Hvar is the longest as well as the most infamous of all the Croatian islands. Conveniently located off the coast of Split, it has become a popular place to go on a day trip. Although visiting for a day is nice; nothing beats a road trip of the whole island! We hope this itinerary will help you plan your trip to the fantastic island of Hvar.
Five days is the perfect length of time to spend on the island to truly immerse yourself in the culture and experience everything on offer. Hvar is such a beautiful island with its endless charm – it’s easy to fall in love with the island and want to stay longer.
This 5-day Hvar itinerary has been carefully curated so that you can pack in as much as possible and don’t miss any of the highlights and hidden gems! With a good measure of relaxing beach time as well as getting involved with the hustle and bustle of the incredible towns.
Day 1 – Stari Grad
Daily Mileage: 2 km
Time Spent Driving: 5 mins
Begin your Hvar adventure by taking the ferry from Split (on the mainland) to Stari Grad (on Hvar Island). The journey to the island takes about 2 hours with stunning views the whole way. The ferry is operated by Jadrolinija and the prices vary from season to season – check out the ferry information here. If you are travelling with a campervan, be aware that the ferry can be a bit pricey.
Day 1 of this Hvar itinerary truly begins once you have arrived at the port on the island. Begin by heading towards the town of Stari Grad. The majority of the town is pedestrianised so it is best to park on the outskirts and make your way into the centre on foot. Our recommended parking spot is also our ‘overnight parking’ spot.
Wander through the narrow stone alleyways winding their way through the town. You can find some excellent restaurants hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the waterfront – true hidden gems. There is definitely not a shortage of places for you to enjoy some lunch as well as a cheeky Aperol spritz in Stari Grad!
Hvar is the sunniest island in Europe. Take advantage of the great weather and spend the afternoon relaxing in your own little secluded ‘beach’ area. There are many concrete lounging areas specifically designed for you to relax on with ladders to help you in and out of the sea (which is mostly pretty calm). These beach areas are at both sides of the harbour so take a stroll to find your perfect spot. We visited in the shoulder season and had no problem finding a relaxing space on the waterfront.
The atmosphere in Stari Grad shifts in the evening when all the yachts begin to line the promenade. The nightlife isn’t crazy but it is the sort of place you can enjoy a few drinks in the evening soaking in the beautiful surroundings. Treat yourself to a nice restaurant on the waterfront for dinner and watch the sun setting over the crazy expensive yachts.
21460, Stari Grad, Hvar, Croatia
Rather than large hotels, the accommodation in Stari Grad tends to be serviced apartments. This means you get to stay in an incredible old charismatic building right in the centre of town. The prices can vary quite a lot and tend to get significantly more expensive in the peak summer months.
airbnb has a great selection of apartments in Stari Grad. Be sure to book well in advance as they can get booked up quickly.
If you are travelling around the island of Hvar in a campervan you will be thrilled to find out that Stari Grad has fantastic, clean, warm shower facilities which are completely free to use! Be sure to make the most of them, but of course, keep them clean so that this facility will remain here.
Day 2 – Stari Grad to Hvar Old Town
Daily Mileage: 28.7 km
Time Spent Driving: 45 mins
The island of Hvar has its fair share of incredible beaches. One of our favourites was just outside Stari Grad. Begin day 2 of this Hvar itinerary by driving just out of the town and parking up by a secluded beach with crystal clear waters. Žukova Beach is incredibly special with views that stretch for miles. Be sure to go early in the day as it can get a lot busier into the afternoon
After you have indulged in a relaxing beach morning it is time to head to Hvar Old Town for lunch. Park up at Tvrdava Fortica. This is an impressive 16th Century castle perched on a hill overlooking the town. From here take the 15 minute (steep) winding walk through the forest to reach the centre of Hvar old town. This walk boast the most amazing, panoramic views of both the town and out to the Pakleni Islands.
There are so many different eateries in Hvar to choose from. Check out the street food at Lola’s Bar. This place has a great atmosphere and the food is reasonably priced.
Note: Lola’s Bar only accepts cash.
spend the afternoon exploring Hvar Old Town. Begin in Saint Stephens Square and admire its impressive architecture and charm. Then wander through the endless stone alleyways. This is where the true beauty of Hvar is hidden. Discover small boutique shops and funky little bars.
Head out quite late for dinner with the intention of staying out and seeing where the night takes you! As well as being jam-packed full of history and stunning architecture, Hvar is also the liveliest town on the island. You’ve not done Hvar right if you haven’t immersed yourself in the legendary nightlife here! Grab some food in the centre of town and then hit the bars.
Whether you want to grab a few drinks at sunset or have the best night out of your life, Hvar has something for you.
If you want to party hard, start in Kiva Bar. This bar is a staple in Hvar and is home to the infamous ‘helmet shot’. The atmosphere is wild here and you will definitely have an unforgettable night. You can choose to stay here for your whole night or see where the night takes you.
