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14 Best Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia

14 Best Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia

Hvar is a picturesque island in Croatia known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and colorful sunsets. It’s a perfect destination for those looking to avoid the business of everyday life and spend some quality time in a seriously stunning place. It captivated my heart from the moment I got there, and I’m sure you’ll love it too! These are the best things to do in Hvar.

Located a short boat ride from the mainland, Hvar has plenty of activities to keep you busy. Some of the best views in the country can be found here, and there’s plenty to do in this tiny paradise.

Hvar is somewhat of a party island, known for its incredible nightlife. Despite being a small island, plenty of bars and clubs are packed with locals and tourists. If you’re looking for a quieter getaway, relax on one of the island’s beautiful beaches with a good book and watch the sunset.

From soaking in the sun on one of the island’s many beaches to exploring its lively culture, history, and picturesque nature, here are some of the best things to do in Hvar, Croatia.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Free activity – Dubovica Beach
  • Activity for kids – Climbing the Fortica Fortress
  • Activity for adultsExploring the Pakleni Islands
  • Place to eat – Restaurant Mizarola
  • Nightlife – Hula Hula Beach Bar
  • Place to stay – Apartments Frane

Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia

1. Visit Hvar (Town)

Hvar Town Aerial View

Address: Trg Sv. Stjepana 6, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

The best way to explore Hvar’s eponymously named and biggest town is by foot. Get lost in the cobblestone streets of this quaint town and admire the ancient architecture on display, including the iconic 16th-century Fortica Fortress.

Take a break from your sightseeing tour to enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack at one of the many cafes and restaurants. Make sure to take the time to visit the iconic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an impressive structure built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The town of Hvar is the first stop off the ferry, so it’s the perfect spot to explore Hvar Island. Many companies offer walking tours of the town. If you want to learn more about the area and its history, we recommend signing up for a guided Hvar private walking tour.

From its remarkable restaurants and bars to its quaint cobblestone streets and historical sites, you’re sure to fall in love with Hvar.

We recommend staying in town close to the ferry and the many shops, restaurants, and activities. This apartment is ideally situated and even has a balcony for the best views of the Adriatic.

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2. Visit the Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery Architecture

Address: Šetalište put Križa, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

The Franciscan Monastery is a beautiful structure in the heart of Hvar town, just past the main square. Built in the 15th century, this monastery has a rich history and offers a peaceful retreat for visitors.

Inside, you will find artwork and artifacts from Venetian times. There are also several cloisters to explore and a beautiful courtyard garden surrounded by old stone walls.

The Franciscan Monastery is also famous for its larger-than-life painting of the Last Supper, a masterpiece by Matej Ponzoni, which hangs in the refectory.

The monastery is the perfect place to spend a few hours exploring and admiring the stunning Renaissance architecture. The best way to access the monastery is to take a short stroll through Hvar town, walk along the sea, or join the walking tour around Venetian in Hvar. Have your camera ready, as there are countless opportunities for excellent photos.

3. Enjoy the Sun at Dubovica Beach

Dubovica Beach Scenery

Address: Uvala Dubovica, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

Dubovica is one of Hvar’s most popular beaches, and it’s easy to see why. The pebbled beach, crystal-clear water, and rolling hills make this location ideal for a beach day.

As one of the most beautiful beaches in Hvar, Dubovica Beach is the perfect place for swimming and sunbathing while taking in the views of the Adriatic.

There are plenty of activities here, too, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. Whether you want to relax or get active with some of their watersports, this beach has it all. Plus, plenty of cafes and restaurants are nearby if you need a snack or want to enjoy a meal with an incredible view.

Locals and tourists flock to Dubovica Beach for a perfect day in the sun in the summer months. It can be crowded at peak times, so plan to go early or late in the day.

Either way, you’re sure to have a blast. Consider that Dubovica Beach is not within walking distance from Hvar town, so you’ll need to take a bus or taxi from the city center to check it out.

