The Instagram Guide to Hvar, Croatia

Off Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast discover Hvar, an island filled with rich history and gorgeous seascapes.

hvar croatia
(Image credit: Alamy)

Editor's note: We encourage our readers to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date information on how to safely travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Step back in time on Hvar, the jewel of the Croatian Dalmatian islands. The island is surrounded by peaceful seascapes and filled with small historic cobblestone towns and vast fields of lavender. Olive trees and vineyards abound and the Adriatic Sea offers plentiful fish on its coast. 

With Hvar's well-earned reputation for being the sunniest spot in Croatia, you are nearly guaranteed great weather on your trip. To get there, first fly into either Split or Drvenik and then take a boat to the island (about an hour from Split airport). While the capital of Hvar, Hvar Town, attracts celebrities and paparazzi, outside of the historic town is a more undiscovered paradise. Below, the can't-miss spots and activities in Hvar, Croatia. 

Explore Stari Grad

The port town of Stari Grad is much more laid-back than Hvar Town, with quiet streets and charming squares. Greece established the colony of Pharos, present day Stari Grad, around 384 B.C., making it the island's oldest town. When the island was settled by Croatians, they changed the name of the island to Hvar and the village to Stari Grad. 

Stroll leisurely down the stone streets exploring the castle of Petar Hektorović, the Dominican Monastery, and the charming architecture. Some of the most historic remnants of the town are visible within small courtyards and galleries, so keep your eye out for ancient Roman mosaics and other incredible finds.

Stay at Maslina Resort  

Near Stari Grad on a scenic stretch of coast, Relais & Chateaux hotel Maslina Resort offers “mindful luxury” rooted in natural materials and serene design while showcasing the beauty of the island and Adriatic Sea. Behind its private beach, look for the resort’s organic garden, which supplies the restaurant.

Stroll Through Jesla

Another peaceful beach town in Hvar, Jesla offers an unhurried pace with winding alleys and old stone houses, as well as a promenade dotted with gelato shops. Don’t miss a tasting at Dubokovic Wine, an exceptional boutique winemaker, to discover local varietals.

Taste Renowned Olive Oil  ​​

Sample Hvar’s renowned olive oil—and regional wine, of course—with a tasting led by a local expert. Some of the oldest olive trees are grown on Hvar, like the Oblica variety that makes up the majority of olive trees on the island. Discover the different tastes and textures that the variations of olive oil offer, paired nicely with freshly baked bread.  

Unwind at Pharomatiq Spa

Find some zen at Pharomatiq Spa, which integrates herbs and essential oils from the island’s gardens into healing treatments designed for the mind and body. Try its signature sound bath or a hot stone massage to unwind and recharge. 

Eat at a Local Konoba

Konobas are small restaurants with warm, welcoming atmospheres that were traditionally cellars where families stored homemade wine, jams, cheese, olive oil, and cured meats. Some of these cellars turned into taverns, encouraging the community to dine in them. These charming restaurants, like the delicious Antika in Stari Grad, serve up a variety of Croatian fare. 

If you've fallen in love with Hvar, book a trip here

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based freelance writer who writes about travel, food, and relationships. Misuse of the word "literally" drives her figuratively insane.