Taking the kids on holiday always requires a little planning, and their needs and interests are not necessarily the same as yours.
So what is there to do on Hvar? During the season, there are many events and workshops for the little ones to get involved in, and you should check the five tourist board websites for updates on the official programmes, but five great kids activities which are available all season are below - they have all been road tested by my two little monkeys and received the seal of approval.
1. Painting classes with Teta Marinka in Dol
It is difficult to describe just how good the children's art school of Atelier Marinka is in the central village of Dol. Marinka, who speaks about 19 languages, has an unbelievable way with kids, and coupled with her adorable ramshackle stone house and adorable garden, it is no wonder that this was the number one activity for my children for years. And the progress they made with their art, while also having a lot of fun, is considerable.
And the good news for parents is that Marinka takes care of the kids so that you can relax with a coffee. The standard classes run from 10:30 - 13:00 on Saturdays, and other days available on request. The classes are very international in the summer, and a lot of fun. Parents can always stay and enjoy the tranquil setting and visit Marinka's art studio as well. For more information, click here.
2. Visit the Gariful Hvar Farm
New on the scene for 2015, what started out as a project to grow organic vegetables for leading fish restaurant Gariful has mushroomed into what is sure to be one of the children's hits of 2015 on Hvar.
Drive up the hill from Hvar Town on the new road to Stari Grad and after about a kilometre, you will see the Gariful Organic Farm. Entrance is free and all are welcome. The farm has been expanding quickly and is welcoming a range of interntional housemates, including a crocodile, llama, snow owl, eagle and a whole lot more. Check out the latest on the Farma Hvar Facebook page.
3. A Family Day Out at Agroturizam Faros
Another great recent addition to the Hvar tourism scene is Agroturizam Faros, a divine 32,000 m2 working farm with fun for all the family. While the kids run around in safety with an array of animals, parents can relax and taste excellent homemade wine, cheese and olive oil from the family estate in the only hospitality building in the historic UNESCO Stari Grad Plain, which affords magnificent views of the oldest town in Croatia, Stari Grad. Horse riding is also possible by appointment.
To find the farm, drive along the main road from Stari Grad to Jelsa. Soon after you leave Stari Grad, you will thre white posts sticking up on the left. Turn left there and the farm will appear after 50m. Visit the official website for more.
4. Underwater Hvar - A Ride in a Semi-Submarine
Give the kids an altogether different experience of Hvar, with a tour in a semi-submarine. The glass-bottomed vessel is designed for maximum viewing, and the 12-seated sub does a half-hour tour from the Hvar riva to the first of the Pakleni islands, Galesnik. Price is 80 kuna. Just look out for the red submarine - you can't miss it...
5. Beach, Beach, Beach
The beaches of course are one of the biggest draws to Hvar, and whether you are 3 or 300, the chances are you will be heading for a dip soon after you arrive. Hvar has an excellent selection of beaches, including many family ones. Many of the best of them are located in central Hvar. Mina and Grebisce in Jelsa has shallow sandy bottoms, Soline in Vrboska has small pebbles and a few more facilities, and you can never go wrong on the south side as a family in Zavala or Ivan Dolac.
Those, then, are the top 5, but let's not forget another very popular activity with children, especially for the parents - chilling on the many relaxing squares of Hvar, while the kids run around in safety making new international friends. Check out a typical lazy scene from the best square on the island (in our opinion), the main square in Jelsa. Parental Paradise...