Hvar is Croatia’s 4th biggest and longest island, but that’s not what Hvar became famous for.
It’s the relaxing beaches and crystal-clear waters that are regularly featured in top ten lists. And did we already share that Hvar Island is home to the highest number of UNESCO sites in the world?
Whatever the reason, people fall in love with the island of Hvar. They can’t help but embrace the friendly atmosphere, indulge in the spectacular Mediterranean cuisine and enjoy a bit of glitz.
The island that offers something for everyone
Hvar has beaches, old towns steeped in history and an archipelago of islands nearby to explore.
A younger crowd is attracted by its lively and glamorous nightlife. Whilst couples, friends and families see it as the ideal location for a relaxing holiday.
TIP: When people mention Hvar, most will actually be referring to Hvar town where most of the action happens. Hvar is more than that. It’s the longest island in the Adriatic sea, offering several more areas to stay and explore.
How long should you spend on Hvar island?
People visit Hvar for various lengths of time. Some people visit Hvar as their only holiday destination and end up spending a week or more.
For others, Hvar is a stop along their journey through Croatia. Some only spend the day on Hvar as part of a boat tour.
We think that 3-4 days is a good amount of time to spend on the island. This will give you time to explore multiple towns on the island, as well as having a beach day where you do absolutely nothing.
Croatia’s beaches are world renown, often making it onto top ten lists. They’re that good!
You’re on an island, the sun is shining. What better way to spend the day than lounging on the beach. Taking refreshing swims in Croatia’s crystal clear waters.
There are plenty of beautiful beaches scattered around the coastline of Hvar Island.
Do keep in mind that just like in the rest of Croatia, the beaches in Hvar are generally rocky. You’ll find a few sandy beaches on the northern part of Hvar, but the beaches we selected below consist of small stones.
But hey, at least the sand doesn’t stick everywhere, so you can make your way straight from the beach to one of Hvar suburb beach clubs!
Here are our 3 favourite beaches on Hvar Island:
Only a 15-minute drive from Hvar Town, you’ll find Dubovica beach. It may be one of the best on the island, or even in the whole of Croatia.
Visiting this slice of paradise requires a small walk from the main road, but it’s certainly worth it. The small cove is surrounded by greenery and a traditional stone house on one side.
With its picturesque turquoise waters, you can’t find a more Croatian beach than this one.
When you need a break from the sun, there’s a small and inviting beach bar to grab a drink or some food in.
Pokonji Dol Beach
Don’t want to go by car? Pokonji dol is one of the best beaches close to Hvar Town and only a short 30-minute walk from the Old Town.
If you fancy an escape from Hvars’ harbour town, Pokonji dol is the place to go to. You probably won’t be the only one with the same idea though. It can get pretty busy here!
Pokonji dol is basically another Croatian dream beach.
Sandwiching the beach, you’ll find delicious and traditional restaurants on either side. Serving the freshest catch of the day, you can’t go wrong here if you fancy fish for lunch or an early dinner.
Prapatna Beach is pretty much on the other end of the spectrum to Pokonji Dol when it comes to the number of visitors. As it’s situated on the north of the island, close to Jesla, you’ll find far fewer tourists here.
The beach is no less beautiful though, if anything even more so.
The peace and tranquillity create a secret haven that feels intimate and special.
#3 Admire some incredible views from Fortica Fortress
North of the square in Hvar Town, and up some steps you’ll find Fortica Fortress, known by the locals as Španjola.
It’s an iconic sight of Hvar.
The long and dynamic history of Fortica Fortress
The fort dates back to the beginning of the 16th century during the Venetian rule, and was reconstructed in 1579.
First attempts of construction actually began in 1282, but it took several centuries to be finished. It was probably not the smartest idea to fund a building with the sale of salt.
The fort, initially used as a military structure, is now home to a collection of artefacts covering the fort’s history. Best of all, the fort offers an incredible (sunset) view over Hvar town.
Peek over its walls, and you’ll see panoramic views of Hvar and the collection of Pakleni islands scattered in the sea.
Entrance to the Fortica Fortress costs €5.30.
The fort opens at 09:00 in the morning and stays open till late (21:00), making it a perfect place to watch the sunset over Hvar Town.
