18 Incredible Things to do on Hvar Island, Croatia’s Island Paradise

The best things to see and do on Hvar Island, Croatia

Hvar island is so much more than its best-known town. Planning a trip to this Croatian gem soon?
Here are 18 of the best things to do on the island, including a guide to where to stay and how to get around.

We arrived on Hvar Island with high expectations and left with those expectations well and truly shattered in the best way possible.

Surprising, when you consider this is the island where Prince Harry solidified his party-boy reputation, and where celebrities from George Clooney, to Jay-Z and Beyonce regularly choose to holiday. 

But it wasn’t necessarily the beauty of the island’s capital, Hvar town, that blew us away (although it IS insanely beautiful), and it certainly wasn’t the parties (more on that later).  

Nope, it was the Island as a whole.

From the white-washed towns and historic cobbled streets of Stari Grad and Vrboska to the clear blue waters and almost-empty beaches and coves of the Islands’ south; the crystal-clear waters and deserted lagoons of the Pakleni islands, to the quaint, home-style restaurants serving delicious Dalmatian fare; and the photogenic rolling hills swathed in layers of fragrant lavender, olive trees, and vineyards, Hvar Island is so much more than just the glitz and glamour of its main town. 

No matter how long you’re on the Island, we encourage you to escape the Hvar town bubble and explore the rest of the island - trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

To help you along your way, here are our favourite things to do on Hvar Island, including personal favourites and helpful tips so you can enjoy the best stay possible  

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The best of Hvar Island

1. Explore incredible beaches and coves

2. Hire a boat and enjoy the Pakleni Islands

3. Stroll the white-washed streets and laneways of Hvar town

4. Visit lesser-known Stari Grad, Vrboska, and Jelsa

5. Sip delightful local wine

6. Sample exceptional Dalmatian cuisine

7. Enjoy every.single.sunset



The island of Hvar is located in the Adriatic sea, off Croatia's famous Dalmatian coast. It's surrounded by a number of islands including Brac, Korcula and Vis, and is around an hours boat ride from Split. The island is the longest and sunniest in Croatia and has around 11,000 inhabitants. 

On the opposite side of the Adriatic lies Italy, and important ports such as Ancona. 



We're slightly biased, given we spent six weeks on Hvar from late April through to mid-June, however, we believe visiting the island during the shoulder seasons (April - early June, Sept-Oct) is the best time to visit. 

Not only are the days long and the sea warm, but the crowds are smaller and more manageable, making the island extremely pleasant. What's more, the prices of food and drinks are cheaper during the shoulder period. 

Visiting during the peak summer months of mid-June to August means you'll have to contend with upwards of 20,000 daily visitors to the island, which in our opinion is unsustainable to is to the detriment of the tranquil nature of Hvar.


From cosy, family-run guesthouses to extravagant beachside resorts, forested campsites to party hostels, there are plenty of accommodation options on Hvar to suit every style, traveller or budget.

We’ve written the following guides to help you find your perfect stay:


If you’re after a more luxurious splurge, Hvar town is literally teeming with mid to high-end hotels - think open, breezy rooms, and beautiful views, right in the heart of town.

Our top 3 picks are:

  • HERACLEA HOUSE | James Bond would be happy to call this home for a few days. A stunningly appointed 5* hotel right in the centre of town, with views to die for. A splurge here is worth it! Prices and availability here

  • ADRIANA HVAR SPA HOTEL | Modern, chic hotel located right in the thick of the action, and with a rooftop bar with Hvar's best sunset viewpoint. Prices and availability here

  • HISTORY HVAR DESIGN APARTMENTS | Superb and modern apartment built within a traditional old house. Excellent location right in the heart of Hvar town. Prices and availability here

If they’re not quite right for you, search for all hotel options for Hvar using Booking.com here.


Given Hvar's popularity on the European backpacker trail, the town has a number of very well appointed backpacker hostels. Hvar's hostels are perfect for those who are travelling solo, or are on a tight budget. 

