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We weren’t originally planning on spending one day in Hvar during our recent trip to Croatia for 8 days. However, due to the weather, our tour from Split was canceled so we had to shift and decide the day before to book a ferry and explore the island of Hvar.
You can even choose to stay on Hvar for a day or two as a part of your Croatia travels, but by exploring Hvar in one day you can experience much of what the island has to offer! Let’s review all about Hvar and what to do on a day trip to the Croatian island of Hvar.
About Hvar Island
The island of Hvar is located adjacent to Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast within the Adriatic Sea. Many other islands are in the vicinity such as Brac, Vis, and Bisevo.
Hvar has a reputation for being an island that parties. Stari Grad (on Hvar island) is a more chill area of the island in comparison to Hvar City. Hvar City is the area you will first arrive in once coming over via ferry.
The area of Hvar City is very walkable. If you want to get to other parts of the island there are buses available. There are many tours that will drive you around the island in small vans, more about our favorite tour in a bit!
Unlike other cities in Croatia, Hvar doesn’t have an old town area per se. But, there are many architectural structures on the island that are historic.
Hvar is most well known for its lavender fields across the island. Typically they are at peak bloom in June or July. If you’re visiting then, carve out some time to experience them. But first things first, how are you getting to Hvar for a day trip?
How to get to Hvar from Split
Since Hvar is an island you will get there either via ferry or boat. If you have a rental car on mainland Croatia, you can also take a ferry that allows cars to come over. If you’re planning on doing that, be sure to book your ferry in advance (especially during the summer months!) But ultimately you will arrive on Hvar island via water in some capacity.
The most common way to travel to the island of Hvar is by ferry. Ferry schedules and cost will vary throughout the year. Be sure to check the times and number of ferries when you plan on traveling. For example, during high season (the summer months) there are 10 high-speed ferries daily in comparison to off-season in the winter where there are only two daily ferries.
Your scheduled ferry times will structure your day on the island of Hvar.
The price for a passenger on a ferry from Split to Hvar varies. It depends on availability when you book, and also what ferry company it’s through. Some ferries are faster than others and the high-speed ferries will be more expensive for convenience.
In general, the ferry costs about 6 Euros to 20 Euros per journey. So, if you’re going there and back it can be around 40 Euros for the entire trip per person.
But where do you buy ferry tickets? You can purchase them directly from the port area there are booths selling tickets. During the summer months it’s best to have your ferry booked at least 24 hours in advance.
You can also book online on Ferry Croatia.
Another really great option is using Omio. You can compare all modes of transportation (not applicable for Split to Hvar but for other travel plans it’s really helpful!) using this tool.
How long is the ferry from Split to Hvar?
The ferry from Split is approximately one hour while you can arrive via ferry from Dubrovnik as well, it’s a bit longer of a journey at 4 hours.
If you don’t want to travel to and from Hvar via ferry, another option is taking a full day tour on a boat. (Insert sigh here) this was our original plan. There are so many boat tours leaving from Split that include many different islands, some visit the Blue Cave, the famous Blue Lagoon, Pakleni islands, and make a stop to explore Hvar as well.
In hindsight, we wouldn’t have done the amazing wine tour had we only had a limited amount of time on Hvar.
However, if you want to fit in just a sampling of all that Hvar has to offer as well as the inclusion of other Croatian islands near Split, a day tour is a great option!
Hvar one day Itinerary
Here is a possible itinerary for a day trip to Hvar:
- 9:00 am – Depart from Split on a ferry to Hvar. The ferry ride takes about 1 hour.
- 10:00 am – Arrive in Hvar Town and explore the city. Head up to the fortress to take in the views. Afterward stroll around the shops, restaurants, and cafes.
- 12:00 pm – Have lunch at one of the many restaurants in Hvar Town. The food on Hvar is delicious!
- 1:00 pm – Take a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. There are many beaches to choose from on Hvar.
- 3:00 pm – After swimming, dry off and gear up for an afternoon winery tour. (More about this later!)
- 7:00 pm – Take a ferry back to Split. The ferry ride takes about 1 hour.
This is just a suggested itinerary. You can customize it to fit your interests and time constraints. Hvar is a beautiful island with something to offer everyone, so you’re sure to have a great time no matter what you do!
If you’d rather not plan your day on Hvar, a day tour is a great option for you! There are many different options that vary in length, stops, and price.
Day tours from Split to Hvar
If you’d like the day planned for you, there are several Hvar day tours starting in Split that will bring you to Hvar to explore. When reviewing what day tours be sure to pay close attention to the specific places on the itineraries as they are vastly different. A boat tour is one of the most popular tours.
