Hvar is one of the most lively and popular islands to visit in Croatia. The island is surrounded by the stunning Adriatic sea and is filled with rich culture and so much to do for any type of traveler! Croatia is one of our favorite countries in the world and Hvar is a must-stop island while traveling around this absolutely gorgeous country. We have been to both Croatia and Hvar itself multiple times now on our travel adventures and no doubt we will keep going back in years to come. This Hvar island guide will help you plan your complete trip to this island. Read where to stay, eat, drink and explore on Hvar below!
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When is the best time to visit Hvar?
Hvar Island is a popular destination in the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny. The peak season is from June to September, when the island is busiest and the weather is at its best. However, Hvar Island can also be a great destination in the shoulder seasons (April to May and October to November), when the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are smaller, granted some business may be closed for the off season. Croatia is truly beautiful all year long but if you plan on enjoying the beaches and surrounding water, we recommend visiting during the warmer months.
How many days should you stay on Hvar?
Depending on your travel itinerary, we recommend staying on Hvar for at least 2-3 days if traveling around Croatia. Many travelers opt to take a day trip from Split to Hvar which works if you do not have as many days to island hop around Croatia.
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How to get to Hvar Island
The best way to get to Hvar island is by ferry. Croatia has a very efficient ferry system and there are multiple companies that run ferries regularly from major port cities. You can fly to popular destinations like Split or Dubrovnik to take the ferry to Hvar. The ferry ride from Split to Hvar Town takes about 2 hours, and there are also regular ferries from other Croatian cities such as Dubrovnik and Supetar.
Do you need to tip in Hvar, Croatia?
Tipping is not expected in Croatia, but it is common to leave a small tip in restaurants and bars if you are satisfied with the service. A tip of 10-15% is considered generous.
Where to stay on Hvar
Hvar is one of Croatia’s largest islands so there are a variety of different options on where to stay. Below are a few of the best places to stay on Hvar!
If it is your first time visiting Hvar, we recommend staying walkable to the main harbor of Hvar town. The most popular attractions and things to do on Hvar are close to this area and it will provide a convenient stay. There are many hotels, guesthouses, and apartments to choose from in Hvar Town, and it is a great base for exploring the island.
Luxury stay: Riva Marina Hvar Hotel
Mid-range stay: Apartment and Studios Happy Place
Budget stay: White Rabbit Hostel
Stari Grad is a charming town located on the north coast of the island, and it is known for its beautiful beaches and the Stari Grad Plain, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many hotels, guesthouses, and apartments to choose from in Stari Grad, and it is a great place to stay if you are looking for a more peaceful and laid-back destination.
Luxury stay: HVAR [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar
Mid-range stay: Madrugada Old City
Budget stay: Apartments 1000 Flowers
Jelsa is a charming town located on the north coast of the island and is most famous for the Jelsa Wine Route. This is a great place to stay on Hvar if you are interested in exploring the local wine region.
Luxury stay: Villa Riva
Mid-range stay: Villa Vista
Sućuraj is a small town located on the eastern tip of the island and it is known for its beautiful beaches and the Sućuraj Lighthouse. This is a great place to stay on Hvar island if you are looking for a more peaceful and laid-back destination.
Luxury stay: Apartment Franic
Mid-range stay: Apartments Piacun
Vrboska is a small town located on the north coast of the island, and it is known for relaxing beaches and the Vrboska Marina. This is another great coastal area to stay on Hvar island.
Luxury stay: Labranda Senses Resort
Mid-range stay: Apartments Ena
Where to eat on Hvar
Famous food to eat on Hvar Island
Hvar Island is known for its seafood and the island has a range of delicious local dishes to try!
Peka is a famous Croatian meal containing dishes of octopus, lamb and potatoes that is cooked for over 24 hours before being served. This meal is a Croatian delicacy and is simply delicious. We highly recommend making a reservation for a Peka dinner in advance since the restaurant needs 24 hours to prepare the meal. In order to get Peka made just for yourself you typically need to be in a group of six or more.
Pasticada is a famous beef stew with prunes.
This dish of grilled minced meat and grilled fish is famous to try while in Croatia.
The best restaurants on Hvar
Hvar is home to a variety of delicious restaurants and cuisine to experience. Many of the best restaurants are located right in Hvar town so should be walkable and easily accessible if you are staying in that area!
Located in the heart of Hvar Town, this restaurant is known for its delicious seafood and stunning views of the harbor.
Konoba Menego is a charming restaurant located in Hvar Town that serves traditional Croatian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
Giaxa is a famous and more upscale dining experience in Hvar to try a variety of local dishes.
Villa Dinka is a popular restaurant near Hvar Town that serves traditional Croatian dishes with a modern twist.
This is a charming restaurant in Jesla that serves delicious wine and local dishes.
Where to drink on Hvar
Hvar island and especially Hvar Town has some of the best nightlife in all of Croatia. There are also a variety of beach bar options to enjoy during the day! Here are some suggestions for the best bars on Hvar Island.
The best bars on Hvar
Located in Hvar Town, Carpe Diem is a popular bar that is known for its lively atmosphere and stunning views of the harbor. This is a great bar to go to both day and night while in Hvar Town.
Located on the beach in Hvar Town, Hula Hula Beach Bar is a popular bar that is known for its stunning views of the sea.
Located on a street full of bars in Hvar Town, this is the perfect bar to start your night out before hopping around to the neighboring bars.
