Every experienced traveller has heard of the extraordinary beauty of Hvar Island. Besides Dubrovnik, Hvar is one of the best-known travel destinations in Croatia, so it does not come as a surprise when Croatians meet other travelers abroad and the latter begin to talk about their holidays in Hvar. An average tourist would assume that Hvar relates to Croatia in the same way as Paris relates to France. It is a must see no matter what. On the other hand, many intended travellers fear the ominous rumours of rip-offs and are led to believe that they will have to take out a loan to pay for their trip to Croatia.
So here is your 2017 Hvar budget calculator:
- Bottled water (0.5l) – 30 HRK
- Beer can (0.33l) – 30 HRK
- Latte/ white coffee – 20 HRK
- Pizza slice – 30 HRK
- Doughnut – 11 HRK
- Croissant – 12 HRK
- Crêpe – 10 HRK
- Boiled corn on the cob – 10 HRK
- Soups: 20-30 HRK
- Side dishes and salads: 15-20 HRK
- Salad dishes: 40-70 HRK
- Warm starters: 65-95 HRK
- Fish and seafood dishes: 75 HRK (squids) – 550 HRK/kilo (lobster and fresh white fish)
- Gregada (Hvar signature dish): 250-400 HRK/ meal for two
- Meat dishes: 65-240 HRK
- Desserts: 20-25 HRK
- Ice-cream: 15-20 HRK
In general, these food and drink prices are similar to those you would expect in the UK. And probably in France, Belgium, Italy, etc. Not to mention the Scandinavian countries. So where does the shock come from? Is it the fact that tourists expect a fabulous holiday experience at a relatively low cost, considering the standard of living in Croatia? Or the fact that the beauty of Hvar is often compared with the beauty of other touristy places on the Mediterranean coast (such as southern Spain, Greece or Turkey) which happen to be significantly cheaper destinations?
No matter what startles Hvar visitors, the reasoning behind these prices is that Hvar has become a luxury destination. So everything sold on the island is considered luxury goods: from accommodation and transportation to groceries. Hvar Island sells a luxury experience even if you are not staying at a 4 or 5-star hotel. What you pay for is a possibility to breathe pine and lavender-scented air on the Croatian Emerald Isle bathed by the azzure waters of the Adriatic Sea. You pay to enjoy the views of charming old towns, boasting beautiful Italian-style palaces and church spires, neat squares and narrow cobbled-stone sreets…You pay for an opportunity to climb the 13th century Spanish Fortress perched high on the hill above the Hvar town… to get away from the crowds to secluded virgin coves of the nearby Paklenski islets.
No one disputes that this is a costly experience and that you are likely to have an enjoyable holiday elsewhere at way lower prices, but there is a reason why the rich resort to Hvar instead of other places. Hvar is without doubt the most beautiful island in the Adriatic Sea – they know it and are willing to pay for it.