Known for its epic party scene, Hvar, Croatia attracts party-goers from all over the world. Don’t get me wrong – the party atmosphere is nothing short of amazing but is such a small aspect of what the island of Hvar has to offer. Here are my must do’s to get the most out of this island paradise.
1. GO ISLAND HOPPING.
Without a doubt, check out some of the surrounding islands! There are many tours available, but you can also rent your own private boat with a skipper to show you the sights (or deliver you to a beach bar) for next to nothing. Regardless of your budget, getting a small group together and chartering your own boat is very cost efficient.
Regardless of transportation mode, be sure to check out the “Blue Cave” on island Bisevo and the “Green Cave” on the island of Vis. On the way back to Hvar, stop for some sunset drinks at the Lounge bar Laganini on the Pakleni islands.
2. ROAD-TRIP AROUND THE ISLAND.
I made the initial mistake of thinking that the port town of Hvar where the ferry from Split arrives is the only civilization on the island. Contrary to belief, the island is quite large. We decided to rent a car in Hvar town after the rental employee told us recent stories of tourist deaths caused by scooter crashes. One problem, there are so few cars on the island and all the rental cars that day were already spoken for. Make sure to book in advance!
We had a few locals offer to rent us their personal cars for a high fee, but luckily a last minute cancellation ended us up with a tiny 2 seat electric car, the only remaining vehicle on the island. We jumped on the opportunity. The electric car was only $10 more expensive than renting two scooters and had air conditioning! After exploring the island, I would 100% recommend a car over any other mode of transportation, the terrain is quite dangerous with narrow winding roads and massive cliffs.
3. SCALE THE CLIFFS TO DUBOVICA BEACH.
If you decide to tour the island, the first stop you MUST take is to Dubovica Beach. It is by far one of the most magical beaches I have been to. Park your vehicle on the side of the road, next to the huge cliffs with an insane panoramic view of the ocean. There is small trail winding its way down the cliffs to a private beach in the valley between cliffs. When we went, there were only three other people there! Be sure to bring everything you need down to the beach since the path back to the vehicle is a long way up!
4. GET A CAPPUCCINO IN JELSA.
One of the highlights of our road trip was visiting Jelsa. On the opposite end of the island as Hvar, it is a quaint village filled with friendly locals, boats, gelato shops and home to the best cappuccino I have ever had. We picked up a bunch of produce at a small fruit stand for a snack and enjoyed the village. There were very few tourists there, so it felt like we were fully immersed in the culture.
5. DRIVE THE “OLD HIGHWAY.”
The island has had brand new beautiful roads built to connect the major towns on the island with ease. Before this road was built, the old highway between Stari Grad and Hvar town was the only means of transportation. We ended the road trip on this road instead of the new highway after being told by locals that lavender was blooming along the sides of the old highway. The lavender fields were absolutely beautiful, but the whole drive was photo-worthy. The road traversed across the mountains high above the ocean, passing tiny remote villages built into the hillside and insane panoramic views