Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Samoans Play Balote on Top of Hvar as Klapa Samoana Stuns Hvarcienda

July 16, 2019 - Klapa Samoana, the Dalmatian sensations from the Pacific, entertained about 300 guests at Hvarcienda, on the top of Croatia's premier island. It was quite a show.  

So authentic, and yet so authentic. 

Unique and unforgettable for sure, as two outstanding products met with no neighbours to disturb for an evening of music, food, wine, nature, dancing and fun. 

And boy - how did the main stars perform. 

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The concept of a Dalmatian klapa group from the Pacific island of Samoa might sound pretty far out, but Klapa Samoana won the hears of Croatians all over the globe last year during the World Cup, as their klapa singing went viral. 

If you don't know the story, it all started with a Croatian music teacher in Auckland and a school trip to Croatia in 2008. Rather than repeat the story for those who know it, you can learn more in the video below. 


A great story. And so when I heard that they would be performing on Hvar - more specifically at Hacienda on the very top of the island - I knew that we had to go. Hvarcienda is a new concept for 2019, an organic oasis of gorgeousness offering 'food with views'. Although I hadn't tried the food yet, if it was anything like the views... The ultimate chill zone, with literally no neighbours for miles, Hvarcienda hosts a range of cool events, from yoga to immortelle harvesting workshops. It was time to pay a first visit. 

We weren't the only ones who were excited. Here are the Klapa Samoana founding brothers on top of Hvar the day before the concert. 

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We arrived about 20:00, just in time for sunset.  

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A truly divine part of the planet.  

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And, for the hikers, some pointers on the important mountain peaks in the world, with Hvar's very own peak of Sv. Nikola looking achievable at 621m above sea level, or 'very close'. 

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The recently harvested field of immortelle. It must look glorious in yellow.  

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A natural and safe paradise for all the family. So much space, so much nature, so much The Mediterranean as It Once Was.  

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When we arrived, the guys were playing balote *see lead photo), the latest incursion into Dalmatian culture since their World Cup success.  The main man, Christian, was very approachable and was impressed that my brother-in-law had visited Samoa - twice! He had never heard of a Croatian who had been to his country twice. 

A quick change from the casual balote t-shirt and shorts, and the boys were ready for action. 

Samoa meets Dalmatia. Just stunning. There were a LOT more people than expected, and a truly memorable performance. I had expected Klapa Samoana to have a range of songs they had learned and just to sing those, but it quickly became apparent that the initial World Cup success had started something much bigger. Their knowledge of Croatian culture (and language) was impressive, as was their understanding of the regions of Croatia. They had a song for each, asking if there was anyone from Istria, Zagorje, Slavonia - then producing a song for each. 

Much more than a concert, it was an evening of song and a narrative of the developing love affair of Samoans for Croatia. 

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And all the while, Hvarcienda was providing culinary support.  

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The menu was small but delicious and healthy.  

But that was not the end of the evening, for this was a sunset to sunrise party. With no neighbours to disturb, Hvarcienda guests were free to express themselves and party. Klapa Samoana gave way to the tunes from DJ Occko, and after the lively Samoan warmup, the crowd was ready to dance. 

I disappeared with Christian to his room to record an interview, which I had planned to add to this article. But he was SO interesting and covered so many topics, one of which could be really interesting for Croatian tourism, that I will cover that in a separate article in a couple of days. 

An amazing night. High-quality Croatian tourism, with content, content, content. 

You can follow the Klapa Samona story on Facebook.

Hvarcienda is a true hidden gem. Here is how to find it.  

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide



Saturday, 13 July 2019

Event of the Summer? Klapa Samoana from Samoa Live on Top of Hvar

A really special night on the top of the island of Hvar on July 15, 2019, as Samoan singing sensation Klapa Samoana make their way from the Pacific to the peak of Croatia's premier island. 

It is one of those unlikely cultural stories - a group of Samoan singers performing traditional Croatian songs a cappella exactly like a Dalmatian Klapa group. But Klapa Samoana not only are the only Samoan klapa singers, but have also won the hearts of millions of Croats with their renditions of Dalmatian classics during last week's world cup. They even have a town square named after them in one Croatian town. 

