Arguably one of the most popular Croatian islands is the island of Hvar. Known for its crystal clear waters, gorgeous beaches and glamorous night life, its no surprise the island of Hvar makes it onto nearly everyone's Croatian itinerary.
Hvar is said to be Croatia's St. Tropez with its social scene, luxury holiday rentals and trendy bars and restaurants that draw in the crowds of both celebrities and backpackers alike. But Hvar is so much more than that. Beyond the glitz and glamour, Hvar is a paradise left to be discovered.
The island of Hvar can come with a price tag but don't let that be the reason not to plan a visit. If you are planning a trip to Croatia, Hvar can not be missed. Whether you are traveling on a budget or are simply short on time, Hvar can be easily visited with a day trip from Split.
This is your ultimate guide to planning the perfect day trip to Hvar from Split!
Plan your Trip to Hvar
Best Time to Visit
When is the best time to visit the island of Hvar? Like most of the islands located in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea, the best time to visit is in the summer. Although Hvar has pleasant weather year round most tourists make their way to the island during the summer months.
Peak season is from July to early September with warm sunny days. The average temperatures range between 30-32 Celsius. If you are looking to skip the crowds, consider visiting Hvar during the shoulder season. Shoulder season is from May to June and September to October. These months offer warm temperatures without the crowds.
Where is Hvar located?
Hvar is a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea located off the Dalmatian Coast. It's location is only an hour and a half away from the town of Split which makes its the perfect day trip.
How to get to Hvar from Split?
Hvar can be easily reached by ferry and is the preferred mode of transportation. The island of Hvar has two different ferry ports. Both of these ports are very different, so when planning your trip to Hvar, it is important to do your research to make sure you are choosing the right ferry port.
The two ferry ports are Hvar Town and Stari Grad. Hvar Town is the biggest town on Hvar and the most popular port for tourists. Hvar Town sees about 20,000 tourists per day during peak season and is the islands main hub. This port town is a true Mediterranean dream with cobblestone streets, Venetian architecture and beautiful secluded beaches.
If you are looking for a more relaxing port, I would suggest Stari Grad. Stari Grad has a more authentic and local feel. This port is more relaxing, easy going and more affordable.
Ferry to Hvar from Split
If you are staying in Split, hopping on a ferry is the cheapest and easiest way to get to Hvar. During peak season there are multiple ferry companies servicing Hvar with multiple ferries a day.
The two ferry companies that I suggest are Jadrolinija and Krilo. These two ferry companies dock at the port in Split and offer ferries to Hvar daily. You can purchase your ferry ticket the day of sail or in advance online. During peak season, you may want to consider purchasing your ticket in advance to secure the ferry time of your choice.
What is the cost of a ferry ticket to Hvar? Ferry ticket prices vary depending on the time of year, time of departure of ferry and other factors. Typically the price for a ferry from Split to Hvar is from 37-110 Kn ($5-16) for a one way ticket.
How to get around the island?
There are many ways to see the island. Depending on what you want to do and see during your visit on the island will depend the mode of transportation you choose.
Hvar Town and the surrounding area is easily explored by foot. Everything in this guide you can reach by foot and is the exact itinerary that I did in a day on the island of Hvar and was all done by foot. But if you are looking to get further away from Hvar Town you can either rent a scooter or car. If you are looking to explore the Pakleni Islands, water taxis are readily available at the Hvar Town port.
How to Spend your Day in Hvar
Planning your day in Hvar Town can be spent in so many different ways. Whether you prefer a relaxing beach day or a day filled with architecture and history, there is definitely something for everyone. In this guide, let me help you plan your perfect day on the island of Hvar!
Explore Old Town Hvar
Old Town Hvar is the island's main ferry hub and busiest destination. The moment you step off the ferry in Hvar you are greeted with marble streets and Gothic architecture.
Before heading off to whatever activity you have planned for your time on Hvar, I highly recommend spending some time wandering around the main square, which is located a few feet from the ferry docks. The main square in Hvar Town is small, easily navigable and is closed to traffic which makes it the perfect place to spend a quite morning walking along the seaside promenade soaking in the sights.
Old Town Hvar is home to some great restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes. With that being said, prices can be slightly inflated but if you enjoy people watching like I do, this is the perfect location to sit down, cool off and grab a bite to eat or drink.
One of the main attractions located in Old Town Hvar is St. Stephen's Square and Cathedral. This cathedral was built in the 16th and 17th century during the height of the Dalmatian Renaissance and it provides a grand background for the town. Connected to the cathedral is the Episcopal Museum which costs about 10KN for entry.
If you are spending time in Old Town Hvar, I also recommend checking out the Fortica Fortress.
If you are looking for some of the best views of Hvar, hands down you need to make the trek up to the Fortica Fortress! The Fortica Fortress is a medieval castle that looms above the town giving you the most magical views of Old Town Hvar and the Pakleni Islands.
In order to get these magical views, you will need to climb your way up to the fortress through the old-town streets. If you are not looking to trudge your way up the hillside to the fortress you can rent a taxi.
The Fortica Fortress was originally constructed in 1278 and strengthened in 1551. The fortress plays a pivotal role during the invasion of the Turks in 1571. If you want to tour the fortress, learn more about its history and catch an epic sunset from above, the entry fee is 40KN for an adult ticket.
Pokonji dol Beach is your typical Croatian Beach. Croatian beaches are rocky, so do not expect soft white sandy beaches. I recommend these water shoes if you are not used to walking on rocky beaches. ches. hes. es. s. . een and you should put at least one of Hvar's beaches on your itinerary.
