Things to do on Hvar Island – A Guide to the Island’s Best Activities

Hvar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. And it’s no wonder, as it’s an island of great natural and cultural landmarks. Although there are dozens of activities to choose from, we’ve managed to cut it down to ten most essential activities to enjoy on your holiday on this beautiful island.

Visit the Hvar Public TheaterInside the Hvar Public Theater - Orvas Yachting Croatia

Founded in 1612, it’s actually the oldest public theater in Europe and one of the most important cultural landmarks in the area. But it may not seem so when you enter the building; it’s quite small by modern standards and you won’t see the tourist crowds anywhere near it. Perhaps that’s for the better, as you’ll have peace and quiet to enjoy the fracas and the artwork on the ceiling. Be sure to read the wall panels which tell the pretty amazing history of the building and the theater itself.

Visit the Pakleni islands

Just off the island’s southwest coast lie the Pakleni Islands, an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islets (although there are some residents during the summer) known for their preserved, unspoiled nature, pine trees and great beaches. The Croatian government declared them monument of nature and forbade most of the building, and they are a popular destination for both Hvar locals and the tourists. The Pakleni have a number of pebble beaches with some basic tourist facilities. The islands are easy to reach as there are numerous excursions and taxi boats from Hvar town every day.

Fortica Fortress in Hvar, Croatia - view from the air - Orvas YachtingVisit the Fortica Fortress

The most spectacular sight of Hvar island dates from 1282, but the Fortress saw many expansions and repairs up to the 16th century, when it was uses several times do fight off the invaders such as Ottomans. It lost it strategic importance in the 19th century and the military abandoned it soon after, but nowadays it’s a monument of the island’s long history. The fortress’ walls provide an amazing view of the Adriatic panorama and the nearby Pakleni Islands, and its interior hides many rooms, dungeons, gunpowder chambers and armories where you can learn much about the everyday life of soldiers who once inhabited it.

Enjoy the nightlife

Hvar is known as a great partying destination, perhaps second only to Zrće on the island of Pag. There are several clubs and beach bars with parties going on every night in the tourist season; these often host both domestic and foreign guest DJs, have a lot of dance space, pools and lighting effects. The most popular club is the Carpe Diem, but you should also check out the Veneranda, because of its unique location (in a building which was once a monastery) in the pinewoods just off the coast.

Scuba dive

The waters around the islands are perfect for scuba diving: there are no strong currents and the Adriatic is crystal clear, so it’s no wonder scuba diving is a pretty popular activity. There are a few interesting coral reefs, shipwrecks and even an underwater cave; we guarantee you’ll have the time of your life exploring the island’s seabed. And don’t worry if you don’t have any experience; there are plenty of dive sites for beginners and a few for more advanced divers. Anyway, there are a few diving centers, most notably the Viking Diving Center or the Nautica, so check out their websites (or visit their offices in Hvar Town) for prices and details.

Glasses of wine and beautiful view on Hvar - Orvas Yachting CroatiaGet acquainted with the local wines

The island actually has a strong winemaking tradition and its interior is largely covered with vineyards. There is a significant number of family-owned wineries which produce local delicacies such as Plavac Mali (a rich red wine) and Bogdanjuša (a light white wine). Unfortunately, Hvars winemaking tradition has been somewhat overlooked by the rest of Europe, but a few years ago that started to change as Hvar wine had started to sell in Western Europe. There are even several organized wine tasting tours which will take you deep in the island’s interior where the grapes are grown, and are great fun.

Try the cuisine

To get a true local cuisine experience, find a “konoba”. It’s a traditional Dalmatian tavern which usually serves, you’ve guessed it, Dalmatian delicacies. The local cuisine revolves a lot around seafood, so be sure to try the octopus salad, or the “škampi na buzaru” (which are shrimps prepared with some tomato, garlic, parsley and white wine) and the black risotto, with its cuttlefish ink. There are plenty of konobas on the island, so finding one shouldn’t be a problem, especially in the streets of Hvar Old Town between the St. Stephen’s square and the fortress.

Walking the main Hvar square - Orvas Yachting CroatiaExplore the St. Stephen square

The focal point of Hvar Town is located just next to the harbor. Dotted with cafes, shops, and restaurants, it’s the place where tourists start their exploration of the town. Its white-stone architecture and cobblestoned ground give out a relaxing, Mediterranean vibe, so it’s a perfect place for an evening walk. The streets will most likely be filled with music, dance and street vendors selling souvenirs. Be sure to visit the Cathedral of St. Stephen as well, as it’s one of the island symbols and an interesting amalgam of Renaissance, manneristic and Baroque architecture.

Enjoy the watersports

There are plenty of opportunities for engaging in various watersports on Hvar: jet skiing, wakeboarding, banana rides, tube rides, water skiing and sea kayaking (there are even kayaking trips to Pakleni and back which are especially cool), just to mention a few. It will really kick up your adrenaline! Of course, there are various jet ski or motor boat rentals available.

Go hiking

There are plenty gravel roads and hiking paths on the island; these were once the only roads connecting the south and the north of the island. The paths will lead you through lavender fields, olive trees, fruit orchards and vineyards, as well as the island’s villages and settlements, some of which are abandoned nowadays. You can even hike to the highest point of the island, the peak of St. Nicholas (at 628 meters), from where you can see the neighboring islands.

Related Articles & News

Guide to the Island of Brač
Brač is among the most popular islands in Croatia, visited by thousands of tourists every summer. Its proximity to Split proved to be a great advantage, as many tourists who come to Split often visit...
12 Apr, 2019
Hvar Croatia: 9 Things to Know Before Going on a Sailboat Cruising (Expert Tips)
Are you fans of a solid berth within picturesque towns, anchoring in dreamy turquoise lagoons or you desire a quiet and carefree night spent in a magical bay with your boat tied to a buoy while right...
09 Jan, 2020
Heritage Sites in Croatia and Why You Should Visit Each One
Croatia has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, which is quite a large number for a country of its size. Ranging from natural beauties to architectural wonders, these sites represent the pantheon of...
29 Mar, 2016

By continuing to browse or by clicking “Accept” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Cookie policy | Privacy Policy

Privacy Preference Center

Your Privacy appreciates your interest in its products and your visit to this website and respects the privacy and the integrity of any information that you provide us as a user of this Site. The protection of your privacy in the processing of your personal data is an important concern to which we pay special attention during our business processes.

Privacy Policy

Personal data collected during visits to our websites are processed by us according to the legal provisions valid for the countries in which the websites are maintained. Our data protection policy is also based on the data protection policy applicable to

Cookie Policy

Required uses cookies and similar technologies, such as HTML5 web storage and local shared objects (all referred to as ‘cookies’ below), to record the preferences of users and optimize the design of its websites. They make navigation easier and increase the user-friendliness of a website.

Essential cookies

These cookies are essential for websites and their features to work properly. Without these cookies, services such as the boat search may be disabled.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies collect information about how you use websites. Performance cookies help us, for example, to identify especially popular areas of our website. In this way, we can adapt the content of our websites more specifically to your needs and thereby improve what we offer you. These cookies do not collect personal data. Further details on how the information is collected and analyzed can be found in the section ‘Analysis of usage data’.

Cookies used

Third-party cookies

These cookies are installed by third parties, e.g. social networks. Their main purpose is to integrate social media content on our site, such as social plugins.

Cookies used