SAILING DESTINATION THAT SHOULDN’T BE MISSED DURING SAILING HOLIDAYS IN CROATIA
Vrboska is a charming little settlement, one of the smallest towns on the sunny island of Hvar located on the north coast. However, it offers both mooring options in its ACI marina and mooring options in the city harbor. Before arriving in Vrboska, choose one of the beautiful bays on the way and stop for a swim.
The place has an unusual shape since it is lying along a curved and narrow fjord and it is hidden deep in a narrow bay, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and pine forest. However, these are all the reasons that make it special.
The view over Vrboska from one of our sailboats
This charming settlement has earned a few nicknames over the years. Most often, it is referred to as “Little Venice” thanks to the numerous small bridges scattered around the village. This is why Vrboska is also called “The bridge to Hvar”.
Vrboska – one of many small bridges scattered around the village
More than deservedly, Vrboska is also referred to as “Ljepotica otoka Hvara” or “The beauty of the Hvar island” in English.
Close to Vrboska is the other charming settlement on the northern side of Hvar, JELSA, which can be easily reached by bike, scooter, or car that can be rented in Vrboska.
ABOUT THE ROOTS OF VRBOSKA
The very name of this beautiful place derives probably from the name of Vrbanj, the inland village whose inhabitants used the bay as a fishing port. However, there is another theory – the source was the Latin word ‘verboscam’, meaning ‘forested’, which was an adequate name for this wooden bay.
The little settlement of Vrboska was founded way back in the 15th century as a fishing harbor. First, it grew in prosperity and became a fishermen’s village, and later it developed into a picturesque little town. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, this place had a sardine factory, boat-building industry, trading association, library, health clinic, a hotel, and it was connected to Split and the neighboring island of Brač.
The three architectural styles – gothic, renaissance, and baroque style – are an ornament of the settlement. The buildings are intertwined with the irregular net of narrow curving streets.
Today, Vrboska is a typical Mediterranean settlement but also a popular nautical destination, which is no wonder since it has a very well equipped and well positioned ACI marina, as well as berths on the main promenade (“riva”) that offer water and electricity. Vrboska is adorned both with ancient constructions and old houses as with luxurious modern buildings. Little over 500 of its inhabitants live mainly of tourism, and apart from that, they are occupied with olive, fruit, and wine growing, and their everlasting love – fishing.
Vrboska as a typical Mediterranean settlement
SIGHTS VRBOSKA IS PROUD OF
One of the old constructions is the fishermen’s museum, which opened back in 1972 as a place where you can get an insight into the lives of the ancient fishermen. You can see a collection of tools, nets, and parts of the machines used in the former fish factory. To get an even better image of how the fishermen lived, the museum also displays an old, reconstructed house of fishermen that projects the image of the hard life of Vrboska’s inhabitants from the past.
Besides the Fishermen’s museum, it is rather important to mention the outstanding fortress-church of St. Mary of Mercy. Now a great architectural heritage, the church was rebuilt in the shape of a fortress in the 16th century by the local people who wanted to defend the village from the Turks. It is known as the most beautiful fortress in Croatia and one of the admiring churches from that time in general. From its roof, you get an amazing view of the surrounding landscape.
The fortress-church of St. Mary of Mercy in Vrboska
A few years ago our son had the opportunity to look over Vrboska from the fortress of St. Mary of Mercy
Other significant churches you might want to visit:
- The parish church of St. Lawrence (Lovrinac) – St. Lovrinac is the patron saint of Vrboska. The church is located west of the church of St. Mary of Grace; it was built in the 15th century and reconstructed in the 17th century in the baroque style. The interior of the church stores a great treasure – paintings of great masters of Renaissance: Vecellio, Cagliari, Bassano, Alabardi, Scuri, Aspetti, Cellini,…
Saint Lawrence church in Vrboska
- The church of St. Peter – built in 1331 and restored in 1469 – one of the oldest buildings on the island of Hvar
- Little church of St. Roch (Roko) – from the year 1557; constructed as a vow against the plague
WHY VISIT VRBOSKA DURING YACHT CHARTER HOLIDAYS IN CROATIA
This settlement is not called “The beauty of the Hvar island” for nothing. It lies on the north-eastern side of Stari Grad Plain which is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. Fresh air, crystal-clear sea, sandy, and pebble beaches is what makes us love Vrboska. The beauty of its nature lies also in the intact pine forest. In the middle of the bay, you can see a very small islet that adds to the charm of this adorable place.
Vrboska – the small island in the middle of the bay; simply beautiful
If you just love freedom, solitude, and untouched nature, you are also going to love the fact that, apart from Vrboska itself, there is also the nearby Zečevo Island with a popular naturist beach. A perfect option for spending an afternoon is to anchor near the island, in the crystal-clear sea, and enjoy swimming and sunbathing. Zečevo can be reached by boat from Vrboska or from Jelsa (15 minutes).
Another beautiful beach for spending a day like this is the Soline beach. It is also a great option for anchoring and enjoying the sun and the sea. To get a full-day experience near the beach, have your meals on the boat and, if the weather permits, stay anchored overnight.
Friends enjoying paddleboarding right at the entrance to Vrboska, in front of the Soline beach
FOOD / RESTAURANTS
The rich fishermen tradition can be seen in the local gastronomic offer. The restaurants offer fresh fish and healthy food from the surrounding areas, and domestic olive oil is the main condiment of most meals. Enjoy the delicacies with a glass of local Hvar wine.
We always recommend consulting TRIPADVISOR to find the best restaurants where to dine when on sailing holidays in Croatia.
Here are some places where to eat when visiting Vrboska:
- Restaurant Bonaca – WEBSITE, TEL: +385 91 5219929
- Restaurant Trica Grdelin – WEBSITE – TEL: +38521774280
- Restaurant Santa Marija, Dol – TEL: +38598875555 or +38598259177
- Restaurant Me and Mrs. Jones, Jelsa – WEBSITE – TEL: +38521761882
SIGHTS / THINGS TO DO / ATTRACTIONS
- Fisherman’s Museum
- The fortress-church of St. Mary of Mercy
The view from the Fortress of St Mary over the bay
- Rent a scooter or a bike and go around the place and to nearby Jelsa (4 kilometers) and Starigrad (6 kilometers)
Little girl enjoying a ride on a rented scooter in Vrboska
- Rent a quad, explore the island, and have an adventure of your life
- Organized wine & other tours – WEBSITE, WEBSITE; Pinjata Wineries & Vineyards
- Organized every-day boat-excursions to the beach Zlatni rat on the island of Brač
Consult Tripadvisor to find more about Things to do in Vrboska.
- ACI MARINA – WEBSITE – TEL: +385217749953 – ACI marina Vrboska is opened for the yachtsmen during the whole year.5 (0)21 77
A sailboat at the very entrance to Vrboska – the view over the ACI marina (to the left)
- MOORING IN THE HARBOUR – TEL: + 385 98 19 03 256 OR + 385 91 79 90 622