Another legendary club you should consider visiting is Carpe Diem. This club is on its own island just offshore. If that’s not absolutely fabulous, I don’t know what is! Entry is pretty expensive at 300 kuna but this does include the cost of the shuttle boat to get you to and from the island.
Tvrdava Fotica, Hvar Old Town, Hvar, Croatia
Unlike the other towns on the island, Hvar Old Town does not only offer apartments, it has lots of hotels too – including many luxury ones. There are lots of options to choose from for all budgets.
Day 3 – Hvar Old Town and Pakleni Islands
Daily Mileage: –
Time Spent Driving: n/a
Spend your morning recovering from the night before. Then pull yourself together and make the most of the day. Day 3 of this Hvar itinerary includes hiring a kayak and heading out to the Pakleni Islands. There are many places to hire a kayak at the waterfront. It costs around 300 kuna for a full-day hire.
The Pakleni Islands are just off the shore of Hvar Old Town and have the most beautiful beaches which are phenomenal for snorkelling. It takes around an hour to kayak to the islands so be sure to pack snacks, sun cream and plenty to drink.
Alternatively, if exercise is not your thing; it is possible to hire a boat to take you to the islands. This option is more expensive but a lot less physical work. Both options give you an incredible day trip packed with memories.
Each island in the archipelago is a little slice of heaven. Lush greenery covers the islands and there are endless stretches of stunning coastline you can have all to yourself. Each island has a different feel to it so you really can find something for everyone. For example, Jerolim is a bit of a nudist island (not compulsory) and Marinkovac (home to Carpe Diem) is essentially a party island with a beach club open day and night.
There are some good dining options on the Pakleni islands, especially if you enjoy seafood. You will find the best selection of eateries on the island of Marinkovac.
On your trip to the Pakleni islands try to visit at least a couple of the islands to truly make the most of your time.
Check out Vlaka Beach on Sveti Klement island. It is surrounded by lavender and olive trees giving the most sensational smell. On the beach, you will find the remains of a Roman Spa. You can have a mud bath here, the magical mud is said to have healing properties. Further around the same island is one of Croatia’s few sandy beaches. If you’ve travelled around croatia you’ll know that sandy beaches are few and far between. Palmizana beach on Sveti Klement is a beautiful hidden sandy bay – the perfect place to go for a dip.
Once you are satisfied you have seen enough of the Pakleni islands it is time to head back to Hvar old town to continue with the itinerary.
For dinner, grab yourself a seat at a waterfront restaurant and watch the sunset. For the most amazing, uninterrupted sunset view, head to Hula hula beach bar. This bar is a 15-minute walk west of St Stephens square and is the perfect lookout point over the Pakleni Islands.
Another Great option is Falko Beach Bar which is another 5 minutes along the coastline. Again, you get an amazing view here!
Tvrdava Fotica, Hvar Old Town, Hvar, Croatia
Day 4 – Jelsa and Bol
Daily Mileage: 25.2 km
Time Spent Driving: 29 mins
Begin day 4 of your Hvar itinerary by driving east, to Jelsa. The town of Jelsa is a sweet little bay on the north coast of the island. This gem of a town is nestled between vineyards and lavender fields. We will explore the town later on in the day, the first item on today’s ‘hvar’ itinerary is taking an excursion boat to Bol on the island of Brac.
This island of Brac is around 10 km north of Hvar. The island, more specifically Bol; has so much for you to discover. To get to the island, board one of the excursion boats heading to Bol. These normally leave Jelsa at around 9 am. There is not much information online with timetables etc but you will see posters and notice boards with information along the pier in the centre of Jelsa. There will likely be tour operators trying to sell tickets for their next sailing. The journey to Bol should only take around 20 minutes.
spend your morning exploring the Bol town Centre. There is a lot to see in Bol so prioritise what you want to see as the boat will head back to Jelsa in the mid-afternoon and you can’t miss it! Here is a brief rundown of what there is the see:
- 4 monasteries (including Dragons Cave)
- Local Food Market
- Vidova Gora (best viewpoint of Golden Horn)
- Golden Horn (Zlatni Rat) *visit after lunch
Taverna Riva is a fantastic restaurant in the harbour area which serves a wide selection of food. You can get yourself some local delicacies here. The location of this restaurant overlooking the harbour makes it a great place to soak in the view and do a bit of people-watching.
If you’re looking for a more casual lunch option, check out Food2go. This is the place to go for quick, reasonably priced bites. The burgers and sandwiches are great here.
Bol is very well known for its beautiful beaches, particularly the ‘golden horn‘ also known as Zlatni rat. It is a fine pebbly peninsula that juts out 500m into the sea. This beach is the main reason to visit Bol, it’s located a 20-minute walk west of the centre of town. The walk is definitely worth it though. Zlatni Rat is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia; it is certainly the most unique.
