Wednesday, 27 March 2013

5 centuries of uninterrupted tradition

Easter, the greatest Christian feast, is at our doorstep. Hvar is truly a unique place to visit at Easter time, because it offers experiences fundamentally attached to the traditions of the island. The origins of a unique Procession are linked to a period of peasant revolt against Venetian governance when, according to the legend, Sveti križić (Holly Little Cross) started to bleed before a conflict. In over five centuries of celebration, the tradition has never been interrupted, not even in wartime or followed by really bad weather. This celebration is valued by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage. History speaks loudly here.

Photo from
For more than 500 years, Maundy Thursday is dedicated to Procession ‘Za križen’ (‘Following the Cross’). This is an expression of the religious and cultural identity of the population of the central part of Hvar Island. The mass is simultaneously held in the six parishes of Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska. The procession then follows a 25-kilometre course into the early morning hours of Good Friday. Because each of the six groups start from their respective churches and follow the course in a clockwise direction, the groups never meet. 


Photo from
Each group is lead by a cross-bearer who walks the course either barefoot or in socks, carrying the 18 kilos heavy cross, never resting. It is a great honour to be a cross-bearer, a one time opportunity that will never be forgotten. The cross-bearer, formerly selected from among religious brotherhoods, registered up to twenty years in advance, has a much-desired and respected position, reflecting the devotion of the individual bearer and his family. He is followed by two friends with candelabra and others carrying candles and lanterns, five choral singers (kantaduri) who sing the Lamentation of the Virgin Mary at several points along the way and many pilgrims of all ages from Croatia and abroad. 

They stop in front of churches and chapels in other villages where greeted by priests and return to their parish church before dawn when the cross-bearer runs the last hundred metres to receive the blessing of his home priest.

Photo from
The oldest cross-bearer in 20th century was Luka Bojanić, 83 years old, carried the cross for Vrisnik in 1934. The youngest cross-bearer in 20th century was Svetko Marijan, 12 years old, carried the cross for Pitve in 1953. 
(Information from Kruvenica Hvar Facebook page )

St. Stephens Cathedral
Good Friday

Another Easter tradition called ‘Through God’s Graves’ takes place in Hvar town in the afternoon of Good Friday. Fraternities from St. Cross and St. Nicolas, one dressed in black tunics, the other in white, begin their procession in different churches. 

Later on, they come together at Pjaca, the old Venetian town square - the largest and perhaps the most beautiful square on the Adriatic, to sing the ancient melody Popule Meus in front of the St. Stephens Cathedral. This event takes place in the evening. During this time all activity in the centre of the town stands still to honour this ancient tradition. The procession is illuminated by candles and lanterns.

Easter is locally celebrated at churches of the town, followed by delicious traditional lunch. Sirnica (or pinca) is a traditional Dalmatian Easter sweet roll. It takes the form of a sweet bread loaf with the sign of a cross, which is carved in with a knife before baking, on the upper side. Sirnica is eaten to celebrate the end of Lent because it contains many eggs. Together with Easter eggs, sirnica has remained the centerpiece of the family Easter breakfast. It is often given to guests as a symbol of good wishes. 

For those who are longing for a spring break, indulging in sunshine, warm weather, awakening nature, inspiring tradition, Hvar is an excellent choice.
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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Magic of Hvar

Voted one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world and praised by renowned international publications, the island of Hvar has been known for the healing qualities of its pure air and crystal clear sea since ancient Greek times. 

In the heart of Europe, Hvar's uniquely sunny microclimate, unspoiled landscape, and rich cultural heritage made it one of the first tourist resorts in the Adriatic.
From the moment you wake to the sound of the crickets in the morning and take your first deep breath of Hvar’s aromatic air, you’ll find yourself beckoned into Hvar’s garden. Whether you take a hike into the hills or don a mask and plunge into the azure waters, the flourishing flora and fauna of Hvar will tantalize your senses.

Rich with a variety of Mediterranean trees and plants, Hvar is a place where the air is perpetually thick with scent. In fact, many visitors cite the air as being one of their most memorable experiences on the island. 

The island nourishes many agave plants; they are true queens of the stone.  It sometimes takes few decades for them to flourish. They mature very slowly and die after just one flowering. The Benedictine nuns in the town of Hvar are very famous for using agave to make art which is under UNESCO protection. Do you know what they make?

You could experience paradise this summer. We are offering you a combination of sun, beaches, nightlife, heritage and agro-tourism and we are hosting the final day of the inaugural Ultra Europe festival on July 14th. The reward is worth the travel.
Book early and save 15%, the offer ends in ten days! 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hvar amongst the Europe's must-sees in 2013

Suncani Hvar Hotels was a part of ITB Berlin Convention, the leading travel industry think tank, held March 6th and 7th 2013.

One of the most exciting experiences at ITB Berlin Convention was when one of the travel trade partners brought an amazing itinerary for 37 days trip around Europe to our attention. Itinerary was made for a group from Rio de Janeiro and we are proud to say that HVAR stands side by side with 10 top European brands, hip and hedonistic destinations such as Mykonos, Mallorca, Rome etc.

Still haven’t planned your ‘Around Europe Route’? 
We can help you!