Hvar Island's name derives from the Greek 'Pharos', meaning 'lighthouse'. The later Roman settlers altered the name to 'Pharia', which then became 'Fara' for the Dalmatian Romans. In the early Middle Ages, incoming Croatians transposed the letter 'f' into 'hv', which is how the name 'Hvar' came into being.
Hvar is part of a group of islands in the middle of Dalmatia. It belongs to the Split-Dalmatian County, and its land mass covers 297.38 km2. North of Hvar is the Island of Brač, while to the south are Šćedro, Vis, the Pakleni Islands, Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula.
Hvar is the longest Croatian island at 72 km., and measures 10.5 km. at its widest point. The coastline extends over 270 km. in all. Its highest point, at 628 m., is the hill named sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas). About half the island is covered with forests and scrubland.
Being on the Adriatic in the Mediterranean Sea, Hvar Island and the Jelsa Council region benefit from the typical Mediterranean climate, with gentle winters and hot summers. Hvar's climate is exceptionally mild. Its hottest month is July, when Hvar Town usually averages 24.9°C, and the coldest is January with a general average of 8.3°C. Temperatures below zero occur very rarely, on average about 5 days per year, while snow is even rarer.
Yearly rainfall is between 500 and 750 mm, and comes mostly during the winter months, while the summers are generally dry. Hvar Island is said to enjoy the most annual sunshine in Croatia, averaging 2718 hours. Weather Forecast Link: MeteoJelsa
The most important traditional economic activities in the Jelsa region are agriculture (mainly vineyards and olive groves), fishing and seafaring.
Apart from grapes and olives, figs, oranges, mandarins, lemons, carobs, almonds, lavender and rosemary are cultivated.
Organized tourism began in 1868 with the founding of the Hvar Health Society. Hvar Town's first hotel, named after the Austrian Empress Elisabeth, was built in 1898 and formally opened on April 1st 1899.
In Jelsa the Jadran Hotel was opened in 1911, with 14 well-appointed rooms, restaurant, bar, and reading room, and a swimming bay in the sea close by.
The Croatian national currency is the kuna, which comes in notes to the value of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 i 1000 kn; there are 100 lipa to the kuna, and coins range from 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lipas to 1, 2 and 5 kunas. You can exchange foreign currency in any bank, exchange office ('mjenjačnica' in Croatian), and post office, also in most travel agencies, hotels and camps.
Credit cards can be used in places advertising the card emblems for cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners etc.
Further information can be obtained from Croatia's central bank (Hrvatska narodna banka) in English, www.hnb.hr
For most purposes you need a valid passport; for EU citizens a current identity card serves the purpose. Tourists can stay in Croatia for up to three months.
Croatian customs laws are in line with EU standards and directives.
Registering your stay
In accordance with the Croatian Law on the Tourist Levy and the Law on Foreigners, all visitors, whether Croatian or foreign, must be registered at their place of stay, and the tourist tax or levy paid. Everyone who rents out accommodation has a duty to register their guests. For your own comfort and security, please make sure that you are registered from the date of your arrival to the date of your departure.
GMT plus one hour in winter, GMT plus two hours in summer.
Electricity mains in Croatia
230V / 50Hz
Office working hours on Hvar Island are generally from 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning to 15:00 or 16:00 in the afternoon.
Locals usually eat their meals earlier than in other European countries, with lunch at about 12 noon or 12.30, and supper about 19:00 - 19:30. Most restaurants are open from 10:00 in the morning to midnight. Tipping in restaurants is not obligatory, but customers usually leave a gratuity of about 10% if they are satisfied with the service. Smoking inside restaurants and cafes which serve snacks is prohibited, although it is usually allowed when tables are outdoors. Most cafes allow smoking indoors and outdoors.