For a unique experience, you can even take a water taxi there. To experience the beauty of Dubovica Beach, take a mesmerizing Hvar speed boat tour.

See Related: Black Sand Beaches in the World

4. Go Out on the Town!

Hvar Downtown Scenery

There’s no doubt that Hvar nightlife is some of the best in the country. With bars, restaurants, and clubs lining the Hvar Harbour, you have your pick.

Head to Hula Hula Hvar for some of the best vibes in town. With live music and plenty of cocktails, this bar will surely give you an unforgettable night out.

The bar overlooks the beach, so you can grab a cocktail and dance the night away with an incredible view. Infamous for its sunset parties, you can enjoy the best of Hvar’s nightlife while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Another popular spot is the Carpe Diem Bar. This bar has been around for years, and it’s easy to see why. With nightly live music and a constant buzz, Carpe Diem is a must-visit destination in Hvar. Other great spots include Nautica Bar, Aloha Bar, and Central Park Club.

Check out Hvar town’s wine bars for a more relaxed evening out. We recommend Gurme Tapas & Wine and Wine Bar Pršuta 3. These bars are perfect for tasting local wines while enjoying conversation with friends.

5. Check Out the Pakleni Islands

Boats in Paklinski Islands and Scenery

Address: Pakleni Islands, 21450 Hvar, Croatia

No trip to Hvar is complete without visiting the Pakleni Islands, also called the Paklinski Islands. This cluster of tiny, uninhabited islands is just off Hvar town’s coast.

It’s a stunning destination and the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing. A day trip here is one of the most popular things in Hvar.

The islands are known for their crystal-clear waters and secluded beaches. The islands also have many restaurants so that you can enjoy a meal with an incredible view of the Adriatic Sea. If you’re looking for something more active, head out on a kayaking tour to explore all the islands have to offer.

Whenever you visit, make sure to check out Jerolim Island. This is the most popular island in the Paklinski Islands, and it’s easy to see why. This spot is trendy among locals and tourists with its rocky terrain and crystal-clear water. The best part? It’s only 5 minutes by taxi boat from Hvar town.

The beauty of these islands will take your breath away. So, grab your sunscreen and head to the Pakleni Islands for relaxation and exploration! You won’t regret it.

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6. Relax at Pokonji Dol Beach

Pokonji Dol Beach Scenery

Address: Pokonji Dol, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

Looking for a tranquil beach to relax and unwind? Look no further than Pokonji Dol Beach. This idyllic spot is just a few kilometers from Hvar town, and it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

The beach is known for its pristine water and stunning sea views. Plus, there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants for a bite or a snack.

The little bay of Pokonji Dol Beach is also an excellent spot for snorkeling and swimming. The waters here are shallow, so they’re perfect for families with young children. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of boats and jet skis for rent to explore the area even more.

See Related: Things To Do On Brač Island, Croatia

7. Sample Local Delicacies

Fish Cuisine in Hvar

No trip to Hvar is complete without sampling some of the authentic flavors. From fresh seafood and homemade pasta dishes to truffle-infused delicacies, it features many options to satisfy multiple desires in Hvar town.

You can also stop in one of the many traditional taverns for a delicious meal of fresh seafood or grilled meats. Top spots include Restaurant Mizarola, Val Marina Restaurant, and Konoba Menego.

For something a bit more special, consider a Hvar wine tour. Hvar is known for its excellent wines, and you’ll have the chance to sample some of the best.

This tour will take you to two local wineries, where you’ll learn about their histories and production processes. Ultimately, you’ll taste various wines from different vineyards and producers.

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8. Explore St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral Architecture

Address: Trg Sv. Stjepana, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is an impressive architectural feat that must not be missed. As one of the island’s top tourist attractions, this building reminds us of Hvar’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Visitors can explore the interior, including Baroque artwork, frescoes, and a beautiful organ from 1795. There is also a chapel and a treasury with some of the oldest artifacts in Croatia.

The beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral stands tall over Hvar and is a must-see for any visitor. This stunning 17th-century Baroque cathedral has been declared a national monument open to visitors year-round. You can visit the church through a historical walking tour in Hvar.

Inside, you’ll find the intricate facade made of white stone that gives the building an elegant yet imposing look. Detailed frescoes, intricate sculptures, and stained-glass windows make the entire building a work of art.

No matter your religious beliefs, a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral should not be missed while in Hvar. The building is a beautiful representation of the city’s culture and history, and visitors will find themselves in awe as they explore this incredible cathedral.

9. Visit Stari Grad

Aerial Scenery of Stari Grad

Address: Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 1, 21460, Stari Grad, Croatia

Stari Grad is the oldest town on the island of Hvar and is an absolute must-visit. It has preserved its architecture from ancient times and still looks much like it did centuries ago. You can wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with stone houses, churches, and small shops.

Stari Grad is also home to some of the island’s most famous beaches. Spend your day lounging on blue waters and soaking up the sun, or join in on beachside activities like sailing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Stari Grad is an excellent alternative to staying outside Hvar Town. This three-bedroom apartment in Stari Grad has a balcony and sea view.

The Stari Grad Plain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site outside of town. It’s home to some stunning vineyards, olive groves, and ancient stone ruins that date back over 2,000 years. A network of pathways weaves through the plain, making it perfect for a stroll or a leisurely bike ride.

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10. Hop Around the Nearby Islands

Stiniva bay in vis island
nagydodo / Adobe Stock

Hvar is one of Croatia’s most popular destinations and for a good reason. With its famous beaches, incredible food, and vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to see why so many people flock here each summer. But Hvar isn’t just about relaxing by the sea; if you’re looking for more adventure during your stay, why not explore the surrounding islands?

The easiest way to explore these islands is on a guided boat tour. Here, you’ll get to visit several Croatian islands. One of the most popular stops is the famous Blue Cave.

This stunning cave is illuminated by the sun, giving it an ethereal blue hue. There are also multiple other caves and coves to discover, making this one of the most exciting day trips from Hvar.

Another popular stop is the island of Pokonji Dol. Known for its rich history and culture, visitors can explore Vis’ old town and try local delicacies.

This is a great place to explore the stunning Adriatic Sea, which makes for an unforgettable swimming experience. On Vis, you can relax on the beach for some much-needed R&R.

11. Frolic Around the Lavender Fields

Hvar Lavender Field

Address: Dolac, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

The lavender fields of Hvar are a sight to behold! Take a trip through the winding country roads and be surrounded by fields of purple. It’s an excellent spot for photos; you can even pick some lavender as a souvenir! Visit the local lavender farms to learn more about this iconic flower.

The island hosts their annual Lavender Festival, where visitors can sample local products and see traditional Croatian folk dancing. It’s a great way to learn more about the culture and get immersed in the unique atmosphere of Hvar.

The best option to get to the fields is renting a car, as public transportation can be limited. Going on a 3-hour lavender tour is convenient for learning more about the island and exploring its beauty. So make sure to add visiting the lavender fields of Hvar to your list of things to do in this beautiful Croatian paradise.

No matter how you choose to explore, the lavender fields of Hvar are an absolute must-visit for any traveler passing through this beautiful destination. The best time to visit them is in late July, though the island can be quite crowded with tourists.

See Related: Budget-Friendly Family Vacations

12. Hit the Open Water

Hvar Kayaking Tour
image by Viator

Address: Ivana Vučetića NN Krizna Luka Beach, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

Whether you want to explore the nearby islands or cruise around the calm waters surrounding Hvar, sea kayaking is an excellent option for outdoor fun. With stunning views of the sea and hidden bays accessible only by kayak, this is a great way to take in some of the island’s beauty.

