The island of Hvar, king among the Dalmatian islands, has been known since ancient times for its important strategic and nautical location, its various historical periods, cultural and natural monuments, and literature. Thanks to its mild climate, warm winters and pleasant summers, many guests, scientists and travelers who, attracted by the lush Mediterranean nature, enjoy fresh fish and distinguished wines of the island. Not by chance, before the First World War, was Hvar referred to as the "Austrian Madeira" and is now considered to be one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world.
In the central part of the island of Hvar lies Jelsa, a pictoresque and enchanting village.
The beginnings of tourism on the island date back to ancient history, in ancient times and Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages the island was visited by many adventurers, naturalists, ethnologists and archaeologists who studied plants, minerals and ancient monuments. Organized tourism began during 1868 with the establishment of Hygienic Society of Hvar that was led by Bishop Duboković.
Hotel Jadran is the oldest hotel in Jelsa , dating from 1911. The rapid development of tourism and the construction of hotels, guest houses, apartments, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other tourist facilities came at the end of the 60s, when tourism became a major industry on the island.
The most pleasant thing to do in Jelsa is to take a walk along the coastline, through pine forests, shady groves, manicured paths and picturesque villages scattered across the hills and valleys full of Mediterranean plants and herbs with well-preserved streets and squares. It is the best way to experience Jelsa and surrounding places and to relax while inhaling fresh unpolluted air.
You can look for numerous beaches that are perfect for sunbathing and swimming - sand, gravel or stone; surrounded with a thick pine forest and the light breeze they offer truly exceptional experience of summer.
You will be happy to hear that in Jelsa prices are lower than in the city of Hvar. This mainly refers to the prices in restaurants, bars, clubs, and the cost of private and hotel accommodation in Jelsa. If you prefer to stay with your family on your own, you can always rent an apartment in Jelsa, or a holiday villa. Private accommodation is where most of the tourist settles. If you choose to stay at a hotel in Jelsa, you won’t be disappointed either as these are well equipped and ready to meet all your needs.
For your lunch or dinner, you can visit some of the numerous restaurants in Jelsa or go to the nearby village of Pitve, just above Jelsa, where the restaurant "Komin" is and try their seafood. If you do not wish to move much, we heard of the restaurant "Pelago" in Jelsa to be a place with a creative approach to Mediterranean cuisine. Mediterranean cuisine will probably become your best friend. Do not forget to have a glass of wine while eating your meal. It is a must in Dalmatia.
Essential parts of the nightlife are definitely bars and lounge-bars. Some of them are known for their large selection of local spirits - rakija. We have to warn you to be responsible with these ones, as they are pretty strong! Whatever you do in Jelsa, don’t forget to relax and enjoy summer, because that’s what all this is about.