If there are specific must-do items for you, you’ll want to ensure it’s included in the tour.
When to go
When we visited Hvar in early May, some restaurants and bars hadn’t opened yet. The high season or the busy tourist season is from June to August when almost all of the restaurants are open.
When chatting with locals, they said that many restaurants and businesses that cater to hospitality and the busy tourist season will take a break prior to the busy season and sometimes after it has concluded.
There were still plenty of places that were open in early May, but just a heads up that this could happen.
You will need to plan ahead during these months as Hvar gets really busy both for hotel reservations and ferries coming over from Split.
Split to Hvar day trip: Best things to do in Hvar
You will arrive in the harbor area of Hvar. There are many restaurants and places to walk around in this area. It’s a great place for a stroll. If you’re up for a little less of a leisurely walk, head up to the fortress for some stunning views!
Tvrdava Fortress (Fortica)
Also known as Hvar Spanish Fortress looks out over Hvar city and the marina. This medieval castle was built in the 16th century and sits on top of the hill in Hvar. The impressive structure offers sweeping views of the island and out over the Adriatic Sea.
Getting to the fortress is quite easy. To the left of Kroz Grodu street, there is a long stairway leading upward. If you climb the stairway (which is picturesque in itself and worth the effort) you’ll reach the entrance to the fortress path.
Follow the fortress path all the way up and soak in the views. You can visit the fortress itself which is filled with exhibits and antiquities from the middle ages. While touring the fortress, aside from the architecture and the historic significance you will be rewarded with stunning views.
The streets of Hvar city are very picturesque. Just strolling around the winding streets is a delight, with the tall stone buildings and red-tiled roofs creating a charming atmosphere.
Walk through Hvar Square otherwise known as Hvarska Pjaca (or Square of St. Stephen). All streets in Hvar lead to this square and it is the center of the cities social life. It is flanked by the cathedral.
Have lunch or dinner
There are many amazing places to have a meal on Hvar Island. From the traditional taverns serving local specialties to the fine dining restaurants with stunning views, there is something to suit every taste and budget.
We ate at Dine & Wine Mediterraneo and would 100% have a meal there again. In addition to Dine & Wine Mediterraneo some other restaurants to enjoy a meal or drinks on the island include:
Everything about this restaurant is perfection! From the food, to the ambiance and wine list it’s the perfect spot for lunch or dinner while in Hvar.
Conveniently located on the promenade Val Marina provides something for everyone no matter what time of day it is. From breakfast, dinner to happy hour drinks in between this is a great spot to go.
Fresh seafood and a woodfire oven with many fresh dishes to choose from. This restaurant earned the award of the top rated restaurant in 2021.
A lovely wine bar with shareable charcuterie board style platters, an extensive wine list and curated craft cocktails. The perfect spot on Hvar for great sips and snacks!
A small capacity brewery that focuses on offering both their own brews and other Croatian craft beer. All beers are offered on tap (or draft) and also offering local snacks to enjoy alongside your pint.
No matter what your taste or budget, you are sure to find a great place to eat (or have drinks) on Hvar Island.
Hvar is a beautiful island in Croatia that is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. Swimming on Hvar is a truly unique experience, as the water is so clear that you can see the bottom of the ocean even when you are far out from shore.
The beaches on Hvar are also some of the most beautiful in the world, with white sand and turquoise water. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the sun and sea, Hvar is the perfect destination!
Some of the best beaches on Hvar include:
- Milna: This is a small town on the south side of Hvar that has a number of beautiful beaches, including Stipanska Bay and Dubovica Bay.
- Stari Grad: This is a historic town on the north side of Hvar that has a number of beautiful beaches and beach clubs, including Hula Hula Beach and Pokonji Dol Beach.
You are sure to find a beach on Hvar that is perfect for you to enjoy the beautiful Adriatic Sea.
Another way to hop from beach to beach or explore the coastline of Croatia is by booking an Uber boat. It’s exactly like you’re using Uber to get a car from place to place, except it’s a boat! By doing so you could even visit nearby islands! But for just a day trip to Hvar, it would be a fun experience!
However, be advised this isn’t the most cost-effective way to get out on the water, you’re more likely to have a more enjoyable experience if you booked a day tour from Split including stops on Hvar and other islands.
The lavender fields on Hvar are a sight to behold in the summer, when they are in full bloom. The best time to see them is in July or August, when the lavender is at its peak. The fields are located about 10 km (over 6 miles) from Hvar town, and the best way to see them is to take a bike ride or hike along the lavender trail.
