Hvar Island Travel Guide
Contents [click on chapter for quick jump]
- 1 Get to know trendy Hvar Island
- 2 Things to do on Hvar Island
- 2.1 Sightseeing in Hvar Town
- 2.2 Harbor promenade in Hvar Town
- 2.3 Pakleni Islands – a peace of heaven
- 2.4 Ultra Europe Music Festival 2016
- 2.5 Partying and chilling in famous Carpe Diem
- 2.6 Take a wine tour of island
- 2.7 Blooming at Hvar Lavender Festival
- 2.8 Cooling down in Grapčeva Cave
- 2.9 Kayaking to Pakleni Islands
- 2.10 Fishing around the island
- 2.11 Cycling tour of the island
- 2.12 Coves of Šćedro Island
- 2.13 Panorama at St. Nicholas peak
- 2.14 Total family fun at Agro-tourism Pharos
- 2.15 Hvar tour by open top panoramic bus
- 2.16 Take a lavender tour of Hvar
- 2.17 Eco-Ethno village at Humac
- 2.18 Paintball in Jelsa
- 3 Day trips from Hvar
- 4 Accommodation in town Hvar
- 5 Accommodation in town Stari Grad
- 6 Accommodation in town Jelsa
- 7 Beaches on Hvar Island
- 8 Where is Hvar Island and how to get there
- 9 Map of Hvar Island
Get to know trendy Hvar Island
Stunning Hvar Island is a world’s famous place, the sunniest island in Croatia with almost 3000 hours of sunshine per year. The main towns on the island are Hvar, Stari Grad, Jelsa, Vrbovska and Sućuraj. The island is located in group of Southern Dalmatian Islands and it’s easy to reach from Split by ferry or hydroplane!
Glamour, history and nature at the same place
Ancient town Hvar is a one of the most popular destination for many reasons – the authentic Mediterranean ambience, rich culture and history, outstanding nature and vegetation, premium accommodation and fabulous places for partying and entertainment.
The celebrities like Beyonce, Eva Longoria. Novak Djokovic, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Prince Harry, Bill Gates, Katie Holmes, George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Edward Norton… they are coming to Hvar for all these reasons.
Besides the super popular town Hvar, the island offers many other places for everyone who prefer more relaxed and intimate holiday, especially during the July and August when it gets pretty crowded.
The island is renowned by lavender fields, rosemary, marjoram and thyme and cultivated vineyards and olive grows which are the main island’s exports.
Breathtaking Pakleni Islands
The great gift on nature to Hvar are Pakleni Islands, a group of eleven islets just opposite town Hvar, the small archipelago rich in beautiful beaches and vegatation, excellent restaurants, bars and yacht marina, and it’s easy to reach by taxi boat. Pakleni Islands are one of the most popular sailing destinations in Croatia.
The best time to visit Hvar
Hvar Island is not just a summer destination – visiting Hvar Island in spring and autumn is very good idea – you can explore towns and surroundings when island is less crowded and the weather is warm and cosy.
Although chance to meet world’s celebrity or royal is smaller than in the summer, you will definitely enjoy the incredible beauty of the island and discover it in easier way.
Things to do on Hvar Island
The list of things to do in town of Hvar is pretty long and exciting, so let’s get started.
Sightseeing in Hvar Town
St. Stephan Square and Cathedral , Town’s Loggia and the clock tower, Franciscan Museum and Monastery, The heater and arsenal, spectacular fortress Fortica just above the town, Hektorović Palace.
If you consider to join an organised small group 2-hour walking tour of Town Hvar, book online via Viator.
Harbor promenade in Hvar Town
Take a walk along the harbor of Hvar and watch exhibiton of small boats and luxury yachts, while cooling with an ice-cream.
Pakleni Islands – a peace of heaven
A place from another planet, super trendy and popular Pakleni Islands (St. Klement, Jerolim, Marinkovac) is group of stunning islands just opposite town of Hvar easy to reach by frequent taxi boats from the harbor, just outside the Arsenal.