We've selected our pick of the bunch below:

  • THE GREEN LIZARD | Relaxed, sociable hostel with a party vibe, this is probably the best hostel in Hvar. Also has a brilliant view! Check prices and availability here.

  • HVAR OUT | New renovated (this actually happened when we were in Hvar), this is hands down the best located hostel in Hvar. Clean, bright and lovely rooms, and a great atmosphere. Check prices and availability here.

  • THE WHITE RABBIT | New, clean hostel located right in the centre of town. Run by travellers, for travellers (and it has super fast wi-fi!). Check prices and availability here.

Use the following links to check rates, availability or to book accommodation on Hvar. 

18 Awesome Things to do on Hvar Island, Croatia



If there's one thing Croatia knows how to do well, it's beaches - and the island of Hvar is no exception! 

Over the course of our six weeks spent on the island, we 'researched' Hvar's best beaches and got to know them pretty well. From popular coves where all the tourists come to play to the hidden gems we somehow stumbled upon. 

Below are our top picks, from all over this sun-kissed island:


It’s with some reluctance that we’re telling you about Malo Zaraće because it was our favourite beach on Hvar, and we can’t bear the thought of others finding our little slice of heaven. Located in a secluded bay, with cliffs on one side and unique rock formation on the other, Malo Zarace is a little slice of heaven.

We spent hours in the outrageously clear waters enjoying ourselves, and for the most part, had the beach to ourselves. 

Zaraće is located around 30 minutes drive from Hvar Town, off the main road to Stari Grad.


One of the most picturesque and popular beaches on Hvar Island, Dubovica is about 8km east of Hvar Town. 

The beach is in a magical, secluded bay with a large pebble beach, surrounded by pine trees and olive groves. Under the blue skies, the stunning Adriatic sea shimmers, inviting you in for a swim almost immediately. Which we obviously obliged, and it was perfect. 

If you're hungry, there's a Konoba serving up some fresh seafood. If you’re after a drink to cool you down, check out Dubovica beach bar. There's also shade under the pine trees, which makes for a welcome relief from the hot Croatian summer sun.


 As if lifted straight out of a nostalgic 70’s Bond film, Pokonji Dol is the epitome of a Mediterranean dream. Just a short 25-minute walk from town, it’s also probably the best and most accessible beach to Hvar town.

Here, the water is an insane shade of turquoise, framed by green-clad hills and the odd orange beach umbrella. While the beach is still pebbly, we did find it more comfortable to lay on than others we found in the area. Pokonji Dol is also flanked by two delightfully authentic restaurants serving the days best catch, and ice-cold beers perfect for a sundowner.

Sunbeds are available for hire, ranging from HRK 70 - 100 for the day.

READ | Hvar’s best beaches

Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island
Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island


We both agree that the best day we spent on Hvar Island was when we hired a small 'pasara' boat from Hvar Boats and explored the nearby Pakleni Islands (read our guide to the Pakleni Islands here).  

Setting off early, we somehow navigated the narrow Hvar strait (we had no prior boating experience!), before arriving at an unbelievably clear, turquoise bay for our first swim.

It set the tone for the day; we'd find ourselves a beautiful, quiet bay, drop our anchor and jump straight off the bow into the clear blue waters before relaxing in the beautiful Mediterranean sun. It really was a perfect day, and definitely one of the best things to do on Hvar Island. 

Some of our favourite bays and beaches including:

  • The two large bays after Vinogradisce Bay (unfortunately they don't have a name)

  • Zdrilca beach

  • Mlini beach

Boats come with a cooler box, so we recommend stocking up on food, water (bring your own!) and beers for the day ahead. You'll need to ask for this and snorkelling gear. 

The pasara boat is small enough that you won't need a boat licence to operate it. You will get a lesson from your vendor, which we recommend you listen to as it takes a while to get used to the steering and engine.

