Hvar is the royalty of the Croatian Dalmatian islands in the sparkling Adriatic Sea and is best known as a summer resort. Its strategic nautical location has made this port town well-known since antiquity. An hour away from Split, Hvar is considered one of Croatia’s most enchanting islands and is a trendy destination.
The long coastline features many hidden coves and beaches while charming villages line its mountain range.
Focal points consist of its hilltop fortress, 13-century walls, and the main square highlighting a Renaissance-era Cathedral. Like any island, it includes beaches like Dubovica, with its crystal-clear waters. Boats can take you to nearby Pakleni Islands, which host breathtaking secluded lagoons, coves, and beaches.
Moving inland, tourists can enjoy lavender fields, rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards. white-washed towns, and the cobblestone streets of Vrboska and Stari Grad
The mild climate consists of temperate summers and warm winters that attract many travelers who enjoy its spectacular nature views, historical traditions, and rich architecture.
Aside from the breathtaking scenery, guests can explore the many rural coastal towns, each with its own unique culture. Hvar Town, for example, hosts incredible historical attractions and fine dining restaurants, and a bustling nightlife scene. Stari Grad and Jelsa are much quieter for those who prefer a peaceful stay.
Being secluded from the mainland has its draws, including stunning coves and beaches. Tourists can sail the Pakleni islands, enjoy private swimming, or visit Stari Grad, Jelsa, and Vroboska. Enjoy the sunset while sipping the local wine and sampling outstanding Dalmatian cuisine.
The Spanish Fortress is one of the most important tourist attractions. It was built in 1510 when the Turks controlled the Adriatic Sea and the nearby islands to protect Hvar from attacks. It has five bastions and two gates, one defense tower and several artillery batteries which were used by 500 soldiers during its time. The fortress was surrounded by thick stone walls that were ten meters high with a four meters deep moat inside them.
Today, people can enter these walls freely because they are now open for tourists. You will see only a few remnants of medieval fortifications like cannonballs and foundations of a few buildings inside. Nowadays, most of the fortress is a park where people relax on the benches or sit down by the fountain which is located in the center. You can also go to the top of the hill where you will see an amazing view of Hvar Bay.
Extending from the harbor to the cathedral, this striking town square was constructed from an inlet that once touched the bay and is one of the largest historic squares in Dalmatia. Try to find the hidden well close to the cathedral. It was built in 1520 and had an iron grille made in 1780.
This stunning crescent moon-shaped beach is home to stone houses and outdoor cafe bars. The beach’s white pebbles perfectly complement the sparkling blue-green water of the ocean.
Blue Cave is one of the world’s most fascinating natural phenomena on Biševo island in the Adriatic Sea. About an hour from Hvar, this coastal cave offers visitors an incredible sight. Best viewed between 11 am and noon, the sun’s rays filter through an underwater hole and fill the interior with an uncanny blue light: silver and pink rocks glimmer beneath the crystal-clear water.
Located on the northern coastline in Hvar, this little town is utterly picturesque, with red-roofed houses surrounding the turquoise blue harbor. Behind Jelsa, you’ll see mountain ranges and forested hills. Founded in the 14th century, you can explore historical sights and ancient churches along with statues and monuments. This is an entirely charming town to walk through its winding streets, snug cafes, and delicious local fare. Any time you feel like swimming, you can spend time on the pebble beaches.
Located on Hvar’s southern coastline, this pleasant beach is a fantastic spot for sunbathing or swimming in an idyllic environment. This pebble beach is surrounded by jagged mountains, pine trees, and green landscapes that reach the blue waters of the Adriatic.
As the smallest town on Hvar, this is the perfect quiet getaway. Located at the end of a narrow bay, it is also called Little Venice and is quite captivating. This is an absolutely serene spot, abounding with Gothic-style and Renaissance architecture along cobblestone streets with small fishing boats along the bay.
Can’t Miss: Hike up to the Spanish fortress for stunning views of the Pakleni archipelago. Rising high above the town and glowing with golden light at night, this ancient castle marks the site of an ancient settlement from before 500 BC. Looking down, you will be able to see Hvar Town and the uninhabited Pakleni Islands. It’s well worth the journey up!
Insider Tip: Head east from Hvar Town along the water for “locals only” swimming spots; these spots are great for taking a dip and enjoying the views. Walk 15 minutes to the west and you’ll find Falko Beach Bar–a favorite among those “in the know.” The bar is set atop a private beach that offers a laid back vibe and picturesque views of the Pakleni Islands.
Restaurants: Divino is a must-visit for Croatian fine dining. This restaurant offers exquisite dishes made from local, fresh ingredients. The menu changes with the season, so there’s always something new to try. Passarola is the perfect spot for a romantic evening out. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the harbor and old town while you nibble on small plates of tasty food.