Tranquil island Hvar is Croatia’s top sports destination in 2019

While Northern Europe is still in the midst of winter, warm and sunny Hvar offers respite from the cold dark days.

Tranquil island Hvar is Croatia's top sports destination in 2019
Photo: Visit Hvar

Sun, sea…and Swedish sports? 

The city of Hvar is proud to host the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series, a new endurance sport originating from Sweden where teams of two alternate between running and swimming. 

Get ready for summer: plan your trip to Hvar now!

Photo: Visit Hvar – Click the photo to discover what Hvar has to offer

This extremely challenging endurance discipline is based on intermittent running and swimming for 45 to 75 kilometres. It attracts over 400 competitors to Hvar. The ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Hvar will be held April 6th -7th with perfect swim-run temperatures between 15 – 17 degrees in the water and 20 degrees in the air.

Photo: Visit Hvar

Two races pass through the historical center of the city, the protected landscape of the Pakleni islands and the peninsula Pelegrin. Competitors will pass by the historic ruins of Illyrian, the Roman villas. They’ll course their way through old villages via olive groves, vineyards and fields of lavender. Absorbing the abundant beauty, nature and culture Hvar offers.

Photo: Visit Hvar

Swimming in the pristine sea water is an experience for all the senses — scenic, soothing and supporting, take a therapeutic dip and recharge.

Love sports? Start planning your trip to Hvar today


Photo: Visit Hvar

The surrounding hills and islands are full of surprises. The hilly terrain offers fantastic hiking trails through the rosemary, wild asparagus and blooming spring flowers. You travel through time with old ruins, ancient olive groves and stone walls around you.


Photo: Visit Hvar – Click the photo to get inspiration for your summer holiday

In some places you'll discover an old abandoned village, in others you’ll be enticed in to a quaint little restaurant by the tempting aromas of home-made cooking. The regional wines are superb. Did you know that the local Plavac grape is the mother of Syrah/Zinfandel?

Photo: Visit Hvar

In every direction you look there is the omnipresent sea. The higher you get on the main island, the more awesome the vista becomes.

Photo: Visit Hvar – Click the photo to explore the stunning views of Hvar

The City of Hvar celebrated 150 years of organised tourism. In this spectacular nature the town of Hvar is perfectly nestled in a protected bay. The antique buildings, the limestone, the history, the hills around you, the fort, the main square, the cafés and the warm welcome of the people brings you in to its fold. You may not be able to bring yourself to leave! 

Whether you want to experience raw unspoilt nature, partake in a little sporting adventure or simply recharge your batteries, Hvar is the perfect location.

Photo: Visit Hvar

Explore what Hvar has to offer and start planning your summer holiday now


This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Visit Hvar.


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Sweden launches bid to become world’s top tourism destination by 2030

Forget the pyramids, the canals of Venice or the Eiffel Tower – the Swedish government has presented a plan to make Sweden the world's most attractive tourism destination by 2030 – but it's not yet clear how.

Sweden launches bid to become world's top tourism destination by 2030
Many tourists are attracted to Sweden because of its nature. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

In a press conference on Monday, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan outlined the new strategy, which aims to make Sweden “the world’s most sustainable and attractive tourism destination built on innovation” by 2030.

Baylan referred to Sweden as a country which “is usually ranked as one of the world’s most innovative countries”, which he argued can “create value for the tourism industry”.

According to Baylan, the strategy builds on “sustainability’s three dimensions – it has to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable”. The strategy will also “tie into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030”, he said.

Topics covered by the new tourism strategy include the climate impact of tourism, equality and inclusion in the tourism industry and the importance of preserving shared resources such as national parks and sustainable nature tourism such as fishing and hunting.

The press release highlights the importance of natural tourism, explaining that the pandemic has led to people visiting natural and cultural environments “to a greater extent than before”, increasing wear and tear to natural areas.

DISCOVER SWEDEN: The Local’s guide to Sweden’s top destinations and hidden gems

Tourism is an important industry for Sweden, providing employment in both urban and rural areas, as well as generating wealth – before the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry represented on average 2.7 percent of Sweden’s GDP per year. The tourism industry also employs a high amount of people from foreign backgrounds – making up over a third (34 percent) of all employees in the industry.

During the pandemic, overnight stays declined in almost every Swedish municipality, with the biggest declines seen in Sweden’s larger cities and border municipalitites.

The government’s plans also include a focus on jobs and skill development, so that workers have the right qualifications for the industry – this reflects issues currently faced by the restaurant and hotel industry in finding skilled workers in the wake of the pandemic. 

There are currently no details as to how the government will achieve this strategy, or indeed how it will measure success. But Sweden is aiming high if it wants to be the world’s most attractive tourist destination by 2030. In 2019, it was ranked the 54th top tourist destination in the world by the UN World Tourism Organisation.