Duration: 3 - 4.5 hours
Distance: 0 - 2 km
Group size: 3 - 15 people
Did you know that because of the favorable weather and clear, unpolluted skies, the largest professional astronomical observatory in Croatia is situated above the town of Hvar? The Hvar Observatory was founded in 1972 through collaboration between the Faculty of Geodesy of the University of Zagreb and the Astronomical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Ondrejov. Today, all four telescopes installed at Hvar Observatory are still regularly used for scientific research. Two telescopes (13 and 20cm refractors) are employed for solar observations to regularly monitor the solar activity and other two telescopes (with 65 cm and 1-meter mirrors) are used to observe variable stars. The Austro-Croatian Telescope with a 1-meter mirror installed in the Hvar Observatory is one of two largest astronomical telescopes in Croatia (another 1-meter telescope is situated in Tician, Istria).
The tour starts at the bus station in the town of Hvar. From there we drive about ten minutes (4 km) to the top of a small hill where Panorama Restaurant is situated. It is a perfect spot from which to enjoy the beautiful view of the Pakleni islands, Vis, and the western part of the island of Hvar. It is also a great place to take the photos and wait for the unforgettable sunset, which is simply remarkable from here. After sunset, dinner is served in the restaurant, where you can taste the different local dishes and wine. After dinner your guide will give you a short presentation (20-30 min) about astronomy in Hvar and some information about the objects that will be later observed with the telescope. Finally, when it gets completely dark outside, youll be able to experience the awesome Hvar night sky using the telescope that will be prepared for stargazing. Depending on the phase of the moon, weather conditions, and the season of the year, the guide will pick the most attractive and best objects to observe, such as the moon, planets, globular clusters, double stars, galaxies, or planetary nebulas. After one hour of observing the night sky with the telescope, the tour ends with organized transportation from Panorama restaurant to the Hvar bus station.