They call it ‘the sunniest island of the Adriatic’, with 2724 hours of sun a year Hvar island is the place to go for magical sunsets and sipping cocktails from a comfortable sunbed overlooking the bright blue Adriatic. If you haven’t been to Croatia yet, put this one on your list!
Hvar Town, located 50 minutes by catamaran from the Croatian shore and the number one destination when you visit the island, is one of those towns you’ve already seen in tourist brochures or on different websites offering tickets to sunny destinations. Bright blue water, sunny beaches and a pinch of history make Hvar seem like the ideal island to spend your holiday.
Many, many tourists find the Croatian island and therefore Hvar Town in summer, looking for a Mediterranean experience with a comfortable price tag. Who doesn’t want to spend their summer strolling through the romantic Venetian streets, dance the night away on the beach and relax in one of the famous lounge bars sipping on an exotic cocktail?
Hvar – although definitely not a ‘cheap’ holiday destination anymore – provides all those things, and when you’re desperately looking for a place to relax and put your mind at ease, Hvar is definitely the place for you! In this post you’ll find things to do in Hvar Town and beyond. As always I’d recommend you to look beyond the tourist attractions – of which Hvar has a lot – and seek out quiet, hidden places of your own.
Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the old town to enjoy the famous Venetian streets I was talking about earlier. The narrow streets form a maze that can be reached from the Old Town Square as well as from different steps and alleys along the harbor and boulevard.
St. Stephen’s square and cathedral
Enjoy the sunny St. Stephen’s Square, whether you want to show off that new dress of sit back while sipping on a cocktail, there’s always something to see and do at the Hvar’s Old Town’s square, as well as many restaurants to try. St. Stephen’s cathedral is a great place to visit when you want to learn something about the island, as well as a place to find some shade during the hot summer days.
Another way to get to know the history of Hvar island is to climb the fortress, or Fortica, located just behind the Old Town. From there you have view over the Old Town and its harbor as well as the nearby Pakleni islands. Awesome aerial shots guaranteed!
Soak up some sun
From the harbor of Hvar you can follow the stone path that leads you to some of the town’s beaches. The Harbor itself holds many cafes and ice cream shops and is a great place to hang around during the sunset. Personally I wouldn’t recommend the beaches of Hvar Town as – especially in summer – they are overcrowded and noisy.
Get lost in the Old Town, then find your way to the top.
Visit a monastery
To get away from the noise you can visit the Franciscan monastery ‘Our Lady of Grace’, located in the Old Town area as well. The monastery is a great place to find shade on hot days, as well as to get to know something about the island.
Seafood and wine
Not specific to Hvar Town, but definitely something I’d recommend you to do is to get the most out of Mediterranean food. Grilled fish, olive oil and Croatian wine are the things that’ll get you drooling whenever you think back of Hvar, trust me!
Get in the water
More and more people start to enjoy watersports, especially when ‘sports’ involves lying on a yacht drinking wine. Hvar is the place to do so (and real sports as well) as there are many, many companies renting out yachts, boats and snorkling equipment.
Hvar island in general is known for its party scene. Carpe Diem is one of the most popular places to get your freak on. Most ‘youngsters’ will be hanging out there. There’s always something to do in Hvar during the summer, apart from festivals and clubs most hostels organize the so-called pub crawls, the ideal moment to make friends, drink and dance the night away.
All alone on Mlini beach
When you’ve seen Hvar Town, it’s time to move on. What better way than to explore a real piece of paradise. The Pakleni islands are immensely popular with jetsetters, party people and other youngsters, as well as people who seek a little more luxury.
However, there are still plenty of places to visit when you’re a dirty backpacker too (wink), as Hvar sees a lot of different tourists. Whatever kind of traveler you are, the first thing you have to do is find a taxi boat, departing from Hvar Town’s harbor.
Beaches on the Pakleni islands
One of the famous beaches on the Pakleni islands is definitely Sveti Klement and it won’t be difficult to find a boat going there. Perfect for relaxing on the beach, party and feasting on seafood.
Not a fan of popular beaches? Try Mlini beach, also located on the Pakleni islands but less touristic and more laid back. Get there early and you might have the beach to yourself for a while. In Vlaka you’ll be able to explore ancient ruins and see the more cultural side of the island.
Stari Grad is the more preserved town of the island. Where most tourists seek out Hvar Town, Stari Grad has been getting busier and busier. Get lost in the narrow streets, treat yourself to an amazing seafood dinner and enjoy the long, Mediterranean nights this island is famous for.
Take a day tour to Blue Cave
The perfect day trip, especially when you imagine most tour companies look well after their guests. With seafood lunches and wine parties on board, doing a day tour will be as relaxing as the rest of your trip.
However, even when your tour agency doesn’t supply a full lunch, chances are you will love kayaking the Blue Cave or Blue Grotto. Make sure to bring your GoPro and let the fun begin!
Nothings says summer holiday like blue waters and yachts.
Embrace the scent of Hvar
Lavender and pine trees, that’s how I remember my summer in Croatia, and Hvar especially. The island is home to some gorgeous lavender fields, which – when picked and sorted – are sold over the entire island. You’ll find lavender all over the island, growing in peoples’ gardens and in the streets, but the lavender fields just outside of Hvar Town are definitely worth visiting.
Croatia is known for great wine and the island of Hvar is no exception. Plavac Mali is the grape the island is famous for and wine tours can be arranged. I highly recommend Vina Tomic and Zlatan Otok.
Not into tours? The famous red wine of Hvar is available throughout the entire island.
How to get to Hvar Town
In summer there are regular catamarans departing from the main land of Split to Hvar Town. Journeys will take about 50 minutes. There’s also the possibility of taking the ferry to Stari Grad, which will take you around 2 hours to get there. All in all the journey from Split to Hvar is very scenic, so taking either one is fine.
How to get around
Hvar has a bus station, which is is located just behind the Old Town. From there you can catch a bus in almost any direction. Taking a cab or renting a boat (or even a yacht) are great options too, as they will get you to those hidden places no tourist knows about.
A slightly more affordable way to get to know the island is by exploring it by scooter. Hvar island offers plenty of places to rent a scooter – do check reviews first! – and since the island isn’t that big, you’ll find yourself on a private beach in no time.
Best time to go
The best time to visit Hvar town is definitely outside of the summer season. From early spring until October the weather on Hvar is excellent, exceptions aside. In summer the island is extremely popular with tourists from all over the world, and finding a quiet beach will be a challenge.
I remember my time on Hvar as super relaxing, due to the friendly locals, sunny lounge bars and the bright blue Adriatic. However, you should keep in mind that Hvar is touristy, even when you decide to go outside of the bigger touristic towns. When you’re looking for sun, relaxation and nothing on your mind, by all means go in summer as well.
Where to stay in Hvar Town*
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