A short ferry away from the popular city of split you will find stunning Hvar, Croatia’s longest island. The island has so much for you to discover, from secluded private beaches to the hustle and bustle of the larger towns packed with yachts. This guide takes you through all the spots you must see on the island of Hvar.
If you are travelling by car or camper we recommend arriving at one port, driving the length of the island then heading back via the other port. Of course, make sure to take your time making many stops along the way. We would recommend staying on the island for around 5 days to experience all it has to offer. Hvar is in fact the sunniest island in Europe so you can really get attached to the beautiful weather and wish to stay a lot longer basking in the sunshine.
Below is a list of the places you simply must see on the island of Hvar from east to west (Sućuraj Port to Stari Grad Port).
Taking the ferry from Drvenik, mainland Croatia, you will arrive in Sucuraj on the island of Hvar. There is a lot to see in this little port town so don’t start driving west too quickly. Be sure to explore this lovely little port town. Sucuraj is the smallest town on the island, it truly has a tonne of small-town charm. Sucuraj is not fully urbanised like many of the other towns on Hvar island. This is the place to truly immerse yourself in the Mediterranean culture and try the local cuisine here.
Sucuraj is located on the easternmost tip of the island. This means the small town is surrounded by the sea on two sides. This gives you the choice of which beach you want to spend the day at relaxing.
Sucuraj is historically one of the most interesting places on the island of Hvar. It is packed with well-preserved archaeology which tells you the interesting story of the small town’s turbulent past. There is a selection of ancient churches and monasteries for you to visit.
Sućuraj To Jelsa Private Beaches
Driving west from Sućuraj Port you are heading in the direction of hundreds of stunning, secluded beaches. These beaches have the clearest water and the most stunning views out to other islands. Undoubtedly though, the best thing about these beaches is that most of the time you will manage to get one all to yourself!
We visited a couple of beaches and most of the time we didn’t see anyone else. We found that the best way to find the private beaches was 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 fantastic one quite quickly.
Driving East to West, Jelsa is the first of the larger towns on the island of Hvar. This gem of a town is nestled between vineyards and lavender fields. Jelsa is unquestionably beautiful with palm trees lining the yacht-lined promenade. You’ll find that the town has an incredibly relaxed feel to it; it is very easy-going and peaceful.
There are plenty of waterfront restaurants to dine at as well as a good selection of ice cream shops. This small picture-perfect town has a real Croatian charm to it!
If you are planning on staying on the Island of Hvar for a while it is useful to know there is a large Plodine supermarket in Jelsa which sells everything you could possibly need! It has a large, flat, well-lit car park which is a great place to leave your vehicle to head into the centre of Jelsa on foot.
Stari Grad was one of our favourite places on the island of Hvar. It is like an upscaled version of Jelsa. There are hundreds of yachts docked in the evenings – and for good reason. This ancient town has a fantastic, chilled atmosphere, not to mention beautiful buildings which date back to 384 BC.
Explore the narrow stone alleyways winding their way through the town. You can find some excellent boutiques and 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 an Aperol spritz in Stari Grad.
Another great thing about Stari grad is that you can find your own little secluded ‘beach’ areas. There are many concrete areas specifically designed for you to lounge on with ladders to help you in and out of the sea (which is mostly pretty calm)
Stari grad is an incredible, calm place where you can truly relax and soak in your surroundings. Is a more tame and humble version of the party-heavy town of Hvar which we’ll move on to next.
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.
Hvar Old Town
Hvar old town is easily the most lively town on this island. You’ve not done Hvar right if you haven’t immersed yourself in the legendary nightlife here. There are lots of bars and clubs to choose from but if you love to party make sure you check out ‘Carpe Diem’. This club is on its own island just off shore. 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.
Hvar Old Town is a little bit more expensive than other Croatian towns, simply because it is a bit of a tourist hotspot, especially for day trips coming over from Split. In the summer months, it can get very busy! We would recommend trying to visit in late spring or early autumn to experience Hvar fully without the abundance of tourists.
For incredible views of the town head up to Tvrdjava Fortica (Hvar Fort). There is a specific walking path from the centre of the old town all the way up to the fort. The walk is quite long and steep and meanders through a forest. The views along the walk make up for the hike! At the top of the trail, you will find the fort with magnificent views over Hvar Old Town and you can even see out to the Pakleni Islands.
For more information about the attractions on the island of Hvar, check out the Hvar tourism website here.
Hvar has some of the most incredible towns in Croatia, it is an island you simply must see! It is, without a doubt our favourite Croatian island! You will absolutely find something for everyone here. We recommend touring the whole island over many days. Better yet, visit for a week to make sure you don’t miss any of its plentiful charms.
We hope this list helped inspire you to visit this fantastic Croatian island. If you are planning a road trip around mainland Croatia as well as Hvar; be sure to check out our other Croatian ‘must-see’ guides.
If you have any questions about Hvar island or Croatia travel in General don’t hesitate to ask.