Hvar Island © Gaucho
Off the coast of Split is the island of Hvar, which abounds with Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterranean atmosphere. Hvar has been inhabited since ancient times;in fact, archaeologists have found evidence dating back to 3500 BC. It's now mainly a wine-growing area, with the main towns of Vrboska and Jelsa famed for their Dalmatian vintages. Hvar is dotted with picturesque rural villages, many fairly untouched by time and tourism. Must-see attractions in Hvar include the incredible Hvar Fortress, reached by a fairly strenuous climb, but with the reward of exquisite views of the whole town and harbour. No visit to Hvar would be complete without a visit to Dubovica Beach, so often delightfully free of crowds.