Stari Grad – The road less travelled

I just read this quote on a Facebook page I follow for Stari Grad in Hvar, one of the best islands of Croatia and then I realised this is what I should be writing in my next blog post. The road less travelled…

"... I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I - I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost
(From the poem: The Road not Taken)

If I look back on my travels, I always try to incorporate the road less taken in combination with tourist destinations. We need to see all the popular places as well. What’s the point of going to Athens and not visit the Acropolis? Or going to Italy and not visit Venice or Rome. But for me a mix of tourist attractions and off-the-beaten-track places (or the road less travelled) always prove to be worthwhile. It does imply that you will need to do more research to find these gems, but they are always there, if you just make the time…

In this case of Hvar – I immediately realised that Hvar Town was the main party place of the island and start searching for a place which will be beautiful, but also quiet and enjoyable. Then Stari Grad popped up and we decided to stay there and explore the rest of the island from there. When we arrived in the sleepy town, there was no-one to receive us at the Airbnb flat in one of the old squares of the town. Then this very old man came around to show us the way and called the lady from upstairs, he could not speak any English, but he immediately knew what we were looking for and always greeted us and waved whenever he saw us. In this square where we stayed, there were only locals and we decided each evening to sit like them outside the front door and drink a glass of wine, enjoying the children playing soccer in the square. It’s these moments that makes travel worthwhile…

Beautiful Stari Grad

The history of Stari Grad is also fascinating. In 384 BC, the town was formally founded by ancient Greeks from the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. It was first named Pharos. It is the oldest town in Croatia. Stari grad means “old town”. Because of its position in the middle of the Hvar island, for centuries Stari Grad was a safe harbour to sailors. Stari Grad bay is still regulary visited by most of the travellers on boats passing through Dalmatia.

Stari Grad
Stari Grad seen from the top, with the long bay which made a very safe harbour

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