The trail starts in Velo Grablje, a small village on Hvar, and winds its way through the lavender fields. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to walk or bike, and the views of the lavender fields are stunning.
The lavender fields are also a popular spot for photography, and many people come to Hvar each year to take pictures of the fields in bloom. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique place to visit in Croatia, the lavender fields on Hvar are definitely worth a visit.
Hvar wine tour half day
Before arriving in Croatia, I had read a bit online about the Secret Hvar tours, more specifically the wine tour on the island of Hvar. I didn’t think we’d have the time to fit it in (not on this 8 day Croatia trip anyway!) so we hadn’t planned to do a wine tour.
After our plans were cancelled one day and we decided to take a ferry over to Hvar and stopped into the visitor/tourist information center asking about Hvar wine tours or wineries and the lady working there mentioned the owner Sinisa, a lightbulb went off in my head as I remembered what I had previously seen about this tour online.
Let me tell you, it far exceeded my expectations! We were a little hesitant at first because of the cost but it was SOOO SOOO worth it! We ended up meeting him at the bus station where he drove us to two different wineries. As a local that has always inhabited the island just chatting with him was lovely.
It was such an intimate and fun experience tasting all of the wines and truly getting to talk with the owners and learn a little more about Croatian wine. It was the highlight of our one day trip to Hvar.
One of our favorite wines at Plancic, Mario informed us that they are one of the last wineries to make the type of wine (Darnekusa). There are only two wineries currently on Hvar producing this delicious wine!
It felt like it was just meant to be, as the winery was established the year both my husband and I were born and the Darnekusa wine vintage was the year we got married.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
Do I need to book a ferry from Split to Hvar in advance?
It’s not always necessary to pre-book your ferry. If you’re visiting during peak season and you have a specific ferry time you want to be on due to your plans, booking your ferry earlier rather than later is smart so it doesn’t affect your plans. In early May we booked our ferry the evening before an early AM ferry time.
Can you fly to Hvar, Croatia?
No, there isn’t an airport on the island of Hvar, Croatia. The closest airport is located on the island of Brac (BWK). But, you’ll still need to get to Hvar from Brac via boat or ferry once flying there. Another option is to fly to Split and take the ferry from Split to Hvar Island.
Does Hvar, Croatia have good nightlife?
Yes, Hvar is sometimes referred to as the “party island” because of the nightlife scene that can be found here. Despite its reputation Hvar isn’t just clubs or beach bars with many historic sites and beautiful landscape to explore. But if nightlife is what you’re looking for in a holiday you definitely can find it on Hvar!
Is Hvar worth visiting?
Yes, Hvar is definitely worth visiting even for a short time on day trips from Split or Dubrovnik. Hvar is a popular tourist destination in Croatia, known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and historic towns. Split is the second largest city in Croatia and a popular starting point for exploring the Dalmatian coast.
What is the Split to Hvar distance?
The distance from Split to Hvar (and vice versa) via the ferry is 55 km (or just over 34 miles.) When looking at a map it looks much closer but traveling there and back really doesn’t take long. The ferry journey can take from 45 minutes to an hour in length.
Do you need a car on Hvar Island?
No. It’s easy to get around the island with or without a car. The local bus connects the larger towns on the island. Once you arrive via ferry the bus station is a short walk. Having a car gives you more flexibility. But parking can be difficult to find in some areas, especially during the peak season.
As you’re planning on spending time on Hvar island, here are some additional tips for your day trip to Hvar:
- Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring sunscreen, as the sun can be very strong on Hvar Island
- Pack a swimsuit and towel, especially if you will want to spend time at the beach.
- Don’t forget your camera, as you will want to capture all the amazing views!
- Hvar is a popular tourist destination, so be prepared for crowds. (Especially in June-August!)
- The best time to visit Hvar is during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) when the weather is still warm but the crowds are smaller.
Conclusion: Day Trip to Hvar
If you’re spending time in Split (more than just one day) you definitely should spend some time on Hvar and the nearby islands. Taking a day trip to Hvar will be a highlight of your trip. Hvar has so much to offer from great food, to swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and exploring the many historical sites.
Plus there are so many local wineries you’re sure to find something to spend a fantastic day or partial day trip to Hvar worth your time while in Croatia.
For more Croatia travel inspiration and what we did in Croatia during our 8 day Croatia itinerary! Starting in Zagreb while spending a few days in the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zadar, and also Krka National Park made for an amazing vacation!