TIP: Our compact Hvar Travel Guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Hvar!
#4 Join a boat trip to explore the Blue Lagoon and Pakleni Islands
Hvar is surrounded by idyllic islands that you don’t want to miss out on seeing.
It’s a perfect way to spend the day – in the sun, swimming, snorkelling and discovering Croatia’s underwater world.
There are tons of boat trips to pick from in Hvar, each one offering different destinations, durations and inclusions.
Decide what you want to see and go from there.
Which boat trip should you pick?
We’d recommend joining this fun-packed 8-hour boat trip. This way you’ll see all of Hvar’s iconic spots like the famous Blue Lagoon, Green Cave, Vis and the Pakleni Islands. Plus, you can enjoy a delicious lunch on the Pakleni Islands.
For €100, you’ll feel like you’re on an exclusive private boat trip due to the small group size. It’s likely to be one of your favourite days in Croatia!
#6 Spend the day exploring the quieter town of Stari Grad
Stari Grad, situated on the northern side of Hvar, is one of the oldest towns on the island. It dates back to 385 BC and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The name actually translates to Old Town.
This is somewhere that you need to spend a day, or even stay, as a quieter alternative to Hvar Town.
The town has that European island, relaxed vibe. There’s never a need to rush, there’s always time for a drink and you can never eat enough food!
What fun things are there to do in Stari Grad?
Spend some time walking through the Stari Grad plains. These are ancient Greek agricultural plains from the 4th century BC. Amazingly some of the original walls and crops still remain!
Just like most small towns, the best thing to do is to wander its streets and see what you find. The narrow streets are home to funky souvenir shops, cosy cafes and unique restaurants.
Grab some ice cream and stroll along Stari Grad’s promenade or admire the architecture of St Stephens Church.
#7 Step back in time and explore the grand Tvrdalj Castle
If you’re a big fan of literature, history or just incredible buildings, visit Tvrdalj Castle whilst you’re in Stari Grad.
The castle was the summer residence of the 16th century Croatian poet, Petar Hektorović. The poet found inspiration in Stari Grad, the local fisherman and stunning landscapes.
However, Hvar came under attack from the Ottomans, turning a peaceful island into one of war. During this time Hektorović decided to fortify his house and turn it into a castle that could be used to protect the locals. That’s how it became a castle.
Masterpieces were produced within the walls of Tvrdalj Castle, but the building itself is also one to admire. It emanates peace, with its interior courtyard, saltwater fish pond and gardens.
Entrance to the castle costs €2.
#8 Taste some of Croatia’s spectacular wine on a wine tasting tour
If you’re a wine lover, then you’ve come to the right place. Croatian wine is some of the best in the world.
You also don’t tend to find as many Croatian wines in restaurants and bars around the world, which makes enjoying a glass of Croatian wine that little bit more special.
Wine production dates back an astonishing 2,500 years, with Hvar being one of the first places it began. We can thank the Ancient Greeks for that one.
With more than 2718 sunny hours per year, Hvar has the perfect climate for producing wine. No wonder there are vineyards scattered all across the island.
What’s wine tasting like on Hvar?
There are a number of ways you can try some Croatian wine. The first way, simply go to a bar and order some. Easy!
If you want to learn some more about the grapes, production and final product, then we’d recommend joining a wine tasting or tour.
A lot of the vineyards offer their own tours. Alternatively, you can join an intimate 3-hour wine tasting experience with a local winemaker in the coastal town of Jesla. The tour is limited to a small number of people, creating a personal experience as you get to taste and learn about 4-5 different Croatian wines.
The little village of Vrboska has been nicknamed ‘the Venice of Hvar’ due to its canal. Yes, we didn’t make a mistake there with no plural, there is only one canal. It’s still a stunning place to visit with its waterway and stone bridges.
Once reliant on agriculture, Vrboska flourished into a thriving fishing village. It’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon, wandering around the harbours, seeing the different boats and enjoying a drink by the water.
How to get to Vrboska from Hvar Town
Vrboska is only a 35 minute drive from Hvar Town, so you can easily hop in the car and go for a visit.
