Stari Grad - 2403 years old and still going strong
A short history of Stari Grad
We don’t know the date of birth of this old town, but we do know the year when it was born. Way back in 384 BC Greeks from the island of Paros (located in the Aegean Sea) came to the island of Hvar and established the town Faros (Φάρος). We still do not know why Stari Grad was named Faros, but it’s believed it was because of the name of their island.
384 BC is not only important for Stari Grad; this is the year when famous Greek philosopher Aristotle was born!
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence.”
Greeks, and later Romans, benefited from the fertile field located near Stari Grad - Ager Pharensis. There you can see the oldest trace of greek parcelization in the Mediterranean. Because of that, Ager found its place on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List back in 2008.
Oxa Dreamland is located in Ager so you can enjoy one of many original parcels that stood the test of time. Old stone walls that were used as borders of parcels are still there, and they look like lace made of stone.
Throughout history, the importance of Stari Grad grew bigger and bigger. People from this town were considered skillful fishermen, boat builders, and builders in general.
St. Stephen church was built in the 17th century, and it is the most successful architectural accomplishment in baroque Dalmatia.
In the 19th century, the island of Hvar became a part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia (back in the time when Croatia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy). This was a peaceful period in which Stari Grad was very prosperous.
In this era, many buildings were built, and you can still see them today (school, the Biankini palace, and the don Šime Ljubić palace).
Stari Grad’s fleet was quite big for that time - it consisted of 50 ships that sailed and traded in the Mediterranean sea.
Nowadays, Stari Grad still breathes and lives that ancient spirit, you can feel it when you walk on the old and narrow streets in the old part of the town.
Whispers of the days long gone can still be heard, if you listen closely enough.
After this short history guide, we’ll answer some of the most common questions tourists ask about Stari Grad.
Is Stari Grad worth visiting, and what to do there?
The ancient history of the oldest town in Croatia should be good enough reason, but if you live in present and do not care that much about history, no worries.
Stari Grad has numerous small taverns (konoba) that offer authentic meals made from freshly caught fish, and homegrown vegetables and fruits.
In the smallest and most intimate ones, you can find old fishermen who sit huddled together and sing old Dalmatian songs (klapa).
After you had lunch, maybe you’d like to take a walk and ease your full stomach. You can do it by walking in the old streets that sometimes feel like a maze. You can’t get lost though, just follow the sound of the sea and you’re back on track.
Those streets are hiding old buildings, museums, coffee bars, or antique stores where you can find little pieces of history.
If your body is longing for a swim in our beautiful Adriatic Sea, you just won a jackpot. Stari Grad has several public or hotel beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea.
If you prefer small, private bays, again, you won a jackpot. Peninsula Kabal hides many pristine bays where you can go in a car, on foot, or by a bike.
If you don’t want to be the designated driver (or a walker), just ask Oxa to arrange you with boat transport via Hvar way.
Evenings in Stari Grad are amazing. Sunsets are unique and never fail to amaze anyone who sees them. You can take a walk on the seafront that goes on both sides of the Stari Grad bay so you can enjoy the view from both sides.
How to get from Split to Stari Grad, and from Stari Grad to Hvar?
From Split to Stari Grad you can get by a ferry that sails few times a day. The ride lasts about 2 hours, and during that time you can enjoy the view of Split, Brač, Šolta, and Hvar.
The ferry port is around 2 kilometers from the town Stari Grad and you can take a bus or a taxi to get there. If you prefer to be alone, you can just ask us to pick you up in the port and take you to Oxa Dreamland.
Once people get to the island of Hvar, they want to see the Hvar town, too. Hvar is 20 kilometers from Stari Grad, and you can go there with almost any kind of vehicle. Again, if you don’t want to drive by yourself or take a bus, you can ask us, and we’ll take you there. We’ll tell you all you want to know about the island and the bays during the ride. Or we can admire nature in silence, whatever you like.