It's also important to note that while the boat is insured, the propeller and anchor are not so you'll liable for any damage (which is surprisingly easy on the rocks). Keep an eye out for large ferries and boats operating in the area - it's the main route from Split to Hvar and Korcula!


Where | Pakleni (or Paklinski) Islands, Hvar

Cost | HRK 400 for a 5hp Pasara boat 

Book | We used Hvar Boats, who provide good quality boats at a competitive price 

Tips | Pack your own lunch, water, beers and sunscreen.
Make sure you take back all your litter and dispose of in the bins in town.
Don't get drunk, whatever you do!

Read | the best day trip from Hvar - Pakleni Islands guide

Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island
Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island


If you're a fan of the Herbie the Love Bug, the VW Beetle with a mind of his own who always seems to be getting into mischief (aka basically Mark in car form!), then you’ll love exploring Hvar in your very own VW Bug.

We hired a classic VW from Rapidus Hvar and slowly made our way around the island, exploring as much of Hvar as possible. We drove through lavender fields to the small village of Brusje, explored the Venetian streets of Stari Grad, ate delicious gelato in Jelsa, slowly made our way through the Pitve tunnel, and swam in the gloriously clear waters at Ivan Dolac.

And we finished our day watching the sunset from the Napoleonic fort, overlooking Hvar and Pakleni Islands. Bloody magic!

If you're thinking of living the Hvar dream too, be warned; the VW beetle is a handful to drive.

The cars are manual, have no power steering, and reach a top speed of around 60km/h, and they're especially hard to drive through the narrow villages and tunnels. 


What | Rapidus Car Hire, Hvar town

Cost | HRK 500 per day including insurance, fuel 

Book | Check availability on the Rapidus website here

Tips | You will need a manual license to drive one of these cars
Bring a towel for the leather seats/steering wheel - they get super hot in the sun
Fill with fuel before returning

Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island


Hands down the most picturesque view of Hvar is from high above the town at the Španjola Fortress (Hvar fort, or Fortica). Overlooking the red roofs and white-washed walls of the old town, with the glistening turquoise waters of the Pakleni Islands in the distance, this view will forever be etched in our memory. 

The current fortress was constructed in the 13th century, on the site of a former Byzantine citadel dating to the 6th century. In 1571, the Fortress acted as shelter from the local citizens after the Turkish attacked and burned down the town to the ground. 

Fortunately, the Fortress is now a far safer place to be, and now houses a small museum showing a collection of historical artefacts found on the seabed around Hvar.


The Fortica is easy to get to - just follow the signs from St Stephen's Square, up the (many) stairs, and past the town walls. From here, it's a gentle, winding walk through the pine forests before arriving at the fortress entrance. At 40 kuna, the entrance fee is pretty expensive, especially for those on a backpackers budget. 

On the way back, don't forget to drop into Konoba Menego for a delicious Dalmatian dinner (see #13 below!). 


Where | Spanjola Fortress, Hvar

Opening hours | Sun - Sat 08:00 am - 21:00pm (April - October)

Cost | HRK 40 (children half price)

Hvar Island things to do | the best things to do on Hvar Island
Best things to do on Hvar Island


After our third visit to the quaint town of Stari Grad, we realised that we may have made a mistake by spending the entirety of our six weeks on the island living in Hvar town.

It's not like we didn't like Hvar town; far from it. It's just that Stari Grad, with its quiet laneways, relaxed vibe, friendly people and far cheaper prices(!) was just ‘more us’.

Stari Grad is the epitome of a rustic Mediterranean coastal town. Its ancient white-stone streets and laneways are perfect for lazy strolls, and around each corner, another historic church, bougainvillaea covered staircase, or historic archway can be found.

READ | 11 amazing things to do in Stari Grad

The epicentre of the action is Srinjo kola (Middle St.), once a hub of craftsmen and merchants, now filled with quaint cafes, delis and traditional souvenir stores. 

