Surprising, given that this is the Croatia Hvar island wherein Prince Harry cemented his reputation as a party animal and where stars like George Clooney, Jay-Z, and Beyonce frequently chose to vacation.
Hvar town, the island’s largest town, is unbelievably beautiful, but that didn’t really blow us away, and neither were the parties. The Pakleni islands’ crystal-clear waters & deserted lagoons, the white-washed towns and ancient cobblestone streets of Stari Grad, as well as Vrboska.
Croatia Hvar Island
With the clear blue waters and nearly empty beaches & coves of the Islands’ south, the quaint, homey restaurants serving delectable Dalmatian fare, and the picturesque rolling hills covered in layers of fragrant lavender, Hvar Island is much more than simply the flash & glamour of its main town; it also has real trees and vineyards.
Hvar, one of the best summer vacation spots, offers stunning scenery, a clear blue sea, a lengthy history, a vibrant culture, &, last but not least. The island of Hvar in Croatia is by far the most well-liked in the nation. Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction, after Dubrovnik, is the island of sunlight, lavender, and immaculate beaches.
In addition to being the sunniest of all the Croatian islands, Hvar is also home to a century-old industry producing lavender oil, which dominates the scenery of young family plots that are segregated by dry stone walls. Secluded bay and Hvar fort are all famous on Croatia Hvar island.
Hvar is a great destination for anyone seeking a full beach vacation or simply a day trip as part of an island-hopping journey from Split or Dubrovnik. It provides intriguing sightseeing, bars & restaurants serving delectable regional fare, as well as beautiful beaches for peace & quiet moments.
Here are our top activities on Hvar Island, along with personal recommendations and advice to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Hvar, a sunny island, is one of Croatia’s most exquisite treasures. If you’re coming, we suggest stopping at a few spots.
1. About the Hvar Island
Hvar seems to be a Croatian island within Adriatic that is close to the Makarska Riviera and is easily accessible from Split, Drvenik, Dubrovnik, and other nearby islands by boat or ferry.
This long, sunny island, which is bordered by the islands of Brac, Vis, and Korcula, is widely renowned for its vibrant nightlife, gorgeous beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine.
The shape of Hvar Island, the fourth-largest island in Croatia, is narrow and long with lots of hills.
The majority of the island’s settlements and tourist attractions are found on its wider Western side, whereas its small eastern tip is sparsely populated and has few services and roads.
Off Croatia’s well-known Dalmatian coast, in the Adriatic Sea, sits the island of Hvar. It’s surrounded by several islands, including Brac, Korcula, and Vis, and can be reached from Split by boat in about an hour. There are about 11,000 people living on Croatia’s longest and sunniest island.
Important ports like Ancona are located in Italy, which is on the other side of the Adriatic. The days are long, the sea is warm, and the crowds are smaller & easier to navigate.
2. Stay on Hvar Island
There are several lodging alternatives on Hvar to suit every type of traveler, and budget, ranging from cozy, family-run inns to opulent beachfront resorts, woodland campsites to party hostels.
3. Hotel Nearby Pakleni Islands
If you want to splurge on something more opulent, Hvar town is simply overflowing with mid- to high-end hotels. Picture airy, open rooms with stunning views right in the center of town.
Our top three choices are:
1. Building Heraclea
This would make a wonderful temporary residence for James Bond. A gorgeously decorated five-star hotel in the heart of the city with breathtaking views. An indulgence here is worthwhile! Here are the costs and availability.
2. Hotel Adriana Hvar Spa
In the center of the action, in a modern, stylish hotel with a rooftop bar with the best view of the Hvar sunset. Here are the costs and availability.
3. Hvar Design Apartments History
Excellent, contemporary apartment housed inside a historic, older home. Excellent position in the center of the town of Hvar. Here are the costs and availability.
4. Explore the Best Beaches on Hvar Island
Beaches are something that Croatia excels in, as well as the island of Hvar is no exception. We researched and pretty much got to know all of Hvar’s top beaches. From well-known coves where all of the visitors congregate to play to the secret beauties we unintentionally discovered.
Here are some of our best picks from this sun-kissed island:
1. Beach Malo Zarace
We’re reluctant to share information about Malo Zarae with you since it was the favorite beach on Hvar, and we can’t take the idea of someone else discovering our tiny corner of paradise.
2. Beach at Dubovica
Dubovica, one of Hvar Island’s most beautiful and well-liked beaches, is located about 8 kilometers east of Hvar Town.
The beach is located in a picturesque, remote harbor with a wide pebble beach that is encircled by olive gardens and pine trees. The gorgeous Adriatic Sea shimmers under the clear skies, luring you in for a dip almost immediately.
