Known for its many secret coves, delicious locally produced wine and depth of ancient history, the Croatian island of Hvar is an attractive holiday destination. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the island’s glistening shores in order to soak up the sun, laze in the gentle waters of the Adriatic sea and devour the delights of local cuisine.
The old winding lanes of the main town on the island, Hvar town, offer a glimpse into the island’s history; layers of interesting architecture and a wealth of tasty food make it a great place to stay.
Map of Hvar
Hvar town has become known for its lively party scene in recent years and now attracts party goers from all over the world to dance the night away. If you are looking for a quieter pace of life during your holiday, then you can choose to stay in one of the island’s beautiful ancient towns and villages, all of which offer something unique. From waterside hotels, ancient history, all night parties and mountainous scenery, there is something for everyone on Hvar Island.
Hvar is a lively town packed full of charming Venetian architecture, with a waterfront boulevard and stunning beaches that slope into glistening waters. The town has gained itself a reputation as being a party town and is popular with lots of young holidaymakers who visit in order to let their hair down and have a good time on their holiday. If partying isn’t your thing then you spend your evenings enjoying delicious meals at one of the many restaurants in town that serve traditionally cooked fresh fish and pasta.
Many hotels in Hvar are found in large decadent, historic buildings and offer luxury stays for visitors. There are also some elegant resort hotels around the harbor which offer sea views and are close to local amenities, as well as newer developments further up the hill that offer rooms at more reasonable rates. If you want to travel to different destinations in the area, you can catch a bus to nearby towns or a ferry from the harbor to Split.
Best Places to Stay in Hvar Town
Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort – For a picturesque location, the 4-star Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort has a lot going for it: for a start, it’s got a beachfront setting. Secondly, it overlooks the scattered Paklinski Islands just offshore. Some of the more upscale rooms at this luxury offering feature balconies with sea views, but one of the best things about this place has to be its beach club featuring a restaurant and bar which dates back to 1927. Oh, but there are also five other bars and restaurants to choose from, one of which is a bar right in the middle of the pool!
Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel – This place is the stylish, convenient option you’ve been looking for. Not only are the rooms contemporary and tastefully decorated (some with their own balconies, too), but Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from Hvar Ferry Terminal, meaning Split and other Croatian towns along the coast are within easy reach. There’s also a great complimentary continental breakfast served up here every morning, plus a lovely waterfront restaurant for laid-back evenings with good food and views to match. The rooftop bar is perfect for drinks, too.
Hotel Podstine – For those who like to be close to all the action of town, but just far enough removed from it that they feel secluded, Hotel Podstine is a great choice. There are a number of bars and restaurants to try out within walking distance. But with a selection of rooms facing the turquoise seas, plus its own restaurant with a gorgeous stone terrace that also overlooks the sea, this 4-star offering is only two kilometers from the ferry terminal which makes it a great base for a spot of island hopping.
Pharos Hvar Hotel – The design-led rooms at Pharos Hvar Hotel are decidedly minimal and cool, meaning it would suit any design lover or a couple looking for Instagrammable interiors at their Hvar Island hotel. It’s also well connected, being just a kilometer away from Hvar Ferry Terminal; and as a bonus, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from a historic hillfort. The town center itself is an easy walk away, meaning plenty of choice for food and drink. But there are lots back at the hotel itself, including an outdoor pool complete with a bar.
Stari Grad is a laid back family friendly town that is one of the oldest towns in Croatia. History can be found all over the town, from the architecture to the street names, so it’s a great place to stay in Hvar if you want to learn more about the depth of history in the area. Stari Grad is also a great place to base yourself on your trip to Hvar Island: the main ferry terminal is found here which makes it easy to travel to other destinations in the area, or there are regular buses from the port that you can catch to nearby towns.
Stari Grad’s accommodation is much more reasonably priced than Hvar Town and is only a half an hour drive away. Hotels are nestled around the waterside and offer a range of facilities, or smaller apartments can be found closer to the center of the town.
