The lesser-known town on the popular Hvar Island in the south of Croatia, Jelsa is a treasure trove for the travelers that like to explore beyond the obvious. St. Nikola and Hum, two highest peaks on the island border Jelsa on the west and east, respectfully, while the Burkovo Hill provides a natural shield against the cold Bura winds in the winter. The small town has plenty of historical monuments to see during a walk, yet some of its most famous “sites” can be smelled and tasted.
Jelsa is known for lavender, olive oil and the annual Wine Festival in August. Traditionally cultivated and harvested on the island, handmade lavender sachets and lavender oil make an ideal present from the travels. The annual Wine Festival gathers some of the best winemakers from across Croatia and offers enticing cultural program during the last week in August. Olive oil, or “the green gold” of Jelsa, is a staple of the island. The long tradition in cultivating olive trees and making premium olive oil used in most of Dalmatian dishes has been preserved in Jelsa thus olive oil tasting in one of the local producers makes for a highlight of the visit.