Island of Hvar in Croatia: what to see, how to get there and how to get around

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The island of Hvar is perhaps the most famous of all the Croatian islands. It is located in central Dalmatia, 2 hours by boat from Split or 18 minutes by seaplane. Its turquoise waters, vast lavender fields, centuries-old olive trees and vineyards, 2.800 hours of sunshine per year and lively nightlife make it one of the most visited destinations around Split.

No less important are its rich historical and cultural heritage, tasty food and excellent local wines.



During the Middle Ages, this little European paradise became a important port within the Venetian naval empire. Today it is a tourist center and one of the most desirable destinations on the Dalmatian Riviera.

With an area of ​​300 m2, Hvar is the fourth largest island in the Croatia. Its mild climate offers warm winters and pleasant summers, perfect for exploring the beauty of its natural environment.

Its "capital" Hvar Grad (Hvar town) is nicknamed the Croatian St Tropez and attracts the summer jet-set from all over the world.

What to see on the island of Hvar

The island of Hvar is one of the largest in the Adriatic and probably the longest, with over 60 kilometers in length from east to west. It is impossible to cross it all in one day, so if you only have a few hours it is best to stay in the western part.

The city of Hvar (Hvar Grad)

Port of Hvar in Croatia -

The town of Hvar is one of the main attractions of the island. It is located in the southern part of the island, right in front of the Pakleni Islands. In addition to being a beautiful destination, it also has great historical importance.



Hvar Grad was a very important center of trade and culture in the Adriatic. It was under the Venetian rule, between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, that it prospered considerably. AND dominated by an imposing fortress and parts of the walls of that time are still preserved.

In Hvar you can visit various historical treasures and enjoy them at the same time beautiful beaches it's a fantastic night life. Getting lost in the streets of its old town is one of the best things to do in Hvar.

The Spanish Fortress

Without a doubt, the best sunset in Hvar town can be seen from the Spanish fortress. This historic building dates back to the XNUMXth century, the most splendid period in the town of Hvar. It was built by the Venetians to protect one of the most important cities on the Adriatic.

The fortress is located about 100 meters above sea level. You can reach it on foot or by car or scooter. The ticket price is 40 kuna (just over 5 euros).

Stephen's Cathedral

It is another of the main icons of the city of Hvar. It is located in the main square of the city. This Baroque cathedral was built approximately between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Without a doubt, the most distinctive part is its bell tower, visible from many parts of the city.

The historical theater of Hvar

È the oldest public theater in Europe, founded in 1612 and is located on the top floor of the Arsenale. As we said, the town of Hvar had enormous cultural importance and this theater is a good memory of that.


Venetian Loggia and the Clock Tower

The Venetian Loggia was one of the most important and most beautiful buildings in Hvar. It's a Renaissance jewel in the heart of the city. It was once part of the Governor's palace, which was badly damaged by the Ottomans in the late XNUMXth century.


And next to it you can contemplate the clock tower which was added later, around 1800, replacing the previous one destroyed by the Ottomans.

Beaches on the island of Hvar

The Croatian islands do not have extensive beaches, and there are few beaches with fine sand (except the Golden Horn of Brac). Most are rocky coves and are usually crowded.

Dubovica beach

This is the most famous beach on the island of Hvar and perhaps the most beautiful. It is located just a few minutes drive from the town of Hvar and is known for its crystal clear waters. Alternatively it can be reached by bus, although it is not very practical due to the low frequency of the trips.

Pokonji Dol

Duvobica is perhaps the most beautiful beach on the island but Pokonji Dol is no exception and is worth a visit. This beach is much more accessible from the town of Hvar. It can be reached in 20 minutes on foot from the center.

Mekicevica on Robinson Beach

If you want to enjoy a beach in peace you can reach this one hidden bay. There is hardly anyone and the water is beautiful. To get there, however, you have to walk for about 20 minutes from Pokonji Dol beach.


Bonj beach

It is located about 5 minutes walk from the center of Hvar town and is the busiest beach, since it is the closest to the center and there is a huge resort opposite.

The Old City

Stari Grad, also known as Pharos, is the oldest town on the island of Hvar. In 384 BC the Greeks from the island of Paros settled here.


The different eras that Stari Grad has experienced have left behind monuments, narrow streets and charming squares that still stand today. These, combined with beautiful fields and ocean views, have transformed this area into a world heritage site and one nature reserve.

