Home World TRAVEL 12 Amazing Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia: Must-See Attractions

12 Amazing Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia: Must-See Attractions

12 Amazing Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia: Must-See Attractions


When I first set foot on Hvar, the island’s radiant beauty left me spellbound. With its crystal-clear waters, lush vineyards, and historic stone buildings, Hvar felt like a Mediterranean dream and a true Croatian gem. This was an island of secluded beaches, aromatic lavender fields, and vibrant nightlife that danced until dawn.

Originally settled by the ancient Greeks, Hvar’s rich history is evident in its architecture and traditions. The island’s main town, also named Hvar, boasts a stunning Renaissance-era cathedral and a hilltop fortress that offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea. But beyond its historical allure, Hvar has a modern, pulsating energy, drawing in yachters, celebrities, and travelers seeking both relaxation and revelry.

Over the years, I’ve watched Hvar gracefully evolve, balancing its deep-rooted traditions with contemporary allure. And while it’s no longer Europe’s best-kept secret, Hvar retains its authentic charm, making it an irresistible destination in Croatia.

Whether you’re sipping on local wines, diving into azure waters, or simply soaking up the sun, Hvar promises an unforgettable experience. Dive into this guide, and let’s explore the wonders of this Adriatic jewel together.

This article on the amazing things to do in Hvar, Croatia contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Places to Visit in Hvar

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Hvar? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this idyllic vacation spot in Croatia. So keep reading to discover all these unique Hvar places to visit.

Are you looking to explore historic landmarks? Or would you prefer to partake in water sports and savor Mediterranean cuisine? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Hvar can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Hvar that you should know about.

1. Hvar Town

Hvar Town is often the first stop for visitors and it’s easy to see why. This picturesque town, with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings, offers a charming introduction to the island. The marina, bustling with activity, provides a stark, yet harmonious contrast to the serene, gently bobbing boats. Cafes and shops line the harbor, offering a place to relax and watch the world go by.

Among the unique things to do in Hvar, don’t miss the chance to explore the Hvar Fortress. The climb to the fortress might be a bit of a workout, but the panoramic views of the town and the Pakleni Islands in the distance are your reward. It’s a spot where history and beauty meet, offering insights into the past and those iconic Croatian views.

Wandering through the town, you’ll discover quaint shops, local restaurants serving fresh seafood, and small galleries showcasing local art. Whether you’re diving into the history at the Hvar Heritage Museum or finding a quiet spot on a nearby beach, Hvar Town encapsulates a blend of leisure and discovery that sets the tone for your island adventure.

Hvar Town is a charming introduction to the island, with historic streets, a bustling marina, and harbor-side cafes and shops.

2. Pakleni Islands

Just off the coast of Hvar, the Pakleni Islands beckon travelers with their lush landscapes and crystal-clear waters. Accessible by a short taxi-boat ride from Hvar Town, these islands offer a tranquil escape from the bustling mainland. The islands boast secluded beaches, hidden coves, and casual eateries, providing a day of relaxed exploration and leisure.

If you’re wondering where to go in Hvar for a serene day trip, the Pakleni Islands are a top pick. Each island has its own charm, from the secluded natural harbors of Sv. Klement to the vibrant beach clubs on Jerolim. Travelers can spend their day hopping between islands, discovering their individual characters, and perhaps finding their own secret spot along the way.

The Pakleni Islands are not just a destination but an experience. Whether you’re snorkeling in the azure waters or savoring fresh seafood at a beachfront restaurant, the experience is delightful. Simply soaking up the sun, the islands offer a slice of paradise.

In a journey to find unique places in Hvar, the Pakleni Islands stand out, offering a blend of natural beauty, relaxation, and subtle adventure, ensuring a memorable day out on the Adriatic Sea.

The Pakleni Islands offer a serene escape with secluded beaches and casual eateries for a day of relaxation.

3. Lavender Island

One of the coolest things to do in Hvar is to immerse yourself in its fragrant lavender fields. Known as the “Lavender Island,” Hvar has been a significant producer of lavender and its products for decades. The island’s climate and soil create an ideal environment for growing this aromatic plant, and visiting the fields is a sensory delight.

In the village of Velo Grablje, just a short drive from Hvar Town, you can explore vast expanses of lavender fields. The village, once the center of lavender production in Dalmatia, hosts an annual Lavender Festival. Visitors can learn about traditional lavender distillation processes, purchase local products, and enjoy a stroll through the vibrant purple fields.

The lavender usually blooms in June and July, transforming the landscape into a sea of purple and filling the air with its soothing scent. It’s not just a visual treat but also a glimpse into the island’s agricultural traditions and practices.

Visiting the lavender fields is not only a feast for the senses but also a way to connect with Hvar’s pastoral and aromatic side, away from the coastal buzz.

