Jelsa is situated in the middle of the northern part of the island of Hvar and is surrounded by the two of its highest peaks, St Nicholas in the west, and Hum in the east. Material remains from the prehistoric and Greek times, as well as from the times of the Roman Empire, testify to the existence of settlement in Jelsa. It is a town of rich cultural heritage and a number of sacral monuments. The fortified Church of St Mary from 1331 was originally an early Gothic church but was fortified in 1535 for the purposes of defence against the Turks. The Church of Our Lady of Health from 1535 was built at the top of Račić hill, and it got its present form in the 19th century. In the town of Jelsa there are the churches of St Michael and St Roko. At the local cemetery there used to be an Augustinian monastery from which only a church with the original belltower from 1605 remains. Important cultural monuments include: Lapidarium with twenty stone monuments from the antique and medieval periods, square of St John, and Civitas Vetus Ielsae (the ancient city of Jelsa), whose defensive wall remains partially preserved. Together with its five surrounding villages, Jelsa is proud of its centuries-old procession ‘Za Križen’ (‘Behind the Cross’), which takes place on Maundy Thursday each year, and which has been enlisted as UNESCO’s immaterial cultural heritage. The area of Jelsa has a well-indented coastline with numerous islands, bays, and capes made for sunbathing and swimming. Visitors can enjoy a number of diverse sports events and recreational activities as well as the warmheartedness of the local population and a delicious cuisine. If you’re looking for a place to relax from everyday stress, then Jelsa is a place for you.
Jelsa is situated in the middle of the northern part of the island of Hvar and is surrounded by the two of its highest peaks, St Nicholas in the west, and Hum in the east.