Hvar: Croatia – a guide to the sunny island

The island of Hvar is the longest and sunniest on the Adriatic. You can enjoy the sun here for 2,720 hours or 350 days, and a colorful vacation complements the pleasant aroma of lavender and bizarre forms of medieval architecture. Tourists are attracted by the mild climate of the island and beautiful subtropical nature. The metropolitan life of the island in the city of the same name never ceases. The best time to travel is the first half of June. At this time, lavender fields bloom here, a pink oleander will bloom, the weather has a comfortable rest and prices are not as high as in the tourist season.

Hvar Island

Photo: Hvar, Croatia.
Today, Hvar in Croatia is rightfully included in the list of the best places to stay on the Adriatic coast.

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general information

Hvar is an island in the Adriatic Sea and in southern Croatia. Its area is 300 sq. Km, length – 68 m, while the length of the coastline is more than 250 km. The name of the island means “lighthouse” and comes from the Greek word “faros”.

Map of Hvar Island

Good to know! The nearest airport to the island of Hvar is 60 km in the city of Split. To get to the resort you need a water taxi or a catamaran.

The largest settlements:

Yelsa, Croatia
  • Hvar is the capital, located in the south-west of the island, the population is slightly more than 4 thousand people;
  • Stari Grad, population of about 3 thousand people;
  • Yelsa, a population of approximately 3,700 inhabitants.

With neighboring islands and cities on the mainland, the island is connected by sea channels.

The main source of income for the local population is tourism, there are also many fishermen on the island, many vineyards and lavender growing.

Historical reference
City of Stari Grad
Stari Grad

The island of Hvar in Croatia has been inhabited by people from 3-4 millennia BC. During excavations, pottery with mural elements was discovered here, historians call this period the term “Hvar culture”.

In 385 BC Greeks settled on the island and founded the city of Faros on the territory of modern Stari Grad. Then the island came under the control of Rome, it was at this time that cities were laid, and the population increased many times.

Slavic tribes appeared on the island of Hvar in the 8th century, many tribes fought for the right to rule this part of Croatia, as a result, the Venetians, the Hungarian state and the Dubrovnik Republic ruled here. The Turks also wanted to take over the island. During the hostilities, many settlements were almost demolished to the ground, but they were quickly restored. In place of the Venetians on the island settled the Austrians, who were replaced by Napoleon’s troops. At the beginning of the 19th century, the island was attacked by the ships of the Ushakov fleet, but he soon retreated to Austria. At the end of World War I, Hvar became part of Yugoslavia and gained independence in 1990.


Hvar island houses

The island of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea is deservedly considered the most visited resort in Croatia. And not surprising, because in a small area there is everything you need to relax – historical sights, comfortable beaches, amazing nature.


The first settlements in this part of Croatia appeared 4 thousand years ago. The island managed to preserve unique architectural monuments that were erected in different eras. Here is the largest theater in Europe, built in the first half of the 17th century. It still holds theatrical performances and national, cultural events.

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Hvar

Be sure to visit the Cathedral of St. Stephen, it is located in the central part of the capital and is the most spectacular building of the Renaissance.

Walking along the central square, pay attention to the ancient well – there has always been a shortage of drinking water on the Croatian island, so the attitude of the residents towards the wells is special – respectful.

At the top of the hill is an important historical attraction – an ancient fortress that defended the island in the 18-19 centuries. Today, guests of the island must climb the hill to admire the amazing island in Croatia from the walls. The best observation deck in Hvar is equipped here.

Franciscan Monastery in Crisa Bay
Franciscan Monastery

An excursion to the Franciscan monastery located in the bay of Chris will surely become fascinating and informative. The building is notable for its spectacular architecture, and inside there is a museum with an interesting exposition of ancient books, paintings and coins created by local craftsmen.

On a note! The nature and architecture of the island are conducive to long, leisurely walks. Here you can spend hours enjoying the beauties of the island, touching the grandeur of antiquity.

