One of the many islands we visited during our Croatia trip was Hvar. Situated on the Adriatic coast it is surrounded by Brač, Vis and Korčula. Commonly also known as the Croatian Ibiza, Hvar is more than just a party island. Known to be the cultural trade centre during the Venetian empire it is surrounded by stunning scenery.
Currently, it is one of the hottest (figuratively and literally) destinations in Europe and clearly the most luxurious island in Croatia. Interestingly, Hvar is also known as the ‘Island of Lavender’.
We spent the day exploring the town, watching the sunset at Spanjola Fortress and obviously partying the night away!
What all did we cover?
Hvar Riva: The Riva itself is gorgeous with sailboats and fancy yachts on one side and the cultural city centre on the other. Lined with many cafes and restaurants, it is the perfect place to grab a quick bite or sip a coffee and just relax!
St. Stephens Cathedral and Square: The biggest and oldest square in Dalmatia- it is the focal point of the town. Right next to the Hvar harbour, it is surrounded by the town’s historical attractions (Arsenal on one side and an old palace (now a restaurant) on the other). At the backdrop of the square, lies the St. Stephens Cathedral with its 4 story bell tower. We randomly walked around the square and entered into multiple alleys lined with beautiful Venetian architecture and colourful flowers.
Franciscan Monastery and Museum: Located on a little cove along the sea, a short walk from the Riva, is this 15-century monastery. The monastery itself is remarkable with stone walls, courtyard, and a church. The walk along the sea and the shady cove make it worth it.
Spanjola Fortress: This is the hilltop fortress that overlooks Hvar town and the Pakleni Islands. It is a must-see while you’re in Hvar, as the views from the fortress are out of the world. The hike up is around 20 mins and perfect to burn up the extra holiday calories.
Beaches: While Hvar has its share of beaches – we recommend (for beach lovers) a quick boat ride to the Pakleni Islands for some gorgeous unexplored beaches.
Where to party?
- Carpe Diem – is a Hvar classic and mother of the clubs. This place is always full. Post-midnight, one can take the boat to the nearby islands for an all-night beach party.
- Kiva – A super cool happening place in an alley, just off the Riva.
- Hula-Hula – Another great beach club known for its sunsets and sundowner cocktails.
Where we stayed?
Since we just had a day, we decided to stay on the Riva. We booked Riva Yacht Harbour Hotel. This was our most expensive hotel in Croatia, but the views from the balcony and room were totally worth it.
The hotel is well done, neat & clean but the rooms are small. There isn’t much room to move around. We also had a balcony which was very nice to enjoy the complimentary wines and the sunset!
How to reach?
We took a Jadrolinija ferry from Split to Hvar. Recommended booking in advance, if you travelling in peak season.
Where to eat?
- Vita Health Food & Bar – Right at the waterfront, we enjoyed our breakfast while taking in the views. They have the best smoothies and coffee.
- Nemo Fast Food – Quick takeaway lunch where we had yummy pizza slices.
- Spice Asian Food – We were craving for some spicy food now and decide to head here as soon as we saw the name. We had Thai food with some local wines (Now that I think of it – weird combination right 😉 )
Signing off with some more pictures on this stunning island!