DESTINATION CROATIA: VISIT JELSA CITY, ISLAND HVAR
Doesn't this place look simply magical? Jelsa is a small touristic town located on island of Hvar. That is where I'm taking you today, that’s what this post is about so Jelsa is basically what I’ll be showing you and writing about. Jelsa is quite a beautiful and picturesque little town, I have to say. If you like the Adriatic sea, and you want to visit a lovely and relaxed vibe Croatian costal city, this place is definitely an option for you. This city actually started its life as a harbour for Pitve village. Jelsa still has a harbour and a marine, and one that is accessible to boats. If you are a boat owner or plan to rent one for vacation purpuses, you might want to keep that in mind. You can easily get to Jelsa from Split by taking a catamaran boat ride from Split. Jelsa was actually one of the places that did tourism seriously (back in the day when health tourism was a thing) so you might say it has a tradition of tourism. Today’s Jelsa is also the seat of municipality under the same same, which includes numerous villages and places, spreading over 120 kilometres from the north to the south cost of Hvar city.
ISLAND HVAR AND JELSA CITY
As far as island Hvar goes, Jelsa is neither the biggest nor the most visited town on the island. That ‘it’ place honour goes to Hvar city (which has the same name as the island itself). Hvar city is definitely more of a jet set place, with many international celebrities coming to visit. The night life is also more vibrant in Hvar city as opposed to this town. Jelsa is a lot quieter these days (that’s my experience anyway). Obviously, there is night life and all that, especially during the summer, but generally it is less crowded and not as ‘it’ place as Hvar is. Right now, being transitional time (winter to spring), it is not crowded at all and you can probably find affordable accommodation without trying too hard. Accommodation options are very versatile here, from high end hotels to camps to private accommodation. You can definitely pick and choose during the transitional season as there are hardly any tourists at all. This winter/spring vacation could be a lovely option for those of you who are looking for some peace and quiet. I can definitely imagine myself taking a winter or a spring (off season) vacation here. You can go cycling, hiking and all those sorts of things. If you’re brave, you can even go for a swim.
WHAT ISLAND HVAR HAS TO OFFER
You guys know how much I love island Hvar, it is one of my favourite islands in Croatia. That’s saying a lot because we are talking about Croatia, a country that is known for having over a thousand beautiful island and the competition is fierce. I have so many fond memories of this island, I spent a part of my childhood there. I do have roots here as well. So, you can say there is a personal history linking me to this place. As some of you know, my mother is a native of this island, but that’s definitely not the only reason why I visit it so often. I genuinely find that this island has so much to offer, from its history to natural beauty. Generally speaking, the island has more to give than just the perfect weather, incredibly stunning landscapes composing of fields of lavender, olive trees and vineyards, and crystal clear sea (not that there is anything wrong with craving that). Indeed this island also has a rich and interesting history, an amazing literature and cultural heritage (some of the best know Croatian Renaissance writers are from this place) and it is also a touristic hotspot.
WHEN WERE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN? MY SHORT LATE FEBRUARY GETAWAY IN A NUTSHELL
I travelled to Jelsa last February, towards the end of the month, so fairy recently. We got there by taking a ferry ride to Starigrad (another city on island of Hvar) from Split. The reason why we opted for ferry not a direct line with catamaran is because it offers more rides (the catamaran rides are less frequent). Typically I take a ferry ride from Split, arrive to Starigrad and then I will either catch a bus or some family member will meet me and give me a ride to Jelsa. That’s how I get to Jelsa these days. In the past I usually took catamaran rides (because I had more time on my hands and I would spend the night there) but for the last few years I’ve mostly been getting there by ferry rides. I regret not using an option of hydroplanes while it was available. I don’t think that air transport is an option right now, which is a shame. There is a private airport for small planes on the island, but no regular airport. However, it is worth noting there is an airport on island Brač and Bol city is only a ten minute catamaran ride away from Jelsa city, so that’s another option.
We spent only half a day in Jelsa in truth. We took an early ferry ride to Starigrad that took only an hour and a half ( a lot faster than usual, I think they upgraded the ferry or something) . A family member picked us up. I didn’t do much sightseeing, because I’ve been to Jelsa so many times I pretty much saw most of them. Instead of focusing on sightseeing, we just relaxed and went for a walk by the sea. It was truly beautiful. Strolling by the sea felt on this sunny winter day was an incredibly calming and serene experience. I felt like I ventured into some magical little town where the time has stopped. It was a great experience really. I felt very inspired to paint. It must be all those beautiful blue and green tones. Plus, you know how much I love to paint boats.
|Coat: old, Velvet Shirt: Zaful, jeans: old, sneakers: old|
A BIT OF INFORMATION ABOUT JELSA CITY- WHAT CAN YOU FIND THERE?
Where is Jelsa located? What it looks like? What to expect?
The town of Jelsa is basically situated in a bay (north coast of the island Hvar). If you like strolling in bay towns, you’ll probably like this one. The promenade is quite beautiful. The town itself is very green. There are dense pine woods in the vicinity, there are hills you can climb to get a better view of the city. One of the interesting things about Jelsa is that it’s actually the only place on the island with a large quantity of fresh water and that adds to the greenness of the area. In terms of architecture, Jelsa looks similar to other Adriatic cities. Most buildings are stone buildings and many of them are historical, especially in the old part of the town. Jelsa has a very Mediterranean look, so if that is what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed.
What are some of the sights to see? There are quite a few lovely sights to see. There is a marvellous botanical park that contains a monument of a famous captain. The churches (most notables ones being the Saint Mary’s church and The Church of Our Lady of Health) are all beautiful and historical and these two in particular are definitely well worth a visit. The city square is perfect for picture taking. The little streets are simply made for exploring. Old City Centre is ideal for lovers of history. Jelsa city also has a wonderfully kept historical cemetery. Another thing worth a visit is a charming city library located in a historical building. As far as activities go, you’ll have to check them in regards to season. Not all the activity (such as biking, snorkelling etc) tours are available all year around, so pay attention to that. Wine tasting is something you should definitely try if you are visiting, and that goes for checking out local restaurants and cuisine as well. You can definitely find something for yourselves all year around, but as I said, you’ll have to plan in regards to the season.
I definitely dressed for comfort here, but I ended up liking this casual styling. I wore a long velvet shirt over jeans. I’m really into green and green velvet always looks amazing. I choose some ugly sneakers because I mean if comfortable footwear is trending, a girl has to take advantage of it, at least occasionally, right? Our feet need a rest now and then. I also opted for a long coat because I wanted to go out on the deck while I was on the ferry ( I adore ferry rides) and I wanted to be warm. I did take off my coat while we were walking because it was such a sunny and warm day. We were truly blessed by the weather. I will show you my outfit without a coat in the next post as well as a few more photographs of this gorgeous little city.
FUTURE CROATIAN POSTS
I can also announce future travel post about Makarska and Split. Who could resist visiting this transparent sea? I will probably publish them soon, so stay posted. Let me know how you feel about Jelsa? Isn't it the sweetest town. I'm thinking of showing you more summer photographs of it, let me know if you're up for that. I hope you have found this post useful. You can check out some of my previous visits to island Hvar here, here , here and here. Thank you reading and have a lovely day!