The most famous of all islands is St. Klement and Palmižana bay with beautiful beaches, restaurants and coctail bars surrounded by wonderful vegetation and yacht marina.
You can also explore the north side of St. Klement all the way to the settlement Vlaka with ruins of Roman villa and a bath mud (!). Here you’ll also discover the vineyards by the sea from eminent wine producer Andro Tomić.
Ultra Europe Music Festival 2016
After five days of partying in Split and Bol (Brač island), Ultra Europe Music Festival is coming to town of Hvar on 19th of July 2016. The premium world’s festival of electronic music will be the biggest pool party to date at Hotel Amfora Grand Beach Resort.
And what to say more about Ultra Europe in Hvar? Maybe, just few advices – if you don’t like to party- stay away, if you don’t have tickets- hurry up!, if you still don’t have an accommodation in Hvar – what are you waiting for?
Partying and chilling in famous Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem Bar and Carpe Diem Beach Club are no. 1 places for crazy days and nights on Hvar Island for all who come to the island to party.
Carpe Diem Bar, located in the harbor of Hvar, is a cosy place for your long coffee drinking in the morning and cocktail warming up at the sunset.
Carpe Diem Beach Club, located at Stipanska bay on Marinkovac Island, is the best place for day and night entertainment – beach partying and fun, swimming and sunbathing, beach volleyball, diving, and all night clubbing run by famous world’s DJs.
Carpe Diem Beach Club is easy to reach by taxi boats frequently departing from the harbor. You may like to party or not, but Carpe Diem Hvar attract the visitors from all around the world.
Take a wine tour of island
The vineyards are all over the Hvar and one of the best quality wines in Croatia are produced just here on the island.
If you’d like to join an organized small group for Hvar Wine Tasting Tour, there is an great opportunity for you to meet a famous wine producers – Tomić family.
Once you are picked up from town of Hvar, you drive to the other side of the island – to the small town of Jelsa where family produces famous wines. In their wine cellar you will taste 4 – 5 different wines with the finest local appetizer and a guide will describe you individual wines.
Blooming at Hvar Lavender Festival
Lavender is a gift of nature and a symbol of Hvar Island. Traditionally, every year at the end of June, the Lavender Festival takes place in village Velo Grablje and a journey through tradition, fragrance and colors starts. You can take home a little bottle of lavender oil and unforgettable experience.
Cooling down in Grapčeva Cave
Get some mystical refreshment from Grapčeva cave, one of the oldest Mediterranean archeological sites dating back to the early Stone Age (Neolithic). Visiting this typical cave in rock with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites is allowed with guide only, starting from Humac village.
Kayaking to Pakleni Islands
Spend an active day by kayaking to Pakleni Islands. You can join a small group for kayaking adventure with professional English-speaking guide, high-quality equipment and a light lunch.
Fishing around the island
Join a small-group traditional squid-fishing. This is a time to appreciate the peace and tranquility of the island. Nature at its best with generations of stories to tell, enjoy your experience with a local fisherman. Read more about Fishing day trip and book online.
Cycling tour of the island
Experience bike ride through the fields and picturesque inland villages Dol, Svirče and Vrisnik, and hit the road all the way to the coast through towns Jelsa and Vrboska. You’ll stop at family farm for great domestic food tasting, served in true ambience of the island.
If you consider to take this exciting cycling tour, please contact local agency HVAR ADVENTURE for more information.
Coves of Šćedro Island
Take a boat tour to Šćedro Island along the southern side of Hvar Island and explore its coves and bays. Walking up to hill you will discover the abandoned stone village of Nastane.
Panorama at St. Nicholas peak
Climbing to the top of St. Nicholas, the highest peak on Hvar (628 m above sea level) to enjoy fantastic panorama to the Adriatic and mainland. To get there, you should take the signed biking path before Selca village on the old road from Hvar to Starigrad.
Total family fun at Agro-tourism Pharos
Amazing Agro tourism Faros is located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain and offers you a great family experience on your holidays. While the adults tasting excellent local products, children can run around and play with animals. For more info, please read and book online.
