tourists to discover the wine island of Hvar.

But the joint project I really like is to bring together the six UNESCO heritages of Hvar at the same time in one location, which can only happen at one very specific time of the year.  

Location, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain, or Ager (or Hora, depending on your approach to its history). A dinner at Agroturizam Pharos for a group of guests, some paying, some international media, so that they can cover this unique event of the island showing its UNESCO Hvar credentials. 

Tablecloths and napkins made from the agave lace from the Benedictine Nuns in Hvar Town.  

In the very fertile filed where the Ancient Greeks first planted vines and olives 2,400 years ago, a feast for the guests featuring the UNESCO Hvar Mediterranean Diet, one of 9 locations in the Mediterranean which had its diet inscribed as intangible heritage in 2013. 

Music? What other option that the romantic sound of traditional a cappella klapa from southern Dalmatia. 

An evening to be savoured with wondering at the craftmanship in the dry stone walls that are to be found all over this world heritage site

And at a certain time on Maundy Thursday, just before Easter (and the reason this unique event must be time sensitive), the 500-year tradition of Za Krizen, or Behind the Cross. Six simultaneous processions depart at 22:00 from Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirce, Vrbanj and Vrboska, following the same 22km circular route through the night until 07:00. All processions pass through the Stari Grad Plain. A magical evening of culture, heritage, nature and reflection. 

UNESCO Hvar all in one place and one location for one night only. It could be a fantastic story, as well as promoting aspects of Hvar that many tourists miss. 

To learn more about the island of Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide

For a look at all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and intangible heritages, head on over to the Total Croatia UNESCO guide



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