5 Things You Can Do in Hvar
I loved Croatia, but there was one place in particular place I loved the most: Hvar.
If you’re thinking of going to Croatia, I’d recommend you have Hvar on your list to go to while you’re there and that’s why in this article I wanted to breakdown 10 things you can do in Hvar.
It’s definitely on my list to go back to and it’s somewhere you can lose track of time, have great beers on an empty beach, rent out a boat, and eat some great food overlooking the sunset.
The great thing about Hvar is that you can go to all the other surrounding islands as well which you can see in the map below. Next time I go back I’ll definitely be taking a few extra days to check out the other islands.
The gorgeous Croatian Island is in the Adriatic Sea and has some gorgeous island remote beaches that make for some great sunsets with a beer or glass of wine over dinner.
Highlights of the port town Hvar include its 13th-century walls, a hilltop fortress, and a main square anchored by the beautiful Renaissance-era Hvar Cathedral.
The island also features beaches such as Dubovica and inland lavender fields. Boat excursions serve the nearby Pakleni Islands, which have secluded beaches and coves.
Getting to Hvar is relatively straight forward with plenty of ferries going on a daily basis from Split and you can also get a ferry across from the town of Ancona in Italy.
The ferry from Hvar takes around 1 hour 30 mins depending on the weather and sea conditions. Plus there’s a bar on board to get drinks from which speeds up the trip ;).
If you’ve been to Hvar and there is something we’ve not covered and would be valuable for our audience, let us know what you thought in the comments or feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at thallen.
1. VISIT THE SPANISH FORTRESS (FORT FORTICA)
Arguably the biggest attraction on the island of Hvar and definitely the place to get the best panoramic views of the town, the island, and the surrounding seas.
You can hopefully see from the image above that the castle is sat right at the top of the island to give it what i’d imagine would have been a view to overlook oncoming attackers of the island.
You can get to the top of the castle, sorry, Spanish Fortress, by either walking up the footpath or if you’re in a rush you can drive up to the top.
I’d recommend walking as it’s not challenging and you get to go up via footpaths and stairs from the 15th and 16th century adding history to your walk.
The locals call fort Fortica Španjola. That should help you impress the locals when asking how to get up.
It was built at the beginning of the 16th century (during the Venetian rule) and was reconstructed in 1579. Today fort Fortica holds a collection of amphora and other exhibits from antiquity and the Middle Ages.
2. GO TO THE PAKLINSKI ISLANDS
These islands are somewhere you definitely need to spend a day going around so make sure you pencil the time out to take your time going round these gorgeous sites.
The next time I go back I know i’ll be doing the exact same as I did last time, hire someone to drive a boat for us, get some beers, and reflect on life while getting a nice tan.
You can see the Paklinski Islands from the port of Hvar. It’s a great view to see while sat at a restaurant for dinner, drinking some wine, and overlooking the Paklinski Islands with some pretty nicely parked boats in Hvar’s harbour.
The great thing about Hvar in general is the fact you don’t need to book much and you can just turn up and go (within reason). Want to go to an island? Just hire a driver or better yet, hire a boat for yourself, take some music, do some stop offs for some solo dive spots, and stop at one of the restaurants for a beer and lunch – sensational.
If you’re more into your partying, like me, there’s a night club that opens up on the island quite regularly which attracts a lot of young people staying in Hvar. You can also find a lot of bars in Hvar to go and have a drink and then if you fancy it, get a boat across to Carpe Diem.
I wouldn’t say you need to book a boat from other experiences i’ve heard that you can just book one on the morning. We were staying in Hvar for four days and on the first day our Airbnb host very kindly offered a lower rate with her friend to book a boat for two days later which worked out well.
But, you might not be as lucky with a host and I’d always recommend booking ahead and book it for the WHOLE DAY because you’ll want to go check out as many island hotspots as you can.
3. GO TO STRAND MEKIĆEVICA
Strand Mekićevica is another great place to go for a day to get a beach day out. I would say it’s got a USP with a remote swimming spot, but I can’t, as loads of places around Hvar have unique swimming spots. There is, however, a great place to get some food if you head this way, it’s called Restaurant Robinson.
It’s got amazing clear water with some awesome views. There’s not actually that much to do there but if you want a remote beach to get a sun tan and some quite space, this place is worth going out to.
I’d recommend you hire a boat out for the day so you get the full experience and don’t have any risk of rushing to go from place to place so you can take it at your own pace checking out the spots.
4. VISIT THE FRANCISCAN MONASTERY
If you’re on the island of Hvar, it’s likely you’ll come across the Franciscan Monastery at some point. The great thing is, it doesn’t take long at all to get to, due to the island being so small, and you can spend as much or as little time as you see fit in the monastery.
From the picture on the left, you can see how beautiful the building is and why it should be on your list of places to visit if you’re in Hvar.
It’s not somewhere you need to book to see and you can just tie it in to one of your strolls around the island or around the town centre. There’s also a great place to get a drink and some food right outside the Franciscan Monastery which sets the scene for a nice cold afternoon beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.
The monastery is also partly a museum with collections of Greek, Roman, and Venetian artists like Francesco Santacroce and Palma Junior.
In particular, and I found this off visit Hvar before I went, the Francsican Monastery is famous for it’s ‘magnificent’ painting of the Last Supper which no one to this day actually knows who the painter was, although there’s plenty of educated guesses.
It’s safe to say if you’re religious this is a place you’ll want to have on your list and if you like history and amazing art, this is also definitely a place for you!
5. HAVE LUNCH AT LAGANINI
Now, as I mentioned earlier, this is going to be another reason why you will want to hire a boat as it’s on one of the islands and on the far side so it’s looking out at the sea, not into Hvar’s port or larger island.
I also recommend this place because the food there was amazing and what is better than a cold beer, some nice food, well seasoned fries, and a clear blue ocean to look over with a few nice boats to dream about having one day?
Should also let you know I was pretty hungover when I was eating here due to a heavy night at Carpe Diem the night before (mentioned above) which might be why I thought the food was particularly amazing.
The next time I go here i’ll definitely be spending more time on this island. There’s another bar/restaurant just round the corner from this place where you can rent out some comfy deck chairs by the hour and don’t be surprised if you get some guests from rather larger boats where they don’t stay at a hotel but rather on the boat.
So, maybe one of my more shorter and prescise posts but it should be clear that I really like Hvar and it’s surrounding islands. It should also be clear that I really, really, REALLY recommend you hire a boat to go round the islands to check out some boat diving spots for yourself and then go dry up on shore with a few beers and a nice cooked meal overlooking the sea.
If you’ve been to Hvar and it’s surrounding islands I would love to know what your favourite places to visit were, best places to eat, and, if you went to the islands, what your favourite part of them were. Of course I would like to know and I’m sure our valued community would like to know, so please leave a comment on this page or if you want to discuss in more detail, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at thallen.
It’s safe to say this is somewhere i’ll be going back to and if we’re there at the same time we can grab a few beers together. Until then moj prijatelj, keep on exploring and keep on racking up your adventures of a lifetime.