There’s no better way to guarantee an amazing trip to Hvar than by booking some incredible holiday accommodation in advance. An incredible island that’s perfect for your holiday getaway, whether you enjoy seaside breaks, walking holidays, or wandering through ancient architecture and beautiful vineyards. If you fancy taking a trip to Hvar for your next getaway, browse through our selection of holiday rentals on Tripadvisor or Airbnb.
Find and book the perfect apartment or villa on the Croatian island of Hvar
Visit Hvar: the most popular island in Croatia!
Hvar is one of the most visited islands in Croatia – and it's even been visited by Beyoncé, Prince Harry, and George Clooney, among countless other A-Listers. It is easy to see why it is a favourite with these celebs, as it is breathtakingly beautiful, with sandy beaches, cobbled streets, pine forests, the crystal-clear water of the Adriatic Sea, and some of the best nightlife in the Mediterranean. The sunniest spot in Croatia, with an average of 2724 hours of sunlight every year, the island is covered with purple lavender scented air, vineyards growing on sweeping hills, the shuttered Dalmatian buildings that litter the villages and more, Hvar Island is the hidden jewel in Europe's holiday crown of Croatia.
Best time to visit Hvar
The summer months (July through to the end of August/early September) are the best time to visit Hvar if you want that sun kissed Mediterranean kind of weather. This is the time you'll find the perfect weather for swimming, as well as fun-filled parties, beach activities, events and more – it is peak tourist season after all. This does mean that the summer months will come with plenty of people as it's one of Hvar's busiest seasons, so if you want to avoid the hordes of tourists then the shoulder season – May, June, September, and October – still has fantastic weather without all of the crowds.
How to get to Hvar
A remote island off the coast of Croatia, there are actually a number of ways to get there. there are flights direct to Croatia from all over the world, with most flights going straight to Split – which is the best spot if you want to travel over to Hvar, as well as Dubrovnik. For Croatia Airlines, British Airways, Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizzair, Norwegian, Jrt2, TUI, Thomas Cook Airlines, and Aer Lingus all offer two and a half hour flights to Split from the UK. Split and Dubrovnik are the two closest airports to Hvar, although Split is typically the easiest to reach. From here, travellers can either get a ferry, catamaran, or just a simple boat to reach Hvar.
If you're coming from Split, then luckily the ferry port is just a few minutes' walk from Old Town – why not book in at a hostel in Split's Old Town and explore the beautiful area before you head over to Hvar? Croatian company Jadrolinija offers ferries direct from Split to Hvar throughout the entire year, although the frequency of these ferries can alter during off seasons; during peak season, these ferries are roughly every hour, while in off season they typically only run twice a day. If you have driven over, taken a road trip through Europe, or hired a car in Split, then there is a car-ferry that runs from Split to Stari Grad, on Hvar's north coast, multiple times during the day. Additionally, there is a daily catamaran that runs between Split and Jelsa that also has a stop on Brac Island, should any travellers wish to visit some of Croatia's other stunning islands.
During the peak season, which is the summer months of June through to early September, Dubrovnik is one of the busiest and most tourist-populated cities in Croatia – so it makes sense that there are plenty of ways to get from Dubrovnik to Hvar. In fact, it's one of the main gateways to the island, with a daily catamaran in the months of May through to October that runs from Dubrovnik's port to Hvar.
Aside from cities on the mainland, Hvar can also be reached from the islands of Korcula, Brac, Lastovo, Mljet, and Vis, which is perfect if you want to island hop with a quick stay in one of the many holiday rentals on the islands.
Where to stay in Hvar
Hvar Town is the main hotspot for anyone vising Hvar Island, some of the best accommodation in Hvar, it's full of quaint bed and breakfasts, self-catered apartments, and even youth hostels to complete any form of trip. With cobbled streets, unique shops, a waterfront promenade, beautiful beaches, and historic landmarks, Hvar Town has everything you could need from a Croatain getaway – as well as being one of the best spots on the island if you're looking for an incredible nightlife.
