The 10 Best Things to Do in Hvar

Situated in the Adriatic Sea towards the southern tip of Croatia’s mainland, Hvar is the most world-renowned of all of the Croatian islands as well as one of the most popular destinations in the entire country. 

This idyllic isle has developed a reputation for its abundant vineyards, vibrant lavender fields, fascinating historic landmarks, and lively nightlife. You’ll be surrounded by beauty no matter where you venture on this Croatian island, with many stretching sandy beaches for soaking up the sun and swimming in enticing turquoise waters too to make the most of its splendid climate. 

And with glorious weather to boot, with around 2,800 hours of golden sunshine per year, you’re almost guaranteed to be sunkissed during your exploration of the island’s exceptional landscapes, sights, and scenes.

For all of these reasons and more, Hvar Island is an iconic and unmissable location in Croatia to have a vacation. Offering a little bit of everything in its landscapes where wild, untouched mountain ranges meet ancient settlements, there’s truly something for all to be enticed by, adding to its mesmerizing beauty. 

So, if you’re planning a visit here, the question of what the best things to do in Hvar Island will undoubtedly be playing on your mind at some point. This is exactly why our team here at Unforgettable Croatia has outlined the 10 top things to do in Hvar Island, from fun and unique activities to outdoor excursions and even experiences that won’t cost you a penny.

Things to Do in Hvar When it Rains

Franciscan Monastery, Hvar

If you encounter a rainy day during your Hvar vacation, have no fear, as there are ample things to do on the island when the weather is at a low – it’s not all doom and gloom! 

Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral

If you visit Hvar city, you’ll soon realize that all of its paved and cobblestone streets lead to Hvarska Pjaca, or Hvar Square – the beating heart of the city. It’s here that you’ll find one of the island’s most iconic monuments – St Stephen’s Cathedral.

Built in 1605 on the site of a church from the 9th century, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of Hvar’s most important historical buildings. Local tradesmen constructed it in the Baroque style while the interior features paintings created by Venetian artists, giving it a real depth of personality. 

Inside the Renaissance bell tower, you’ll see a 2nd-century stone relief of a Roman ship, one of the cathedral’s most intricate interior features. And in fact, the tower itself is considered to be one of Dalmatia’s most beautiful. 

Other features of the building to look out for include its 15th-century carved choir stalls and stone reliefs of saints, which you can find close to the rear of the nave in the older building, as well as a treasury. 

See the Franciscan Monastery

The 15th-century Franciscan Monastery lies in waiting at the edge of Hvar Town for all history buffs and keen travelers alike to discover its history and lovely architectural and artistic features. Built in the Renaissance style, the monastery’s cloister dominates much of the building and features a central well and rounded archways. 

There are a number of museum exhibits, paintings, and artifacts that are displayed in the monastery, such as works by Venetian artists and old coins. Arguably the most iconic feature of the monastery is its painting of the Last Supper. Critics are unsure who painted the piece but nonetheless, it continues to stun those who visit the monastery and you can’t leave without spotting it during your trip here.

Fun Things to Do in Hvar

Dubovica Beach
Pakleni Islands

If you seek an exciting outing during your Hvar itinerary, then we have some firm favorite suggestions that you might like to experience.

Have a Beach Day Out on Dubovica Beach

Often referred to as Hvar’s most beautiful beach, Dubovica lies along the southern shores of the island, about six miles east of Hvar Town. Its picturesque crescent-shaped bay offers a pebbly stretch and secluded cove where travelers can seek a bit of relaxation and respite, and an excuse to make the most of the blissful weather in Croatia. 

Framed by dazzling aquamarine waters, you’ll no doubt also be enticed to plunge into the sea during a visit here. The beach can be accessed by car, which takes about 10 minutes from Hvar Town, and then a further 10-15 minute walk must be taken to reach the beach itself, down a winding dirt path. 

Whilst it’s not the most easily accessible in comparison to other coastal locations on the island, this makes it a much more secluded and adventurous destination on the island. 

Go Island Hopping Around the Pakleni Islands

The Pakleni Archipelago is situated just off the southwest coast of Hvar and a sailing trip here provides a memorable introduction to Croatia’s isles. These emerald gems, covered with dense vegetation, are known for secluded beaches and aquamarine waters, with mesmerizing hidden coves that make for the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing dip.

The boat ride from Hvar to the archipelago takes only 10-20 minutes, making it the ideal day trip from Hvar if you’re wanting to experience what lies nearby the island. Highlights of the Pakleni islands include Palmizana Beach, one of the most famous on the archipelago, and the site of an ancient Roman spa to indulge in soothing treatments whilst surrounded by Roman ruins.

Unusual Things to Do in Hvar

Blue Cave
Lavender field, Hvar

If you’re the type of traveler that is always on the lookout for something truly unique, we took the initiative to find some of the most interesting and unusual things to do that you can experience when you visit Hvar, Croatia. 

Witness The Blue Cave

A natural sea cave lying along the rocky coast of Biševo Island, the Blue Cave can be accessed by boat tour from Hvar easily, and you won’t be disappointed by this natural sight.