One place we absolutely recommend stopping by is Za Pod Zub, a hip gourmet store run by a lovely young French couple. They offer premium products sourced from Hvar and all of Croatia, including olives (we bought a tub and it was heaven), cheese, chocolate, and some of the best wine on Hvar.


Where | Srinjo kola, Stari Grad

Eat | Antika restaurant (the best food we ate on Hvar!)

See | Za Pod Zub

Stay | Hotel Antica, or this Stone House in the centre of town

Stari Grad | Best things to do on Hvar Island
Stari Grad | Best things to do on Hvar Island


A morning spent walking the cobbled streets of Stari Grad had left us both hangry and in need of food, stat. 

As if it was meant to be, we rounded a corner and stumbled upon an authentic-looking Konoba, called Antika. Encouraged to enter by the jovial chefs (not that we generally need too much encouragement to enter a rustic-looking restaurant!), we took a table upstairs in the green outdoor garden and ordered away.

We discovered it was one of the most traditional restaurants of Stari Grad

When the food arrived, we knew we’d made a brilliant decision. The fresh food was delicious (seafood pasta for Mim, and risotto for Mark), and some of the best we’d tasted on the island.

On top of that, the environment was so homely and enjoyable we ended up sitting for two hours, enjoying a beer before heading on our merry way. 


Where | Antika restaurant, Stari Grad 

Cost | Entree: HRK 50 - 70 Mains: HRK 90 - 100  

Reviews | See what other travellers had to say about Antika on Tripadvisor here

Stari Grad | Best things to do on Hvar Island


Due to its abundance of natural fields and perfect climate (more than 2718 sunny hours per year), Hvar is known to have some of the finest red wine in Europe. So, if you're like Mim and love a good vino or two, Hvar is your place. 

Hvar has a proud wine-making history dating back to the ancient Greeks who planted the islands first vines in 384 BC, so there are plenty of wineries to sample the islands wine varieties. 

Most wineries are spread across the UNESCO-listed Stari Grad plain, Jelsa, or those clinging to the steep slopes around Sveta Nedilja. 

Popular wineries we recommend you visit include:



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St Stephen’s Square is definitely one of the prettiest squares we’ve seen in Europe. Surrounded by Venetian and Renaissance architecture, including the Cathedral of St. Stephen, the cathedral bell tower, the Arsenal, Hvarska pjaca, this really is the centre of public and social life in Hvar. It’s also the largest old square in all of Dalmatia.

Our favourite daily pastime was to chill in the square and watch the world go by, generally while eating a delicious börek or ice cream (drool). We watched little old ladies gossip and locals friends stop to chat. Giggled as tourists stumbled on the slippery stone paths (only because that had been us a few weeks prior), and sand along as a local busker performed a brilliant rendition of ‘Hallelujah’.

We saw important cultural and religious ceremonies take place, as the procession of Corpus Christi and St Prošper day when the square came alive with locals selling their wares. It was a lovely spot to watch daily life unfold in front of us.


The baroque Hvar cathedral, built in the 16th and 17th centuries during the Dalmatian Renaissance, provides a picturesque backdrop to the square. If you've got time, head inside and check out some of the stone reliefs, and the 15th-century choir stalls. 

As with many beautiful old squares in Europe, St Stephen’s is also home to many restaurants, shops, and bars that sell overpriced food and drinks to unsuspecting tourists.

Don’t even bother with them - far better, and cheaper food can be found by wandering a few streets up into the old town.


Where | Hvarska pjaca, Hvar

Hvar Island best things to do
Hvar Island best things to do


Its nickname 'little Venice' might be somewhat of a stretch given there's only one canal through the entire village, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the charming town of Vrboska really is worth a visit. 

Indeed, our relaxing afternoon in Vrboska - strolling through the pretty laneways and canal and discovering some of its major landmarks, eating traditional Dalmatian food, and enjoying the MUCH slower pace of life - was one of our favourite things to do on Hvar. 

