Why Hvar Island, Croatia Should Be on your Bucket List

Hvar, a beautiful island of Croatia, is a place where all your dreams can come true. If like most of us, you are a fan of a crystal clear sea, sunny beaches, unforgettable panoramas and historical stories, you don’t have to look any further – Hvar is waiting!

Why Hvar Island, Croatia Should Be on your Bucket List 1
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Photo by Jared Lisack

In 2019, Hvar won a title for the best island in Europe – the award speaks for itself. 

Having 340 sunny days out of 365 possible, visiting Hvar is always a good idea, whether it’s summer, autumn, winter or spring. 

Here, you can get the idea of how your journey would look like – where you can go, what you can do, where you can stay, etc. Let’s begin!

A little bit of history

Even though there have been found records in written history from the 4th century BC, some of the remains witness that life on Hvar existed even 3500 years BC

The Old Town, also known as Pharos, was founded by the Greeks. 

The natives were ready to fight, but reinforced Greeks eventually took away the victory – this was the first known naval battle on the Adriatic. 

After the Greeks came the Illiryans who kept Pharos as their centre. In the Middle Ages, the history of Hvar was turbulent and it changed various rulers.

 Finally, after World War II, Hvar became a part of former Yugoslavia. In that period, hotels, water supply and sanitation appeared on the island.

Today, being a significant part of Croatia, Hvar is becoming more and more famous every day because of its beauties and stories that you need to see and hear.

The culture

As a host to the first public theatre in Europe, Hvar is well known among culture explorers. Its historical sites, such as the Cathedral or Hanibal Lucić’s Summer Residence, turned Hvar to what it is today. 

Everywhere you go and whatever turn you decide to take next, you’ll find something amazing, something that will make you experience unforgettable. 

People are very friendly and the atmosphere is so warm – it will feel like home.  

Sightseeing in Hvar

Španjola Fortress

Overlooking Hvar from the hill, this fortress is also known as Fortica. Must-see not only for the hiking-lovers but for whoever visits Hvar, Fortica is a historical place that today has its own botanical garden with Mediterranean plants. 

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Photo by Colton Jones

This 5-minute drive or a 15-minute walk offers you plenty of spots to stop and take a picture, but it also offers you a chance to get to know the history even more!

Pakleni islands

Another must-see attraction, filled with beaches and restaurants, are Pakleni islands. You can get there by taxi boat, or you can rent your boat for the day – whatever your decision is, you’ll equally enjoy it. 

Mostly known for Palmižana beach, these islands can give you a different, deeper perspective on Hvar.

Old Town

The heart of the history and home to so many valuable remains is Hvar’s Old Town. From the harbour and promenade to the St. Stephen’s Square, Cathedral, loggia and its clock tower. 

There is no direction to which you can turn and not see something. 

Other important parts of the Old Town are the Arsenal, home to the first theatre in Croatia, and Franciscan Monastery, containing famous art, a painting of the Last Supper.

If you’re looking for a way to get to know the island as much as possible, you should walk and hike – that way you’ll get the most out of it. Take a walk through its picturesque streets or the lavender fields!

Beaches

If you happen to be in Hvar during summer, it’s time to head out to the beach

Around Hvar

Pakleni islands, as we said before, are well-known for their beaches and coves where you can experience a real summer paradise. 

Ždrilca, Palmižana and Mlini are only a few out of many beaches! Whether you’re with your family, your friends or you’re all alone, these beaches will make you feel relaxed and will recharge your batteries for the upcoming adventures. 

As they are very popular among tourists, don’t be surprised if you walk into the very crowded beach.

On Hvar

On Hvar, don’t miss out on the opportunity to go swimming in the crystal clear sea on the Zaraće beach, the best beach on Hvar. 

Even though it is well-known, not a lot of people go here because of its location – you will need a bus ride and a 10-minute walk. 

If, however, you decide to go, you can escape to your own oasis and absorb the sun as much as you like. 

Another popular but not very crowded beach is Dubovica, a pebble beach where you can take a break from all the swimming and sunbathing and go for lunch at the restaurant right on the beach!

Naturists, here’s a treat – Robinson’s beach, secluded and hidden part of the island, very popular among swimmers and sailboats!

To-do list

Except for beaches, sightseeing and getting to know the culture, there are plenty of other things to do that will make your experience as good as it can get.

Partying at hidden coves is something that all the youth is looking for when they visit Hvar. And don’t worry, they’re in the right place! 

As Hvar has many beach bars, such as Hula Hula, you can party whenever you wish. Many of these coves are best accessed via taxi boat or speedboat, so you can as well enjoy the sea voyage while arriving.

For anyone who wants to reward their palate and get the best pastime for your taste buds, go wine tasting! Sample some of Croatia finest wines and learn about the way they are made.

Visit Jelsa! Often in the shadows of Hvar town, Jelsa is a picturesque beauty hidden in the middle of Hvar island. Jelsa is filled with hotels, bars, restaurants and other options that guarantee a fun time! 

Rent a scooter! For adventurers, renting a scooter is definitely the best possible option to go and do whatever you want! Whether you want to explore the town or its wild side, go to the beach or climb hills, a scooter is your way to go! 

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Photo by Chris Lawton

Finally, adrenaline-lovers, Hvar offers you skydiving, scuba diving, kayaking and other extreme sports to feel the blood travel through your body – to feel alive!

Restaurants

Hvar is the perfect place to combine different tastes and wishes. One day, you can go taste traditional Dalmatian dishes, the next day you can eat amazing creative dishes from different parts of the world, and the day after you can just take a bite at one of the restaurants on the beaches, just to get the energy to continue enjoying life. 

Fig, Ko Doma, Dalmatino, Lola Street Food and Odos are just a few of the restaurants to go to that will leave you full and satisfied!

Accommodation

Being one of the most visited islands and places to go on vacation, Hvar is well prepared for hosting anyone who comes here. 

On the other hand, if you want to explore as much of Adriatic as you can, look for a villa in Split, from where you can get to many other islands! 

Here, you can enjoy your private accommodation, such as an apartment or villa, or you can make your hotel or hostel reservation. You have plenty of options to choose from, so wherever you want to be, you can. 

You can enjoy the view from the sea, or you can escape to the wild side of the interior of the island and isolate yourself to be at peace.  

If you’ve fallen in love with Adriatic like many others, and you’ve been thinking about staying, you can always purchase construction land or find your new dream home right here, in Dalmatia!    

Enjoy your stay!

Why Hvar Island, Croatia should be on your bucket list
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Stefan von Imhof is a travel writer and photographer. He loves going off the beaten path, exploring cities by foot and finding under-explored, hidden gems. After living in California for the past 15 years, he and his wife now live in Melbourne, Australia.

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