Hvar has plenty to offer to everyone, from long and rich history, visible at every step, to beautiful beaches and cafés with non-stop entertainment - it is hard not to find something to one's taste. History that dates back to the Greek settlers from Syracuse to Roman Empire, Croatian Kings, Venetian Republic has enriched Hvar with flavours of typical Mediterranean, but with a Dalmatian twist.
The city of Hvar has a long and distinguished history as center for trade and culture in the Adriatic. An independent commune within the Venetian Empire from the 13th to the 18th century, it was an important naval base with a strong fortress above, encircling town walls and protected port. Cultural life thrived as prosperity grew, and Hvar is the site of one of the oldest surviving theatres in Europe, opened in 1612. The seven-century old walls still survive, as do many of the noble houses and public buildings from 15th - 17th centuries.
By the 19th century, the port of Hvar was no longer a military base, and The Hygienic Society of Hvar (Higijeničko društvo u Hvaru) took the economy of the city and the island in a new direction. As one of the earliest "tourist boards" in Europe, it was founded in 1868. with the purpose of providing "good care for visitors". Today, the city has a variety of hotels, galleries, museums, and exhibitions, including the Arsenal, Loggia, the Croatian Institute, and the Hvar Heritage Museum with its art and archaeological collections.
The port of Hvar, set in a picturesque natural bay, with the Pakleni Otoci island chain protecting it to the south, is a safe haven for boats year round. The city is a popular port of call for yachts sailing around the Adriatic, especially in the summer months. There are regular catamaran ferry services from the port between Hvar and Split, Brač, Korčula, Lastovo, and Vis.