See one of Mother Nature’s most magical shows here, where the sun’s rays beam through a crack in the cave roof, reflecting off the limestone sea bottom meaning the cave is illuminated in a surreal blue glow.

You’ll bob with the waves inside this crack in Hvar’s coastline and soak in its ethereal beauty. Whilst not on the island of Hvar itself, it is easily accessible by boat, which is the only way that you can experience the cave in all of its glory. When it comes to truly memorable things to do near Hvar, this experience tops the list. 

Roam Through The Lavender Fields

Whilst Hvar is famous for its beaches, nightlife, and historic landmarks predominantly, it is also world-renowned for growing some of the highest quality lavender in the world. This is due to the country’s unique climate that offers ample sunshine. 

The famous Hvar lavender fields are in full bloom in June and July every year, so anyone looking to see what this famed lavender is all about should consider visiting in the summer season in Croatia. Plan your Hvar adventure at this time of the year and take a stroll through this endless sea of purple while enjoying the aromatic scent that fills the air. 

Or better yet, visit the annual Lavender Festival in mid-July which celebrates this bountiful flower, featuring events such as workshops and demonstrations as well as the sale of various lavender products.

Things to Do in Hvar Outdoors

Vineyard, Hvar
Jelsa, Hvar

Hvar’s island landscape is home to verdant greenspace and spectacular mountainous regions, meaning there are plenty of excursions outdoors to keep you occupied, which we’ve delved into below.

Raise a Glass at a Local Winery or Vineyard

Given Hvar’s near-perfect climate, it might be no surprise to hear that the island produces delicious wines. It has a wine-making history dating back centuries, to the ancient Greeks in fact, who first realized that the island’s climate could nurture some of the best grapes, and therefore wines, in Europe. 

Now, wine enthusiasts visit Hvar to experience a more intimate, island wine scene, savoring delectable fruity and fresh wines at its vineyards which are spread across the island, of which its red varieties are the most famed. 

This is, undoubtedly, one of the top things to do in Hvar to experience the island’s viticulture, with many wineries and vineyards offering tours and tastings. Our top tip would be to visit in September amidst the harvest season – the busiest, and most exciting, time of year for these vineyards. 

Take a Day Trip to Jelsa

Jelsa is situated on Hvar island, and if you’re not already planning on spending some nights in this laid-back settlement, you should definitely consider taking a day trip from Hvar to visit it. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having been recognized for its spectacular culture and historical monuments. Not only this, but the town is home to breathtaking beaches, some of the best wineries in the region, and a relaxed atmosphere that makes it more than worthy of a visit by all. 

It’s growing in popularity amongst those visiting Hvar and can be easily accessed by car or by bus from other areas of the island. 

A highlight of a day trip to Jelsa includes relaxing in St. Luke’s Bay – a pleasant pebbled beach that offers a relaxing atmosphere and turquoise waters bordered by Mediterranean pines. Jelsa’s picturesque public garden of Perivoj is equally beautiful, offering a lovely green space in the town bursting with colorful plants and the sweet aroma of native flora.

Cheap Things to Do in Hvar

Hvar old town, Hvar
Spanjola fort

If you’re looking for things to do in Hvar to make your money stretch further, there are plenty of cheap things to do on the island and even a few that won’t cost you a cent.

Explore Hvar Town

Hvar Town is the island’s beating heart. The capital of Hvar, it is one of its most cosmopolitan destinations on the island, brimming with gorgeous Venetian architecture as well as boutique shops, traditional restaurants, and visit-worthy cultural and historic attractions. 

Hvar Old Town is one of the settlement’s most glorious areas. Set beside its main square, you’ll find stone streets forming a maze of tan and white alleyways where wooden tables seat locals socializing. Soaking in the atmosphere of this historic destination is one of the best free things that you can do on the island to truly connect with its culture and the Croatian way of life. 

Savour The Views From Spanjola Fortress 

The island’s Venetian fort, Spanjola, sits on a 328-foot-high hill in Hvar Town. It is one of the must-see sights on the island of Hvar given its striking vantage point with views of the surrounding mountains, the town itself, as well as the port of Hvar.  

Some choose to reach the fort by car, but many venture to it by foot. Whilst reaching the fort requires an uphill climb, this is quite gentle and is well worth the effort as you venture through scenic parts of the town and its surrounding area. Once you’ve reached the fortress, you’ll see a tower, circular bastions, and walls with battlements as well as a stunning panoramic view of the pretty harbor, the sparkling Adriatic, and nearby islands. 

Entry fees are relatively inexpensive, particularly when considering the exceptional views you’ll experience whilst you’re here.

Summary

From ambling through historic old towns to visiting picture-perfect beaches and savoring delectable glasses of wine, it’s no wonder Hvar Island is one of Croatia’s favorite vacation destinations. And with such a diverse variety of things to do, you won’t be short of experiencing every aspect that the island has to offer on your next Hvar adventure. 

If you’re planning a trip to Hvar, why not consider our ‘Discover Croatia Cruise and Land Tour’? During this itinerary, you can experience the beauty of Hvar and other neighboring Croatian island gems too, as well as highlights of its mainland. 

If you need expert advice in planning your perfect Hvar adventure, you can contact our team of experts now.

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