The lovely village of Vrboska on the island of Hvar is famous for its peaceful harbour, and Sv Marija (St Mary), a fortified church looking like a cross between a castle and a battleship.It’s also the clock at the end of our street, and you’ll hear it chiming the hours.

Vrboska is a 16th century fishing village, set up by the people of Vrbanj, one of the inland villages. Back then, the coast was not a particularly safe place to live, hence the fortified church, which was a refuge for villagers in times of invasion by pirates, the Turkish navy, and other marauders. There are some fine views of the surrounding area from the church roof.

The harbour lies in a deep inlet with wooded hills around, protected from all but a strong east wind, and is generally as still as a millpond. As the inlet narrows, it forms a small winding “canal” with houses along either shore and a series of stone bridges, giving the Vrboska its nickname of “little Venice”.

From here, you can walk into the countryside in almost any direction for beautiful scenery, and coastal views. To the west is the UNESCO protected site of the Stari Grad Plain, one of the best preserved examples of ancient Greek agriculture. Along the coast on the south shore of the inlet, the road takes you to Jelsa, an easy 40 minute walk. On the north shore is the Glavica peninsula, with its quiet coastal trails and local beaches. The nudist camp is out on that road, but actually any secluded cove is clothes optional, if that’s what you prefer.

Vrboska has 2 supermarkets, a bakery, a post office, several cafes, bars and restaurants, and a fresh produce stand in season, all within short walking distance. Otherwise, there is the Pinjata Winery, the Fishermans Museum and the ACI Yacht Marina. This is not a hot tourist night-life location – but you can always drive 20 minutes to Hvar (town) for that. In the summer, there are boats for rent, and excursions to Bol on the neighbouring island of Bra─Ź.