There is a Konoba dishing up fresh seafood if you’re hungry. Check out Dubovica beach bar if you need a drink to cool you up. Additionally, the pine trees provide welcome shelter from the sweltering Croatian summer sun.
5. Visit Croatia Hvar Island
1. Dol Pokonji
Pokonji Dol is the picture of the Mediterranean dream as if it were taken right out of a vintage Bond movie from the 1970s. It’s also likely the greatest & most accessible beachfront to Hvar town, only a short 25-minute walk away.
Here, the hills are covered with greenery, and the ocean is an absurd shade of turquoise. There is also a strange orange beach umbrella. Despite the fact that the beach is still pebbly, we did find it to be more pleasant to lay on than others we discovered in the vicinity.
Two beautifully traditional eateries providing the freshest catch of the day and refreshing beers ideal for a sundowner are also located on either side of Pokonji Dol.
Sunbeds can be rented for anywhere between HRK 70 and HRK 100 per day.
2. Town of Hvar
The largest town on the island of Hvar is called Hvar, and it is a perfect Mediterranean paradise with Venetian architecture, attractive cobblestone lanes, amazing restaurants, art museums, boutique shops, and the recognizable Spanjola stronghold built on a hill just above the old town. The island’s primary tourist destination, Hvar, is also known as a party town.
3. Stari Grad
In peak season, Stari Grad is a much-appreciated get away from all the chaos and partying of Hvar town since it is a more tranquil, genuine alternative to the town. Between both the Kabal Peninsula as well as the Western tip of the island of Hvar, with Pharos plains in the background, is where you’ll discover this historic, quaint hamlet.
Stari Grad is a wonderful jewel you must discover with a calm harbor, a lengthy Riva, attractive stone lanes, and beautiful hinterlands and bays!
Jelsa is a charming tiny town with a laid-back atmosphere. It extends across steep hills on each side and is situated on the other side of the Stari Grad lowlands beside a deep inlet with a sizable marina.
In some respects, Jelsa is the cutest of the towns because of its lovely streets, intimate city center, adorable boutiques, and top-notch dining options.
Vrboska is a peaceful fishing community located next to a long-distance canal. Due along with its stone bridges and long canal, which has a small islet and is called the Venice of Hvar.
6. Ava Sveta Nedilja
Near Sv. Nikola, the island of Hvar’s tallest mountain on the southern coast of the island, sits Sv. Nedilja, a more recent settlement. You must travel via a one-way tunnel cut into the rocks to get there. Sveta Nedjelja is a serene retreat with lovely surroundings.
A charming lighthouse and wonderful views of the Biokovo hills on the mainland can be found at the small fishing village of Sucuraj, which is located at the easternmost point of the island of Hvar.
6. Activities in Croatia Hvar
1. Enjoy the Panoramas from Spanjola Fort
The Fortica or Spanjola Fortress, perched above the village of Hvar, is quite the sight! Follow the signs from the town to the fortress and climb the numerous stairs there until you come to a winding path studded with pine trees & aloe vera plants. The vistas become greater as you get higher!
2. Explore the Pakleni Islands for a Day
Off the shore of Hvar, there is a group of rocky islets known as the Pakleni Islands. While the name Pakleni Otoci technically translates to Hell Islands, in our opinion, they are more like Paradise Islands and are only a short boat ride from the town of Hvar.
On these tiny islands across the Hvar Strait, you’ll find charming coves, magnificent beaches, trendy bars, and lovely scenery. The Pakleni Islands are the ideal location to enjoy the clear Adriatic waters, Mediterranean sunshine, new bay discoveries, and pure joy!
You can take a guided tour or a water taxi to the islands, but we highly advise renting a boat, so you can travel at your own speed.
3. Visit Hvar Old Town
The Arsenal, the Loggia, the Clock tower, and of course, the magnificent Saint Stephen I. Cathedral are just a few of the unique structures that can be found in Saint Stephen’s Square, the center of Hvar.
Finding new bars, shops, and restaurants while getting lost in these tiny streets was one of the favorite things to do in Hvar. The gorgeous stone alleyways in Hvar are lined with lovely ancient homes, numerous potted plants, and lovely tucked-away areas.
4. Pokojni Dol Beach Offers Excellent Blue Seas for Swimming
Our go-to beach on Hvar & one of the first bays we truly fell in love with was Pokojni Dol. You can still picture yourself strolling along the sidewalk and getting your first look at this stunning bay of blue! Pokojni Dol rapidly became the go-to beach for just an afternoon dip because it is so conveniently accessible and breathtaking.
5. Investigate the Kabal Peninsula
Although the Kabal Peninsula is frequently disregarded, for us, it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of our vacation!
The pavement changes to gravel as you pass the settlement of Rudina, and as you continue driving, more and more of the surrounding landscape comes into view. The sea around the peninsula is so clean you could practically drink it, and the peninsula is filled with pine woods!
