Jelsa – island Hvar

Jelsa is a small place on the north side of island Hvar, around 1NM mile away from Vrboska. Jelsa was firstly a port of Pitve, the oldest permanently populated village, on the south of Jelsa and around 30 minutes ( by foot) away from Jelsa. Since fifteenth century , Jelsa was slowly taking away a main role from Pitve, and became a center with school and ambulance with more than 2 000 people. The port of Jelsa is open on NE wind which can cause waves and can be quite unpleasant, so if this conditions are predicted, it is better to go to nearby Vrboska. In every other conditions, Jelsa is safe and pleasant port. Moorings with water and electrity are available on the north side of port while the southern side is mainly occupied by hidroplane and catamaran that connect Jelsa with Split. Also, a gas station is not located on the sea, but in the middle of Jelsa, just in front of main post office. A lots of narrow, tiny and traditional streets, a road trail (riva) with restourants, caffes, bakeries , which strecthes just parallel with sea are all traditional characteristics of small town situated by the sea.

Also, it’s not a traditional Dalmatian town unless there it has a churh, and Jelsa has a 3 of them. Church of St. Mary with defensive tower was used as a shelter from Turkish attacks in the fiftheenth century, and baroqish church of St. Ivan was conservated and renoved few months ago. Jelsa is also very interesting becouse of natural water source (Soline) in the middle of place. The tradition is not less preserved in Jelsa than in other places on Hvar and Jelsa is one of the six villages ( Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj, Vrboska) that are part of traditional Way of the Cross (Križni put) which starts from each village and is led by a cross carrier. In the dawn, proccession from each village returns to its starting point where is the final service held.

Besides Way of the Cross, in August is usually held a celebration of Wine. Althought the quallity of this event became pretty low in the past few years, today there are people who intend on getting back quality and high atendance into this event. Also, the wine is not the only thing that Jelsa and its surrounding can offer. In Pitve, around 40 mins of slow walking from Jelsa, it is possible to buy domestic honey, olive oil, vegetables… Interesting net of streets in Jelsa also hides a very small and interesting gallery called Dalmacijaland with not everyday kinds of souvenirs, paintings and pictures and is mainly dedicated to a famous Croatian comic superhero from Jelsa, Lavanderman. This superhero that fights against mosquitoes, headaches, vertigo etc. Got its name thanks to a lavander plant which is very present on Island of Hvar.

Article by Inga Tomašević

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