Hvar town on Hvar island with Pakleni islands, Dalmatia, Croatia at sunset. High resolution image, stitched from several Sony a7R II, photos.

Things To Do in Hvar, Croatia 

Hvar island in Croatia is the perfect summer spot filled with outdoor activities surrounded by idyllic settings

by Lisa Davidsson Weiertz

Hvar, Croatia is renowned as the most beautiful island in the country. Its pine-tree-lined peninsula, crystal clear waters, and rocky coves make it a picturesque destination. Dubbed “the queen of the Dalmatian islands,” Hvar has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Visitors can soak up the warm climate by exploring the island’s untouched nature, filled with olive trees, lavender fields and vineyards, or enjoy the lively nightlife and festivals which Hvar has become known for. Discover how to make the most of your travels to Hvar, Croatia now.

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Begin your journey to Hvar island from Split

Most travelers take the ferry from Split to Hvar, which can take between 50 minutes to over two hours depending on the company and route. We strongly advise booking tickets beforehand as the ferries are likely to sell out, particularly during peak season, meaning you could be stuck waiting for the next ferry instead of experiencing the stunning island of Hvar.

Stay in the port town of Hvar or make the idyllic Jelsa your base (in that case, make sure your ferry is bound for Stari Grad). It’s important you give yourself  plenty of time to explore this island, as once you’re there you won’t want to leave. The island’s historic main town, also called Hvar, is a must-see for visitors. Hvar brims with medieval architecture, including the St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Fortica Fortress. Visitors can also stroll through the charming main square, take in the local culture, and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes. 

Discover the best beaches in Hvar

With plenty of mermaid-lagoon-like coves and crystal-clear waters, Hvar is a true haven for beach lovers. Hvar’s best beaches are normally off the beaten track and are usually completely natural and untouched. Put on your comfiest shoes, rent a bike, and ask locals where to go for a swim at one of Hvar’s best-hidden gems, scattered around the island.   

If you’re looking for something more on the beaten track, one of Hvar’s most popular beaches is Dubovica, a two-kilometer-long pebble beach. Dubovica is a fantastic spot for swimming and sunbathing, as well as offering a variety of water sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, and paddle boarding. Pine trees surround the beach, providing plenty of shade for those who rather sunbathe out of the sun’s rays. Another popular beach on Hvar is Zavala, a small bay on the southern coast of the island. Zavala is excellent for swimming and snorkeling, as its crystal clear waters are home to a wide variety of marine life. Bordered by pine trees that offer plenty of shade, Zavala is a glorious spot for a picnic or relaxing afternoon. 

From fishing to water sports to resting, Hvar has it all

For those looking for a more secluded beach, Milna is a great option. On the western coast of the island, Milna is a small bay surrounded by lush vegetation. The two little beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling. The quaint, protected bay is a glorious spot for fishing, with the turquoise waters being home to a wide variety of fish and it is easy to go on a boat tour here or even a donkey ride inland. Other standout beaches on Hvar include Sveta Nedelja, a small bay on the northern coast of the island, and Jerolim, a small island located just off the coast of the island. 

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Spend your day in the top beach bar in Hvar

There are plenty of stylish, yet authentic, beach bars around Hvar for those craving amenities (and guaranteed shade). Our top pick is the Grebische Beach Bar in Jelsa. Perched on top of a hill, it has direct access to the sea. For an affordable fee, you get your own four-poster bed with white sheets that fly in the wind against the blue skies, making for a heavenly effect. With plenty of space between beds, you’ll have the luxury of privacy and space. There’s also an array of tasty snacks (with plenty of vegetarian options), delicious drinks, and great reading spots dotted around the cliff, making it the perfect place to hang out all day. Once sundown hits, you can switch to tasty cocktails—don’t miss out on their banging Piña Colada!

While there, you can rent bikes from nearby Jelsa to tour the stunning peninsula. Stop at the idyllic wooden cafe, Corni Petar, built around the trees and right on the coast. Take a short walk to the cliffs, where you can enjoy some solitary wild swimming against a stunning mountainous backdrop. 

