Sveta Nedilja on Hvar Island
The official name of the village is Sveta Nedjelja, and it lies on the sheer cliff at the foot of the highest peak of the island, Sv. Nikola, or St. Nicholas.
The village is located just below a cave that was inhabited by Neolithic tribes in the ancient past. Later in the Middle Ages, this cave became home to an Augustinian monastery.
The monastery was built in the 15th century, near a spring that flowed in a large opening in the cave.
Sveta Nedilja is a most popular tourist spot on the island, and is famous for the quality of its red wine, Plavac.
You will also get some of the most beautiful islands right next to this village. The village also has a boat dock, so you can travel by sea to visit this beautiful settlement.
Sveta Nedilja has a long history, and it is evident in the old Dalmatian stone houses that are built higher up the cliff, above the cabins, houses and apartments that have been built recently.
The old village is stunning, nestled into the cliff, with narrow streets and lovely architecture.
The new part of the village has been built up lower down by the sea and is focused on tourism.
At the center of the village is another small church, where mass is held every Sunday. There is also a small elementary school (up to the 4th grade), and a mixed goods store where you can buy basic essentials.
The village was founded when farmers from Svirče moved to this side of the land to work their fields centuries ago. These very same fields still cover the lower slopes of St. Nicholas.
Things to do in Sveta Nedilja
If you are looking for peace and quiet, to relax and take in breath-taking sunsets, to walk the mountains and cleanse your spirit, then Sveta Nedilja is the place for you.
The Vineyards and Wine-Tasting
The stunning cliff-side village is also the wine-lover’s paradise. With the perfect climate, these steep, sunny slopes are perfect for the cultivation of the best Plavic Mali grapevines for red wines.
The best red wines on the island are produced here, and they are, in fact, exported to the rest of the world.
Just above the village, higher up on the slopes of this steep mountain is a vineyard that produces the most delicious red wine.
You can visit there, and even order prosciutto and cheese, and other delicious local delicacies to go with the wine!
It will take you a little time to get there (about an 80-minute walk) but the trip is truly worth it!
Just the view to the vineyards will be enough to keep you motivated!
There is also the renowned wine-bottling plant called Zlatan Otok right there in the village, where you can try some more of the local reds.
The Augustinian Monastery
Only remains of the monastery can now be found in that cave that sits just below the peak of St. Nicholas.
But the chapel built alongside the monastery still stands and it is worth the 40-minute climb to see it. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows.
You can still drink from the well – it is fresh spring water from the mountain!
The energy in the cave is incredible. There is a feeling of rejuvenation, or purification, of being one with the world. It truly is worth it to visit that cave.
Free Climbing Destination
In recent years, Sveta Nedilja has become a popular destination for free climbers.
With the sheer, rocky cliffs, and a stunning view of the whole region, it is no wonder that these adventure seekers are coming to this lovely little village.
The Lavender and Rosemary Oil Distillery
There is a small lavender and rosemary oil distillery that creates the most divine scented oils in the village.
You can even buy the local oils produced, and there are some lovely little mementos made from lavender that you could take home.
The Beaches in Sveta Nedilja
Of course, the beaches around Sveta Nedilja are a stunning and popular destinations for holiday-makers.
The new part of the village is right next to a lovely little beach called Zogon, perfectly clear with waters that gradually progress from shallow to deep, making it perfect for both families as well as the more serious swimmers.
This is small sandy beach, a rarity in the region, making it a popular spot for sun bathers and swimmers alike.
Divers also love this spot thanks to the depth of the sea further out from the beach.
There are two restaurants right next to the beach, which serve some delicious local delicacies.
The fish, freshly caught every day, is absolutely delicious, and a must try.
But this isn’t the only beach in the vicinity. You can visit the nearby beach of Lučišće, which is one of the most popular on the island.
This is one of the rare sandy beaches, larger than Zogon, so it’s no wonder that it’s so popular.
Boating in the Bay
You can rent a boat from the marina and sail to close-by bays and towns.
Hiking, trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking and cycling are popular here, but the big attraction for adventure seekers are the wind surfing as well as traditional surfing.
Visitors love to take day trips to nearby towns before coming back to the peaceful surroundings of Sveta Nedilja.
How to Get to Sveta Nedilja
The easiest route is to the town of Jelsa at the center of the island, through Pitve. From there, you need to take the tunnel going south, on a steep, winding road that descends towards the coast. Drive carefully.
There are many hairpin bends in this road and rain can make it doubly dangerous!
There is also an alternate route from Hvar Town. A new, unpaved road has been opened up between the Sveta Nedilja and Hvar Town, and it is located above Dubovica cove, just before the new tunnel that connects Hvar Town to Stari Grad.
However, this road is only recommended for those looking for adventure.
Steep and dangerous, it is not for the faint of heart!
If you are driving down in your own vehicle, then you will need to disembark at Stari Grad and then make your way down from there.
A note to the traveler: there is also a village by the same name near the city of Zagreb, so please check your travel details so that you don’t end up there!
Best time to Visit Sveta Nedilja
The best time to visit Sveta Nedilja is during spring, summer and autumn, though you can actually visit the village any time of the year.
It is best in summer, when the weather is perfect, and the scents of lavender and rosemary waft down from the slopes and the sky is a stunning azure and the sea a sparkling blue.