Stari Grad, Hvar | All you have to Know!
The harbor town Stari Grad is located in the west of Hvar island and it is the 2nd largest city with about 1,900 inhabitants. This historic site was built in 384 BC. founded as Pharos and is therefore one of the oldest places in Croatia. On a city walk you will discover some interesting sights, small museums and many pretty details. The whole ambience of the old town including the countless winding streets and the picturesque stone houses have a very special charm. In addition, the beaches in the area around Stari Grad provide plenty of holiday feeling. That’s why the “Old Town” Stari Grad is not only a great place to visit but also for many a popular holiday destination on Hvar.
In this blog article we show you the most beautiful attractions and things to do in Stari Grad. Furthermore, we give you useful tips and recommendations about excursions, ferry, parking and accommodations.
Things to do in Stari Grad
The name Stari Grad means something like “Old Town“. It is the historical pearl of the island and for many one of the most interesting places on Hvar island. Marvelous located in a long bay, there is a lot to discover here. Around every corner there is something special hidden: a pretty little square, a charming restaurant or a small church. Best you just get lost in the small streets and enjoy this historic downtown with all the hidden surprises and cultural highlights.
The most important attraction of Stari Grad and at the same time the city center is the picturesque waterfront promenade. At walk you will enjoy an incredibly impressive atmosphere; you will watch the boats swaying in the water and marvel at the old stone houses. Compared to Hvar city there are less tourists and the whole flair is very authentic and unique.
Church of St. Stephen
Another lovely highlight is the Church of St. Stephen, whose bell tower, standing next to the church, towers far above the roofs of Stari Grad. If you like, you can climb this church tower, which offers magnificent views over the old town. Also the place in front of the church is really worth seeing and a great spot for taking photos.
Opening hours: The church tower of the St. Stephen’s Church opens from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 17:00 to 19:00.
Square Trg Skor
Probably the most picturesque square and one of the best places to visit in Stari Grad is is Skor Square. This baroque square has a lot of romantic flair and thrills with beautiful stone houses from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. One of the most beautiful attractions in the heart of Stari Grad, which should not be missed. During the summer months there are also various cultural events.
Tvrdalj Castle, built by the 15th century poet Hektorovic, is another must-visit in Stari Grad. For the construction of this small fortress, the poet needed almost 50 years and so inside there are many romantic corners to discover. The absolute centerpiece is the emerald-colored fishpond in the middle of the castle. Also the view on the terrace and a walk through the garden are worthwhile.
Opening Hours: During the season, Tvrdalj Castle is open from 10:00 -12: 00 and 18:00 – 20:00 | Entrance fee 20, – Kuna
White Cross & the Stari Grad Plain
Another highlight of Stari Grad, as well as the island of Hvar is the White Cross and its lovely chapel. It is located on a hill near to the old town and can be reached via a short 30-minute hike (from the city center). From the top there is a breathtaking view of Stari Grad, the bay and the beautiful landscape that surrounds the harbor town. The plateau around Stari Grad, the Stari Grad Plain, was even added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage in 2008 and is therefore one of the main attractions of the region.
Tip: The climb leads over a rather stony path. Closed shoes are therefore recommended.
Beaches around Stari Grad
Although Stari Grad is mainly known for its historic old town, opportunities for swimming and beautiful beaches are also in the area. Here are the best coves and beaches near Stari Grad:
- Beach Banja: It is the city beach of Stari Grad and consists partly of gravel, partly of concrete slabs.
- Beach Lanterna: beach about 100 meters from the neighborhood Borik.
- Beach Maslinica: Beautiful bay about 8 kilometers from Stari Grad. This beach jewel is located in the village of Vrboska, and a visit for swimming is absolutely worth it.
Tip: Here the best bays and beaches of the Hvar Island that can be easily explored from Stari Grad by car: Top 12 Most Amazing Beaches of Hvar Island
Things to do around Stari Grad
On a holiday to Stari Grad you can really experience a lot. Also, in the area there are a lot of amazing things to discover. Thus, the town is ideally suited as a starting point for island exploration tours to for example Hvar town, to Jelsa, the picturesque harbor town of Vrboska and of course the beautiful beaches of Hvar island.
If you want to take a trip to the neighboring islands, then you should visit the Pakleni Islands. Another very recommendable tour are boat trips to the Blue Grotto to Vis or wine tours, where you can taste the traditional and delicious wines of the island.
Hotels & Accommodation in Stari Grad
If you want to stay in a typical Dalmatian port town, we can recommend you book an apartment in Stari Grad. In the picturesque streets of the city center some great little hotels and apartments await you. These accommodations in Stari Grad are really recommended:
- Apartment Primorac: Very nice apartment right inside the street of the old town of Stari Grad. This apartment is located in a typical stone house and offers a cozy atmosphere.
- Apartment Anic: Small pretty apartment with terrace and at a reasonable price in a central location.
- Hotel Antica: The beautiful Hotel Antica is one of the best hotels in Stari Grad. It is located about 20 minutes’ walk from the old town and delights its guests with delicious breakfast and wonderful ambience.
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