Travel guide to Hvar, Croatia

The islands in the Dalmation Coast of Croatia have always been on my bucketlist for the longest time. We had two trips to Croatia planned in the past in 2020 and 2021, but both were cancelled and I am so ecstatic we finally made it! I am every bit obsessed with the Adriatic waters and the slow Mediterranean island life in these Dalmation islands! We only visited Korcula and Hvar this time around, but I can’t wait to be back again to explore more of the other islands. Check out my Korčula travel guide here. 


Did you know Croatia has over 1000 islands?! It is no surprise why they call Croatia “the Land of a Thousand Islands.” To be precise, the country has 1,246 islands, islets and rocks in the Adriatic Sea. If you are specifically interested in the islands like we were, you would have to either fly into Split or Dubrovnik and take ferries from there.


We spent 9 days across Korčula ( 3 days ), Hvar ( 5 days ) and Split ( 1 day ). But a good 2 week itinerary that would also include the 2 major cities would be – fly into Dubrovnik, then ferry over to Korčula, ferry over to Hvar, ferry to Split and then fly out of Split. You can easily spend 3-4 days per destination as you can also do several day trips to other spots and other small islands from each of these places – Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar and Split. Other islands to consider adding to your itinerary are Vis and Brać.


Just like Greece, the best way to get around between the islands is via ferries. Some of the main companies are – Kapetan Luka (usually only passengers) and Jadrolinija (they have passenger and car ferries too). You can either book it online on their website or purchase them at the marina. Its best to check ferry schedules prior to planning your trip and transfers, since timings vary based on the season.


While the summer months of June – August seems like the most popular times to visit these islands, after browsing several articles and having done the trip myself , I would 100% agree that late spring (May) or early fall (September) are the best times to visit. You would still have amazing weather with way way lesser crowds thus making it a lot more enjoyable! Also prices for accommodation are a lot cheaper in these months than in the peak season.


Hvar is probably the most popular island in Croatia and a must visit when you are in Croatia! It is called the “sunniest island of Europe” and rightly so! It has a year round mild Mediterranean climate with an average of 2718 hours of sun. The island has an old city with a walled fortress, the oldest theater on the continent, stunning beaches, charming villages, lavender fields, vineyards, and olive groves ; making it an ideal Mediterranean summer escape.

Where to stay :

During our time in Hvar, we wanted to split our stay across Hvar town and Stari Grad, to get two unique experiences.


In Stari Grad, we stayed at the gorgeous Maslina Resort, which is quite arguably the best luxury resort in Hvar and one of the best resorts in all of Croatia too. Maslina, a Relais and Chateâux property,  is a mindful luxury resort that has sustainability as one of its core principles. Read more about our stay in my blog post here.

Maslina Resort


When we were in Hvar town, we loved staying at the super cute Beach Bay Hvar Hotel. This is Hvar town’s first sustainable hotel and is located right on Franciscan monastery beach and just a short walk away from all the attractions in town!

Beach Bay Hvar Hotel


I would recommend getting a car or scooter to explore the island if you are staying here for a couple of days.

Things to do :

Beaches of Hvar

It has so many incredible beaches, coves and little inlets perfect for swimming or sunbathing. Most of these are accessible by road, foot or boat. Here are 6 of my favorites and a must visit when you go to Hvar :


Dubovica beach in Hvar is a dreamy little cove with the most pristine teal waters and flanked by a 15th Century Franciscan Monastery on one side. To get here you will either have to approach it via boat or park on the top of the hill and take the 20 min dirt path to the beach. Highly recommend going early so you can enjoy this slice of paradise all to yourself just like we did.

Dreamy Dubovica beach


The colors of Zarace and absolutely unreal. There are two coves here and both are worth visiting!

Colors of Zarace


his beach off the beaten path was one of our absolute favorites in Hvar! It’s not the easiest to get to, requires a steep climb down ( with epic views of the mountains ! ) but you will be treated to the most gorgeous bay which is usually empty too!