The island bus also runs to Vrboska, so even if you don’t have a car you can still get there.
#10 Hop over to the island next door and spend the day on Brač
Situated just across the water is the island of Brač.
It’s a much less visited island compared to Hvar, but that doesn’t mean it’s less enjoyable.
Brač has an incredible and one of the longest histories, as it is thought to have been inhabited since neolithic times – between 10,000-4,500 BC. That’s a long time!
If you do visit Brač, we’d recommend spending your time in the port town of Bol. The charming ambiance in Bol is many people’s favourite across the island.
Along the port you will find several fabulous restaurants and cocktail bars. The highlight has to be the world famous Zlatni Rat Beach.
How should you spend your day on Brač?
The picturesque Zlatni Rat beach is beautiful, but it’s also a place for adventure. The ideal weather conditions provide a perfect spot for water sport fanatics.
Between August and October, Brač is one of the best places for both windsurfing and kite-surfing.
In the south, you’ll find the highest peak of all the Adriatic Islands on Brač. Vidova Gora stands at an impressive 778 metres. Up for the challenge?
#11 Take a ferry to the mainland and visit the popular city of Split
Before taking the ferry to Hvar, many travellers spend one or two nights in Split. If you haven’t included Split in your Croatia itinerary, it’s definitely worth making a day trip from Hvar.
Split is a port-city situated on the mainland of Croatia. Over the last decade it has transformed into one of the most popular destinations not just in Croatia, but in Europe.
The Old Town is steeped in history, dating back 1,700 years. That means there are a number of important buildings and sites to visit. And of course, some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed there.
There are an abundance of irresistible restaurants, bars and cafes, plus even more beaches if you haven’t got enough on Hvar. Check out our blog post on Split to make sure you will get to see the best of Split.
For those who think organising it themselves is too much hassle, you could also join a day tour that will arrange everything for you.
#12 Spend some time in Franciscan Monastery
Back to Hvar Town. If you are staying for several days in Hvar Town, Franciscan Monastery is worth a visit.
Built in the 15th century, the monastery that overlooks the water is now a museum that displays collections from Greek, Roman and Venetian times.
The monastery is also known for its huge painting of the Last Supper. As well as taking in the historical information, the monastery alone is a lovely place to just walk around, imagining its previous inhabitants.
Entrance to Franciscan Monastery costs €4.
#13 Visit Hvars abandoned village – Malo Grablje
If you’re into a bit of dark tourism, or something a little different, then you’ll want to visit Hvar’s abandoned village.
The village of Malo Grablje was abandoned in the 50’s after the locals decided to move to Milna, in search of a better life and jobs. Since then, no one has lived there apart from one person.
Mr. Berti Tudor decided to restore his family home and open a small family restaurant. There’s no need to worry about getting hungry whilst you’re exploring.
It’s incredible to see how nature has started to take over the old stone houses.
#14 Join Hvar’s famous pub crawl and experience the islands nightlife
Hvar has a world-famous party scene, partly thanks to its iconic pub crawl. Some backpackers come to the island just to join this pub crawl, over 13,000 in fact.
The official pub crawl kicks off with 90-minutes of all you can drink before heading off to a number of bars where you’ll also receive welcome shots. The night, if you’ve made it that far, usually ends in Carpe Diem. It’s one of Hvar’s most prestigious nightclubs, situated on a small island opposite Hvar Town.
It’s a night that you’ll never forget, or for some – won’t even remember, depending on how much you drink! It’s a great way to meet other travellers and experience Hvar’s best nightlife spots.
#15 Get some awesome pictures in Hvar’s lavender fields
Hvar isn’t called Lavender island for no reason. Lavender grows all across the island, providing a stunning contract of purple against the vibrant greens of the island and azure of the sea.
If you’re visiting Hvar during lavender season, between June and July, then you should make sure to visit one of these fields.
The main lavender fields can be found around Zastrazisce, Gdinj and Bogomolje.
You’ll also find plenty of the souvenir shops across the island selling lavender souvenirs such as perfumes, oils, pillows and of course lavender ice cream. A must try!
Was this post helpful?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0
No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.
As you found this post useful...
Follow us on social media!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!