Hvar tour by open top panoramic bus
Tour starts from the town of Hvar, taking you to towns of Stari Grad and Vrbovska, driving through island’s old villages and fields, visiting Ager or Hora agricultural farm and Agro-tourism Pharos including tastings of wine, olive oil, cheese, fish, Dalmatian desert and peka meals … If you are interested in this unforgettable experience, read more and book online.
Take a lavender tour of Hvar
If you’d like to visit the lavender fields around the village of Brusje, high up on the old road to Stari Grad, and enjoy the stunning views over the sea and mainland, book online this Amazing 2 hour Lavender tour of Hvar.
Eco-Ethno village at Humac
Visiting an abandoned but attractively restored shepherd’s village at Humac near Jelsa is an exciting and unique way to experience Dalmatian tradition and history. Besides walking through history you can taste local food in an excellent restaurant and visit nearby Grapčeva cave. If you are interested in unique accommodation for overnight stay, there is a newly renovated vacation ethno house.
Paintball in Jelsa
Considering an adventure for friends and family in Adventure Park in Jelsa? Your paintball field is a forest with lot of shade and many stone shelters – just choose from many different paintballs games. All reservations are private, so no other players with you on field. Park personnel will be on field for help or information all the time. Find out more on their website.
Day trips from Hvar
If you’d like to explore even more while on holiday, you can discover some outstanding sites in Dalmatia, from Dubrovnik to Vis Island. Here is our selection of organized and individual day trips from Hvar you can book online via eminent tour service company VIATOR.
Day trip to Blue Cave and Vis Island
This small-group special day on the sea starts with the gorgeous Blue Cave and heading to amazing Stiniva Bay which is surrounded by two high rocky cliffs. Tour continues to Rukavac Bay and special inland dining experience with wine tasting under a canopy of large mulberry tree. If interested for this incredible day trip, find out more about Fantastic Blue Cave plus Vis Island excursion and book online.
Visit Dubrovnik by speedboat
For you private transfer from Hvar to Dubrovnik by speedboat, read more and book online or check with local travel agencies in town.
For more information on day trips and excursions from Hvar Island please check with the local travel agencies in the town of your stay.
Accommodation in town Hvar
Although town Hvar has a reputation of glamourous and trendy destination, you’ll find all types of accommodation for all budgets and tastes – hotels, resorts, private apartments and villas– you can choose from luxurious to affordable holiday spending.
We believe Hotelscombined.com will be a great help to find you the best accommodation deals and to get the most out of your booking!
With Hotelscombined.com you can COMPARE ALL TOP TRAVEL SITES IN ONE SEARCH (including Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, Venera, Laterooms) and find exactly what are you looking – EASILY and QUICKLY.
If you are still not sure what accommodation is the best choice for you, maybe our TOWN HVAR ACCOMMODATION SELECTION will encourage you to make the final decision.
Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort 4 stars
Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort is absolutely great accommodation choice, one of the best luxury hotels in Croatia, located in a sheltered bay only 10-minute walk away from Hvar Town’s centre. It offers you a private beach and a multi-level pool. From your room you can enjoy a view to famous Paklensi Islands or well-groomed gardens. Nnearby exclusive Bonj les bains Beach, offers to guests to rent a private seaside cabin and enjoy a soothing massage.
Hotel Podstine 4 stars
Hotel Podstine is an elegant hotel in a beautiful bay with its own private beach for an unforgettable vacation… Hotel is located short walk from center and offers great views, private beach, and private parking.
Hotel Park 4 stars
Hotel Park is an amazing heritage hotel situated in the heart of the town, between Rector’s Palace and St. Mark church. The restaurant Park is on hotel’s terrace surrounded by flower gardens and jasmines where you’ll have 10% discount as a hotel guest. Nearby Central Park Club is very inviting in hot summer nights with sweet soul music, good old rock’n’roll, jump swing, blues and jazz… along with the selection of best Croatian and international wines or carefully prepared cocktails.