The most picturesque bays on the island may be found on Kabal, and you’ll only have to enjoy them with a few (if any) people and tonnes of fish.
Tito’s Caves are located at the peninsula’s tip. To protect the Stari Grad Channel’s entrance, a concrete shelter with a network of underground caverns that connect to one another was carved out of the rocks.
6. Enjoy a Day at Dubovica Beach
Just a short distance from Hvar town lies Dubovica beach, a lengthy length of the pebbly beach in a respectably sized bay. Before arriving at this lovely bay with white pebbles & old stone homes adding to its picture-perfect ambiance, you must first travel through olive groves.
This bay is popular on the island, and because it requires a little walking, people frequently spend the majority of the day here. Despite its enormity, we only needed to share this with a dozen other people.
7. From the Napoleon Fort, Observe the Sunset
The Napoleon fort gets all the beautiful views without any of the crowds, whereas the Spanish fortress gets all the fame and all the tourists.
Although you can’t actually enter the stronghold, the parking lot & viewing platform right in front of it offer stunning views. The stronghold, perched atop the highest hill in the area, provides a straight line of sight over the western horizon as well as stunning views of Vis island, Brac island, the Pakleni Islands, Hvar town, as well as the peninsula to the west.
As the sun descends into the ocean, observe the sky turning orange and how the Brac cliffs reflect the vibrant light.
8. Get Aboard a Boat for the Day
An enjoyable day is one spent aboard a boat. The finest thing you can do while on Hvar is to take a boat tour of the stunning beaches of the Pakleni Islands and Hvar.
Renting a boat on Hvar is simple, and you’ll have the option to drop the anchor anywhere you please and set sail whenever you like. We highly recommend renting this 20HP Bettina with a shade roof.
Given that a Betina 20HP is significantly speedier than the more prevalent Passara 5HP, we would strongly advise using one. Really terribly slow is 5 horses!
9. Enjoy the Best Supper Ever at Konoba Kokot
On Hvar Island, if we could only have one mean, we’d pick Konoba Kokot. Even though the dishes aren’t all neatly ornamented and the tables aren’t all precisely level (and they’re certainly not half empty), this family-run restaurant will demonstrate what genuine Dalmatian hospitality looks like.
In their own backyard, Grandma Jagoda & her family will greet you with homemade grappa and treat you as a long-time friend.
They either produce everything they serve themselves or buy it from local vendors they know & trust. Only the freshest products from the island, including vegetables from their garden, goat cheese from their very own herd, and lamb from their own kettle, boar were hunted in the adjacent hills, and the Adriatic Sea provided a daily catch.
At Konoba Kokot, they enjoyed a number of fantastic dinners where they consistently went above & beyond. Tom won’t even eat anything that even remotely resembles a squid, so they even prepared an octopus to speak for him! Peak,
What is frequently translated as “under the bell” is a dish that resembles an earth oven & is typically prepared for at least two individuals because it requires a lot of time & effort. Peka is a specialty that you should try and order in advance. The options include octopus, fish, and various cuts of meat.
10. At Blacklane Artisan Bar, Savor the Finest Craft Brews and Beverages
They came into BackLane while taking one of these rambles through the historic district without anyone. You had no idea that this would quickly replace another bar as our favorite in Hvar.
On the island, they make their own beer, as well as the IPA, was wonderful. It had the perfect balance of bitter and fruity flavors. Additionally, you may select from a wide variety of delectable cocktails and take in live music in a stunning stone alley.
11. In the Petar Hektorovic Fortress, Find some Peace
Croatian author and poet Petar Hektorovi was born and passed away in Stari Grad. His vacation home was Tvrdalj, a Renaissance building that was later fortified to protect the local populace from the Turks.
A lovely fish pond filled with seawater, a tranquil garden, and the former kitchen is all found inside. The residences are privately owned and off-limits to the general public.
You stayed longer here than you would like to admit because we loved the serenity of the small pond and flowers. This location truly has a special “it” factor about it that leaves you feeling so calm.
12. Explore Stari Grad’s Quaint Streets
In peak season, Stari Grad is a much-appreciated get away from all the chaos and partying of Hvar town since it is a more tranquil, genuine alternative to the town. Stari Grad is a wonderful jewel you must discover with a calm harbor, a lengthy Riva, attractive stone lanes, and beautiful hinterlands and bays!
One of the most well-known attractions in Stari Grad is the St. Stephens church with its ancient bell tower. A charming little garden and a little museum can be found at the Dominican Monastery. The patron saint of Stari Grad is also honored by the St. Rocco Church, which is located just next to Petar Hektorovi Square.