Experience the “Lavender Island” by immersing yourself in fragrant lavender fields, offering a delightful sensory experience.

4. Fortica

A compelling thing to do in Hvar is to delve into its rich history by visiting the Fortica (Španjola Fortress). Perched above Hvar Town, this impressive fortress offers panoramic views of the town, the Pakleni Islands, and the shimmering Adriatic Sea.

The Fortica is accessible via a scenic walk through old streets, enjoying expansive views as you ascend. The fortress itself is steeped in history, originally built in the 16th century to defend against Turkish attacks. It was later reconstructed by the Venetians, adding to its rich historical tapestry. This was later reconstructed by the Venetians, adding to its rich historical tapestry.

Inside the Fortica, you’ll find a collection of amphorae and artifacts from antiquity, providing a glimpse into the island’s past. The fortress also played a role in the more recent history during the Napoleonic Wars.

The blend of history and stunning vistas from the Fortica creates a multifaceted experience, combining exploration with leisure and learning. It’s a spot where the past and present of Hvar converge, offering insights and views that are equally breathtaking.

A must-visit in Hvar is the Fortica (Španjola Fortress) for panoramic views of the town, Pakleni Islands, and the Adriatic Sea.

5. Stari Grad Plain

The Stari Grad Plain in Hvar is a sprawling field, rich with history and still in use today. Established by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a living museum of ancient agricultural practices. The plain is a grid of fields, outlined by stone walls, and it’s been continuously cultivated for 24 centuries.

If you’re compiling a list of Hvar things to do, a visit here should definitely make the cut. It’s not just a field; it’s a window into the agricultural practices of the ancient Greeks. The stone shelters (trims) and ancient stone walls have withstood the test of time, offering a link to the past.

You can explore on foot or by bike, navigating the ancient roads that crisscross the plain. It’s still a working landscape, with local farmers diligently tending to olive groves and vineyards. They produce quality olive oil and wine using age-old techniques, preserving the region’s rich agricultural traditions.

For those seeking the best places in Hvar, the Stari Grad Plain offers a unique, historically rich experience. It connects visitors to the ancient practices that have shaped the island’s agricultural scene.

The Stari Grad Plain in Hvar, Croatia showcases 24 centuries of continuous cultivation with fields outlined by stone walls.

6. Vrboska

Vrboska, often referred to as ‘Little Venice’, is one of the cool destinations in Hvar that offers a serene escape from the more bustling tourist spots. Nestled on the northern coast of the island, this charming village is adorned with delightful stone houses and narrow winding streets. Enchanting bridges arch over its scenic canal, adding to the locale’s charm. The village is a picturesque haven that provides a peaceful retreat and a step back into a simpler time.

The fishing heritage of Vrboska is proudly displayed in its Fisherman’s Museum, housing an artifacts collection and traditional fishing equipment. Various displays narrate the village’s history and its deep connection to the sea. The museum provides insight into the life and challenges faced by the local fishing community over the centuries.

A stroll through Vrboska offers more than just scenic views. The village is home to the Church Fortress, a unique church that was fortified in the 16th century to protect the locals from pirates and invaders. The fortress provides panoramic views of the village, the sea, and the surrounding areas, making it a must-visit spot for any traveler.

For those compiling a list of Hvar places to visit, Vrboska provides a tranquil and picturesque destination. It’s a historically rich locale that offers a glimpse into the island’s past and its enduring connection to the Adriatic Sea.

Vrboska offers a peaceful escape with charming stone houses, winding streets, and scenic canals, evoking a simpler time.

7. Dubovica Beach

Dubovica Beach, located on the southern shore of Hvar Island, is a secluded paradise offering crystal-clear waters and pebble shores. It provides a serene environment away from the typical tourist trails, ensuring a peaceful visit. The beach is a beloved spot for both locals and in-the-know travelers, providing a tranquil setting for relaxation and a refreshing swim in the Adriatic Sea.

Among the best things to do in Hvar, spending a day unwinding at Dubovica Beach surely ranks high. The beach is enveloped by lush greenery and features a striking historic building, enhancing the scenic beauty. A 19th-century house adds a dash of historical charm to the picturesque setting, captivating visitors. They often enjoy picnicking, sunbathing, and exploring the underwater world through snorkeling in its transparent waters.

Reaching Dubovica Beach involves a short hike down a trail, which rewards you with the stunning, unspoiled beauty of the cove. The somewhat hidden nature of the beach has preserved its tranquility, making it a cherished secret among visitors. The pristine conditions of the beach make it a perfect spot for those seeking a more secluded seaside experience.

For those wondering where to visit in Hvar, the idyllic Dubovica Beach offers a peaceful retreat. Here, visitors can enjoy a slice of the unspoiled natural beauty that characterizes the island.

Dubovica Beach is a secluded paradise with crystal-clear waters, ideal for a peaceful swim in the Adriatic.