Interesting architectural sights:

Tvrdal Castle
Tvrdalj castle
  • Paladini Palace;
  • Hektorovic Castle;
  • town hall;
  • Arsenal;
  • Tvrdal castle.

Be sure to visit one of the oldest cities in Europe – Stari Grad, as well as the colorful fishing town of Suchurai.

Beaches of the island of Hvar in Croatia

Most of the beaches on the island of Hvar in Croatia are pebble, therefore, walking barefoot along the coast is not too pleasant, you need to purchase rubberized shoes. You can buy them on any beach on the island. You can’t enter barefoot in the water either – there are many sea urchins and stones at the bottom.

1. Dubrovitsa

One of the most beautiful places on the island of Hvar in Croatia, has the shape of a lagoon. Located 5-7 minutes drive from Milna, in the southern part of the resort. Tourists leave vehicles at the side of the road, but there is also parking. The road to the coast takes about 10 minutes, you need to go down the mountain.

Dubrovitsa Beach


  • pure azure water;
  • there is a restaurant on the shore serving delicious fish dishes;
  • nearby is the city of Stari Grad.

It has everything you need for a comfortable stay – sunbeds, umbrellas, cabins.

Good to know! From the port of Hvar, the journey takes about 25 minutes. You need to get by water taxi or catamaran.

2. Milna Beach

Milna Beach

This is the main beach of the island, which is located in the village of the same name, and consists of four lagoons surrounded by pine trees, grapes and orchards. Hvar is 4 km away. On the shore there is everything necessary for relaxation, families with children come here.

Distinctive features:

  • the water is warm, but it is dirty;
  • there are restaurants (it is better to book a table in advance);
  • You can relax not only near the coast, but also away – in a quiet place, on the rocks;
  • there are picturesque bays on the beach – there is always clean and warm water, not crowded;
  • on the shore you can rent a boat.

3. Mlini Beach

Mlini Beach

Mlini resort is known for its comfortable, picturesque beaches. It is located near Dubrovnik, in the Zupa Bay. Nearby there is a hill covered with pine forest. The coast is covered with small pebbles. There is a large diving center on the beach where you can book an excursion to the seabed. Ancient wrecks and picturesque reefs have been preserved here. As a rule, there are no problems with the settlement, as there are many hotels on the shore. You can engage in various sports.

Hvar fortress

The attraction of the island is located in the northern part of the capital – the city of Hvar. The fortress was built in the 16th century, it offers a wonderful view of the Pakleni Islands. Locals call the building – fortezza – fort.

View from the Hvar fortress

In the past, the fortress was considered the main defensive structure of the island of Hvar, it shows the coats of arms – the Venetian, as well as the sea captains of Hvar.

Note! The fortress is an ancient cultural and historical monument. This is one of the most picturesque buildings on the coast of Croatia.

Hvar fortress

The decision to build was made in the 13th century by the Venetian government. Construction work progressed slowly, the bulk of the work was completed in the middle of the 16th century. The defensive complex consists of four towers and numerous outbuildings. The fortress did an excellent job when the Turks attacked the island.

At the end of the 16th century, the fortress was destroyed as a result of a strong lightning strike. Restoration work has been going on for a century.

Good to know! In the second half of the last century, the fortress was restored and open to tourists. Today, a museum is organized in the fortress, where an exposition of ancient artifacts is presented. The entrance to the tower is 40 kunas.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral
St. Stephen's Cathedral

The attraction is located in the central square of the city of Hvar. The temple is made in the style of the Dalmatian Renaissance and consecrated in honor of St. Stephen. A religious landmark built on the site of an ancient Christian church. The cathedral acquired its modern look in the 16-17th centuries. The bell tower was built at the beginning of the 16th century; about 50 years were spent on its design. The interior design traces the Baroque style.

