15 things to Do on a Day Trip to Hvar, Croatia

Hvar Town in Hvar Croatia

Hvar is an island situated off Croatia‘s southern coast in the Adriatic Sea. It belongs to the Croatian region of Dalmatia and is known for its historical significance, featuring towns and architecture that trace back to the 13th century. Apart from its rich history, Hvar offers visitors serene beaches, vineyards, and hidden caves.

Many people choose to spend a few days on the island due to its natural beauty and abundance of things to do and explore. However, it is also possible to have a satisfying experience by visiting Hvar for a day trip. During my own trip to Croatia, I stayed in Split and booked a day trip to Hvar. It turned out to be a fantastic experience, and I’m here to share some recommended activities and travel tips for those who are interested in doing the same.

How to Get to Hvar, Croatia from Split, Croatia

The nearest airport to Hvar Island is located in Split, Croatia. Most visitors typically start their journey in Split and then travel to or from Hvar.

The most convenient way to reach Hvar from Split is by ferry or catamaran. You have several options to choose from when traveling between Split and Hvar, including both private and public boats.

The recommended ferry option is the  Jadrolinija Ferry. They offer frequent transfers at a reasonable price. The ferries are spacious, clean, and comfortable. If you decide to take the Jadrolinija Ferry, I suggest purchasing your tickets in advance and arriving at the Split marina at least two hours before the scheduled departure time. The marina in Split is quite large, with many transportation companies operating there. Arriving early will give you enough time to locate the correct dock.

The Best Way to Explore Hvar in One Day

rental scooters that are useful for a day trip to hvar croatia

The best way to explore Hvar is by renting a car, scooter, or ATV. Hvar is a large island with sites spread out across it. While there is public transportation available, having your own mode of transportation will provide you with greater freedom to explore without any time restrictions. This is especially beneficial if you plan to visit Hvar for a day trip.

There are numerous rental companies scattered throughout the island. The rental prices are reasonable, and you can find some exciting vehicles to choose from, such as a Volkswagen Beetle or an old Fiat. During our trip, our group rented a convertible and an ATV. It was incredibly enjoyable to explore the island at our own pace using our rentals.

Things to Do & See on a Day Trip to Hvar

hvar croatia view from above

The island of Hvar offers a multitude of activities and attractions. If you’re planning to visit Hvar for just one day, here are my recommended things to do and see. Later in this post, you’ll find additional activity suggestions that you can easily incorporate into your itinerary if you wish to add more. 

#1: Visit Hvar Town:

Hvar Town serves as the bustling hub of the island and is a place you’re likely to encounter during your visit. It’s the busiest section of the island, with boats, ferries, and other vessels docking here. Hvar Town offers a wide variety of excellent restaurants, bars, and accommodation options. Moreover, the town is adorned with beautiful streets that invite leisurely walks, allowing you to admire the medieval architecture of the buildings.

#2: Go to Stari Grad:

Stari Grad, which translates to “old town” in Croatian, holds the distinction of being one of the oldest towns in Croatia and one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is situated on the northern side of Hvar Island. Exploring the streets of Stari Grad allows visitors to soak in its charming atmosphere. If you have the time, it’s worth exploring the many shops and restaurants in this small village.

A notable attraction in Stari Grad is the Sveti Stjepan (St. Stephen) square, located in front of the Sveti Stjepan Church. Built in 1605, the church still retains its original architecture. Dusk is said to be the best time to visit the square, as the setting sun’s light beautifully illuminates the church.

Another noteworthy stop in Stari Grad is the Stari Grad Museum. This local museum showcases artifacts from Stari Grad’s rich history, spanning from 384 BC to the present day.

#3: Explore the Secluded Beaches:

Hvar Island boasts a multitude of stunning beaches. Among the most popular ones are Dubovica, Lučišće, Milna, Zaraće, Jagodna, and Grebiše. However, there are also hidden gems, secluded beaches waiting to be discovered. Keep in mind that these secluded beaches are often unmarked, so it’s advisable to ask a local or a tour guide for directions. In our case, my friends and I stumbled upon a beach that required us to traverse a steep cliff with a makeshift footpath.

Despite having limited time on Hvar, our group prioritized beach time over other activities because the island’s beaches are truly exceptional. Don’t hesitate to ask locals for directions to lesser-known beaches. You might just stumble upon an extraordinary hidden gem that will leave you delighted with your discovery.

#4: Tour the Hvar Vineyards:

Croatia has a strong reputation for producing excellent wines, and Hvar Island is no exception. If you have a passion for wine, I highly recommend including a vineyard visit in your itinerary. It’s an activity that can easily fill up an entire day. Even if you’re only planning a day trip to Hvar, ending your day with a vineyard visit is a fantastic choice

On Hvar Island, you’ll find vineyards with on-site restaurants that offer wine tastings lasting from one to three hours. As an added bonus, these restaurants often provide complimentary bread, cheese, and olives alongside the tasting. Among the many excellent options for wine tastings on Hvar, Tomić Winery stands out as a great choice.