8. Grapčeva Cave

If you’re thinking about what to do in Hvar that combines adventure with a dash of history, Grapčeva Cave is your go-to destination. Located near the village of Humac, this prehistoric cave is one of the oldest discoveries in Croatia. It offers a fascinating insight into the island’s ancient past. The 2200-year-old cave reveals secrets of the Neolithic era and insights into the island’s ancient inhabitants.

Inside, visitors are greeted by impressive stalactites and stalagmites, forming over centuries to create a naturally artistic display. The cave holds significant archaeological value, with findings that provide a glimpse into the life and practices of ancient inhabitants.

Among the notable Hvar attractions, Grapčeva Cave stands out for its historical and natural allure. Guided tours take you through the cave’s chambers, showcasing impressive light and shadow plays on the rocks.

Grapčeva Cave offers a hands-on adventure through Hvar Island’s history and geology, providing a unique, tangible perspective.

Discover Hvar’s ancient past at Grapčeva Cave near Humac village, a 2200-year-old Neolithic site. | Source: https://www.dalmatia.hr/

9. Jelsa

Jelsa, a picturesque town situated between the two highest peaks of Hvar, offers a serene escape from the more bustling tourist spots on the island. With its quaint harbor, historic sites, and inviting beaches, Jelsa provides a tranquil setting for relaxation and exploration. Surrounded by pine forests and vineyards, the town is a green haven perfect for walks and bike rides.

Jelsa, a must-see in Hvar, is known for its vital natural springs and top-notch wine and olive oil production. The springs, coupled with the fertile land, have also made Jelsa a hub for producing some of the best wines and olive oils in the region.

Explore Jelsa’s history at the Church of St. Mary and the Municipal Museum, showcasing local traditions and varied architecture. The town also offers a variety of recreational activities, from diving excursions to hiking trails, ensuring a blend of relaxation and adventure for travelers.

In essence, Jelsa offers scenic beauty and a peaceful yet explorative experience, marking it as one of the best places to go in Hvar, Croatia.

Jelsa offers a serene escape with a charming harbor, historic sites, inviting beaches, and natural beauty.

10. Tomic Wineries

Tomic Winery, situated in the heart of Hvar, is a hotspot for wine enthusiasts keen on delving into the island’s rich wine-making heritage. Known for blending traditional and modern winemaking, it offers more than your average wine tour experience.

Visitors to Tomic aren’t just treated to a tasting; they’re immersed in a unique experience in a meticulously recreated Roman dining room. Here, you don’t just sip wine; you travel through Hvar’s rich history with every taste. The ambiance at Tomic echoes ancient times, offering a unique backdrop for your tasting experience. Diving into the rich flavors and aromas of their wines becomes one of the unique things to do in Hvar, Croatia.

The Plavac Mali grape takes center stage here, with its robust reds drawing acclaim from connoisseurs worldwide. But a visit to Tomic isn’t just about the wine; It’s also an educational journey into the island’s history. Here, you’ll learn about winemaking evolution and the Tomic family’s personal journey in viticulture.

A visit to Tomic Winery is not merely a tasting experience but a journey through time, where each sip is a celebration of Hvar’s rich, flavorful history.

Tomic Winery in Hvar blends traditional and modern winemaking for a unique wine tour experience.

11. Zarace Bay

Zarace Bay is a hidden gem nestled on Hvar’s southern coast, offering a retreat from bustling tourist spots. With its pebble beaches and turquoise waters, it’s not only picturesque but also a gateway to a vibrant underwater world.

Engaging in diving here is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Hvar, especially for those looking to explore the Adriatic’s serene and rich underwater life. Zarace Bay is renowned for its clear waters, ensuring excellent visibility for divers. They can explore a seabed teeming with marine life, ancient amphorae, and intriguing rock formations.

Dive centers in Hvar offer trips to Zarace Bay, catering to both novice and experienced divers. The bay’s underwater terrain features fascinating caves, walls, and reefs, each hosting a variety of fauna and flora. Divers are provided with a rich, educational experience that is both thrilling and enlightening.

Zarace Bay offers not only a tranquil escape on land but also a doorway to an enchanting underwater realm. It stands out as a must-visit spot for every diver exploring Hvar, ensuring memorable adventures.

Zarace Bay on Hvar’s southern coast is a hidden gem with pebble beaches and turquoise waters.

12. Hora Farm

Embarking on a culinary journey is one of the coolest activities in Hvar, and Hora Farm, located in the Stari Grad Plain, offers just that. This agrotourism spot is not your typical tourist destination. This is a place where tradition and gastronomy intertwine, providing a genuine taste of Hvar’s rich agricultural heritage.

Visitors to Hora Farm are welcomed into a world where organic farming and traditional cooking methods are at the forefront. Here, you can explore the olive groves and vineyards, understanding the processes involved in creating some of Hvar’s beloved flavors.

