Hvar (town)

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Hvar (town)
43°10.27′N, 16°26.40′E Chart icon.png
HvarTownPakleni.jpg
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Harbour of Hvar Town with Pakleni Islands in background

The harbour of Hvar Town, the main harbour of Hvar Island, is one of the most popular destinations in the Croatian islands, both by land tourists and by yachtsmen. Much of its popularity is due to its picturesque Venetian architectural heritage clustered inside 13th century town walls. Cars are banned from the town centre, making the town a delight to explore on foot. Among its numerous attractions are a spectacularly sited fortress, 15th century Franciscan monastery and several impressively decorated palaces and mansions, testimony to the skills of Hvar stone masons. The harbour has space for only 20 or so yachts on laid moorings along its town quay and the anchorage off it becomes impossibly crowded in July and August. An early arrival during these months is essential and even then you risk being sandwiched in the anchorage between later arrivals. Shelter in the harbour is good except in strong S and SW winds, when it becomes very uncomfortable.

Charts

British Admiralty
2712
269
Croatian charts
MK19
Imray
M26 (Split to Dubrovnik)

Weather

Diurnal winds among the islands are mostly moderate during the summer months, predominantly from NW and rarely exceeding force 4/5, although gusting is common in narrow channels between islands and on the lee side of headlands. At night, katabatic winds off the mountains affect some of the islands close to the mainland coast. During early spring and (especially) autumn conditions can be more unsettled, occasionally accompanied by violent thunderstorms - luckily of short duration - with winds of 30-35 knots or more and vicious, steep seas. In the winter the sudden, violent N wind off the mountains, the bora, is much to be feared, especially along the coast from Rijeka down to Zadar, although its effects can be felt as far south as Split.

Equally prevalent in winter - although not uncommon in summer - is the scirocco, a S/SE wind that blows up from North Africa, usually in advance of a depression moving E across the Mediterranean. Unlike the bora, the scirocco only occasionally exceeds gale force, but is still a phenomenon to be wary of, especially if on a lee coast.

For sources of weather forecasting, see Croatia.

Passages

See Croatia.

Communication

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

There are no dangers in the immediate approach to Hvar Town. Note, however, that in the approach from S there are shoals for some distance off the islet of O. Jerolim, the easternmost of the Pakleni Islands. Also that there are depths of just 5.0 metres in the passage between the islet of Galesnik half a mile S of Hvar Town and the coast of the island, which should therefore only be used in settled weather.

Entrance

Hvar Town is a summer port of entry. At other times of year, Split or Korcula are the nearest year-round ports of entry.

Berthing

There are three main berthing options:

  1. Town quay
    Yachts moored on Hvar Town quay
    The best but busiest berthing spot is on the town quay at the E of the harbour, where depths are 3.0 - 4.0 metres, N of the section reserved for ferries and hydrofoils. There are laid moorings along the quay for around 20 yachts to go stern or bows-to. These moorings are often occupied by midday during the season and early arrival is recommended, especially in late July and August when the Italians arrive. There are water and electricity points along the quay. There are toilets, showers and a launderette at the NE corner of the main square, next to the cathedral.
  2. W quay mooring buoys
    There are about 20 mooring buoys laid off the quay on the W side of the bay in depths of more than 3.0 metres, which are available for visiting yachts. Yachts pick up a buoy and take a line ashore to prevent swinging. It is essential to put out fenders if using these, since they are close together. Beware the swell that can cause a lot of rocking if the wind comes from the south-east.
  3. W quay anchor moor
    If all the buoys are taken, it is possible with care to anchor in 4.0 - 5.0 metres S of the line of buoys and take a line ashore. Holding is good in sand and mud. Again, fenders are advisable when mooring up and when leaving.

All these mooring positions are subject to frequent wash from ferries and hydrofoils, which is an unavoidable fact of life.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

None.

Anchorages

As of 2010 it is not allowed to drop anchor within the bay. Outside of the bay, past the mooring buoys, it is possible to anchor in 12 metres or more in settled weather.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Basic emergency repairs only.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel berth in a small inlet on E side of bay 500 metres S of harbour (0600 - 2200). Depths of only 1.8 metres alongside. Water and electricity on the town quay.

Things to do Ashore

Waterfront of Hvar Town
Hvar Town and fortress
Franciscan Monastery in Hvar Town

Tourism

Hvar Town has numerous attractions. Its main square of Trg Sveti Stjepana is one of the largest in the islands. At its E end is the impressive bell tower of the 16th century Cathedral of Sv. Stjepan and its Bishop’s Treasury museum. Around the square are imposing Gothic and Renaissance palaces. On the S side of the square is the 17th century Arsenal, subsequently adapted as one of the earliest theatres in the country. S of the harbour in a small cove is a 15th century Franciscan Monastery with a Renaissance cloister, fine church paintings and an interesting museum with early charts. To walk off a good lunch, climb to the Fortress Spanjol on the summit of a hill overlooking the harbour for fantastic views over the Pakleni Islands.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Several supermarkets, butchers and other provisions shops in the town. Fruit and vegetable market. Fish market.

Eateries

Several restaurants and café/bars ashore.

Internet/WiFi

In internet cafes.

Laundry

In the main square (self service).

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Near the harbour.

Transport

  • Daily ferries to Split.
  • Occasional ferries to Rijeka and Dubrovnik.
  • Local buses to island destinations.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

For other useful websites, see Croatia.

References & Publications

See Croatia.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington


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