You can't go wrong choosing a beach to visit for your day trip to Hvar. There are small beaches close to Hvar Town, larger beaches within walking distance and local hidden gems located all throughout the island. Which beach you choose depends on what you are looking for.
I spent my afternoon at Pokonji dol Beach which is about a 30 minute walk along the coast from Hvar Town. This beach is one of the most popular and largest beach on the island. Tourists and locals alike spend their summer days enjoying the water and soaking up the sun.
What can you expect for your day at Pokonji dol Beach?
Pokonji dol Beach is your typical Croatian Beach. Croatian beaches are rocky, so do not expect soft white sandy beaches. I recommend these water shoes if you are not used to walking on rocky beaches. They are a lifesaver and your feet will thank you later!
If you plan on spending your whole day at Pokonji dol Beach, this beach offers two different restaurants, beach chairs and umbrellas for rent and a changing area. It provides everything you will need for a day at the beach. If you want to save some money, bring your own food and drinks.
Are you looking for a less touristy beach? Maybe one off the beaten path? If you answered yes, please check out Inspired by Croatia's blog post "The Best Beaches Hvar Croatia Has to Offer" for a local's perspective on Hvar's best beaches!
Hvar's Beach Clubs
Hvar is known for it's vibrant nightlife but that doesn't mean the party doesn't stop when the sun comes up. If you are not looking for a relaxing beach day but still want to soak up the sun, I recommend heading to one of Hvar's popular beach clubs.
Hvar has several beach clubs to choose from. All of which with different vibes. Below are a list of beach clubs that are popular among tourists and within walking distance from the Old Town Hvar.
I hope you have fun at one of Hvar's beach clubs and make sure you have an Aperol Spritz for me!
I know this is a guide to the island of Hvar, so why am I mentioning the Pakleni Islands as something for you to do during your time on the island of Hvar? I mention the Pakleni Islands in this Hvar travel guide because these islands are located about 10km off the coast of Hvar.
The Pakleni Islands consists of a gorgeous chain of 14 islands or islets that provides crystal-clear waters and hidden beaches, which is exactly what most visitors to Hvar Town is in search for. The best part... you get to skip the crowds that flock to the beaches on Hvar.
A day trip to Hvar can include a quick trip to the Pakleni Islands because these islands are a 10 to 20 minute boat ride away from Old Town Hvar.
So how exactly do you get to the Pakleni Islands? Transportation to the Pakleni Islands is actually quite easy and there are three different options that you can choose from. The first option is the most expensive but if you have a group of people to split the cost, it becomes the best option and that is to rent a boat for the day! There are many boat rental options located in Old Town Hvar and the cost of a boat rental is about 400 KN for the day. Renting your own boat gives you the freedom to explore the islands how you please.
The second option is taking a taxi boat to the islands. At the ferry port in Hvar, there is an area where you can catch a water taxi boat to several of the Pakleni Islands. The boat runs throughout the day and will cost you about 60 KN. The third option is for my people who prefer tours. There are several tour options that include the Pakleni Islands. Below are a few tours that you can choose from.
Click each photo below to see if a tour of the Pakleni Islands is right for you!
If you are planning on hanging out in Hvar's Square or walking to Pokonji dol Beach, I suggest making a stop at the Franciscan Monastery. Overlooking Hvar Harbor, the Franciscan Monastery is known for its magnificent painting of the Last Supper. Please make sure you check when it is open as their hours vary during the seasons.
Where to Eat
Let's get to the good part: Food! If you are like me than you are probably wondering where you should eat on Hvar. Hvar, like most European cities have many cafes and restaurants to choose from that line the harbor. With that being said, I feel like that always makes it hard to choose. Some may say these restaurants are tourists traps with unauthentic cuisine and others prefer the scenery. So honestly, choosing a restaurant and/or cafe will be your own personal preference. But there are three places that not only do I recommend but so do many others.
If you are looking for a cup of coffee, I highly recommend Kava37. This cute little cafe is a specialty coffee roaster serving freshly roasted espresso, drip brews and even organic juices. They have cafe locations in both Hvar and Split. I visited both locations and I can say hands down was the best coffee I had during my time in Croatia.
Location: Kroz Burak 37, 21450, Hvar, Croatia (map)
The next recommendation is for those looking for a signature cocktail. If you are in the party mode and want a signature cocktail, I recommend Lola Bar. This bar serves up top-notch cocktails. But this place isn't just a place for cocktails, they also serve up some food.
Location: Ul. Sveti Marak 8, 21450, Hvar, Croatia (map)
One of the most highly rated restaurants in Hvar is Fig Hvar. This restaurant has 5 stars on TripAdvisor and if you ask anyone for a restaurant recommendation in Hvar, most people will tell you to eat at Fig Hvar. This restaurants has a creative and fresh menu with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, which can be hard to find when traveling.
Location: Ivana Frane Biundovica 3, 21450, Hvar, Croatia (map)
The island of Hvar has so much to offer that it makes for the perfect day trip from Split. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach day or want to immerse yourself in Croatian culture, this island offers something for everyone.
I truly enjoyed my day trip to Hvar from Split and encourage everyone who is planning a trip to Croatia to consider spending time on Hvar, whether it is in the form of a day trip or a couple nights on the island. Whatever length of time you choose to spend on the island of Hvar, I hope you found this travel guide on Hvar to be helpful in planning your itinerary.
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