Blue ivy’s competition
Lavender was the symbol of the island, long before Beyoncé came across the blue ivy. The tradition began at Velo Grablje, a village near Hvar, where, the Lavender Festival takes place each year, in late June. The aromatic herb is the focus of workshops, exhibitions and concerts.
There is an explanation for its natural beauty: it is the Croatian city that receives the most hours of sunlight. And the most stars. Queen Bey is not the only one who chooses the capital of Hvar Island for her summer holidays. The first was Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph I, in 1875. Orson Welles, George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres and three different James Bonds have all followed in his footsteps. While its port plays host to pricey yachts, it has not lost its medieval air. Fragments of the Republic of Venice, which governed the city several times over five centuries, are still very much present in its stone streets. Its influence is particularly notable on St Stephen’s Square, home to the cathedral—built in Venetian Renaissance style—the Clock Tower and the Loggia. There is also the municipal theatre, built in 1612, “the oldest in Europe,” boast the locals.
The surrounding area attracts as many visitors as the city. If you want to know why, climb up to the Spanish Fort (Fortica Španjola). From atop this 16th-century structure, there is a unique view of the Adriatic Sea and Pakleni Archipelago, a complex of six islands blanketed with a green forest and known for their nudist beaches. Nature and culture are complemented by coves with crystalline waters, like Uvala Skozanje, and parties that last until dawn. This idyllic combination has conquered the hearts of Hollywood artists, young Europeans and newlyweds. A more relaxed version of Ibiza, with a discreet glamour.