Grab yourself a spot to lounge on the beach and go for a dunk in the sea to cool off from the Croatian heat. Spend your afternoon relaxing before you head back to the harbour.
Be sure to be back at the harbour to catch the return journey of your excursion boat. They normally leave the island at around 4 pm. After a 20-minute boat ride, you’ll be back in Jelsa ready to explore.
Head into the centre of Jelsa town (right beside the harbour). Walk under the palm trees along the yacht-lined promenade and explore the churches, parks and town squares. This small picture-perfect town has a real Croatian charm to it!
The town centre of Jelsa is home to many cafes and restaurants. You will also find some amazing ice cream parlours here. So whatever you fancy for dinner, Jelsa has it covered.
Check out Jelsa Gelateria, it’s the pink building at the pier. This is where to get the best ice cream on the island – an absolutely delicious treat after dinner!
Jelsa is a fantastic place to unwind in the evening. The town has an incredibly relaxed feel to it; it is very easy-going and peaceful. This is a great place to slow down for the evening before a jam packed final day of the Hvar itinerary.
D116, 21465, PLODINE, Jelsa, Croatia
this is a supermarket car park which we used as an emergency. We would recommend using a campsite in Jelsa instead.
Because Jelsa is a small island town, you won’t find big luxury hotels here. You will however find lovely apartments and small villas. Much of the accommodation is in cute stone buildings which date back hundreds of years.
Day 5 –
Daily Mileage: 58.2 km
Time Spent Driving: 1 hr 18 mins
This is the final day of the Hvar itinerary. This means we need to explore the remaining parts of the island so you can truly say you have seen everything there is to see!
This essentially means driving east and cramming in the most amazing private beaches. Eastern Hvar feels a lot more undiscovered as the west is where the bulk of the tourism is. For this reason, we loved exploring the east – no crowds and lots to explore.
Before hitting the beaches, the first stop on this journey is Humac. This is an abandoned shepherd’s village dating back to the stone age, the scenery really takes you back in time! The village is filled with quaint stone houses, narrow alleyways and cobbled courtyards. The village is very cute and photogenic, but what makes the whole area even more beautiful is that it is surrounded by aromatic lavender fields!
If you want to spend more time in the Humac area, check out Grapčeva cave. This is a Neolithic cave filled with all the good cave classics – stalagmites, stalactites, columns you name it! The cave is a 30 minute gentle walk from the Humac town and takes you through the scenic lavender fields.
If you want to get a better understanding of the area’s rich history, we would recommend getting a tour. The 2-hour tour includes the shepherd’s village, the cave and some other bits and bobs. At 50 kuna per person, it is very reasonably priced.
Whilst in the Humac area be sure to dine at Konoba Humac Restaurant. This restaurant epitomises authentic Hvar. The sweet tavern is hidden in the trees with the most magical lookout point over the sea. Here, you can devour traditional dalmatian specialities and really immerse yourself in the Humac culture. There is no electricity in Humac, all the food is cooked over an open flame!
This restaurant serves delicious food and is truly an experience in itself. It certainly feels like you have turned back the clock. If you are a larger group, be sure to book in advance so the chef has time to prepare the food.
After lunch it is time to keep heading east, follow the main road to Sućuraj. Along the way be sure to stop off at one of the incredible beaches. There are countless stunning, secluded beaches all the way along the rugged coastline. It is highly likely that you will find a beach which you can enjoy all to yourself. These beaches have the clearest water and the most stunning views out to other islands.
The best way to find a private beach is to look on google maps for side roads which lead down towards the waterfront. Not every beach is a winner but there are so many to choose from you’ll find a great one in no time.
We loved Uvala Gornji Pelinovik Beach.
Make the most of your final afternoon at the beach in Hvar. Soak in the sunshine and swim in the impossibly clear water. After you are done relaxing, it is time to jump back in your car and head to Sućuraj port.
Whilst waiting for your ferry to arrive, explore Sucuraj. it is the smallest town on the island and it truly has a tonne of small-town appeal.
The road from Jelsa to Sucuraj can be very narrow in places with steep drop-offs and no barriers. For this reason, take the journey slowly and carefully; especially when passing other drivers on the narrow roads. Don’t let this put you off though, we managed perfectly fine in our 2 metre wide campervan.
If you are planning on visiting the lavender fields, remember that they are not beautiful and purple all year round. The best time to visit the fields is June and July.
Although 5 days may not sound like enough time to fully embrace the unique culture of Hvar, you can truly get the essence of what this magnificent island is all about! This 5-day Hvar road trip itinerary tries to encompass as much of the island’s charm, culture, and beauty as possible.
If you’re still deciding whether or not your want to visit Hvar, check out the post below.
Alternatively, if you want to see all of the places we parked overnight (wild camped) on this beautiful island click here.
If you’ve caught the travel bug and want to explore more than Hvar, we have an itinerary for you!