The Palace Hvar Hotel 3 stars
The Palace Hvar is the oldest hotel on the island, located in a beautiful setting surrounded by Gothic and Renaissance architecture. While staying at this historic hotel, located on the main square, you can enjoy a tasty dinner at the Palm Restaurant or sip cocktails and listen to soothing jazz music on the terrace of the Arsenal Bar that overlooks the Hvar Marina. All guest rooms have breathtaking views over Hvar Bay and the sunsets over the Paklinski Islands.
Hotel Pharos Hvar 3 star NEW!!!
This hotel is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Situated in a secluded pine grove and completely renovated in 2016, the modern Pharos Hvar Bayhill Hotel offers evrything you need for your holiday on famous Hvar island.
Hotel Croatia Hvar 3 stars
Hotel Croatia is a beautiful small family run hotel on the great location – few steps from the beach, surrounded by amazing Mediterranean vegetation, only 10 min walk by the sea to town’s center. It’s your perfect choice for more intimate holiday, away from crowd but also very close to all attractions in the town. Hotel Croatia is one of the smallest hotels in the town Hvar, very comfortable place for holiday throughout the year. This is a great choice for your stay in town Hvar.
Villa Nora Hvar 3 stars
Villa Nora is an exceptional small pension – hotel situated in the old town you can easily pass by, and that’s a big shame. The hotel is very charming, with excelelnt service and friendly host, offering spacious rooms and great home made food at in – house restaurant. Each evening, guests can enjoy in the comfortable lounge bar. All that just a short walk from all sites and attractions.
Villa Jagodna 3 stars
Villa Jagodna is absolutely fantastic accommodation for an easy holiday, only 5 km from town Hvar. It’s located in a peaceful bay just by the sea with private beach area offering showers, deckchairs and beach towels. Villa has on-site restaurant serving delicious local specialities, fish dishes, home grown fruits and vegetables, homemade wine and olive oil… A large shaded terrace with a sea view invites guests to relax. Each unit has either a balcony or terrace with seating furniture. This is an amazing accommodation on Hvar Island.
Hostel Marinero is located right on Hvar town waterfront, close to buzzing bars and restaurants. Marinero seafood restaurant is part of the hostel serving only organic vegetables from the family farm and fresh fish!. If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Hvar, don’t look further.
Hostel Vila Zorana
Hostel Villa Zorana is located a few minutes walk from town’s center offering guests rooms with a balcony. All rooms have bathroom, and some with kitchen and dinning room. Guest can enjoy in a beautiful garden and view from terrace. Great and cheap accommodation in town Hvar.
Accommodation in town Stari Grad
Stari Grad (literally Old Town) is a beautiful old town located on island’s north coast, connected to many ferries from mainland, offering you everything you need for a perfect holiday in a much quiet and relaxed atmosphere than in town Hvar. You can choose between private accommodation and a few hotels.
STARI GRAD ACCOMMODATION SELECTION:
B&B Heritage Villa Apolon 4 stars
This is one of the best accommodations on Hvar Island with just three rooms and four suites, all with wooden floors, oriental rugs, and chintz bedcovers and curtains – most unites have big windows overlooking the bay too. The villa’s has an aristocratic vibe, but in reality it is all about slowing down and chilling out while sitting on the stone terrace, in the shade of palm trees, and watching the boats sail in and out. It’s glamorous but unpretentious accommodation in town’s center, just at the seafront.
Jees Exclusive Apartments 4 stars
Jees Exclusive Apartments offer amazing setting while in Stari Grad. Apartments are very modern and comfortable. If you decide to stay at Jees Exclusive Apartments you can enjoy unique dining experience at the on-site restaurant, together with other dining options available in the surrounding area. This accommodation provides bicycle rental, a playground and luggage storage as well.
Madrugada Apartments 3 stars
Madrugada Apartments are luxurious accommodation overlooking the sea or surrounding forest in Stari Grad. The designer apartments feature a furnished terrace and contemporary furnishings. This property consists of 3 villas with 6 apartments each is located just 500 m from Petar Hektorovic Palace. It’s very inviting accommodation in Stari Grad.
