One of the most popular of the island escapes sprinkled across the turquoise Adriatic Hvar is a glorious idyll of hidden coves electric blue waters and quietly contented port towns. In recent years it’s gathered something of a reputation as a party island - mainly earned from Hvar Town’s nocturnal exuberances and the transient day-tripping yachts that drop by. Soak up the energy exuberance and fine dining or sidestep the hedonism to explore a richly refined rural and historic island – utterly spoiled with sunshine and hidden beaches which dazzle with colourful intensity. Bike rides along long sweeping coastal paths boat journeys from pretty harbours walks through fields of purple lavender. Relish the sunshine and explore deserted idyllic inlets before sharing strong espressos in quiet harbour towns surrounded by welcoming sun-wrinkled locals. There’s also rich Medieval history – the sleepy town of Stari Grad is said to be Croatia’s oldest dating back to 384 BC. Elsewhere Jelsa is a postcard perfect place – settle in for a bite to eat with nothing but the sound of harbour waters lapping and sandpaper scraping boats hulls for company. You can walk to look out over glorious views across to Brac sometimes watching on as thunderstorms rage and flash an eternity away over the mainland’s crumpled mountains. You’re also just a short ferry ride from the incredible Golden Horn - an evocative spike of brilliant sand which juts out evocatively into the cobalt-blue sea.