Hvar - General information
HVAR, an island in the central Dalmatian archipelago; area 299.6 sq km (length 67.5 km, width up to 10.5 km); population 11,459. In front of the western part of the southern coast of Hvar are Pakleni Otoci (Pakleni Islands), and in front of the middle part the island of Scedro. A crest stretches across the middle part of the island, with the highest peak Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas) (628 m); north of it is the fertile Velo Polje (Big Field). The northern coast of the island, with the spacious Stari Grad Bay and a number of coves, is much more indented than the southern.
The island is characterized by mild Mediterranean climate. The air temperature in the winter months is 9.1°C, an average air temperature in January is -8.4°C and in July -24.8°C. Hvar has a long insolation (2,718 hours of sunshine a year). Snow occurs very rarely; in January there are five snowy days in ten years and in February only three. The forest vegetation, which in the past comprised the entire island, has been cleared in dolomite valleys and flysh belts, adequate for farming. Bare rocky ground is interspersed with underbrush and garrigue; lower belts are covered with holm oak, Aleppo pine and other species.
There are no surface water streams on the island; smaller sources spring out at the point of contact between dolom-ites and flysh marls. The only larger source is near Jelsa, from where the waterworks runs toward the town of Hvar. Most of the villages developed around Velo Polje; larger places are found along the coast (Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Vrboska). Economy is based on tourism, farming, viticulture, olive growing and especially on cultivation of rosemary and lavender; fishing is an additional occupation of the rural population.
The island of Hvar has three fish canneries (Sucuraj, Vrboska and Hvar). Tourism is especially developed in the town of Hvar and in Jelsa; modern marinas are built in Vrboska and on the Pakleni Islands. Major places on the island are connected by the regional road (Hvar - Stari Grad - Jelsa - Bogomolje - Sucuraj). Ferry lines via Hvar, Sucuraj, Stari Grad and the cove of Vira.