Explore the best restaurants in Hvar 

Wherever you’re staying on the island of Hvar, make sure you book a table at family-owned Konoba Dvor Dubokovic. This outstanding eatery is in the rustic, tiny stone village of Pitve, and is surrounded by vineyards and historical fields. The outdoor seating has a stunning Garden of Eden vibe with an array of colorful flowers and plants. With views of rolling hills and the sea, it makes for the most magical setting. The locally sourced food and wine are delicious and the service is attentive and friendly. Just make sure to reserve a table in advance, as the restaurant is very popular. 

Spending time in Hvar town? Then we recommend Konoba Luviji in downtown Hvar for spectacular views from their rooftop. In the town of Hvar is the highly-rated Konoba Menego, which serves family recipes and Dalmatian specials, such as their beloved octopus salad. If you prefer to eat by the beach, head to Konoba Gariful to sample some fresh seafood. Enjoy dishes such as tuna tartare and oysters as you look out at the ocean or from the restaurant’s inbuilt floor aquarium. 

From farm to table on the Stari Grad Plain

For an unforgettable farm-to-table dining experience, head to the Hora farm. Close to Stari Grad, surrounded by ancient fields and olive groves, stands the working farm, Hora. In fact, the Ancient Greeks cultivated the whole plain thanks to its fertile soil and since 2008, the area has had UNESCO World Heritage protected status. 

The Žuvela family runs the 32,000m2 working farm using Ancient Greek traditions and offers both a heritage oasis and organic produce. This peaceful farm is a stark contrast to the bustling coastal towns and beaches. Visitors can interact with farm animals, taste organic food and wines produced by the family, and savor traditional Dalmatian meals. 

Experience a different side of Hvar by visiting the unique Agroturizam Pharos, in the heart of Hora, and step back in time to the era of the Ancient Greeks. We recommend ordering the Peka menu in advance for a mix of farmed lamb, veal, fresh fish, and octopus, served with their mouthwatering homemade white wine flavored with figs and apricots.

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Explore Hvar’s own Little Venice 

Vrboska, also known as Little Venice because of its stone bridges, is one of the most picturesque small towns on the island. Found in the central part of the island, it’s beloved for its well-preserved 16th-century architecture and peaceful atmosphere. On a narrow strip of land between the sea and a freshwater lake, the town is a popular spot for swimming and boating. The main attraction of Vrboska is the St. Mary of Mercy church, which dates back to the 15th century and features a Gothic bell tower. The town is also an excellent base for exploring the surrounding countryside and nearby islands that offer plenty of dreamy beaches. 

Things to do in Hvar: visit Stari Grad and the Pakleni islands

Head to one of the oldest towns in Europe, Stari Grad, for a stroll around the ancient quarters. Pop into the artisanal shop, Antique Hvar, to bring home the scent of Hvar as a homemade perfume with notes of lavender, citrus, and Bergamot, as a reminder of island life. Another popular attraction on Hvar is the Pakleni Islands, a group of small islands located just off the coast. These islands offer secluded beaches, great snorkeling and diving opportunities, and a chance to escape the crowds. 

Seizing the day has never been easier 

If you’re feeling up for a dance, Carpe Diem is one of the most famous beach clubs in the world. Start the day at their luxurious pool and slowly join the after-beach party as the sun sets. Enjoy over 3000 square meters of sunshine and pines, and choose from a luxurious cabana or spacious sunbed on either their stone or sandy beach. If you prefer to be active, you can go diving or venture out with a transparent kayak. The menu offers fresh seafood and colorful sharing options. You can get there and back using taxi boats to enjoy the Adriatic sea. 

Where to stay in Hvar

Gorana Apartmani

This highly rated accommodation is perfect if you want to be close to both Jelsa and Stari Grad. Wake up with a swim in the stunning pool and then shade yourself in the lush garden’s wooden canopy before heading off to your adventures. The apartments are spacious and well equipped for cooking with comfy beds and a seating area so you can make yourself at home. Gorana Apartmani is in an ideal location, as you can either bike over the historical fields or walk to Jelsa.