Some sights we recommend visiting include:

Vrboska canal | postcard-pretty, full of beautiful canal-side houses and stone arch bridges

The fortress church of Saint Mary | imposing church/fortress that offered refuge to locals during times of war

Wine tasting | sample some of Hvar's best drops here, with many cellar doors located throughout the town and canal

Vrboska harbour | take an afternoon stroll around the harbour to get a truly beautiful view of the whole town

If you're keen to escape the crowds and chaos of Hvar town, we absolutely recommend Vrboska.


Where | Vrboska

Eat | Trica Gardelin 

Hvar Island things to do | Vrboska
Hvar Island things to do | Vrboska


The view of the stunning Franciscan monastery sitting on the prettiest little cove is Hvar's most iconic scene; and one that’s just as beautiful in real life. 

A short walk from Hvar's Riva, the Franciscan monastery houses a rich display of museum exhibits including a collection of Greek, Roman and Venetian coins, rare amphora, and an ancient edition of Ptolemy's Atlas dated from 1524. There's also an impressive 16th-century painting of The Last Supper by Venetian painter Matteo Ingoli.

It's a place worthy of an hour’s wandering, in between swims, ice creams, and sundowners of course! 



Where | Franciscan Monastery and museum, Šetalište put Križa 15

Opening hours | Mon - Sat, 9:00am - 15:00pm & 15:00 - 19:00pm (May - Oct)

Cost |  Museum entry: HRK 30

Best things to do on Hvar Island
Best things to do on Hvar Island


We absolutely love a good night out, so it was with excitement that we decided to try a few of Hvar's infamous 'parties'.

You can imagine our surprise when, after a few nights experiencing the main clubs, we came to the conclusion that the parties on the island were, well, shit. It wasn't that the music was bad, or the clubs ordinary, it was more that the vibe was distinctly average, and partygoers acted like utter twats. 

We personally witnessed drunk tourists launching glass beer bottles straight over other partygoers heads and into the sea at Hula Hula Bar, many 'lads' yelling at the top of their voices and staggering through the streets at 8 am on their way home from Carpe Diem, and generally poor behaviour across the board, with no respect given to the local community who live here. 


After spending six weeks on the island, we got to know some local residents quite well and asked them what they thought of this party scene.

The response was always the same: they couldn't believe what their island had become, especially in the summer months. Some recounted stories of drunk tourists having sex at 8 am in St. Stephens Square (the most sacred and important square to residents on the island), that some drunks vandalised the town centre, and how the thumping bass has ruined any sort of tranquillity. 

It seems that travellers and backpackers visit Hvar and seem to lose all sense and respect for those who will call the island home long after they’ve shaken off their hangovers and gone home.

As fellow travellers, we think that's pretty shit. There are so many amazing things to see and do on Hvar that it seems a waste to come and spend the entire time drunk, looking for a party. 

If you're going to come and party on Hvar, by all means, get tipsy, have fun, and party till all hours; but just take a moment and respect the locals, the culture, and the environment at the same time.

Oh, and for what it's worth, Hula Hula is completely overpriced and distinctly average, so spend your hard-earned at Carpe Diem or Falko Bar instead.

Best things to do on Hvar Island


Our love for Falko bar was such that we spent our final night on the island here, sipping beers while watching one final, golden Hvar sunset.

Falko bar is set amongst lush Mediterranean pine with hammocks tied between trees and sun lounges spread across the rocky shore.

The bar serves very reasonably priced cocktails and beers (for Hvar, anyway!), as well as vegetarian-friendly food. Its chilled vibe and tunes make it the perfect place to eat, drink, swim and enjoy a little sun therapy. 

Thanks to its distance from town and laid back nature, Falko Bar is the perfect antidote for the rowdy nature of some of Hvar's more famous clubs. Set in the far east of Hvar town, Falko bar is 2kms from St. Stephens Square.