The oldest town on Hvar Island, Stari Grad is the best place to be if you want to stay in a fantastically historic self-catered apartment. The medieval village is a charming place filled with winding, cobbled streets, pine trees, endless views of the Adriatic Sea, and the smell of lavender in the air. More than this, Stari Grad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the Stari Grad Plain where some of the best wine on the island is produced.
Jelsa is the best place to visit if you want to book cheap accommodation in Hvar. A small and beautiful town along the northern coast of the island, it's connected to Split by a ferry, and is ultimately one of the most secluded spots on Hvar. The perfect spot for those that love to be amongst nature, Jelsa is surrounded by high mountains and plenty of hiking trails.
Known as one of the coolest places to stay in Hvar, Zavala can be found along the southern coast of the island right on the harbour. For the most part, it's fairly peaceful and relaxed, although it is also home to some incredible sights and culture. With plenty of different beaches, clear blue waters to swim in, and stretches of vineyards creating amazing white wine, it's the best spot on the island if you want the traditional Croatian atmosphere without any of the tourist traps.
For the best family holiday rentals in Hvar, head to Milna, a small village near the south coast right by Hvar Town. The village itself is right in a protected cove, Milna comes with sandy beaches perfect for building sand castles, a pine forest, calm and shallow waters so even the most inexperienced swimmers can enjoy the Adriatic Sea, and a variety of restaurants where families can sample traditional Croatian food.
Things to do in Hvar
Try the local gregada
Gregada is the local dish of Hvar, consisting of fish, potatoes, onions, olive oil, and garlic all thrown together into a stew and served with homemade bread. First created during the 15th century and named after the Jakša family, who lived in the palace in Giaxa, gregada is fundamentally about using locally sourced ingredients in a creative way – and that's how it was invented.
The Franciscan Monastery is one of the highlights of Hvar Island; a walled monastery stemming from the renaissance period, with a bell-tower that can be seen throughout the entire town. Right near the harbour, the real jewel in the Monastery's crown is the number of pieces of exquisite renaissance artwork that litters the walls, created by famous artists Palma Junior and Francesco Santacroce – the most notable of which is the painting of the Last Supper. Plus, if you take a walk through the gardens you can take in the sight of an amazing cypress tree that has been on the grounds since the early 1700s.
Venetian Loggia and clock tower
An incredible example of renaissance architecture, the Venetian Loggia in Hvar's town was once a part of the governor's palace, and although it is predominately a renaissance architectural design, it has actually been on the site since as early as the 1300s. The clock tower that's there is actually a much later addition, having been installed during the 18th century – replacing one that was there a few hundred years before, but was destroyed during an Ottoman attack.
Attend one of the many day parties
The beach scene on Hvar is second to none, and it all focusses around a secluded spot called Majerovi?a just around the corner from one of the best spots to find cheap accommodation in Hvar – the Hotel Amfora. It used to be the main party spot for locals on the island, but now it's a little bit more commercialised, a little bit more touristy – but still just as much fun. Head over on a speedboat, relax on the beach, sip a piña colada, and party to some of the best beach party tunes.
Blue and Green Caves
Only accessible if you take a mini guided motorboat tour around the island, seeing the blue and green caves is well worth it. Ravnik Island is the home of Green Cave, where the sunlight hits the water in such a way that there is an ethereal emerald green glow. Blue Cave can be found along the shoreline of Bisevo Island, where a neon light is created thanks to sunlight reflecting on the sand.
Visit the deserted villages
Aside from Hvar Town, a lot of Hvar Island is pretty much deserted – but it hasn't always been that way. The 42-mile-long island is full of pine forests, lavender fields, and every so often travellers will stumble upon a deserted village or two. One of these is Humac, which welcomes visitors most evenings during the high season and guests can indulge in traditional Dalmatian food.
