Hvar is Croatia’s most fashionable island destination. Located in Central Dalamatia, it is much-loved by sailing crews, who moor up in Hvar Town or Stari Grad on warm summer evenings. In Hvar Town, you must see the main square, rimmed with cafes and restaurants, and overlooked by the Renaissance cathedral. Afterwards, walk up to the Venetian-era hilltop fortress, for stunning views down onto the fishing harbor. Likewise, Stari Grad is a romantic huddle of old stone buildings, and home to some excellent Dalmatian seafood restaurants. Sitting at the end of a long bay, Stari Grad has offered shelter to passing boats for two millenia.
Hvar: Things to see
- Hvar Town. Stroll through the romantic narrow stone alleys of the old town. Check out the 17th-century Theater above the Arsenal and the lovely Franciscan Monastery. If you plan to eat out, reserve a table in advance.
- Pakleni islets. The Pakleni archipelago lies immediately west of Hvar Town. Consisting of 16 uninhabited pine-scented islets, it offer sheltered bays and pebble coves, some with seasonal eateries and beach bars.
- Stari Grad. Be sure to visit the Tvrdalj, a 15th-century Renaissance summer residence, open to the public.
- Lavender Fields. Hvar is renowned for for its fragrant purple lavender fields. The lavender is at its best in May-June. The flowers are harvested each year in early-June to make lavender oil.
Hvar: Things to do
- Scuba diving. Try scuba diving witth Aqualis Diving Center, based in Hvar Town.
- Wine tasting. Call at Bastijana in Jelsa to sample Andro Tomic’s excellent red and white wines.
- Dining. Feast on traditional Dalmatian seafood at Macondo in Hvar Town; experience Creative Medieterrenan cuisine at Toto’s on the Pakleni islets; and taste local specialties at Kod Damira or Jurin Podrum in Stari Grad.
- Running. Take part in the Hvar Half Marathon, held each year in June. This hilly course runs from from Stari Grad to Hvar Town.
- Swimming. Take part in the Faros Marathon, held each year in August. Participants swim the length of Stari Grad bay and back, totalling 10 miles.
ACI Marina Palmižana. Palmižana Marina, on the island of Sveti Klement (Pakleni islands) lies just 2.4 nautical miles from Hvar Town. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, laundry, hair salon, grocery store, bathrooms, playground, ATM, and restaurant.
ACI Marina Vrboska: Vrboska lies on Hvar’s north coast, close to Jelsa. The marina is located at the end of a deep narrow bay, affording good protection from all winds. Facilities include bathrooms, ATM, car hire, bike hire, laundry, and free Wi-Fi. There are several restaurants nearby.