With FOR 2013 just a month away, Tanja Gacic from My Empirical Life provided ClikTrips a rundown of the top five things to do while exploring the island of Hvar. We've also got the content mirrored below.
With no further ado, here we go.
1. Rent anything from a small motorised boat (you don't need a licence for these) to a fancy yacht and sail around the Pakleni Islands. This set of 20 or so islands are one of Croatia's most famous nautical destinations with pine forests, pebble beaches and azure sea.
Rarely rough or dangerous water conditions make this a fun and adventurous day excursion with many places to visit - check out Jerolim, Zdrilca, Stipanska or Palmizana for some great beaches, awesome restaurants and cute outdoor bars.
Best of all you can visit some of For festival's venues like a true pirate in around 15 minutes from Hvar town - Carpe Diem sits on one of these small islands as do Veneranda and Ammo Beach Bar.
2. Carpe Diem - This venue is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful clubs in the world. Monopolising the entire small island of Stipanska, Carpe Diem boasts an outdoor dancefloor in an olive grove, luxurious day beds running down to crystal clear waters, bbqs on the beach and amazing DJ acts.
3. Have a spa treatment in a cabana by the sea, stretch out with morning yoga under the old pines or simply rent a daybed or sunbed followed by a few cocktails at Bonj "les bains". This gorgeous "bathhouse" is part of Hotel Amfora but anyone can pay to visit and enjoy some sun and Adriatic sea in total luxury.
4. Visit the local markets and stock up on artisan bread, Dalmatian prosciutto, the famous Croatian Paski cheese, fresh figs, olive oil, nougat and wine such as the Mali Plavac, hop on a rented scooter and visit some of Hvar's popular beaches : Dubovica, Sveti Nedelja, Milna or Zarace for a fun (and utterly delicious!) take on a summer picnic.
5. Take a sunset stroll around the 700 year old stone town of Hvar (Croats used to call it For, hence the name of the festival ), trek to the old fort, then pick up some lavender souvenirs (the island is known for it's lavender fields) and grab a bite at a wide variety of authentic Croatian restaurants.
Bite into yummy local cheese, cured meats, salted sardined and local tipple in an authentic rustic setting at the Konoba Manego situated up the steep stone steps in the old town for a late afternoon chillout session.
If lobster linguini or truffle gnocchi is more your thing visit one of our favourites Luna restaurant but if you fancy a peasant stew called gregada with sea bass, potatoes, onion and wine simmered to perfection visit Macondo situated in a narrow alley over the main square or Lucullus where everything is delicious.
Yaksa is a place to see and be seen featuring a modern take on classic Croatian food, Paradise Found serves great seafood pasta and fish platters, and Zlatna Skoljka is an authentic slow food restaurant serving delicious Croatian fare with a twist.
Offering great views of the island and roast lamb, restaurant Panorama is just up from Hvar town, but if you really want an authentic and unforgettable experience and unsurpassed views of the whole of Hvar try to find Konoba Humac - what this semi abandoned shepard settlement lacks in electricity it more than makes up in coal fire. Order lamb, veal, goat or octopus a day ahead , then arrive when the meal is nearly cooked, settle back with some home made wine or a selection of liqueurs and wait for some roasted perfection while watching Hvar's golden sunset. Octopus is prepared under the peka with wine and herbs - it is a traditional form of cooking where food is placed under a steel bell that is heaped with burning coals, then cooked for hours for unbelievable tenderness.
Oh, and then there is also this thing called the For Festival where you can listen to some of the best artists in the world in a small, boutique, outdoor setting.
With limited numbers and varied locations around town and islands, it really is a festival like no other. It means more fun, music and dancing and less crowds, lines, boredom and restrictions. We really shouldn't call it a festival - it is more like choosing your own adventure on one of Europe's most beautiful Mediterranean islands. Which adventure will you choose?
Tickets on sale now, get yours here.
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