Another venetian piece of architecture, the Spanjola Fortress is just a short walk from Hvar Town's main square, past the Porta di Datalla. First built during the 1500s, it is the site of some old canons, historic artefacts, and even an ancient amphora that dates back to a stronghold on the spot during the Bronze Age. Plus, the fortress offers unprecedented views across Hvar Town and the Adriatic and Pakleni islands.
The main ferry port in Hvar, Stari Grad, just also happens to be one of the best spots in the city. It's here that Hvar showcases some of its best Croatian heritage; for instance, one such history of Croatian heritage talks of Petar Hektorovic, a 16th century writer who chose to fortify his home and protect some of the citizens of the city during an Ottoman invasion. To learn more about the fascinating history, visit the Stari Grad Museum, found in the Bianchini Palace which was first built in 1896, and includes a number of historic artefacts that date back hundreds of years.
St. Stephen's Cathedral
One of the most charming parts of Hvar, the St. Stephen's Cathedral is an incredible sight, with a renaissance bell tower that can be seen from all over the city, and is lit up during the evenings as the sun hits the white stones. Inside, the cathedral is full of renaissance art, with pieces by Palma Junior, Juan Boschettus, Stefano Celesti, and an unknown artist who created the iconic Madonna and Child during the 1200s.
Hands down the best beach on the island, Dubovica can be found along the south coast of Hvar and it is home to a beautifully peaceful cove complete with the classically blue Adriatic Sea. Here, the sea is so clear that it can look as though bats are hovering mid-air, and along the west side of the bay there is a small collection of stone houses set amongst the backdrop of rolling hills covered with Aleppo pines.
Hvar is beautiful, but there are so many exquisite islands around the coast of Croatia that it makes sense to take a few day trips to visit some, while using Hvar Town as your base for the best holiday accommodation in Hvar. One such island is Jerolim Island, opposite Hvar Town and completely uninhabited with only pine trees and shingle beaches. It only takes about 15 minutes to reach the island on a water taxi from Hvar.
Along the southern coast of Hvar is a tiny village known locally as Sveta Nedjelja, nestled amongst the steep slopes of St. Nicholas, the highest mountain on the island. Precariously placed, the village is home to a cave once inhabited in Neolithic times, as well as a number of vineyards that are grown along the steep slopes of the mountains. It's here that the traditional Plavac Mali grapes are grown, which specifically thrive in the dolomite and limestone soils.
Hvar is a fairly small island, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in incredible beaches. From beautiful coves where the tourists flock, to secluded, hidden gems somehow tucked away from sight - and even a nudist beach, for the really adventurous. One such beach is Malo Zarace Beach, just 30 minutes from Hvar town: crystal clear, turquoise water, a secluded beach, few tourists, no shops, restaurants, or bars - it really is a slice of paradise. Or head to Pokonji Dol Beach, a 25-minute walk from Hvar town with a part pebbly, part golden sand beach leading into the warm blue waters, and two authentic Croatian restaurants lining the coast, serving fish caught straight from the ocean.
The nightlife on Hvar Island is notorious for being incredible, and there are a number of different places travellers can go to experience it. a lot of it revolves around Hvar Town, which has gained the reputation as the town that never sleeps – the veritable NYC of the Mediterranean – especially during the peak season of June to September. For a less crowded night out, there is also Jelsa, Stari Grad, and Vrboska. One of the dominating clubs that brought the nightlife reputation to Hvar is Carpe Diem, the best cocktail bar on the island, but there is also Kiva and Veneranda, where partiers go to finish the night off and watch the beautiful sunrise.
Enjoy the incredible Hvar wine
Croatia is known for its winemaking regions that can be found all over the mainland and the accompanying islands, but Hvar is one of the best places for this thanks to the abundance of natural fields – not to mention the perfect climate. Hvar typically gets more than 2724 hours of sunshine a year, which makes it a fantastic place to grow wine, and grow wine it does. Some of the best wine in Europe comes from this tiny island, and the winemaking industry here dates all the way back to 384 BC, when the Ancient Greeks planted the first vines. A lot of the wineries can be found in Stari Grad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or amongst the steep slopes of Sveta Nedilja.