Where | Falko Beach Bar, Hvar

Cost | Free entry 
Beers HRK 18 
Aperol Spritz - HRK 46 

Best things to do on Hvar Island


In Dalmatia, there's an important cultural tradition called fjaka

Essentially, it’s about the mindful presence and quieting all sensory input to just ‘be’ for a while. Like a siesta (but without sleep), fjaka tends to occur between 1 pm - 5 pm, when the sun's heat is at its most searing.

Everyone creates their own version of fjaka; a quiet coffee on the balcony, going for an afternoon swim, making olive oil. The aim is a mindful, present experience.


During our six weeks on the island, our own fjaka happened as the skies coloured themselves golden and calm descended on the town. We'd dive into the glassy waters of the Mediterranean, floating on our back in the golden rays, or sit on the rocks and watch the sun dip over the horizon.

We'd hike to our favourite viewpoint, or simply sit, book in hand, and read. 

You see, the sunsets on Hvar are some of the most beautiful in the world, and the perfect time to enjoy your own version on fjaka. Some of our suggestions are below - but it’s important to find your own version of mindful content too!:

  • enjoy a sundowner from your own balcony, beach, or rock

  • walk old town streets and watch the white-stone turn orange

  • hang on the edge of Hvar Fortica and watch the town turn golden

  • go for a swim

  • tuck into an ice cream on the Hvar Riva

Best things to do on Hvar
Best things to do on Hvar island


There's a saying here that the fish need to swim three times; first in the ocean, then in oil, and finally in wine in the stomach.

It says a lot about the Mediterranean’s love of fish, oil and wine, and the best place on Hvar to experience all of this deliciousness together is Konoba Menego. 

Nestled in the old town on the way to the medieval Fortica and adorned with Croatian antiques and family photos, this rustic tavern has forged quite the reputation for itself, providing locals and tourists alike with a limited, traditional menu from locally sourced produce.

Our starter was a veggie plate drizzled in local olive oil, vinegar, honey and garlic. For mains, Mark had a local polenta chicken dish, while Mim satiated her seafood cravings with a marinated seafood platter.

The meal was washed down with a local house wine which came from a local vineyard just 5kms away.

The food was exceptional and the hospitality as authentic as we'd found on the island. 



Where | Konoba Menego, Hvar old town 

Opening hours | Mon - Fri: 12pm - 14:30pm, 18:00 - 23:00pm 

Sat & Sun: 18:00pm - 23:00pm

Cost | Mains start at HRK 110, Entree starts at HRK 50, Carafe of wine is HRK 27

Note | As we're now vegetarians, we're unsure of vegetarian options

Best things to do on Hvar Island


Down one of Hvar's picturesque, white-washed alleyways lies Nonica; a town institution serving up traditional treats baked from generations' old recipes that have been handed down and perfected over the centuries. 

Being sweet tooths at heart (with an ice cream a day habit on Hvar!), we knew we'd found our sugary paradise when we stumbled upon Nonica, and opted for the traditional Hvar Cake, a sweet and spicy dough mix cooked in olive oil, as well as a dense chocolate brownie.

Both were as expected... tasty AF, and perfectly washed down with a coffee and cold chocolate.

Nonica is not only a great place to sample some local treats, but also to sit back and watch the world go by on the ancient stone streets of Hvar. 


Where | Nonica Patisserie, Kroz Burak 23, Hvar

Opening hours | Mon -Sat: 8:00am - 14:00pm, 17:00 - 23:00pm 

Sun: 17:00pm - 23:00pm

Cost | Hvar cake - HRK 14, Coffee - HRK 10 

Best things to do in Hvar
Best things to do in Hvar


Hvar Island is home to one of the oldest cultivated plains in the world, the Stari Grad plains; so old in fact that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 2008

One of the few large flat areas on Hvar, agricultural plots were laid out by Ionian Greeks from Paros in the 4th century BC, when they colonised the area. Since then, not much has changed and those same plots still being cultivated today. 

