'Dani u Vali' Festival: Stari Grad on Hvar Island Celebrates 2400th Birthday

By 8 September 2017

We recently stated the month of September opens up a whole new world of traditional festivals on the Adriatic, and the islands are currently proving us right in the most spectacular fashion.

The Murter festival of lateen sails kicks off today, and Hvar island is putting the final touches on preparations for a lovely manifestation called 'Dani u Vali' (Festival Days in the Bay) – the 2nd Croatian festival of ships, the sea and sailors.

The town of Stari Grad will thus host a wonderful festival dedicated to maritime heritage from September 14 to 17, one that is also marking the 2400th anniversary of foundation of the Greek polis Faros, the ancient ancestor of Stari Grad. Imagine that – 2400 years! If any place has the right to boast tradition, it's Hvar island, the home of no less than eight UNESCO protected sites.

More than 50 traditional boats from Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Montenegro are coming to participate. Plamenko Bavčević, president of the Cronaves association, said they sent out invitations to all relevant associations in Istria, Kvarner, the wider areas of Šibenik and Zadar, and the islands of central Dalmatia. More than 30 participants happily agreed to attend even before 2017 rolled around, so the festival will see all kinds of traditional boats ranging from batana of Brijuni islands to leut from Vela Luka.



The festival programme was devised by the members of Cronaves, headed by the legendary Leo Lemešić, the first Dalmatian who circumnavigated the world. For the crown jewel of the entire manifestation, they organised a nighttime boat parade, one that will see traditional Croatian boats joined by wooden sailboats and wooden mini cruisers built in the 50s and the 60s; modern boats and yachts are also welcome to participate. On Saturday, September 16 at 22:00, the 'Dance of Sails and Light' parade will – conveniently – light up the sea surface along the waterfront.

As the entire manifestation aims to present the rich maritime heritage of the entire Adriatic coast, the programme is jam-packed with attractive events, exhibitions and activities. The visitors can look forward to performances by folklore ensembles, lectures about all traditional boats, multiple introductory presentations of maritime heritage of other participating countries, a couple of rowing regattas... All that dosed with a substantial amount of local delicacies, quality wine and a lot of music and dancing.

You can see the detailed schedule here (in Croatian), and there's always that other option – go with the flow, take a walk around Stari Grad and immerse yourself in the atmosphere!


Source: Stari Grad