So you’re planning a trip to Croatia, probably Split, and wondering if Hvar is worth visiting?
Well, let us put you out of your misery – it absolutely is! To our surprise, the whole island blew us away. From secluded beaches to quaint old towns, to schmoozing with yachties, it is an experience unlike any other in Croatia.
So, whether you are considering going on a day trip, or a little road trip around this beautiful island, we will let you know why it is truly worth visiting Hvar! And how to best experience the island of Hvar.
Below are the many reasons why it’s worth visiting Hvar, and a few reasons why not!
Location, location, location.
Located in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is the longest of all the Croatian islands. Conveniently located off the coast of Split, it has become a popular place to go on a day trip.
It is easily accessible by ferry. Whether you are coming in a car, van, or perhaps without a vehicle at all, there are several ports that go to Hvar. There are daily sailings from Split, Dubrovnik, and Drvenik.
One thing to note is that although possible, we do not recommend a day trip from Dubrovnik due to the duration of the ferry ride. The ferry takes 3 and a half hours.
Unfortunately, Hvar doesn’t have an international airport, so if you are looking to go direct to Hvar, that won’t be possible. The closest international airport is in Split.
For more information on how you can get to Hvar, click here
A fun fact about the island of Hvar is that it is known as the sunniest island in Europe, boasting 2,760 hours of sunshine each year. Impressive, right?
So if you are looking for (almost) guaranteed sunshine, then Hvar is for you. Having said this, it is not warm year round, but in fact, does showcase all 4 seasons. Sure, the winter months are not perishingly cold, but you certainly won’t want to go for a swim in the sea.
One thing to note is that the weather in summer in Hvar is not great if you are living in a van like we were. There is a lack of wild camping spots on this island and the ones we did find were extremely exposed. Therefore, we found ourselves waking up sweating due to the extreme summer temperatures.
We only think it is worth visiting Hvar in summer if you are just going for a day, or if you have a nice air-conditioned room to go home to! Although beautiful, it is not the most “vanlife” friendly island.
The Charming towns
The small sleepy fishing villages and lively towns are truly what makes the island of Hvar worth visiting. Each with its unique charm, it’s easy to make yourself at home anywhere in Hvar.
So whether you are looking for a party atmosphere, or a relaxed, classy affair, then we have you covered.
Hvar Old Town
Hvar old town is easily the most lively town on this list. It is the reason that the island of Hvar is often referred to as a party town. However, this comes at a price. The price is that it is the second most expensive place to be in Croatia behind Dubrovnik. Hvar old town is not for bargain hunters, that’s for sure.
Its twisting cobbled alleyways make this small town feel distinctly Croatian. There is also an abundance of local retailers selling bespoke Croatian products – perfect for souvenirs!
Although Hvar’s old town is for everyone, it had a distinctly youthful feel, especially as the sun starts to set and the party starts to come alive!
If you are a bit of a party girl (or boy) then you will want to head to Carpe Diem. The premiere nightclub in Hvar. However, there is a catch – it’s on another island. Thankfully there are constant shuttle boats taking you there and back!
Stari Grad is the place to go if you want to make friends with a yachtie and watch the most spectacular sunsets!
It is essentially Hvar Old Towns’ sleepy little sister. It shares a lot of the same architectural charm, however, operates at a much slower pace. However, that isn’t to say it’s not worth visiting.
Stari Grad is also home to many beaches, some accessible simply by walking along the yacht-lined promenade, others are a bit more of a trek to find – but well worth the journey! If you are looking to relax in the sun, and enjoy some fine dining, then Stari grad is the best place for you!
Fun fact: Stari Grad is part of the larger UNESCO world heritage site – Stari Grad plain. The Stari Grad plain is where an Ancient Greek system of field division has been preserved.
Finally, one thing we absolutely loved about Stari Grad was that there were clean FREE indoor showers right in the centre of town – perfect for anyone who is wild camping on this island!
Jelsa is undeniably beautiful. Much like Stari Grad, it operates at a more relaxed pace. We loved our time strolling around the marina admiring boats. Furthermore, it is home to many beautiful waterfront restaurants and cafes, perfect for a romantic meal!
Jelsa has a more mature laid back atmosphere than the other towns but certainly does not lack any of the traditional Croatian charm. We recommend visiting Jelsa if you are looking to enjoy a peaceful escape and just relax.
Hvar is the perfect day trip
One of the best things about Hvar is that it can be done in a day… although we do recommend staying longer!
As mentioned previously ferries continuously go from Split to Hvar, making reaching this amazing island a piece of cake. Furthermore, there are numerous scooter, quadbike, and offroading buggy hires in Hvar old Town, allowing you to explore the whole island with relative ease – as long as you have a driver’s licence (and some money!).
So whether you choose to stay in Hvar’s old town, Stari Grad, or travel further afield, you won’t be at a loss for things to do on the island of Hvar.
Hvars Secluded beaches
Although this point could essentially be valid for almost anywhere in Croatia, we were particularly blown away by the beaches on the island of Hvar. And best yet is that most of the time you have them all to yourself.
Most beaches require some form of commute, whether by scooter, bike, or car. We can guarantee that whichever beach you go to will be worth the journey!
Also, if you like getting your kit off, there are numerous nudist beaches all around the island!
Hvar Old Town is one of the unsung party capitals of Europe. Despite being located on a small Croatian island, there is no doubt that Hvar is where the party is at. We were shocked to discover how the town comes alive at night. As we mentioned previously, if you are looking to party into the small hours of the night, Carpe Diem is the place to be!
Oh, and whilst you are out on the town, go to KIVA Bar and ask for a Helmet shot – you can thank us later!
So, is Hvar worth visiting?
Without a shadow of a doubt Hvar is worth visiting. It has all the makings of a great holiday destination, whether you intend on visiting for just a day or a week, you won’t be short of things to do or see.
We recommend staying for at least a few days, so you can truly experience just how amazing the entire island is. Although the main towns and villages are the main draw of this island, there is so much beauty to be discovered off the beaten path! Particularly, the undeniably beautiful beaches!
For more Croatia posts, click here.
Whilst you’re here, why not check out some amazing things to do on the island of Hvar?
If you are planning on travelling around Hvar in a campervan, click here to discover the amazing wild camping spots we found on the island.
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