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The best things to do in Hvar, Croatia

Updated On 9th August, 2021

Hvar is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Croatia, and an island holiday here is even a strong contender for one of the best places things to do in Europe. It’s also one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe, meaning that despite all the fun things to do in Hvar and beautiful places to visit in Hvar and the surrounding area, you can spend a weekend here without breaking the bank! 

Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, just off the Dalmatian Coast, and it’s one of the most popular holiday and tourist destinations in Europe. It lies between the equally beautiful islands of Brac, Vis and Korcula. Famous for its stunning old town, the Stari Grad plain (which is a UNESCO world heritage site), crystal clear water, and beautiful lavender fields, it’s no wonder than so many people want to visit Hvar in 2021.  

Exploring the Old Town and renting a boat for a day are just some of the best things to do in Hvar, but there are so many more! From partying at Carpe Diem to hiking to the Hvar fort or enjoying a day at Dubovica Beach, in this blog post I’m going to share the best things to do in Hvar and the best places to visit in Hvar. All of these should be added to your Croatia bucket list!

If you’re the type of traveller that seeks stunning architecture, dramatic sea views, and plenty of adventure, these things to do in Hvar are going to be right up your street. And the weather here certainly helps! The weather in Hvar is very Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The weather is best for exploring in the summer season (May-October), but you can have a great time in Hvar in winter too!

In terms of how to get to Hvar, the closest international airports to Hvar are Dubrovnik, Split and Brac island. Then you can hop over on the ferry!  

In this Hvar travel guide I am going to share with you the best things to do in Hvar, the best places to visit in Hvar, and my favourite adventures so far. Get your pen and paper ready to create the ultimate Hvar bucket list!

Looking for a more comprehensive guide to planning your trip to Hvar in 2021? Check out my complete guide to the Dalmatian islands here. 

The best things to do in Hvar, Croatia...

1. Explore Hvar Old Town.

Hvar’s Old Town is absolutely stunning, and one of the best things to do in Hvar is to spend some time meandering in and out of the streets, stopping in independent shops and cafes, and admiring the architecture and white-washed stone buildings. St. Stephen’s Square is the main meeting point in Hvar, so it may be busier than other areas. Make sure you don’t miss Hvar Cathedral or the Franciscan Monastery, which are some of the best places to visit in Hvar. 

One of the best ways to find places to eat in Hvar Old Town is to meander in and out of the cobbled backstreets and see what you find! There are a lot of choices and you can find everything from traditional Croatian cuisine to international food. Some of my favourite places to eat in Hvar include Fig Cafe, Lola, Spice and Hanibal.

2. Explore some of the lesser known towns in Hvar.

Don’t get me wrong, Hvar Old Town is stunning, but so are many of the other towns in Hvar. Stari Grad is the most popular other destination in Hvar, but there are also lots of other towns in Hvar such as Vrboska, Dol, Vrbanj, and Jelsa. Get off the beaten track (either by renting a car or a bike) and head to many of the other beautiful places to visit in Hvar!

3. Go partying in Hvar.

The island is well-known for it’s party scene, and so one of the best things to do in Hvar is to dance the night away!

Start with cocktails over dinner and a few drinks in your accommodation while you freshen up, and then head out! Aloha have a great G&T selection and Kiva is for the hard-core party animals (very busy!) but be sure to try a helmet shot if you do go! Other popular bars in Hvar include Hula Hula and Falko Bar (great for sunset drinks).

To continue the party into the late hours, get a water taxi from the water front over to Carpe Diem. Best enjoyed in the peak of summer when the party life is booming, this party island will not disappoint. 200 kuna entry includes your water taxi over – don’t let the driver charge you extra! The water taxis back run all night for when it’s time to rest your head.

Naturally, it’s important to respect the locals and behave responsibly when you are coming back late from a night out, so bear this in mind!

My Guide to the Central Dalmatia Islands of Hvar, Vis & Brac, Croatia

4. Hike Hvar Fort or the Napoleonic Fort in Hvar at sunset or sunrise.

Two of the best places to visit in Hvar for views across the whole island are the Hvar Fort (Spanjola Fort) or the Napoleonic Fort. These two forts are some of the best places to watch the sunset in Hvar! The hike up is wonderful, and some of the best views in Hvar are actually from the hike up/down, rather than from the top! 

One of the best things to do in Hvar is to watch the sunset from the fort. We chose to do this from the Hvar Fort, and it was absolutely stunning! It takes about half an hour to walk up to the fortress, and when you’re there you can pay a small amount to explore the fort itself.

