Last Updated on 13th January 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Lavish and entertaining, Hvar island is a fantastic summer destination in Europe located off the coast of Croatia. In this article, I present you with how to spend the perfect 3 days in Hvar, packed with entertainment, cultural visits, gastronomic pleasures, and beach delight. Are you ready? Let’s go!
A favourite spot for a short trip from Split or Dubrovnik, it’s a good idea to spend three days in Hvar to learn why both locals and foreigners love the place for a fun, seaside vacation. Language tip – How to pronounce Hvar, just forget all about the “h” and simply call it “var”, as locals do!
Croatia is a beautiful country which borders alongside the Adriatic Sea. A European country, Croatia is best-known for its beautiful scenery, its major cities of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Havar, and for its rich history. For more inspiration, check out our guides for spending 3 days in Dubrovnik, one day in Zagreb, 3 days in Split and how to spend one week in Croatia.
When is the best time to visit Hvar?
Considered one of the sunniest islands in the Mediterranean, Hvar is a fantastic Dalmatian island on the Adriatic. This is the quintessential summer place to visit in Croatia, with temperatures raising especially in July and August.
With stunning beaches, water sports, and dozens of beach parties, Hvar welcomes couples and young visitors interested in all the fun opportunities that Hvar has to offer.
Winters are often mild and the island also receives tourists during the cold season, however, even when the temperatures are mild, it can sometimes rain and it might also be a little too chilly to swim, especially when it’s windy.
How to get to Hvar in Croatia
There are flights to Croatia from all over Europe, if your plans include spending time in Hvar, then consider flights into Split and Zadar, the two cities that are closer to Hvar. If you land in Dubrovnik, you will need to travel at least 230 kilometres to get to Hvar.
You can travel to the area by bus as well. It is possible to take a bus to Split and from its ferry port, get a ferry to Hvar. If train travel is your favourite way to move around, then you can go from Zadar, Zagreb, or Dubrovnik to Split and then connect to Hvar from there.
How to move around in Hvar
You won’t have any problem moving from one point to the other on the island. It is possible to rent a car and move around freely, without bothering with bus schedules.
There are ferries that transport cars from mainland Croatia to Hvar for a small extra fee.
Since the spots for vehicles on the boat are limited, booking in advance is always the best thing to do. Alternatively, you can also choose to rent a car (or a motorbike) on the island, but prices might be higher, check in advance.
If you prefer to use public transport to move around, you’ll be happy to learn that, although not too extensive, the public bus network is cheap and reliable, and there are buses to visit virtually every corner of the island.
Taxis and private transfers are also available, remember to agree on the price before jumping into the car. As of 2023, the currency used in Croatia is the euro (€).
Where to stay in Hvar
There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation, keep in mind, though, that Hvar is considered quite an exclusive vacation spot in Croatia, so fees are, in general, on the pricey side.
Booking your hotel well in advance will be key to finding affordable prices, and to save even more, you might even want to consider renting a house or an apartment. There is a wide offer of short-term rental properties to consider on the island. These are some of my favourite places where to stay in Hvar, take a look:
Budget places to stay in Hvar
Heritage Hotel Park Hvar is an affordable 4-star property with stunning views and in a convenient location. The hotel offers a garden, terrace, restaurant, and bar, as well as a hot tub and a nightclub. Check prices and availability here.
Maki Exclusive Apartments offers self-catered accommodation in Hvar only 200 meters from the beach. Units include a furnished garden or terrace and air conditioning. Check prices and availability here.
Mid-range places to stay in Hvar
Villa Kamen in Hvar old town is a wonderful home that comes with all the comforts and services of a hotel. This ample apartment offers a place to stay for families or large groups only 500 metres from the beach. Check prices and availability here.
Villa Nora Hvar is set inside a fantastic fourteenth-century palace fully refurbished in the heart of Hvar. It offers spacious rooms with air conditioning, a minibar, and satellite TV. The place also features an on-site restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. The beach is only 150 metres away.
Luxury places to stay in Hvar
Holistic Well-being Villa Hvar is a two-bedroom villa with a garden, featuring a shared lounge, and a terrace. On-site there is also free private parking and a shared kitchen. Check prices and availability here.
Dolce Terra is a spectacular stone villa with mountain views, an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a terrace. There are also barbecue facilities and free private parking. Check prices and availability here.
Three Days in Hvar: Best things to see and do on the island
Considered a lavish, quite posh vacation spot in Europe, this Mediterranean destination is home to a fantastic cultural heritage, fantastic climate, tons of activities in nature, and some incredible beaches. And the best part? You can make the most of it in just three days!
Day One in Hvar
Start by exploring different monuments in Hvar Town, the main settlement on the island. One of the must-see attractions is the Franciscan Monastery which also houses an important museum exhibiting some fantastic art pieces, as well as ancient coins and an interesting 1524 edition of Ptolemy’s Atlas.
If imposing buildings interest you, do not miss a visit to Hvar’s Renaissance Theater to admire the exquisite architecture of the building and the superb frescoes dating back to the first decades of the 1600s.
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral was originally built back in the thirteenth century and then reconstructed over the next centuries after being destroyed during the Turkish occupation of the region.