The best way to explore the plains is via bicycle, which allows you to stop and check out the ancient ruins along the way. Bikes can be rented in Stari Grad


What | Stari Grad plain

Cost | Free entry into the plain
Bike rental ranges from HRK 75 - 100 per day 

Read | 11 fantastic things to do in Stari Grad




On an island famed for its lavender, it's no surprise to see lavender products just about everywhere on Hvar.

One product that really caught our eye was lavender ice cream.

Being the ice cream enthusiasts that we are (our life motto is “an ice cream a day keeps the doctor away"), we felt compelled to try this local delicacy.

With the floral and herbaceous aroma, light purple colouring, and creamy texture, lavender ice cream was a revelation. 

Pretty much everywhere on the island sells lavender ice cream, but we found the best in Stari Grad and Jelsa, where the flavours tasted a little more 'authentic' than the mass-produced options (read: soapy-flavoured!) in Hvar town

But take it from us, you can't leave Hvar island without trying this local treat.

Hvar Island best things to see and do


Founded in the 16th century as a shepherd settlement the charming town of Brusje is home to islands popular lavender fields. 

A short drive from Hvar town, this ancient village lays somewhat in a state of decay, dotted with rustic stone homes and narrow laneways. 

The surrounding fields are where Hvar's lavender production occurs and this is the best place to see the rolling fields of purple that the island is so famed for. The best time to see Hvar under a purple blanket is late June, which also coincides with the islands' Lavender Festival that occurs in neighbouring Velo Grablje. 

If you do head out this way, you MUST eat at Izletiste family farm, which serves traditional Dalmatian cuisine, fresh juices and offers some of the best views of Hvar. They also sell lavender-infused honey, which is a perfect gift for that special someone at home. 


Where | Brusje 

Eat | Izletiste family farm 

Best things to do on Hvar Island
Lavender fields of Hvar | Best things to do on Hvar Island


There’s no better place to watch the sunset from than a little hidden gem we discovered during our time on the island; Tvrdava Napoleon fortress. Located west of Hvar's Fortica, Tvrdava Napoleon fortress is on the former site of, you guessed it, a Napoleon-era fortress. 

We made the 4km hike up to this point at least once a week. From the top, it feels like you're so high in the air that the sun’s arc stretches from one side of the endless horizon to the other, providing epic views over Hvar town and outlying Pakleni islands, Vis, as well as the island of Brac to the north. 

From this elevation, you can watch the old town slowly turn from day to night, as the day boats full of tourists begin to drift back to their harbours on the mainland and a quiet calm begins to filter through the ancient streets again.

It's the perfect place to come, picnic in hand, and enjoy a pure travel moment. It's not hard to understand why this is one of our favourite things to do on Hvar. 


Where | Napoleon Fortress, Hvar

Best thing to do on Hvar Island
Best thing to do on Hvar Island


We’ve created a detailed map of the best places to visit in Hvar Island, as well as where to eat, which you can download for your visit.

To save our map, click the star on the right of the map title while will download the map to: your places - maps in your Google account.



Hvar Island Travel Guide | Hvar Trip Planning Essentials

How to get to Hvar, Croatia

All travel to Hvar generally involves arriving in the coastal city of Split. Most European budget airlines fly directly to Split, especially during the summer season from April - October. 


We’ve written a complete guide on how to get from Split to Hvar, which you can read here.

Tickets can be purchased online for both Jadrolinija and Krilo. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased in Spilt at the tourism centre on Split Riva, opposite Diocletian’s Palace, or at the ticket booths further down the harbour. 

Note: if the direct ferry from Split to Hvar is booked out, you can also take the ferry to Stari Grad, and catch a local bus or taxi to Hvar town.

The return journey departs from Hvar Riva, and tickets can be purchased from the adjoining ticket office.