About Stari Grad
Sightseeing in town of Stari Grad – Petar Hektorović Tvrdalj, Stari Grad Plain UNESCO Heritage, Dominican monastery of St. Peter the Martyr, Stari Grad Museum, St. Jerolim Church, St. Stephen’s Church
Stari Grad Plain UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site is the most ancient part of Stari Grad. Actually, it is a cultivated landscape between Stari Grad and Jelsa, where grapes and olives have been grown for 24 centuries.
For more info on Stari Grad visit Stari Grad Tourist Board official website.
Accommodation in town Jelsa
Jelsa is hidden treasure of Hvar Island, a small town rich in cultural heritage, offering best of beaches, restaurants and activities.
Town Jelsa is rich in festival and summer nights events, the most famous are 500 years old Easter Procession and Jelsa Wine Festival in August.
One of the most beautiful beaches on Hvar – Grebišće Beach – is located near Jelsa, below the camp. This sandy beach is ideal for families with children, where pine tree forest keeps you in the shade during the summer heat.
For more info on Jelsa check Jelsa Tourst Board offical website.
Beaches on Hvar Island
Hvar Island has mostly rocky and pebbled beaches scattered in numerous bays, inlets and islands along the coastline. For the best beaches you should get out of towns. Pakleni Islands are very inviting, offering you all kind of beaches easy to reach with short taxi boat drive. Natural sandy beaches you will mostly find on the northern side of the island. Magnificent pebbled beaches are on the southwest facing the open sea near villages Dolac, Zavala and Milna.
The most popular beaches on Hvar
The choice of beaches on the island is great and to make it easier for you to decide, here is the selection of the most popular beaches on Hvar:
Palmižana Bay (St. Klement island, Pakleni island)
Carpe Diem Beach (Stipanska Bay, Markovac island)
Bonj les Bains Beach (below Hotel Amfora)
Pokonji Dol Beach
Ivan Dolac beaches
AMO Beach FKK (Jerolim Island)
Sandy beaches on Hvar
Grebišće Beach (near Jelsa)
Perna Beach (near Palmižana Bay, St. Klement island)
Mlaska Beach (near Sućuraj, on north)
Beaches on Hvar –full list
Beaches on Pakleni islands
Palmižana (St. Klement island)
Perna Beach, hidden sandy beach, next bay round from Palmižana (St. Klemet)
Vlaka Beach (St. Klement)
Carpe Diem Beach at Stipanska bay (Marinkovac island)
Ždrilica Beach (Marinkovac)
AMO naturist beach (St. Jerolim island)
Kordovon Beach (St. Jerolim)
Beaches near town of Hvar
Bonj les Bains Beach (below Hotel Amfora)
Pokonji Dol Beach
Hula Hula Beach Club
Beaches on south side of Hvar island
Ivan Dolac Beaches
Sveta Nedjelja Beaches
Beaches in town of Stari Grad
Hotel Arkada Beach
Beaches near town of Jelsa
Hotel Fontana Beach
Beaches in Vitarnja
Soline Beach near town of Vrboska
Mlaska Bay near Sućuraj
Beaches on south side of eastern Hvar
Mala Stiniva Beach
Vela Stiniva Beach
Where is Hvar Island and how to get there
Hvar Island is in the group of Southern Dalmatian Islands, reached by ferry or catamaran from Split – don’t worry, it’s not long distance from mainland at all.
To reach Hvar Island first you need to get to Split, and your options are by plane, car, bus or train. If you consider flying you’ll find numerous direct flights from Europe to Split Airport – the most of European airlines fly during the summer only, and many of them from May to October. If you can’t find a direct flight to Split, you can always fly with Croatia Airlines via Zagreb Airport year-round.
If you or travelling by car or bus you’ll be driving on motorway A1 called Dalmatina all way on south to famous Split – read more useful information on getting to Split on our Travelling to Southern Dalmatia page.
Once you’ve reached Split you are almost there – board a ferry or catamaran for a pleasant sea journey and your holiday will start very soon! You can book your ferry tickets online:
Ferry tickets and online booking Jadrolinija
Catamaran tickets and online booking Kapetan Luka
For your best travel experience to Hvar Island read our Travelling to Southern Dalmatian Islands pages.