Hvar Walking Tour: Old-Town Landmarks and New-Century Style
- Hvar Town: Explore winding marble streets, the town square, old arsenal, and theater. Your GoBe guide describes Hvar's storied past and chic new spirit.
- Cathedral of St. Stephen: A harmonious blend of Renaissance and Baroque, this church displays fine paintings and an elaborate 17th-century bell tower.
- Franciscan Monastery: A 15th-century church with impressive Renaissance cloister and old refectory exhibiting a collection of lace, manuscripts, and books.
About this Hvar tour
Once a bustling 8th-century B.C. trading port and now a stylish yachting spot – that's Hvar's flamboyant heritage. The town owes it all to its natural harbor, a safe haven for boats through a span of nearly thirty centuries. The Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and Ottoman Turks all sailed in and left their calling cards in this beautiful bayside town.
It was the Venetians who commissioned the fortress and city walls in the early 1200s, establishing one of the Adriatic's key ports. From the 13th through 18th centuries, the economy and cultural life thrived within these sturdy walls. With your GoBe guide, you'll retrace the original town layout that hasn't changed for hundreds of years. So don't be surprised if scenes from long-ago life leap into mind.
Imagine official announcements being proclaimed on the sprawling piazza in the shadow of the soaring cathedral. Look for the 16th-century well on the square's north end. Chances are townsfolk gathered there, just as we meet by the water cooler today, to gossip about the latest news. The square is now lined with cafes and businesses, but the intricately carved Venetian facades send a postcard from historic Hvar.
By the 19th century, Hvar's days as a military base were done, but the town was determined to find a new direction. In 1868, it created one of Europe's first tourist boards with a mission to provide "good care for visitors." Clearly it's succeeding, and the city is buzzing. Yachts glide into the harbor. Chic visitors stroll the waterfront. And curious GoBe guests have the insider's scoop on Hvar.
A dramatic contrast
Hvar's theater debuted in 1612 and reached its peak in the 1800s, especially during carnival time when it put on musicals, theatrical performances, and masquerades. Compare that to Shakespeare's famed Globe Theater, which opened in London about 13 years before Hvar's. It was closed by Puritans in 1642 and it took the Brits until 1997 to recreate the Globe. Meanwhile, Hvar has been applauding straight through four centuries.
Make your way to the Main City Square: Trg sv. Stjepana 42 (in front of the Information Office) and meet your GoBe representative with the displayed logo sign.
Kindly note that the use of camera is not allowed in the Franciscan Monastery. Shopping is available in Hvar Old Town after the tour. Favorite souvenirs include lavender products, red wine, and olive oil.
Plan to walk or stand for 1.5 hours, covering about 2 miles of flat paved and cobblestone paths, with some steps to climb. Much of Hvar is wheelchair accessible; many venues are not. Bring a companion to offer any assistance.
Cultural, Walking Tour
English, German, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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