The farm-to-table restaurant on-site allows you to indulge in authentic Dalmatian cuisine, prepared using ingredients sourced directly from the surrounding fields. Dishes, crafted with age-old recipes and paired with local wines, offer a sensory journey through Hvar’s culinary landscape.

In a place where every bite tells a story of the land and tradition, Hora Farm stands out as one of the unique places in Hvar, Croatia. The farm offers a delightful and insightful experience for every food lover and culture seeker visiting the island.

Hora Farm showcases the island’s agricultural heritage through tradition and gastronomy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Amazing Things to Do in Hvar

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Hvar, Croatia? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Hvar:

What is the best time to visit Hvar, Croatia?

Visiting Hvar between May and June or September and October is a smart move. You’ll dodge the heavy tourist traffic of peak summer while still enjoying mild, pleasant weather. These shoulder months offer a balanced experience, blending vibrant energy with a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for exploring or chilling by the beach.

Is Hvar expensive to visit?

Yes, Hvar tends to lean towards the pricier side, especially when compared to other spots in Croatia. Its reputation as a hotspot for celebrities and tourists alike can inflate prices, particularly during the summer. However, savvy travelers can navigate through budget-friendly options available in dining and accommodation.

How do you get around Hvar, Croatia?

Getting around Hvar offers various options suitable for different travel styles. Renting bikes or scooters provides a flexible and fun way to explore, while buses cater to longer distance journeys across the island. For coastal adventures, boats and water taxis are available, offering a scenic mode of transport.

Scenic beach on the island of Hvar, Croatia

What is Hvar known for?

Hvar is celebrated for its diverse offerings, from the pulsating energy of its renowned nightlife to the tranquil beauty of its beaches and lavender fields. The island is a blend of historical charm, with ancient sites and structures, and natural allure, offering both relaxation and adventure to those who visit.

Hvar enjoys a reputation as a must-visit destination due to its stunning blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant nightlife. The island offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from the serene lavender fields and crystal-clear beaches to the architectural wonders of its towns. Its popularity is also fueled by its status as a celebrity hotspot, further elevating its appeal as a luxurious and lively travel destination.

Is it worth it to go to Hvar for a day?

Absolutely, a day trip to Hvar can be a delightful escape, offering a snapshot of its charms. While a longer stay allows for a deeper exploration, a day in Hvar still provides opportunities to explore its historical sites, enjoy its beaches, and savor local cuisine. Efficient transport options, like ferries, make it accessible for short visits, ensuring you can soak in its beauty even on a brief excursion.

Is Hvar worth visiting?

Hvar is often hailed as one of the crown jewels of the Croatian Dalmatian islands and is definitely worth visiting. Here’s why:

  • Natural Beauty: Hvar boasts a stunning landscape with crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and lush vineyards and lavender fields inland.
  • Historical Sites: The island is rich in history, with its well-preserved Renaissance architecture. The main square in Hvar Town, anchored by the Cathedral of St. Stephen, is one of Croatia’s largest and most beautiful.
  • Vibrant Nightlife: Hvar is known for its lively nightlife, with numerous bars and clubs that stay open until the early hours of the morning.
  • Culinary Delights: The island offers fresh and delicious Mediterranean cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood and local wines.
  • Outdoor Activities: For the active traveler, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for sailing and kayaking.
  • Climate: Hvar is one of the sunniest spots in Europe, ensuring good weather for most of the year.

How many days in Hvar is enough?

The ideal length of stay in Hvar depends on what you want to experience. Here’s a quick guide:

Short Stay (1-2 days): If you’re on a tight schedule, 1-2 days can give you a taste of Hvar. You can explore Hvar Town, visit the fortress for panoramic views, and enjoy an evening at one of the local restaurants or bars.

Moderate Stay (3-4 days): With 3-4 days, you can relax a bit more and take in additional sights. Spend a day beach hopping, take a boat trip to the Pakleni Islands, and perhaps visit the lavender fields or the nearby Stari Grad, which is quieter and full of history.

Extended Stay (5+ days): If you have the luxury of time, 5 or more days allows you to really soak in the island’s atmosphere. You can venture to more secluded beaches, take leisurely walks through the towns and countryside, enjoy water sports, and even take day trips to other nearby islands or the mainland.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Hvar

Hvar isn’t just an island; it’s a multifaceted experience that caters to all kinds of travelers seeking things to do in Croatia. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or a party animal, Hvar has something in store for you.

From the historical streets of its towns to the serene and scenic beaches, every corner has a story to tell. It’s an island that doesn’t just welcome you; it entices you to explore every nook and cranny, promising a treasure trove of memories that you’ll carry long after you’ve left its shores.

Navigate through its landscapes, delve into its history, and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture – Hvar is a chapter of your travel story just waiting to be written.

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