Hvar is Croatia’s response to Greece’s Santorini & Mykonos, and to the French riviera. It is a super fun destination, which is best experienced during the weekends, which livens up, as the streets bustle with the upbeat energized crowd.
Hvar is expensive! No doubt about that- so planning in advance (also as decent hotels/ apartments run out pretty quick) and agreeing to pre-game before hitting the club are bare essentials.
Stay close to St. Stephen’s square, if you intend to hit the streets late into the night, as no public transportation is available on this little island (no baywatch squad either 😉 ) and the last thing you want to do is to drag yourself uphill to your bed.
St Stephen’s square is the main square of Hvar which is the first sight that welcomes you as you deboard to Hvar. The usual suspects, the St. Stephen Cathedral and a tower bell (no prizes for guessing) fill this square. One of the striking things about Hvar is its architecture,bearing a close resemblance to Venetian buildings , for obvious reasons, as Hvar played an important outpost for the Venetian Republic during the earlier centuries.
A massive fortress is visible from anywhere around Hvar. It is said to be an easy-moderate 20-30 minute hike from town, with promising views.
But as I had condensed all my energies into being lazy, which had overtaken my usual FOMO issues, I skipped the hike and instead did the below mentioned three MUST-DO’s in Hvar:
1) Party hard
2) Go Sailing and then Party hard, and ofcourse
3) Sun bathe and then Party hard.
Being a compulsive obsessive traveler, I ticked all these boxes and how!
Where to Party in Hvar??
The answer is EVERYWHERE and at
- Carpe Diem, a fantastic cocktail bar at the harbour
- Carpe Diem Beach bar on Stipanska Island. They get you on a boat and transfer you to the island. The party at the island only starts post midnight!
- Pink champagne, most upscale of the lot.
- Nautica: Great music with flair bartending.
- Hula Hula beach bar– set up with tables on the dock
- Sidro- No frills attached bar where you get the famous military shot. The ritual is that the bartender makes you wear a military helmet, blows out the whistle and then, as you drink the shot, he slams the glass onto the helmet, followed by a fire extinguisher and then a keg. Can’t complain of a hangover after that for sure!! Phew!
Another really fun way to experience Hvar is to rent a yacht/ boat and to visit the neighboring islands, which are plenty in type. Some of the famous ones are the green grotto, the blue grotto and the Pakleni Islands. Having seen the grottos in Italy, we chose to go to Pakleni islands.
The Palmizana islands in Pakleni offers secluded beaches, sun kissed cafes and deserted coves. As we docked our boat at the marina, the aromatic scent of herbs and lavender rejuvenated us. Palmizana boasts of some gorgeous white villas in a perfect contrast to the turquoise blue waters that sparkles in the beaming sun. After relishing a delish meal in one such cafe, we proceeded to take the mandatory dip in the pebble beach. All in all a relaxing day!
Food in Hvar is quite commercial and therefore expensive. But one of the notable restaurants that I particularly liked was Mizarola, which is an all woman run fare and had excellent food. The Cevape, Cedevita vitamin drink, Rocket and ham pizza, the tagliatella with shrimp and the Pasticada were all amazing. I would definitely go back to this lovely restaurant, set up in an atmospheric neighborhood.
Mlinar had decent breakfast options for pick up croissant and coffee.
Hvar is a bright, high energy mecca which dances to the tunes of tourists that fill its lap in the summer. It is a perfect blend of a party-haven and also a slumber-jack and has something to offer for one and all. Must go on your travel list!
Tip: One should pre-book the ferry tickets to Hvar from Split as they usually sell out closer to dates.
Also, we missed the beautiful ‘Must-do’ Old Road drive from Hvar to Stari Grad, which is a stunning 25 Km drive that passes through abandoned stone villages and islands panoramic view points and lavender fields. Do send us a postcard from here 🙂