13. Visit Hora Winery Hvar for a Wine Tasting
Located in the Stari Grad Plains, Hora Winery is a stunning agrotourism. They mostly serve wine, olive oil, cheese, and cold cuts that they make themselves. Additionally, they provide peka (book at least two hours ahead of time!) and BBQ foods.
The wine & olive oil sample they had at Hora Winery was not only excellent but also quite inexpensive! We were given the opportunity to sample four wines, 3 of their olive oils, and a buffet of cold cuts, cheese, anchovies, and homemade bread for 120 Kuna.
14. L’amore Per Il Gelato Sells Ice Cream
Oh goodness, just thought about this luscious, creamy gelato that makes my mouth wet. It would be sinful to visit Hvar and pass up sampling this ice cream, which is the best we’ve ever tasted in all of Croatia.
If there is a line, it is well worth it because the ice cream is fantastic. And! They also have a Stari Grad branch, which is just as excellent.
15. Evening Beverages at Falko
The deep bays, rugged terrain, and island’s orientation exclude numerous opportunities for sunset viewing on Hvar. After 5 o’clock, when the sun is hidden behind a hill, most places just move into the shadow. Then there is the Falko bar.
While relaxing on a sunbed on the rocky coastlines with a tasty cocktail in hand, Falko bar has the ideal location at the extremity of the peninsula, where you will actually witness the sun descend into the sea.
16. The Lavender Scent
Before your expectations become too high, Hvar does not have extensive lavander fields. There are no purple hills and no flawless infinite purple lines.
Lavender farms were abandoned as a result of the tourism boom as individuals turned their attention to the travel and hospitality industries. You may now schedule a guided lavender tour because lavender farmers have just realized the possibilities of fusing farming with custom tours.
The lavender fields in Brusje & Velo Grablje are frequently touted as THE location to see them, although they are really only a hazy remembrance of what was once a major industry on the island of Hvar.
17. Go to Jelsa
Jelsa is a charming tiny town with a laid-back atmosphere. It extends across steep hills along either side and is situated in a deep bay with a sizable marina (from here, you can catch the catamaran to Bol).
With its charming shops, tasty restaurants, and lovely streets, Jelsa is a wonderful town to explore. Even by Croatian standards, this place has the nicest ice cream shop & more churches in a small area than typical.
18. Visit Vrboska
A little fishing community called Vrboska is located next to an inland canal. Due to its marble bridges and long canal, which has a little islet as well as a lone palm tree on it, Vrboska is indeed known as the Venice of Hvar.
We do believe it’s a wonderful pit break if you like to explore outside the hotspots but bear in mind that Vrboska is quite small, and there isn’t much to it other than a few restaurants, the fisherman museum, and a handful of churches. Not to add that this is one of Hvar’s most beloved beaches!
19. At Carpe Diem
The most well-known beach club in Hvar is, without a doubt, Carpe Diem, an institution that you cannot ignore. The beach club occupies a sizable portion of the Marinkovac island and features a large stage, dance floor, swimming pool, yacht docks along either side, the expansive Carpe Diem beach, and much more.
You just passed by it briefly before the season began on a very quiet day, but we had heard tales of the famous parties that were thrown here at night during the height of the summer when celebrities were flown in.
20. Getting around Croatia’s Hvar
Hvar is almost 70 kilometers long, and once you pass Jelsa, the roads get increasingly winding and narrow. And in the majority of Croatia, parking is a problem.
On Hvar, there are a lot of locations that can only be reached through gravel and dirt roads. The majority of car rental companies won’t let you drive on gravel or dirt roads, even though these are frequently the most picturesque locations you don’t want to miss out on!
1. By Car
Despite driving ourselves over the island, we wouldn’t pick this particular vehicle if we were to hire one there. Parking is a problem in the majority of Croatian locations, and some roads are simply too narrow for two-way traffic.
Despite this, many visitors explore the island by automobile because it’s convenient and reasonably priced to travel there by boat, plus there’s nothing like air conditioning!
2. By Scooter
A fantastic way to tour Hvar is on a scooter! You can reach practically anywhere on the island by scooter, and it’s simple, cheap, and small enough.
With a scooter, navigating congested streets and finding parking is much simpler. Just make sure to purchase one before you get old so it can carry you up the hills!
We have made this detailed guide on the Croatia Hvar. We hope you like it. In Hvar, there is an abundance of places to stay. The island is quite popular with tourists, and the lodging options range from the most opulent hotels to the most modest private rooms and campgrounds. There are many ancient town, sandy beaches, traditional dalmatian cuisine, Franciscan monastery, ancient greeks, local vineyards, and trendy clubs on the Hvar island Croatia.
While the rest of the island is less populated, Hvar Old Town and its adjacent streets are the most popular places to stay. Despite the reputation of the island’s lodging as being expensive, you may find reasonable rates in privately owned flats and rooms during most of the year if you plan your trip wisely.