Where the tallest peaks of Hvar island reach down to the many coastal coves, Jelsa is found. Named for the swamp Fons vocata Ielsa which once divided its stony whole in two, this beauty queen of Hvar now welcomes its visitors to an excellent combinatin of cherished traditions and cultural wealth.
The scent of lavender which permeats most of Hvar is the perfect welcome for the visitors which have flocked to Jelsa ever since antiquity. The countryside is dotted with ancient villas, and even more ancient monuments can be found in the attractive collection held at the Lapidarium.
This Mediterranean town has been watched over for ages by the elegant bell tower of the Church of Our Lady of the Angels. In the network of small stone family homes, there awaits another attraction, the small Church of Saint Mary dating back to the fourteenth century. The sights go on at the main town square of Jelsa, where a fountain offers cool refreshment, and surprisingly becomes a stream.
Shows, concerts and poetry readings are only some of the attractive events which Jelsa has put together under the name of Antun Dobronić Evenings. The composer who put Jelsa on the cultural map is now honored with a statue in a gorgeous Mediterranean park, in addition to the event which bears his name.
Aside from art, the summers here are market by the Feast of wine. During this event, visitors are introduced to Hvar vintages and specialties, uniquely entertaining competitions and musical performances.
Jelsa also participates in the rich religious life of Hvar, such as the UNESCO-protected procession "Za križen" or Behind the cross, when the faithful cross as much as 25 kilometers, connecting six Hvar towns during their progress.