For some, the end of the tourist season is a time to relax, to enjoy the island's nature, work in the fields and live off the profit of the season which has just finished. Many businesses close from October to April, as there are traditionally very few tourists.
Some people are very active, however, planning ahead for the new season with new offers and initiatives, and one team in particular - Stari Grad's leading agency, Hvar Touristik - has been burrowing away through the winter. I caught up with them at the carnival festivities in Stari Grad yesterday, and learned of an office move and SEVEN new initiatives for the 2012 season.
The office move is great news for tourists, as Hvar Touristik will now be right by the bus station, the first building on entering the town by car from the Jelsa road. As a first point of contact for tourists getting off the bus, the location could not be better. In addition to having one of the widest selections of accommodation on the island, excursions to Bol, fish picnics and trips to the Blue Cave, here are some other programmes and activities which will be available for 2012 from Hvar Touristik (full details of these programmes will be released shortly):
1. An Evening Walking Tour of Stai Grad's Art Galleries, with Wine
Stari Grad has a particularly lively artistic community. It also has one of the most romantic places to walk in the evening - the back streets of the stunning old town, the oldest in Croatia. Hvar Touristik will be combining the two, and throwing in some wine, to offer the first evening walking tour of the art galleries of Stari Grad - a perfect way to spend an evening after a meal in one of Stari Grad's fine restaurants.
2. Honey tour with the world’s fourth best producer
Stari Grad is at the forefront of agro-tourism on Hvar, and is home to one of the world's best honey producers, whose rosemary honey is so good that it was awarded fourth place in the international Apimondia in 2011. Want to learn how award-winning honey is made, taste its goodness and buy some souvenirs for friends and family? More details soon.
Hvar Touristik has teamed up with the only windsurfing school on the island, so if you fancy learning how to windsurf, or are an experienced surfer keen to get out on the Adriatic, then get in touch with the team, who will organise everything for you.
4. Party in Hvar Town - Hvar Touristik transfers
The legendary night life of Hvar Town should be experienced at least once during your trip. Many tourists staying in Stari Grad do not go because there is no late night public transport or driving means one cannot drink.These are problems of the past, as the agency will be offering transfers to Hvar leaving at 2000 and departing Hvar 0300 in the season. More details shortly. Hvar Touristik also offers a comprehensive range of private transfers, which are affordable for a small group looking to investigate other parts of the island.
5. Wine, cheese and olive tasting in Hora
The 2,400 year-old Stari Grad Plain, an agricultural colony under UNESCO protection, is one of Hvar's most famous attraction. Discover the secrets of the colony, and taste its natural treasures, with this outstanding wine, cheese and olive tasting excursion.
6. Luggage storage
All these tours are all very exciting, but sometimes the more practical considerations are the ones which impress visitors. Luggage storage is in short supply on Hvar, and the extra space in the new office means that Hvar Touristik will be offering a secure luggage storage facility, the first in the town. With their proximity to the bus station, this will be a very convenient option for many who want to leave their luggage and head for the beach.
7. Guided tours of Jelsa/Vrboska leaving Stari Grad
As with Hvar Town nightlife, many guests in Stari Grad do not investigate the delights of Vrboska and Jelsa, due to lack or organised tour/poor transport connections. Hvar Touristik has teamed up with a qualified guide and will be offering walking tours of both Jelsa and Vrboska, departing from Stari Grad.
With all this new activity, it would be easy to forget that their core activity is accommodation, and you can browse through their accommodation offer here. Please contact them for more details, and we will post more information as we have it, but it looks like tourism in Stari Grad this summer will be the most interesting yet, with honey, art gallery, hertitage, Hvar nightlife, and agro-tourism tours in addition to everything already on offer. Check out one of Stari Grad's better known artists below.