COST | HRK 40 - 110 one way, per person, (season/ferry dependent), 47 Kuna one way, per person to Stari Grad

DEPARTURE TIMES (SPLIT TO HVAR) | 0740, 0830, 0900, 0945, 1000, 1030, 1100, 1130, 1300, 1500, 1530, 1600, 1630, 1700, 2000 (based on summer season, times subject to change)

DEPARTURE TIMES (HVAR TO SPLIT) | 0635, 0750, 1015, 1030, 1050, 1130, 1245, 1300, 1435, 1445, 1730, 1800, 1945, 2130 (based on summer season, times subject to change)

DEPARTURE TIMES (SPLIT TO STARI GRAD) | 0500, 0830, 1100, 1430, 1700, 2030 (based on the summer season, times subject to change) 

BOOK | Book your tickets for the Krilo service here




Despite being an island, the majority of Hvar's main attractions are easily accessible thanks to a decent public transport service. Car and scooter hire is also possible, for fairly reasonable prices.


Car hire is a great way to explore the island's main things to do. We used Suncity car hire, where a small car costs 330 KN per day (€35), which included but no driving on Dubovica-Sveta Nedilja dirt road. The car must be returned with fuel.

Alternatively, hire a VW beetle for the day for around 500 KN (€50), which also includes insurance and must be returned with fuel.


Rent | Suncity or Rapidus 

Cost | Between 300 - 800 KN depending on vehicle size


A far cheaper (dare we say it, backpacker-friendly) way to get around Hvar island is via scooter. Scooters are great for shorter trips, to some of the small beaches just outside of Hvar town, or through to Stari Grad, however, we wouldn't recommend riding one to explore the whole island. 

At 50cc, you won't need a drivers licence to drive one, however, we recommend previous experience riding a scooter/motorbike. And please, always wear your helmet!


Rent | Suncity  

Cost | HRK 200 for 24 hours


Public transport on Hvar island is a simple and cost-effective way to get around, however, you'll need to plan your travels around the bus timetable, which we've listed below. 

The most popular route, from Hvar to Stari Grad is pretty frequent, with up to five services a day. 


Who | Vozni Red buses

Cost | Around 25 - 50 Kuna per trip




Whatever you do, don’t travel anywhere in the world without travel insurance.

Even though Hvar Island is safe, things can go wrong, be it sickness, lost baggage, theft, or an accident.

Travel insurance is your only way of mitigating the issues, so grab a policy before you travel!

BOOK | World Nomads Travel Insurance

READ | Our ultimate guide to travel insurance


We have a heap of essential reading before you travel to the paradise island of Hvar:

HVAR ACCOMMODATION | The best places to stay on Hvar Island, and the best Airbnbs on the island too

HVAR TOWN | The best things to see and do in Hvar Town (including where to stay and eat!)

HVAR’S BEST BEACHES | Our complete guide to Hvar’s best beaches

DUBROVNIK | 10 Essential things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

STARI GRAD, HVAR | 11 amazing things to do in Stari Grad, Hvar

PAKLENI ISLANDS | Our guide to the stunning Pakleni Islands

HVAR PHOTOS | 42 incredible photos of Hvar island that will inspire you to visit!

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Don’t leave home without travel insurance (seriously, don’t!). Click here to get the best deals with World Nomads, our trusted travel insurance provider

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love our photography? Wondering what gear we use to get all of our photos around the world? Click here to view our detailed photography gear guide, as well as our top travel photography tips!

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL | Responsible travel is important. REALLY IMPORTANT. Learn our top responsible travel tips to help you, your family and friends travel more consciously around the globe

ECO FRIENDLY PACKING ESSENTIALS | Don’t leave home without our favourite eco-friendly travel essentials

Have you been to Hvar yourself? Help your fellow travellers our by sharing your favourite things to do in Hvar Island, Croatia in the comments below!



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