Around the main square area, take a long stroll along the winding cobblestoned alleys where there are dozens of shops and restaurants. This is one of the most picturesque parts of Hvar Town and a place that you don’t want to skip.
Right after, and if you’re in the mood for a short, panoramic walk, climb the mild hill to reach Fortica, a Venetian fortress built back in the sixteenth century offering stunning views of the sea, the city, and surrounding islands on the Adriatic.
On the hilltop, there is also a small café, perfect for a midday snack before heading down to spend the afternoon at the beach.
There are dozens of impressive beaches to discover on Hvar Island, on your first day, it is a good idea to hit one of the most visited shores, Pokonji Dol Beach.
You can easily get there by car or with a short and pleasant stroll from Hvar Town. The beach features a wonderful clear sea, with deep blue waters, as well as small white pebbles.
In the area, you will find many snack bars and restaurants so you won’t need to worry about packing a lunch or cold drinks to spend the afternoon over here.
An alternative shore is Sveta Nedheljia, where you will find a good selection of beaches. The area is a bit more than 10 kilometres from Hvar Town, and most beaches are well-organised. Along this coast, you can find restaurants and bars for cold drinks and snacks. If you are not really a beach person, then you could instead use this time to do this lavender tour.
How about a beach party atmosphere to end your first day in Hvar? For good music, creative cocktails, and tons of fun, check out one of the most popular spots on the island, Hula Hula Beach Bar, where you can hit the beach dance floor from sunset to sunrise. Another option for something a little more intimate is this sunset sailing experience.
Day Two in Hvar
Croatian wine has recently reached quite a prestigious status in the Balkans. There are several vineyards and wine producers on Hvar Island and you can visit any (or many) of these venues to learn about local winemaking, Croatia’s wine history of Croatia and, of course, to taste some of the best labels.
The island is home to famous autochthonous varieties, that strive thanks to the right climate and the exceptional location of the vineyards.
If wine is your thing, I suggest touring the 150-year- old Vina Tomic, a family winery that has become one of the most famous in Croatia. You can check out their visiting hours and wines available for tasting on the official website.
They often offer two different tours of the winery and cellar with a guided tasting of 6 wines with bread and olive oil. And speaking of olive oil, did you know that Hvar has a protected olive tree considered to be the oldest on the island?
The ancient tree is thought to be more than 3000 years old and it can be visited in Zastrazisc, a small village on the eastern side of Hvar. If you want to learn more about olive oil on the island, consider booking this wine and olive oil tasting tour.
Devote part of the afternoon to one of Hvar most visited gems, the Stari Glad Plain. This is an ancient agricultural space probably created by the Ancient Greeks where, for centuries, there has been continuous cultivation of grapes and olives.
In the area, some endless olive groves and vineyards make this place one of the nicest green areas on the island, as well as an ideal spot to discover by bike or on foot.
The plain is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage for being the oldest vineyard in continuous operation in the world.
When in Hvar, you can also visit some nearby islands. If you’re not sure about what to do next, why not enjoy a boat trip to a nearby islet?
Several boats leave along the day from the port of Hvar to reach Scedro Island, a tiny islet just a few minutes from Hvar home to a beautiful natural park where to spend long hours enjoying the warm and shallow shore.
There are several small boats anchored along the coast that, for an affordable fee, can take you to explore the different bays around the island. The place is quiet as not many people visit from Hvar.
Another option is to take a guided tour to Vis Island like this one. The Vis Island boat tour will also take you to the Blue Cave and will also cruise through the Pakleni Islands archipelago. Check prices and availability here.
Day Three in Hvar
You cannot have come to Hvar and skip one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. For that reason, you should spend your last morning in Hvar lazily sunbathing on the shore of Dubovica, arguably the most popular beach in Hvar.
Located on the southern coast of the island, this famous spot is a favourite among visitors. The beach is quite atmospheric, it features crystal-clear waters and a shallow coast that you can reach after a short and pleasant hike.
In the area, you will find plenty of restaurants and beach bars, so you will only need to pack your beach towel, snorkeling gear, and abundant sunscreen.
I absolutely recommend spending the rest of the day on the beach, in fact, you can spot one of the most romantic sunsets in Hvar from this shore.
If you’re traveling with the family, instead, why not give Grebisce Beach a chance? This is a safe shore not only for children but also for those who are not so good at swimming. The place offers some stunning landscapes, so packing your photo camera is a must!
If you are more of an adventurous type, don’t miss the Neolithic Caves of Grapceva, close to a small abandoned village known as Humac that you should also see.
The caves date back to the year 5,000 BC and represent one of the oldest inhabited places in the Adriatic. The place is considered to be one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the country.
A final note…
As you can see, Hvar offers plenty of entertaining things to do, unique cultural experiences, and amazing natural spots where to experience a unique and relaxing close contact with nature. All in all, Hvar truly is a hidden gem of Croatia.
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Gabi Ancarola is a journalist and travel writer who has lived over 20 years in Italy, and has been living in Crete for the last five years. She hosts culinary tours, translates and writes for her Crete travel blog The Tiny Book. She’s written for Greek Reporter and published several travel guides about Greece.