Picture perfect Lucisca Bay


Not a beach, but an epic spot with views of the cliffs and amazing for cliff jumping if you are into that!

How epic is Sveta Nedelja!


Jagodna has several little coves and I am obsessed with all the swim ladders everywhere! The water in many of these coves totally looked like it could be a pool and not the ocean, so crystal clear.


Scenic coves at Jagodna


An easy 20-30 minute walk from Hvar town gets you to this slice of heaven. There is a restaurant and facilities such a umbrellas and lounge chaises on this beach.

Paradise at Pokonji Dol


Hvar Old Town

Old Town Hvar is the most popular part in the island. The Riva or waterfront has tons of cafes, restaurants and shops all around. We loved exploring around the streets of Old Town beyond all the touristy shops, its so quaint and charming.

Postcards from Hvar old town

While you are in town, also make your way upto Spanjola Fortress for the best views of the island from above! It is possible to drive up to the fortress too.

Spanjola fortness

Stari Grad

Stari Grad is a quaint little storybook like town on the north coast of Hvar and is one of the oldest towns in Europe! It is the quieter and more authentic alternative to Hvar town and in my opinion a whole lot more intimate. With its peaceful harbor, a vibrant riva, stone alleys and gorgeous bays , Stari Grad is a gem that you must explore in Hvar.

In and around quaint Stari Grad


Other Villages in Hvar : 

If you visit Hvar, I urge you to visit beyond Hvar town! Most people visit Hvar and perhaps Stari Grad. The other villages I would recommend are Jelsa, Vrboska (the Venice of Hvar), Brusje and Velo Grablje ( the last two especially at the end of June/early July for the lavender fields and harvest festival ). One of the most charming villages we visited was Jelsa. With its gorgeous riva, quaint alleys and views of Hvar’s tallest mountains, this place is such a gem!

Jelsa is such an authentic gem!


Boat Tours from Hvar :

The beauty of Croatia is best seen from the water, and for this reason I urge you to explore beyond the mainland and island that you are on too. Popular boat tours from Hvar include individual visits or a combination of visits to either of the following :

  • Blue cave
  • Green Cave
  • Red cliffs
  • Komiza Bay in Vis
  • Pakleni islands
  • Golden Horn beach on Brac

If you want to be flexible – you can either rent a boat if you are comfortable to drive one of my own or hire a private boat and skipper so you could visit the spots that interest you. Or you can also join a group half or full day tour that visits most of these spots. You can either book it at your hotel or with the several vendors around the marina.

Mlini Beach

We opted to visit the Pakleni islands on one of the days. The Pakleni or Paklinski Islands are a chain of rocky islets just off the coast of Hvar and just about a 15-20 boat ride away. This is a popular day trip from Hvar town as it has some really incredible beaches, the best snorkelling in Croatia, and amazing beach clubs too. You can choose to visit all of them if you have your own boat or are on a private tour. Or visit just 1 island like we did if you plan to take a water taxi from town.

While Palmizana Bay is the most popular, I much rather preferred Marinkovac island which has the stunning Mlini beach and Zdrilca bay. The water in Mlini beach is unreal, so calm and blue!

Where to eat :

Some of my favorite eats in Hvar :


One of our favorite meals of the trip without a doubt, and easily one of the best restaurants on the island, the reviews will speak for itself. Incredible Dalmation food – loved the gnocchi Istria. Reservations highly recommended.

Fig Hvar

A must visit for the most delicious creative comfort food ! Dont miss out on the watermelon salad and Chimichurri potatoes.

Kebab Factory Hvar

If you are looking for something other than pizzas and pasta, don’t sleep on this little hole in the wall place! Most delicious sandwiches!

Aroma Gelato

One of my fave gelato places in town, they had so many interesting flavors!

Antika ( Stari Grad )

Again one of our most memorable meals and probably the best pasta we have ever had! Incredible food and a cozy ambiance in the alleys of Stari Grad.

Spizza ( Jelsa )

Delicious pizza right by the charming waterfront in Jelsa.


Thanks for stopping by! xo


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