Where to Stay in Stari Grad
B&B Heritage Villa Apolon – For your own slice of old-world luxury on Hvar Island, opting for the Heritage Villa Apolon will definitely fulfill everything you wanted. Whilst all the rooms are lovely, some on offer here are truly opulent, featuring antique fittings and fixtures like claw foot bathtubs and wood-beamed ceilings. There’s even a wine bar in a historic cellar with exposed brick walls. Historic sophistication is definitely the name of the game at this hotel, but for more history it’s just a five-minute walk to Tvrdalj Castle.
The charming old fishing town of Jelsa has a quiet, family friendly atmosphere and is located in an almost hidden picturesque bay. What the town lacks in stunning architecture, it makes up for in its serene nature, surrounding fresh pine forests and its numerous attractive beaches. Spend your days in the gorgeous narrow streets, lounging in local parks and people-watching in one of the town squares.
Accommodation in the town is good value and considerably cheaper than Hvar Town. Visitors can choose from one of the four star resorts close to the seafront or an apartment in the charismatic town center. Water taxis are available to take you to nearby beaches that are otherwise inaccessible, or you can take a ferry to nearby Split or Hvar Town. Hiring a car is a great option as you will be able to explore the island at your own pace.
Where to Stay in Jelsa
Villa Riva – Not far from the ferry terminal with services to Split, Villa Riva is a good option for those who like to see what’s going on in their surrounding area. Some of the rooms here come with harbour views, too, as well as the neighboring island of Brac. Villa Riva is also a good option for families since it’s affordable, and some of the rooms are more like self-catering apartments, making an independent holiday on your own time more easily done.
The charming village of Vrboska lies on the northern coast of the island and is stunningly attractive. The old fishing village is home to a little island in the middle of its bay which is connected by several bridges. The village itself is made up of old town houses built in varying styles from Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. Take a wander around the ancient streets and discover remains of old churches alongside luxury villas.
The land around Vrboska harbor is covered in pine trees, traditional olive groves and vineyards, meaning an abundance of fresh and authentic food in the village. If you follow the paths from the town down to the water, you will come across a famous naturist beach – or just choose to visit one of the many pebbly beaches with their turquoise waters. A lot of the accommodation on offer in the village is close to the town’s beaches where you can stay close to the restaurants and shops in one of the many apartments or family-run hotels. You can also catch boats to popular locations around the island.
Where to Stay in Vrboska
Senses Resort – Senses Resort has a really secluded, getaway type of feeling since it’s located on a peninsula a little far out of town. But the main point here is the design: it’s super cool and very minimalist in its design, making it feel like a special place to stay. A contemporarily designed building set amidst pine trees, this 3-star offering comes complete with everything you’ll need to enjoy your stay: a stylish bar, a restaurant boasting a terrace and gorgeous sea views, a spa with a sauna, tennis courts, basketball courts… It’s got it all.
Famous for its delicious white wine called bogdanjuša, the small village of Zavala is where you will find pristine pebble beaches and a tranquil way of life. If you want to find yourself a slice of Hvar Island for yourself, far away from the huge crowds and tourist traps then you should stay in Zavala. The village itself is sleepy and has a handful of restaurants serving fresh, local food and a village shop where visitors can buy essential items. Alongside the charming village there are several beaches to explore all with clear blue waters. The surrounding countryside is awash with olive groves and vineyards, and lavender and rosemary is also grown. Spend your days here walking in the surrounding nature and taking a refreshing swim in the secluded coves.
Accommodation in the village can be found in traditional whitewashed buildings which often boast sea views and have all of the amenities you might need to make your holiday as relaxing as possible. Hiring a car is the best idea if you want to travel to other parts of the island although, you can travel to the nearest big town of Jesla by bus.
Where to Stay in Zavala
Villa Stella Mare – It’s just a five-minute walk from this hotel to Zavala Port Beach, meaning it’s a great option for those who love to be just a stone’s throw from sun, sea and sand. Back at the Villa Stella Mare itself, there are a few different varieties of rooms on offer, from studios all the way to 3 bedroom apartments that boast balconies, terraces and kitchens. A great idea if you’re on a road trip, or feel like renting a car, Villa Stella Mare also comes complete with free parking, as well as a tasty complimentary breakfast, which as we all know is a great way to start your day.