#5: Visit Vrboska & Jelsa

 Vrboska, the smallest town on Hvar Island, has earned the nickname “little Venice of Croatia” due to its unique layout. This charming town is situated on a small island, surrounded by water, and connected by a series of bridges. Its medieval houses have preserved their original architecture from the 1600s, adding to the town’s allure.

Next to Vrboska lies Jelsa, and it’s highly recommended to visit both towns in succession. Jelsa is nestled between two of the island’s tallest mountains—St. Nikola Mountain and Hum Mountain. In Jelsa, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops that are worth exploring and discovering.

#6: Frolick in a Lavendar Field

One thing I discovered during my trip to Croatia is the abundance of lavender throughout the country. This aromatic plant can be found in great quantities on the Island of Hvar. Renting your own mode of transportation while visiting Hvar has a special advantage—you can pause and explore the enchanting lavender fields along the way. These fields are not only incredibly beautiful, but they also emit a delightful fragrance that fills the air. Walking through the lavender fields is a delightful and enjoyable experience.

Additional Things to do in Hvar if You're Extending Your Trip

Islands near Hvar Croatia

There is plenty to do on the Island of Hvar. It is a vibrant destination offering numerous restaurants, excellent accommodation options, distinctive and enjoyable nightlife, as well as breathtaking beaches. Many visitors choose to spend several days on the island, and some even opt for long-term stays of a month or more. If you plan to stay longer than a day, it is recommended to explore some of the additional activities listed below. Although our group couldn’t include them in our itinerary due to our limited time, I have heard that these activities are truly incredible experiences as well:

  • Take a boat to the Paklinski Islands: Many visitors to Hvar Island enjoy taking a boat trip to the Paklinski Islands, known for their crystal clear waters and picturesque lagoons. Guests have the opportunity to swim and snorkel around these stunning
    islands.

  • Spend some time in Stari Grad Plain: Stari Grad Plain is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unique landscape was shaped by Greek colonists in the 4th century B.C. and continues to be cultivated to this day.

  • Visit the Spanish Fortress: This fortress was built at the beginning of the 16th century, during Venetian rule. The fort exhibits remnants from the Middle Ages. It also offers panoramic views of the City of Hvar and the Paklinski Islands. 

  • Explore Grapčeva špilja: There are several caves on the Island of Hvar that are open for tourists to explore. Grapčeva špilja is a wonderful choice for visitors planning to spend a few days on the island, as it is regarded as one of the most significant archaeological sites in Croatia.

  • Go to the Franciscan Monastery: The museum showcases well-preserved Venetian artwork by painters Palma Junior and Francesco Santacrose, as well as Renaissance architecture. Additionally, the museum grounds boast beautiful gardens with historic cypress trees that have been flourishing since the 1700s.

  • Look at the Venetian Loggia and Clock Tower: A stunning piece of architecture located within the grounds of The Palace Hvar Hotel.

  • Visit the Surrounding Islands: In addition to the Palinksi Islands, there are a few other Islands that are accessible via quick taxi-boat from Hvar. These islands include BracJerolimPalmižana,  Zečevo, Vlaka, and Ždrilca.

  • Go Camping: There are a few sites on the Island of Hvar that allow camping. One of the most popular spots for camping on the Island is Mlaska

  • Party!: Hvar Island is not just about beautiful landscape, museums, and architecture – it also has a great party scene—both day and night. A few of the many great spots to party on the island of Hvar are Hula HulaCarpe Diem and Kiva Bar.

As you can see, there are plenty of activities to enjoy on the Island of Hvar. While it’s possible to have a satisfying day trip to Hvar, staying for more than one day will provide you with ample opportunities to explore and experience the island’s offerings.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve visited Hvar and have any additional recommendations to add to this list.

18 thoughts on “15 things to Do on a Day Trip to Hvar, Croatia”

  1. Croatia has been on my list for so long. These pictures are so beautiful and make me want to visit even more. Such a detailed and informative guide. Thank you for sharing. Pinning so I have this when I go!

  2. I love your suggestions. I’ve been to Split, but it was still cool in April , so didn’t go to Hvar. You mention so many amazing places. I would love to spend a few days on Hvar to really experience it all. The hidden beaches always entice me, add to that the wineries and little Venice. One day would be tough! I’ll pin your blog for when I get there! Thanks

  3. Croatia has been on top of my bucket list along with Portugal, for the longest time. Love discovering all those amazing places through your blog. Can’t wait to visit it myself!

  4. I dipped my toe in Croatia last year with a few days in Rovinj and cannot wait to get back to this beautiful country. Split and Hvar are high on the list! Great post with some fabulous ideas!

  5. I love the croatian Islands!
    That clear turquoise ocean is hard to find anywhere else. We never made it to Hvar though. Looks like we have to go back! :)

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