And Klapa Samoana are coming to Hvar and will be performing live on the top of the island at Hvarcienda on Monday, with their concert starting at 21:00.  


It seems the Samoan sensations are even TCN readers, as one of our articles from last summer was included in this interview explaining how they became interested in Croatia and its music. One of the group had a Croatian music teacher in Auckland who first aroused interest in Croatia. A tuba player, he went to Croatia on a school trip, and the rest is history. Watch the video - a very nice story.  

The concert will be part of an evening from sunset to sunrise at Hvarcienda, a stunning chill zone by Hvar's peak of St. Nikola, in splendid isolation. You can learn more about Hvarcienda here


Klapa Samoana will be followed by DJ Occko for a dance party which will go on until the early hours. There will be food, wine, and the most divine setting. 

Space is limited, so book soon to avoid disappointment. TCN will be covering the event. You can reserve your spot via the Hvarcienda Facebook page or by calling +385-95-5227-135. Here they are in action:

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Harvesting Hvar Immortelle: Natural Cosmetics Workshop at Hvarcienda

June is the month of lavender on the island of Hvar, but did you know that there are other crops being harvested this month? Immortelle, for example.

I will confess that I knew very little about the curry plant, Immortelle, until my friend Jadran Lazic showed me his plans to plant immortelle on the top of Hvar close to the lavender field I help him harvest each year. A little research told me that immortelle was both a healthy and a potentially lucrative crop which is growing in popularity. Check out the New York Times feature last year on the immortelle crop near Zadar

And now, for the first time, there is a chance for you to take part in an immortelle harvest on Hvar, as well as take part in a natural cosmetics workshop in one of the most chilled places in Dalmatia - Hvarcienda. More information about the workshop from the official event page:

We invite you to spend a day at the top of this magnificent island, immersed in a field of a million tiny sunshines, with the scent of eternal summer. Take a ride with us from Hvar town to Hvarcienda, sustainable organic farm and restaurant, to experience our Immortelle workshop!


Upon arrival, you will be greeted with an Immortelle elixir and introduced to the rich history of the plant mentioning Slavic, Greek and Roman mythology. We will then take a walk through Immortelle field and pick some flowers to turn them into precious and useful products.

After harvesting, the workshop will start by guiding you through the talk about the plant's use in cosmetics, followed up with drying process and creating immortelle macerate, salve and skin cream out of basic ingredients from your kitchen, along with scented bath salts.

After the educational part of the day, we'll spend some leisure time enjoying the food from our farm, paired with a glass of local wine, while taking in the incredible view from our terrace. 

After lunch some of you might decide to stay and chill with a glass of wine (mesmerized by being where you are), and the adventurous ones will join us on a guided hike at the very top of the island (626 m above the sea level) 20min walk, and learn identifying plant life on the island Hvar. Sage, thyme, wild oregano, rosemary, milk thistles and beautiful wild orchid are some of the plants you are about to find on your way up.

A trip back from Hvarcienda to town with your Immortelle gift bag, will be at 2:30pm or arranged differently.

Allow yourself to be seduced by the sweet, sensual scent of Imortelle, sung about in the ancient Greek epics. Join our workshop, and learn how to use the plant attributed with the power of Sun god Apollo. Feed your body and your soul with beautiful food and wine, and the best view found on Hvar island and beyond. 

PRICE €150

PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATION IN ADVANCE *U slucaju da imate svoj prijevoz i zelite nam se samo pridružiti na radionici 300kn 
+385 95 3880 316  / Whatsapp and ViberTihana

START AT 9:30 Mario Rent agency 


The workshops will be led by Mia, the founder of the brand Lumini. By degree an agricologist, her love for nature is what guides her. The brand has been founded to unite all of her quests for finding creative and practical ways to live that love. The name Lumini symbolizes its purpose, education and enlightenment, spreading the light of knowledge one candle at a time...