Surrounded by the hills of Biokova and the Adriatic sea, scenic Sucuraj is an ancient town that has been inhabited over the years by many different powers. From the ancient Greeks to the Romans and even the French, Sucuraj has witnessed much history in its time. The smallest and easternmost town on the island has developed in recent years and is an enchanting place to stay, with layers of architectural history and many local restaurants serving up delicious cuisine made from produce grown on the island.
Sucuraj is also home to numerous pretty beaches that are tucked away in sheltered bays that are easy to access. Visitors to the town can also take part in various different activities such as fishing and sailing. There are excellent ferry connections so that you can visit other towns along the coast, and the accommodation on offer ranges from family run apartments, small hotels and even a campsite.
Where to Stay in Sucuraj
Apartments Bartul – Practically on the sea, Apartments Bartul is a convenient place to stay, to say the least. Not only are there many different restaurants, cafes and bars to try out nearby, but there’s also a ferry port that can take you to the coastal city of Drvenik, which is great if you plan on exploring more of what Croatia has to offer. The apartments themselves are unfussy but come complete with everything you need to have an enjoyable, affordable holiday. In addition, nearby you’ll find the historic Tvrđava Fortica and, a little further on, the Sucuraj Lighthouse, complete with picture-perfect panoramic views of the sea.
A great location for your holiday, Milna’s sloping bay sits alongside numerous attractive coves and beaches. The town is built around a tiny port, where restaurants serve fresh fish, and a local market selling home grown vegetables and olive oil, offering the chance to see a glimpse of local life. Visitors to the town can catch a boat to neighboring islands from the harbor – or hire your own vehicle and take a trip along the coast to the glittering lights of Hvar town.
The small village is perfect for those wanting to soak up the sun, maybe try out some diving and enjoy the slow pace of life. Hvar town is close by and it is easy to travel to by taxi or bus and enjoy the lively nightlife in the evenings, and travel back to your accommodation to sleep in peace and tranquility. Stay in one of the beautifully built old stone houses along the coastline or in one of the smaller family owned apartments in the village.
Where to Stay in Milna
Hotel Fortuna – It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from this 4-star offering to Milna Beach, plus all the eateries and bars nearby, meaning it’s a great option for those who like to explore what local areas have to offer. There’s a delicious complimentary breakfast on offer here, which is always a plus, as well as a tasty beachfront restaurant to enjoy picturesque dinners and well-deserved drinks after a day on the beach. It’s also kid-friendly, making it a good idea for families.
Villa ForTudor – A few minutes’ walk from restaurants and bars, Villa ForTudor features a number of serviced apartments. This makes it perfect for independent travellers, families or those looking to keep costs down by cooking a few of their own meals. Each one is individually decorated, with touches of style and taste making it feel as though you’re staying somewhere right out of the pages of a design magazine; some of them even come with sea views. Beach fun is also a mere three-minute walk away.
Sveta Nedjelja is a little village built on the highest point on the island and sits on a sheer cliff overlooking the sea. Famous for its Plavac red wine, made from grapes grown on the vineyards on the surrounding sundrenched slopes, the village attracts many tourists with its captivating views and beautiful beaches. The town is popular with hikers looking to explore the hidden caves and hills around the area.
The village itself has a small market where you can buy fresh, locally grown produce and, of course, the famous red wine. There are a number of eateries along the old streets which serve tasty traditional cuisine, and a few small shops where you can pick up essential items for your holiday. Accommodation in the village consists of locally owned bed and breakfasts and apartments which offer a laid back, Croatian way of life to their guests. If you want to travel to other destinations around the islands from the village you can travel by hire car along the new road which now connects the village to Hvar town.
Where to Stay in Sveta Nedelja
B&B Pansion Jure Matijević – This bed and breakfast is simple but bursting with tasteful and laid-back Mediterranean style: think whitewashed walls, tiled floors and dark wood furniture. This makes it the perfect place to stay for those uninterested in luxury; here you’ll find a simple, low-key dining area, a children’s playground and beautiful views of the sea. And this is a great option if you feel like lazing around on the beach all day, because the nearest one is just a few minutes away on foot.