Pakleni Islands (Spalmadori Islands)

You cannot leave Hvar without knowing these islands. From the Spanish fortress they can be seen perfectly, but it will be even more beautiful to visit their beaches. The most popular tourist destinations are the island of Jerome, Stipanska, The eater, Train and, the farthest, Palmižana.

Getting there is very simple. On the promenade of Hvar (the Riva) there are several boats that will take you to the islands for around 50 kuna (around € 7 approximately). The journey takes about 10-15 minutes.

Discover all the tours to the Pakleni Islands

Vrboska, the Venice of the island of Hvar

A curious visit to do in Hvar is to visit the "little Venice". Vrboska is a small fishing village with an island in front connected to the mainland by a bridge, hence its nickname. Its ancient Mediterranean-style stone houses contrast with the luxurious mansions and yachts of its marina.

Visit the lavender fields

Currently, the lavender fields have lost a lot of land to tourist buildings. But you can still visit some of these aromatic fields. The best known are concentrated on the road from Stari Grad to Hvar, in the villages of Velo Grablje and Brusje.

The neighboring island of Vis

Near Hvar there is another paradise island, to the point that it is served as a setting for the film Mamma Mia. Vis served as a military base for the Yugoslav army and was a forbidden place for tourists from the 50s until 1989. With the filming of Mamma Mia, the island presented its beauty to the world. Its turquoise coves are a true paradise.

On the island of Vis do not miss two spectacular caves: the Blue cave e Green cave. Excursions to these two caves are organized directly from Hvar.

Book a tour to the Blue Grotto and the Green Grotto

How to get to the island of Hvar

The only way to reach the island of Hvar is by sea. Regular ferry lines connect Hvar with Split, Dubrovnik, Drvenik or other islands. Some ships carry only passengers and others carry cars as well.

Rent a car to explore the island of Hvar

 

Island of Hvar -

Getting to Hvar from Split

The most common route to reach the island of Hvar is to do it directly from Split. There are two lines:

Spalato - Old Town: the ferries that make this route carry both passengers and cars. It takes about two hours to arrive. The price per passenger is 47 HRK (€ 6,3) and the price of the car 310 HRK (approx. 42 €).

Split - city of Hvar: catamarans arrive here and having a smaller capacity they do not transport cars but only passengers. There are more departures but they are also more expensive, 110 kuna per person (around 15 €).

Yes Dubrovnik

Every day at 7 in the morning a passenger catamaran (not cars) leaves for Split and stops in Korcula, Hvar and Brac. You get to the town of Hvar in about 3 hours. The price per passenger is 210 kuna (28 €).

Yes Drvenik

This path is little known but can be useful if you are in the mainland of Makarska and you want to reach Hvar. The ferry from this city leaves every two hours and costs 16 HRK per person and 108 HRK per car. In this case you arrive in Sucuraj, at the eastern end of the island.

Getting to Hvar from neighboring islands

It is also possible to get to the island of Hvar from other islands. In this case they are catamarans and carry only passengers.

Bol (island of Brac) - town of Hvar
Bol (island of Brac) - Jelsa
Korcula - city of Hvar
Vela Luka (island of Korcula) - town of Hvar
Vis - town of Hvar

Book a ferry to the island of Hvar

Getting around on the island of Hvar

By car

If you bring your car on the ferry, it will be easy to get around as you have total freedom to go anywhere. There is a main road connecting Hvar, Stari Grad and the rest of the villages.

in scooter

One of the most normal ways to get around the island of Hvar is by scooter. Especially in the town of Hvar, there are post offices and agencies where you can rent a motorbike. The prices are around 250 kuna per day (around 34 €).

By public transport

If you don't decide to rent a car, you will be much more limited in traveling. However, there are buses that connect the main towns of the island of Hvar with runs every two hours approximately.

Is it worth visiting the island of Hvar for a day?

To visit several destinations in one day you will need a car. If you decide to embark yours you will lose a lot of time due to waiting for the ferries.

If you only have one day, it may be more convenient to take the catamaran and arrive in Hvar town, spending the day there, or rent a scooter on the island and visit different destinations.

The other choice is to board your car and decide to spend the night on the island to visit everything in peace.

Book your accommodation on the island of Hvar here
Island of Hvar in Croatia -
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