My name’s Sophie and welcome to my Hvar travel guide! I’m from Valencia, the city of Paella. Growing up, I loved learning new languages – so I decided to move to Italy and the UK. After two years in Rome and one year in Manchester, I moved to London to look for better job opportunities. I then fell in love with London so much that I’m proud to call it my home today.
I consider myself an eternal traveler, as I’ve lived in different countries and I’ve visited many cities. Learning about new cultures and meeting people from around the world puts myself, and my own culture, into perspective!
A Fabulous One Week Trip to Croatia
Croatia quickly made its way to the top of my most favorite countries list. I arrived with no iconic sights in my imagination, yet this country surprised me and made me wish I’d booked to stay longer – as I was there for just a week. One of my best friends is from Split, so I was lucky to have the perfect tour guide! We went From Split to Hvar island and had a fantastic time.
I didn’t have time to visit other islands in Croatia. However, I was amazed by Hvar and its beaches, cobblestone streets and scenic views. Hvar is the “Ibiza of Croatia” for its nightlife. But it offers so much more than just partying – you can immerse yourself in the culture, learn some history and try delicious seafood. Everything is wonderful in Hvar, but I would say the promenade with its bars and gelato shops were the highlight for me.
Top 10 Things To Do in Hvar
1. Soak Up the Views from Fortica Fortress
The Fortica Fortress (also known as Spanjola) is an architectural marvel and a historical treasure that adds an extra layer of charm to the island of Hvar. The fortress’s strategic location on a hill above Hvar town offers a captivating journey through time with well-preserved ramparts, towers and cannons that harken all the way back to the 16th century.
The fortress also hosts a fascinating museum, shedding light on Hvar’s maritime legacy – making it an educational experience as well. However, its crowning glory is undeniably the view it affords, especially during the stunning sunsets. This makes it a must-visit attraction for travelers seeking a perfect blend of history, culture and natural beauty in Hvar.
2. Stroll Around the Venetian Loggia and Clock Tower
The Venetian Loggia and Clock Tower stand as two iconic symbols of the island’s rich history and architectural beauty. The Venetian Loggia, a graceful Renaissance-style building, had its construction finished in the 16th century during the Venetian rule and served as a meeting place for the island’s nobility. It features an elegant colonnaded arcade, offering uninterrupted panoramic views of the Hvar harbor.
Adjacent to the Loggia is the imposing Clock Tower which rises majestically above the town square. Its intricate timekeeping mechanisms and the bell’s chime are not only functional, but also add a melodious charm.
3. Go for a Swim at Dubovica Beach
Nestled in a secluded bay, Dubovica Beach boasts crystal-clear waters plus a pebble shoreline surrounded by lush greenery and charming vineyards. This tranquil spot offers a serene escape for sunbathers and swimmers. One of its highlights is a historic stone house which enhances the scene.
4. Dance at Carpe Diem Beach Club
Carpe Diem is a popular club accessible by boat from Hvar. This exclusive venue offers a luxurious and lively atmosphere – featuring music, cocktails and sea views. Known for its parties, and a mix of local and international visitors, it’s a must-experience for those wanting to dance the night away!
5. Visit the Franciscan Monastery
The Franciscan Monastery was founded in 1461, and has played a vital role in the spiritual and cultural life of Hvar. It houses a collection of religious artworks, manuscripts and historical artifacts including a painting of the Last Supper. The monastery’s peaceful cloister and lovely garden provide tourists with a tranquil escape from the bustling town.
6. Take a Boat Tour to the Blue Cave of Hvar
Taking a boat tour to the Blue Cave of Hvar is a thrilling experience for several reasons. First of all, the cave’s ethereal blue glow is a product of sunlight entering through an underwater opening and reflecting off the white limestone seabed – creating an otherworldly ambiance. The journey to the cave is equally exciting with tour guests cruising along the Adriatic Sea, enjoying the picturesque views of Hvar’s coastline and nearby islands.
The anticipation of entering the cave is a significant part of the thrill, as visitors must transfer to smaller boats to access the narrow entrance. Once inside, the blue light and geological formations leave tourists in awe!
7. Enjoy a Cocktail with Sea Views at Hula Hula
Hula Hula combines relaxation with indulgence, inviting guests to savor a delectable cocktail while basking in the sea views. With its chic and laid-back atmosphere, Hula Hula provides an ideal backdrop to unwind and watch the sunset. Whether you’re lounging on a sunbed or dancing to the beats of live DJs, this seaside oasis promises a memorable experience.
8. Attend the Hvar Lavender Festival
Each year, Hvar comes alive with the colorful Lavender Festival: a delightful celebration typically held in late June/early July. This event offers a sensory experience for travelers – combining the fragrant allure of lavender with music performances, engaging activities and even immersive workshops.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating world of lavender, learning about its cultivation and processing while taking part in hands-on workshops. The festival’s musical performances create a harmonious backdrop, infusing the air with a lively and celebratory atmosphere.
9. See the Street Market at the Square of St. Stephen
Here, visitors can explore stalls and vendors selling fresh produce, local crafts, souvenirs and street food. This relaxing market offers travelers a unique opportunity to experience the local culture, sample traditional Croatian dishes and shop for unique gifts in a picturesque setting.
10. Find the Most Turquoise Waters at Milna Beach
Milna Beach is where you’ll encounter the most brilliant turquoise waters. Its vivid blue hue is so mesmerizing that it almost defies belief – making it a must-visit place for those seeking an unforgettable coastal paradise!
Tips for Your Visit to Hvar
- Accommodation: The best place to stay in Hvar will depend on the budget of the traveler. I stayed in a beautiful apartment situated a little far from the center of the island called Sanja, but if you want more of a luxury experience I would recommend Heritage Hotel Park Hvar. It features a garden, terrace and is located close to the Franciscan Monastery beach.
- How Long to Stay: You can easily visit the main attractions of Hvar island on a day trip from Split, but I would recommend staying in Hvar for at least two days if you want to experience the nightlife. If you want to take day trips to the other nearby islands, then I would say five days is perfect!
- How to Get to Hvar: I would highly recommend visiting Split before Hvar and then taking a ferry to Hvar island. The ferry from Split takes approximately one hour and prices start from 20 euros per journey.
- Best Time to Visit: In terms of when to visit, the tourist season in Hvar runs from June to August. I was there in July, so the beaches were crowded and the weather was really hot. However, if you prefer a more peaceful environment, I would recommend going in either May or September.
- Other Important Tips: On some of the beaches you’ll see a ladder going into the water from the rocks because not all of the beaches in Hvar are sandy ones, so just be extra careful when you go for a swim!