*Please wear comfortable hiking/ walking shoes
*You bear responsibility for your actions and behavior, organizers are not responsible for your safety.

To learn more about the island of Hvar, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Hvarcienda, a New Organic Chill Zone on the Very Top of Hvar Paradise

May 5, 2019 - Meet Hvarcienda, a new sustainable organic farm with cool tunes and incredible views located close to the peak of the island of Hvar. Perfection!

What if you could combine the very best of everything in one place in Croatia?

Somewhere like the peak of the sunniest island in Europe, whose natural beauty and temperate climate earned it the nickname of the 'Austrian Madeira' over a century ago, as well as it becoming the birthplace of organised tourism in Europe based on its recuperative climate. 

What if there was a place at the peak of this island which offered high-quality organic food, with produce from its own fields, serving some of the finest examples of the Hvar Mediterranean Diet, which was inscribed as UNESCO intangible heritage back in 2013. 


A place where there are no neighbours, apart from perhaps yourselves, if you wanted to stay in the luxury villa a few minutes walk from the main restaurant. Also in total seclusion, the villa is close enough to the restaurant to dine and chill, but sufficiently distant to protect privacy. Check out the villa here, available on AirBnB.

A place where the emphasis is on nature, great food and company, and chilling out in a divine spot with nobody else around. 

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Meet Hvarcienda, the latest fantastic addition to the Hvar hospitality scene, and a very unique one at that. In their own words:

Located at the highest peak of the island (627m)Located at the highest peak of the island (627m), Hvarcienda is an organic farm and restaurant offering farm to table food. we are here to provide our community with a place they can relax and enjoy "safe" food. we look forward to share our lifestyle and passion with all of you here in Hvarcienda.   Able to accommodate small or large groups with proper reservation notice, guests will enjoy dining indoors or outdoors. Whether covered in the shade for lunch or under the starry sky for dinner, Hvarcienda is one of the islands most authentic and beautiful places to enjoy a glass of wine, dine or simply explore and relax.

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We are a community of friends creating an eco-friendly rural escape located on top of the island. Our restaurant & farm area will become a sustainable tourism platform offering local organic food and wine along with multi-functioning outside areas including tourist accommodation in our guest house and a small camping ground in future.


Since we grow almost all our food that we bring to the table, Our concept is to be as sustainable as possible when it comes to the food we are serving.

DIRECTIONS: Resting just beneath the famous chapel, Sveta Nikola. Hvarcienda is located 20min by car or shuttle from Hvar town or Stari Grad.  Our road is rocky and windy at certain areas so please take it slow and enjoy all the scenic views and history on your way up!    

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VILLA: Need accommodation? Stay with us in our beautiful villa! The property is far enough from the restaurant for privacy but close enough to reach by foot if need be.  Sleeps six guest comfortably with a full kitchen, outside patio and pool for cooling off in the heat.


Basically we will prepare local specialties like peka, lamb on the spit... vegetables from our garden and from next year we will have our own wine. This place is perfect for groups, corporative events, weddings etc... We also plan on doing yoga retreats and stuff like that in future. The property is huge with amazing views and lots of walking trails around. 

The hardest thing is to get up there but we will organize transportation as well if necessary. 

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We are open from next week.

There will also be plenty of chilled tunes to help guests relax and get into the mood, and a special guest next weeks sees the return to Hvar of Hula Hula legend Wolf, who will be DJ-ing for a few days at Hvarcienda in its opening phases. 

Wolf, the Austrian legend who took Hula Hula from a crappy little bar with plastic chairs and drinks in cool boxes to one of the top beach bars in the world. is now living in the mountains in Austria, where he now runs a truly fabulous hospitality business in the mountains above Innsbruck called Hecherhaus (see photo below).

From one hilltop paradise to another. We will be reporting back from Hvarcienda in greater detail shortly. You can follow and contact Hvarcienda on their Facebook page, which will be active shortly.

Opening hours 9 am to 12 pm

Phone number This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To learn more about this magical island, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide. For the latest news from Hvar, follow the dedicated TCN page.