15 Unique Things to do on Hvar Island
During a holiday on Hvar Island in Croatia there are countless impressive attractions that you can discover. In addition to the beautiful beaches you will find many opportunities for exciting activities, excursions and unforgettable places to visit. One of the highlights is certainly Hvar town, which is often reviewed by Croatia travelers as the most beautiful city in the country. Here you will find the famous Spanish fortress, from where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular island views. Like the old town, almost all the interesting things to see in Hvar are located on the western side of the island. But where are the special places and what are the absolute best things to do in Hvar? With a sheer huge selection of activities it is often not easy to choose what to do.
Ready to explore Hvar Island? In this travel guide we have summarized the ultimate best things to do in Hvar and the most amazing beaches at a glance. You’ll also find great tips for excursions and the best places for where to stay in Hvar.
Spanish Fortress (Hvar Town)
The old town Hvar is certainly one of the main attractions on the popular holiday island. The absolute best place to visit in Hvar town is the Fortica Španjola, the beautiful Spanish fortress built in the 13th century. It is located in the old town, about 90 meters above sea level, and offers an incredible view over the city`s rooftops, the deep blue sea and the offshore archipelago. If you are on holiday on Hvar Island then this attraction should be on the top of your travel list.
Exploring Hvar old town is a must on any trip to the island. Here you will experience unique architectural buildings, picturesque streets, impressive churches and a breathtakingly beautiful waterfront promenade. The side streets hide some brilliant restaurants and cozy cafes invite to stay a little longer. Among the main attractions of Hvar are the Spanish fortress, the Cathedral of St. Stephen, the town Loggia with the nearby bell tower and the 13th century arsenal.
Tip: The Adriana Spa Hotel shines with a great location right on the harbor, an excellent breakfast and really lovely rooms.
The Dubovica beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Hvar. This natural landmark is located on the south coast of the island and is only accessible by a short hike from the coastal road. Here, the sea is wonderfully clear and glitters in the most beautiful blue tones. The picturesque stone house at the tip of the bay and the small cozy beach bar provide a very special holiday flair.
Another great thing to do in Hvar is a visit to the quaint fishing village Vrboska. This incredibly picturesque resort is one of the most impressive places to see on the holiday island. Due to its many stone bridges, it is also often called “the Venice of Hvar“. This ideal location allows you to explore some of Hvar’s best attractions from Vrboska. Other interesting places, such as Jelsa and Starigrad are just a stone’s throw away. Also great beaches, such as the beautiful beach Maslinica are located directly in that area. A really lovely place for an unforgettable holiday.
Tip: The Apartment Amula is a really fantastic accommodation to stay and it has got the most beautiful view over the old town and the harbor. This apartment is clean, really comfortable and a cheap alternative.
Directly in front of Hvar town are about 20 smaller islands and islets of unique beauty: the Pakleni Islands. The most popular islands are Sveti Klement, Borovac, Planikovac, Marinkovac and Jerolim. Especially in summer, the Pakleni Islands are a famous destination for beach tourists and boaters who want to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Hvar’s offshore islands. Due to their great location and their beauty they are certainly among the most beautiful attractions in Hvar and a boat trip is highly recommended.
Stari Grad Hvar
While visiting Stari Grad Hvar you will discover many beautiful and interesting attractions. This historic old town was founded as early as 384 BC and is therefore one of the oldest cities in Croatia. During a city walk you will enjoy ancient Dalmatian stone houses, visit the beautiful church of St. Stephen, the Tvrdalj Castle and enjoy a cup of coffee on the picturesque waterfront or at the marvelous Trg Skor Square. Around the old town are many apartments and accommodations, perfect if you want to stay in that area.
Malo Zarace Beach
The Malo Zarace is probably the most photographed beach on Hvar and due to its distinct beauty, one of the most famous nature attractions of the island. Here you can expect an almost cheesy turquoise-blue sea embedded in a unique landscape of rocks and green pine trees. If you like to snorkel, you can admire an intact underwater world in these dreamlike waters.
Tvrdalj Castle (Stari Grad Hvar)
Another really amazing place to visit in Hvar is the small Castle Tvrdalj from the 15th century, which is located directly in Stari Grad Hvar old town. The poet Hektorovic almost needed 50 years for its construction, which is reflected in the many details and special features. The heart of the property is the extremely romantic emerald-colored fishpond and the beautiful Mediterranean garden.