5. Rent bikes in Stari Grad.

Stari Grad, with its relaxed atmosphere, quaint streets and friendly locals is one of the best places to visit in Hvar. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, and the ancient white-stone streets with stunning flowers, historic churches and rustic buildings make for a a great day of wandering around. The centre of the town is Srinja Kola, filled with cafes, delis and souvenir stores with traditional bits and bobs for you to take home. One of the best things to do in Stari Grad is to rent bikes and explore the town and the surrounding area! Antika is a great restaurant in Stari Grad if you’re looking for dinner.

6. Enjoy all the Croatian lavender in Hvar.

Croatia is famous for it’s lavender, and the oils, bath salts and pillows will not disappoint; you’ll find lavender goodies sold all over Croatia. One of the best things to do in Hvar is to explore the local markets, take in the calming smell of all the lavender products and then pick up a few bits to take home with you. While you’re there, make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to try lavender ice cream in Hvar – it’s an acquired taste, but well worth a try.

Other awesome places to visit in Hvar are the lavender fields! These are mainly located around Brusje and come into full bloom in late June. One of the best things to do in Hvar is to rent bikes and explore the area.  There’s also the lavender festival in Velo Grablje in Hvar that you should go to (it takes place in late June every year).

Lavender is really important in terms of its medicinal and wellness properties. Explore wellness further on my blog here. 

A guide to exploring Dubrovnik, Croatia

7. Try some Croatian wine and go wine tasting in Hvar.

Croatia isn’t somewhere that I immediately think of when it comes to famous wine, but when I was there, the homemade, local wine was pretty good! 

The island is home to some of the most fertile soil in Croatia, so one of the best things to do in Hvar is to try some of the best red wine in Europe. Wineries and Vineyards that I can recommend for wine tasting include Dubokovic and Vino Tomic in Jelsa and Zlatan Otok in Sveta Nedija. I’ve also heard there are some good vineyards in and around Stari Grad!

8. Boat day!

Boat day was my absolute favourite day during my 8-day trip to Croatia! Renting a boat and exploring the Pakleni Islands,  the hidden bays (such as the ones near Vinogradisce, Zdrilca and Mlini) coves and restaurants around Hvar was so much fun.

If you want to rent a boat for a big group like we did, pop Nikola (Explore Hvar) a message on +385 91 725 2478 to arrange your trip / boat. Alternatively, there are the pasara boats for small groups which don’t require you have to a boat license to rent (but you do have a mini lesson before you set off). 

Alternatively, if you want a day trip but don’t want to be on a boat for most of the day, there are lots of places a short ferry ride from Hvar that you can explore. Hvar is surrounded by wonderful places to go on day trips. Whether you want to go on a day trip to other islands or to another place to visit Croatia, there are lots of places to go on day trips from Hvar. 

Some of the best places for a day trip from Hvar include: 

9. Hit the beaches in Hvar.

The crystal clear waters in Croatia are absolutely wonderful for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in… and even rock/cliff jumping!

All the beaches in the country are beautiful, and some of the best beaches in Croatia are in Hvar. If you’re looking for places to visit in Hvar and you want a bit of chill time, kick back and relax on the beach. Some of the best beaches in Hvar include:

  • Dubovica 
  • Pokonji Dol
  • Ivan Dolac
  • Malo Zarace
  • Zdrika 
  • Mlini 

Grab your swim suit and dive in!

An ultimate 8-day itinerary for Croatia: Split, Hvar & Dubrovnik

10. Enjoy coffee in Hvar at Kava 37.

If you’re looking for some of the best coffee in Hvar or one of the best cafes in Hvar, you have to check out Kava 37. They have three locations (Hvar, Split and the roastery), and pride themselves on being speciality coffee roasters. Their motto is roasting, brewing and bringing beautiful coffees to beautiful people from beautiful people. They also strive to respect the coffee chain from start to finish. We visited the cafe in Hvar to get a takeaway and then took it down to the Hvar Riva for a morning walk! 

You could even use a trip to Kava 37 to make the most of the Croatian tradition of fjaka… it takes place between 1-5pm (‘siesta’ time in other parts of Europe), but rather than having a sleep, locals often use this time to enjoy a coffee and an afternoon swim!

What are your favourite things to do in Hvar?

Where are your favourite places to visit in Hvar? Anything you’d add?

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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