By Miki Bratanić
More than half a century ago, in the heart of the island of Hvar, in its Starograd plain – which today is a UNESCO heritage site -a runway was built. At that time, it was planned for some kind of military, not tourist purpose, but it was never fully completed.
This very valuable agricultural resource, with vineyards and olive groves, remained only an empty space, waiting for “better times”.
Meanwhile, tourism on a big scale has come to the island, guests are queuing for hours for ferry transport, so the existence of an airport has become almost imperative. Still, better times don’t seem to have arrived yet, as the runway is still untidy and almost completely unused.
Only a few enthusiasts try to draw attention to “air tourism” on the island, not only as part of the offer for guests, but as part of alternative communication, additional possibility of guests coming to our island.
Air transport and panoramic flights with small planes have the same potential as nautical tourism, and are ecologically far better for us hosts, they point out. The beauty of the island of Hvar, whose many bays are still inaccessible from the mainland, is beautiful to experience from the sea, but still an unforgettable and unique experience is to see its motifs from the air.
The island’s towns, bays and fields enchant with their beauty from that breathtaking bird’s eye view. Therefore, everyone who visits the island of Hvar should experience this unique experience, and bring with them beautiful memories recorded in aerial photographs.
As a man born on an island, I am fascinated by what is impossible to see from the ground from this human perspective of ours. Only from a height is it possible to understand where we live and what we have.
“Paradise on earth” is not an empty phrase, this is truly an earthly paradise.
I hope that the responsible institutions will finally use this resource, and launch a project that would nicely complete this unfinished story and offer the world and enrich our offer of content and communication relieve shipping to the island.
I especially emphasise the enthusiasm of experienced pilot Josip Novak, who for years with his colleagues from the Aero Club Pharos maintains this runway and tries to point out this tourist pearl.
It was an honour and a pleasure to fly with him recently and take these photos in the early morning when the islanders are still asleep, but their island has been awake for a long time, and radiates an imperishable beauty and charm that wins over hearts.
Although the photos in the article were taken with a mobile phone of modest possibilities, they will serve as a nice memory, a reminder of what we have, and a recommendation and encouragement to everyone to experience this adventure.