Grapčeva Špilja

Useful Information

Location: Humac, 21465 Jelsa.
30 min. walk from Humac. Island Hvar.
(43.1340681, 16.7531940)
Open: 15-JUN to 15-SEP Mon, Wed, Sat 9.
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children EUR 4.
Groups EUR 60.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: Lanterns, bring torch
Dimension: A=238 m asl.
Guided tours: D=2 h, Max=8.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Timothy Kaiser, Stašo Forenbaher (2016): Rite to memory: Neolithic depositional histories of an Adriatic cave In book: Decoding Neolithic Atlantic and Mediterranean Island RitualPublisher: Oxbow researchgate DOI
Stašo Forenbaher, Timothy Kaiser (2000): Grapčeva spilja i apsolutno datiranje istočnojadranskog neolitika Vjesnik za arheologiju i historiju dalmatinsku. 2: 16. pdf Hrvatski - Croatian
Address: Grapčeva Špilja, Jakov Rubinić, Tel: +385-99-577-1770. E-mail:
Konoba Humac, Humac, 21465 Jelsa, Tel: +385-91-523-94-63.
Tourist Board of Jelsa Municipality, Trg Tome Gamulina 1, 21465 Jelsa, Tel: +385-21-761017. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


19th century explored by naturalist Grgur Bučić.
1947-1952 archaeological excavations by Grgo Novak reveal the Late Neolithic Hvar-Lisičići culture.
1912 start of excavations.
1952 end of excavations.
1962 declared a natural geomorphological monument.
2008 renovated and opened to the public.


Grapčeva Špilja (Grapceva Cave, Grabak Cave) is located on the island Hvar. This island was once home to the unique Hvar culture, about 2,500 to 3,500 years ago. Remains of this ancient civilization were found in this cave and in nearby Markova Špilja and Pokrivenik. The unique impresso ceramics of this age is painted showing different extraordinary motives, among them the oldest depiction of a ship. The oldest human remains found in the cave are about 6,500 years old.

The cave has two chambers, one is 13 m long and 5 m wide, the other is almost circular and about 23 m in diameter and 5 m high. There are numerous passages branching off. The cave is decorated with massive stalactites and stalagmites, which are still in a rather good shape although the cave has been visited by man for millennia.

According to legend this was the cave of Cyclops Polyphemus, where Odysseus had to fight for his life. However, there are probably a dozen Polyphemus caves around the Mediterranean coast.

The cave is a semi-wild show cave, and some distance from the abandoned pastoral settlement Humac, which is today an eco museum. The center is a restaurant named Konoba Humac, which offers local food, and as the settlement has no electricity is lighted with lantern in the evening, and the cooking is done with woodfire. Here is the starting point of the 2 h guided tour, which includes the eco museum, the ethnographic collection, the church of St. John and Paul, the distillery of etheric oils, and the cave. There walk from the hamlet to the cave takes about half an hour and offers a great view. Sun protection is essential.