It is important! On the territory of the temple is a museum where a collection of church utensils, jewelry, ancient books and archival documents is presented.

The cathedral is functioning, on holidays and on weekends an organ plays here, services are held. The stairs lead to the ancient theater and visit the observation deck. The main decoration of the temple is a bell tower decorated with paintings.

Paklinski Islands
Paklinski Islands

This attraction is considered the hallmark of the island of Hvar in Croatia. It can be reached from anywhere in the island. It’s better to set aside a whole day on a trip to enjoy plenty of fun and sunbathing, as well as see a lot of interesting things.

A group of Paklinski islands are located along the coast of Dalmatia. The name translates as “Hades of the island.” In the old days, resin was cooked for ships, so the island was always shrouded in thick, black smoke. There is also a version that the name of the islands means – resin pine.

The largest island of the archipelago is St. Clement, with an area of ​​94 square meters. m. There is a beautiful sandy beach, sheltered by a pine forest and surrounded by a field of heather.

Fans of diving, spearfishing and water sports come here. You can move between the islands of the archipelago by water taxi.

Accommodation on the island of Hvar in Croatia

Hotel room at Hotel Croatia
Hotel Croatia

It offers tourists a huge selection of hotels, hotels, apartments of different price categories. Accommodation in a three-star hotel in the summer season costs from 93 to 216 euros per day. This is a double room.

You can also rent a comfortable cottage or a cozy apartment – it all depends on the number of vacationers, your personal preferences. The cost of housing depends on the location and the availability of additional services.

Camping Vira
Camping Vira Hvar

Campers are very popular among tourists. The cost of living depends on the season. The most popular campsite on the island of Hvar in Croatia is Vira Hvar. Located in a quiet bay, 4 km from the capital. There are all conditions for a comfortable stay. Camping is designed for 650 guests. On its territory there is housing with electricity and running water, a market, a restaurant, a playground, a Wi-Fi zone and a private beach. Accommodation rates:

  • from mid-July to mid-August – for adults – 60 kunas, for children over 3 years old – 33.75 kunas;
  • June and the second half of August – for adults – 52.50 kunas, for children over three years old – 30 kunas;
  • June – for adults – 45 kunas, for children over three years old – 18.75 kunas;
  • September – for adults – 37.50 kunas, for children over three years old – 15 kunas.

Children under three years stay free. All accommodation conditions and prices can be viewed on the campsite’s official website www.campingcroatiahvar.com.

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How to get to the island of Hvar

Ferry to Hvar

You can get to the island of Hvar by water – by catamaran or by ferry. Of all the cities of Croatia where there are ports, daily flights are provided. You can also use a water taxi or take a trip on a comfortable boat.

It is important! Ferry schedules depend on the time of year and day of the week. Passenger ferries arrive in the capital, the city of Hvar, and freight ferries arrive in Stari Grad.

The road takes from 1 to 1.5 hours. Tickets cost about 80 kunas for adults and 50 for children.

Car rental

Many people are interested in the question – how to get by car to the island of Hvar in Croatia, since it is most convenient to travel by personal transport. Transport can be rented directly on Hvar. If you travel by car, you need to arrive in 1.5 hours to board the ferry. Water transport leaves from Split, the port is located in the city center.

For the car you need to pay 350 kuna. You can view the ferry timetables and purchase tickets on the websites www.jadrolinija.hr and www.krilo.hr or directly at the port of the large resort city of Split .

To move around the city, you can rent a car, the cost of rental per day from 350 kunas. Tourists also rent mopeds or scooters.

There are three gas stations on the island – one in the capital and two in Jelsey.

Prices in the article are for April 2018.

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To summarize

Hvar Island is a corner of rich historical heritage, amazing nature and mild climate. Be sure to try the local wine, which in combination with the aroma of lavender intoxicates and seems incredibly tasty. Traveling to the island will be an unforgettable adventure and you will certainly want to come back here.

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