This is one of the most famous craft beer bars in Hvar. If you love trying different beers, stop in this bar to experience some local flavors!
This bar provides a fun laid-back atmosphere and serves delicious cocktails and street food.
Falko is a laid-back beach bar a short distance from Hvar town with stunning ocean views.
This upscale and stunning beach club is located on a small island a short distance from Hvar town. You can access this beach club by taking a water taxi from Hvar Town.
This is a popular beach bar in Jesla which is about a 30 minute drive from Hvar Town. This is a great place to stop if driving around Hvar island!
The best things to do on Hvar
Climb to The Hvar Fortress
The Hvar Fortress is located North of Hvar Town and while it is a bit of a hike to the top, the views are absolutely worth it.
Visit the Pakleni Islands
The Pakleni Islands are a group of small islands located just off the coast of Hvar Island. There are tons of tour options to visit these islands for a day from Hvar Town!
Do an Hvar Island Wine Tour
Croatia is home to some of the best wine in the world. The Hvar Island Winery is located in the village of Pitve and it is known for its high-quality wines and beautiful setting.
Tour the Franciscan monastery
The franciscan monastery is located in Hvar Town and it is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history.
Rent an ATV or scooter to explore the island
Renting an ATV or scooter is a great way to adventure around Hvar island and check out areas beyond Hvar Town. There are guided tours that you can book or you can rent the vehicles and follow your own route. Keep in mind that the drive time that you see online will likely be twice as long if you are driving an ATV.
Popular places to visit on Hvar by scooter or ATV:
- Dubovica Beach
- Lavender Fields
- St Nicholas Peak
- Kamp Grebišće
- Sveta Nedjelja
- Fortress of Petar Hektorović
Go to the beach
The Hvar island coast is filled with beautiful coves and beaches. Take some time to relax and float in the crystal clear water on Hvar! Pokonji dol Beach is a sand beach about a 30 minute walk along the coast from the center of Hvar town.
Visit the Grapceva Cave
This historic cave is located near the historic village of Humac and features Neolithic homes. This is a great thing to do if you are up for a more adventurous activity in Hvar!
Day trips to take on Hvar
There are a variety of day trip options to explore the surrounding areas of Hvar. Hvar is a centrally located island in Croatia so it is a great home base to explore all that Croatia has to offer!
The Pakleni Islands are a group of islands just off the coast of Hvar Town and they are home to some of the most beautiful views and beaches in Croatia. There are tons of companies that offer tours to these islands from Hvar town or you can take a taxi boat to explore the islands on your own for a day.
Vis and the Blue Cave Tour
The Blue Cave is one of the top things to do while in Croatia and it is an easy day trip by boat from Hvar. The Blue Cave is off of the island of Vis which is also a popular island to visit in Croatia .
Hvar Red Rocks
Croatia’s Red Rocks are a stunning structure on the coast of Hvar that are only accessible by boat. There are a variety of tours that stop here or you can rent a kayak and venture over there yourself.
Bol and Zlatni Rat
Bol is another popular area to visit on the island of Brac, Croatia. This town is one of the most famous areas of Brac to visit because it is home to Zlani Rat beach which changes shape as the tide shifts.
Split is a city located on the coast of Croatia and it is known for its beautiful old town, stunning palace, and rich history. Some of the top sights in Split include the Split Old Town, Diocletian’s Palace, and the Marjan Hill. Split is about a two hour ferry ride from Hvar so it is easy to go explore this city for a day.
Transportation in Hvar
There are a variety of ways to explore Hvar island. Here are all of the transportation options while visiting this island!
If you are staying in Hvar town, it is very easy to walk around the entire town and access all of the popular bars, restaurants and sites to see.
There is a local bus service on Hvar Island that connects the main towns and villages on the island. The bus service is reliable and affordable, and it is a convenient way to get around the island.
Bike, ATV or scooter
Hvar Island is a great destination for renting these types of transportation to explore the entire island. There are many rental shops on the island where you can rent transportation for a day or longer.
If needed, taxis are widely available on Hvar island. Keep in mind that since this is an island, taxis will be more expensive than other areas of Croatia. Uber is not yet available on the island.
Depending on your itinerary and travel plans, you may need to take water taxis to get to certain destinations. Water taxis are readily available in Hvar Town harbor and keep in mind that you will need cash to take these taxis.
If you want to explore the island at your own pace, you can rent a car on Hvar Island. Car rental agencies are located in Hvar Town and other towns on the island.
Safety on Hvar
Hvar island and Croatia in general is known to be very safe for travelers. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and make sure that your valuables are safely zipped on your body to avoid pickpocketing.
What to pack for a trip to Hvar
Be sure to read our summer in Europe packing guide for a complete list of outfit ideas, but here are some must-haves for a trip to Hvar!
Teva Women’s Midform Sandal
Large Straw Beach Bag
5 Pieces Floral Hair Scarf
The Drop Slide Sandal
Amazon Summer Beach Romper
Hill House Ellie Nap Dress
Beach Sarong Swimsuit Cover-up
insta360 X3 Get-Set Kit
Calpak Terra 26L Laptop Backpack
iWalk Portable Charger
Compression Packing Cubes
Additional Europe Resources
We hope this complete Hvar island guide helps plan your trip to this beautiful destination in Croatia! There is truly so much to do on this island for any type of traveler. Be sure to check out our additional Croatia and Europe resources to be fully prepared for your trip. Happy traveling!