Hvar, CROATIA – the “queen of the Dalmatian Coast” and the sunniest island in Croatia means a few thing: sailing, secluded beaches, cultural sites, wine, and nightlife! It’s just 50 minutes by ferry from Split, making it the perfect addition to your itinerary.
The US Department of State has issued a Level 4: Do not travel to Croatia due to COVID-19 and related restrictions. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
4 days / 3 night
One of the top Airbnb’s we’ve stayed in simply because of the view overlooking the harbor of Hvar Town. The house is located on the road under the fortress, just couple of minutes walking down to the main square so the location was perfect! Completely worth the 150 stairs uphill that we had to climb to everyday. Word to the wise: pack light in Hvar (carry-on size). Hvar Town is small and walkable, but full of elevation changes and stairs. We left our bigger checked bags in Split with a luggage storage company.
Obvious choice…rent a boat! We booked a private, full day of sailing the Pakleni Islands with Hvar Adventure. You must book in advance, but the office is steps away from the meeting point if you have any questions ahead of time. Address: Jurja Matijevića 20, Hvar, 21450, Hvar, Croatia
We stopped for lunch at Toto’s, but if you want more time on the boat you can bring snacks onboard. They crew did supply local white wine, beer, crackers, and cookies.
Visit Stari Grad (Old Town)- you can easily rent an ATV near the “Dolac” or farmer’s market just past the cathedral. It was a great way to explore the rest of the island and find some off the beaten path beaches. Stari Grad is one of the oldest towns in Europe and it certainly felt that way…very quiet and visibly old.
**Antika was an exceptional choice for lunch in with fresh focaccia bread with olives, pawns, mussels, and local wine. We were lucky enough to arrive early to grab a table when they opened. They don’t seem to have a website but the address is Ul. Duolnjo Kola 34, 21460, Stari Grad, Croatia. Albatros is also highly rated close by.
Explore secluded beaches only accessible by boat or foot – Mlini Beach is a local favorite and it quickly became ours too! The water is more shallow so we saw the more families with small children at this beach, but overall still very peaceful and relaxing. Mamato Bar had a great charcuterie board – would recommend for lunch or late snack while you wait for the water taxi return.
Jerolim Beach – there is a water taxi will stop at both Jerolim and Carpe Diem, making island hopping easy. To our surprise, Jerolim is traditionally famous for it’s nude area which is ironic because it was the rockiest beach we found.
Carpe Diem Beach is known for the beach club and nightlife. Great cocktails and even better people watching!
Dubovica Beach – pebble beach that we accessed on foot during our ATV adventure. There’s a steep rocky path that will lead you down to the beach from the road.
Fortica /Fortress – sadly we missed out on this medieval fortress because we spent majority of our time out to sea, but it would be well worth the trek uphill for the view.
Look for the word “Konoba” when searching for restaurants in the South of Croatia. The word “Konoba” in Dalmatia means the room in the house where food was prepared and stored. Essentially I equate them to homemade, family run restaurants. The word is a good indicator that you’ll find local dishes made from the soil and sea. Therefore the menu is subject to change based on what the fisherman was able to catch that day.
**You’ll want to make dinner reservations in advance to most places.**
Black Pepper – our favorite dinner in Hvar! The menu changes often because they source their meat and fish from local farmers and fishermen. Plus it’s vegetarian friendly! Look for Tomic wines on the menu for the most well known vineyard in Hvar.
Kod Kapetana – good lunch spot next to the harbor. Delicious anchovies (when in Rome, right?) and meat/cheese boards.
Park Restaurant – fine dining with a lovely elevated outdoor area.
Dalmatino Hvar – fish and steak house. Reservations required.
Kantun: Healthy Snacks And Drinks – fresh squeezed juice, wellness shots, smoothies and espresso! Cash only. Across from Hvar Adventure office.
Pizza Recommendations: Restaurant Mizarola (with a rooftop view) and La Bocca (plaza view/people watching).
Caffe Bar Sidro (best music!), Kiva Bar (bucket drinks, college vibe), Adriana Rooftop Bar (cocktails), Wine Bar Pršuta 3, Teraca Bar (great view of harbor and fortress), Ka’lavanda (gay friendly, good vibe/expensive cocktails), and Lola Bar.
You’ll spend majority of your time at sea or relaxing on a beach, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to shop. Art N, is a nice clothing store that specializes in high quality fabrics like silk, located next door to Hvar Adventure. Adry Jewels was my go-to for gifts for my friends and family back home, located among the other stands near Central Park Club. They have the cutest Hamsa necklaces and bracelets.
Croatia has been a dream and we can’t wait to return to explore even more of the smaller islands. Headed back to Split tonight so we can start the long journey to the states tomorrow. Good night!