Pokonji Dol Beach
The popular beach Pokonji Dol is located near Hvar Town and is, for many tourists, one of the best bathing spots of the holiday island. Especially the enchanting light blue sea colors and the breathtaking view of the offshore church island make this bay unique. If you want to combine city and beach during your Hvar holiday, you will find a good selection of apartments and accommodation in this area.
Tip: If you want to stay right on Pokonji Dol beach, we highly recommend the Apartments and Rooms by the Sea.
The lovely resort Jelsa is one of the most beautiful villages on Hvar Island. Beach addicts will get their money’s worth, because in addition to the picturesque waterfront, the old town and the beautiful marina they will find some wonderful beaches and bays. Due to its central location, you can also do a lot of excursions on Hvar and from this spot discover some of the best attractions of the island.
Tip: In Jelsa there is a great selection of accommodations. The Big Blue Apartments are those with an absolutely perfect location and with a fantastic view of the port city.
Another top place to visit is the small village Sveta Nedilja. It is on the south side of the island and attracts with numerous beautiful bays and pebble beaches, such as the beach Skala, a real dream beach on the island. The water here is crystal clear and fascinates swimmers and snorkelers. Especially nice is the Veli Kamik viewpoint, from where you can enjoy a great view over the steep cliffs of Hvar’s coast. There is also a climbing spot east of Sveta Nedilja – the Cliffbase, where the climbing scene meets up.
Tip: If you want to stay at Sveta Nedilja, we can recommend the new apartment “Apartments Toro“.
Franciscan Monastery (Hvar Town)
A walk along the southern promenade of Hvar town leads directly to the picturesque Franciscan monastery. It is located directly on a beautiful pebble beach and was once a haven for sailors. If you like, you can also visit the monastery from the inside. There is a museum that exhibits paintings and relics.
White Cross & Stari Grad Plain
Another highlight of Hvar is the White Cross and the small chapel on the Hill Glavica, near the old town of Stari Grad. From the top you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the “Old City”, the bay and the beautiful landscape surrounding the harbor city. The plain around Stari Grad is, because of its archaeological significance, since 2008 listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and therefore on our list of the best attractions on Hvar Island.
The resort Milna is located only 4 kilometers from Hvar town and despite to the proximity, a place away from the hustle and bustle. Here it is very quiet and relaxed, the perfect spot for a peaceful holiday on Hvar. Above the seaside resort is the old settlement Malo Grablje, which can be reached by a short hike. In Milna there are 4 lovely pebble beaches, all ideal for swimming and relaxing. In addition, there is a small but nice offer of beautiful accommodations.
Blue Cave Tour
The Blue Cave is one of the most popular places to visit in Croatia and from Hvar you have the possibility to go there for a day trip. The unique thing is the ethereal silveryblue color created by the sun and is reflected back by the sandy surface below. Tours can be booked anywhere on the island – for online bookings you should check out GetyourGuide. Here you will find amazing tours with guest reviews!
Day Trips from Hvar
As you can see, on a Hvar holiday you can explore many attractions and interesting places. But there are also some unforgettable excursions around Hvar waiting for you.
Another great think to do around Hvar is a visit to Split. If you like, take the catamaran ferry to Split and explore the beautiful old town on your own.
Unforgettable excursions on Hvar and Boat Tours from Hvar can be found online on GetyourGuide.
Where to stay on Hvar Island
With more than 300 kilometers of coastline, the island of Hvar offers many fantastic holiday resorts for a perfect vacation. The range of great Hotels and accommodations on Hvar is unique. Here is a selection of beautiful apartments, hotels and other amazing places to stay:
- Luxury Hotel: The Palace Elisabeth is the only 5-star hotel on the island of Hvar. This heritage hotel opened in 2019 and offers beautiful rooms and a gorgeous pool. All this in the best location in Hvar Town.
- Hotel: 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 convinces with delicious breakfast and a wonderful ambience.
- Glamping: A really cool place to stay near Vrboska is the Plage Cachée – Glamping. The only 5 luxury tents are located directly on the beach and are a true place of rest and tranquility.
- Apartment: The REDSTONE luxury apartments offer modern and large apartments with a great terrace in Sveta Nedilja near the sea.
Conclusion: Hvar Island is probably one of the most impressive destinations for vacationing in Croatia. Here is one highlight after another waiting for you, and so you definitely won`t get bored on any trip to this island. Whether beach holiday or sightseeing – the island of Hvar is certainly the right place for everyone.
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