You don’t have to be an experienced paddler to enjoy the excitement. There are plenty of great kayaking tours available for all levels of experience.

The tour guides will provide expert tips and safety advice while exploring the islands, coves, and small beaches. Enjoy a day out on the water with beautiful views of the Pakleni Islands and get up close to nature in an unforgettable way!

13. Hike to the Fortica Fortress

Fortica Fortress Sunset Scenery

Address: Ul. Biskupa Jurja Dubokovica 80, 21450, Hvar, Croatia

The Fortica Fortress is an impressive site that takes visitors back in time. It’s a 16th-century fortification atop a hill overlooking the charming town and Dalmatian Coast.

The fortress offers spectacular views of the city, nearby islands, and the Adriatic Sea below. Visitors can wander around the grounds, explore its ancient walls, soak up some sun on its grassy hillsides, or take in the stunning views from above.

The fortress’s history dates back to 1579, when Croatian warriors built it to protect the town from Ottoman forces. The fortress has been through many historical battles and wars, but it remains in good condition today. Visitors can explore its old walls and even check out some military artifacts.

See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit

14. Watch the Sunset!

Hvar Sunset Scenery

Watching the sunset was one of the most memorable parts of my trip to Hvar. As the sun slowly disappears into the horizon, you can see the stunning colors cascading over the Dalmatian Coast. It’s truly a magical experience.

There are plenty of spots in Hvar to watch the sunset; some of my favorite places include the beach or atop Fortica Fortress. But no matter where you choose to watch it from, make sure you have your camera ready. There are plenty of romantic sunset cruises in Hvar that you can enjoy.

The sunsets on Hvar are spectacular, with a sky full of orange, pink, and purple hues reflecting off the Adriatic Sea. The best part is that you don’t have to be on the beach; plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars with outdoor seating offer a perfect sunset view. The sunsets in Hvar are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen; they take your breath away.

Tours in Hvar

1. Full-Day Sea Caving Experience of Croatian Islands from Hvar Top Recommendation

Explore the hidden world of sea caves and peer through a kaleidoscope of colors. Visit multiple beaches and caves in the same day, swim to secluded coves as you snorkel among undisturbed marine life. See some of Croatia's most beautiful islands and swim in their crystal clear waters while enjoying some free time to lounge around on the beach or grab a bite to eat at Palmizana Bay.

2. The Best of Hvar in 1-Day with Local Dinner

The Best of Hvar in 1-Day with Local Dinner is a great way to spend the day exploring the best sites in Hvar. It includes an orientation tour of the island's historic town, Stari Grad, and a visit to Vrbovska, its neighbouring town. You will also enjoy wine tasting, lavender field (seasonal) viewing and an authentic meal served by local family at their own traditional konoba.

3. Hvar: Private 7-Hour Speedboat Rental with Skipper

Explore the islands of Hvar and Pakleni Islands as you have never seen them before! Experience the beauty of full-day ride on a speedboat, explore hidden coves, swim in crystal clear waters, enjoy the picturesque scenery and taste delicious local produce.

FAQ

Is Hvar, Croatia, worth visiting?

Yes! Hvar is a beautiful island with stunning views, plenty of outdoor activities, and many cultural sites to explore.

What are the best things to do in Hvar, Croatia?

Some of the best things to do in Hvar include kayaking, hiking up the Fortica Fortress, watching the sunset, exploring the Old Town, and visiting nearby islands.

What is Hvar, Croatia, known for?

Hvar is well known for its stunning beaches, beautiful sunsets, and rich cultural heritage, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It’s also one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations, so if you’re looking for a special vacation spot, Hvar should definitely be on your list.

What is a free thing to do in Hvar, Croatia?

Dubovica Beach is one of Hvar’s most popular spots, and it’s easy to see why. The stunning white sand, crystal-clear water, and rolling hills make this location ideal for a beach day. Oh, and it’s free!

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