The main town also called Hvar town is a picturesque town in the southwestern coast of the island with a ritzy marina known as the "French Riviera of the East".
The best way to get to Hvar is by ferry. The closest major airport is Split or Dubrovnik, and from Split it is a two-hour catamaran ferry ride directly to Stari Grad which is on the northern end of Hvar Island. Then from Stari Grad to Hvar Town it takes 30 minutes by bus. Ferries from Split also go directly into Hvar Town and is an hour ride.
Best ways to explore the island
Rent a scooter from Hvar Town and drive through olive groves, lavender fields, and vineyards along the coastline, for no more than 250 Kuna/day ($40 USD). It is an easy way to explore Hvar’s hidden beaches (listed below) hopping on and off as you please.
Hvar’s great weather also means it produces some of the best wines in the region. Take a full day or half day wine tour and learn about the 2400-year-old history of wine.
Bring a bottle of wine and watch the sunset from these two scenic spots:
- Spanjola Fortress - the short walk up to this old 16th-century fortress is worth the hike up for the stunning views of Hvar Town and the Pakleni islands. Entrance fee 25 Kuna ($4 USD) open between 9am-9pm (make sure to check the hours with the local tour office in town).
- Tito’s Caves - get away from the tourists in Hvar Town and watch the sunset at these hidden away caves. Just north of Stari Grad head to the top of the peninsula and you’ll see signs for Tito's Caves.
Go on a leisurely 5-6 hour guided cycling tour around Hvar. Approximately $120 USD/person which includes lunch, a guide and transfer from Hvar Town.
Rock climbing is popular here and there are free climbing spots scattered around the island and open to climb all year round.
Beaches in Hvar
- Dubovia - a quick hike down a rocky hill to this white pebble beach, it is considered one of Hvar’s most beautiful beaches. There is also a small restaurant by the beach where you can get food if you forget to pack a lunch.
- Sveti Nedelja - a small town in the south of Hvar, with a charming harbor and crystal clear pebble beaches. Known for the plavac red wine produced here, it’s a perfect place to getaway from the crowds and have a quiet vacation.
- Lucisca - a beautiful small beach in the southern part of Hvar near Sveti Nedelja.
- Grebisce - a sandy but very narrow beach on the northern side of Jelsa harbor it is popular with families. It does not have a lot of shade so make sure to bring a beach umbrella.
Islands nearby to Hvar
Day trip to the Pakleni Islands - just off the coast of Hvar, these islands are filled with hidden beaches and lagoons.
- Rent a private taxi boat to tour around the islands for the day, the captain will definitely know of good spots to stop by lunch and beaches to stop at.
- Take a 15-minute taxi boat ride to the islands of Jerolim and Stipanska for 40 Kuna ($6 USD) or continue on to other islands further out to walk around and explore.
- Go on a guided full day or half day sailing tour of the islands
For a fun getaway from the hustle and bustle of Hvar Town, take a short boat ride to the island of Saint Klement and explore the different private coves/beaches there. You may come across a small sign that says “Dionis restorau” that serves great grilled Mediterranean seafood.
Eating & Drinking in Hvar
- Robinson - people say it’s worth the trek, literally you must hike an hour and 20 mins to the restaurant by the beach. Known for their squid nona mikra (squid braised with onions).
- Giaxa - once a medieval palace located in the center of Hvar town it is now a restaurant serving traditional Dalmatian food in a modern setting.
- Zori - on an island a short boat ride from Hvar Town this restaurant run by a husband and wife duo, where the family has been running the restaurant for over 3 generations. The restaurant serves dishes with a creative take on traditional Dalmatian dishes and has beautiful views of the sea. Make reservations beforehand.
- Macondo - local fish and seafood is delicious here but order their specialty, the gregada (a fisherman's stew with potatoes and garlic). Locals come here for the authentic Dalmatian cuisine and a traditional atmosphere.
Hvar has more wine bars than clubs so if you’re afraid that Hvar is just one big party island just keep in mind there are double the amount of wine bars in Hvar Town than there are clubs.