Hvar Island © Gaucho
Off the coast of Split, just 15 nautical miles (24km) from Baska Voda and accessible by ferry, is the island of Hvar, which abounds with Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterranean atmosphere. Hvar has been populated since prehistoric times; archaeologists have found evidence of life on the island dating back to 3500 BC. The island is noted for its fertile soil and was the site of the world's first parcelling out of arable land by the ancient Greeks, who farmed here. It is now mainly a wine-growing area. The island's main towns are Vrboska and Jelsa, famed for their Dalmatian wines. Hvar is dotted with picturesque villages, many of which remain fairly untouched by time and tourism.
Must-see attractions in Hvar include the incredible Hvar Fortress which can't be missed by history buffs and anybody who appreciates a great view. It is a bit of a climb to get to the old fortress but from the site you can see the whole town and harbour, and there is a lovely cafe for refreshments. Lovers of beautiful beaches can't visit Hvar without making the short trek to Dubovica Beach, which is often delightfully free of crowds.