Hvar, Croatia – Best Things To See And Do

HVAR CROATIA

Best Things To See And Do In Hvar, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia viewed from Tvrdava Fortica. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

With its white-washed architecture, cobbled streets and clear blue Adriatic waters, it is no wonder Hvar is called “The Queen of the Dalmatian Islands”. Situated just 48km off the coast of Split, Croatia, Hvar is the fourth largest of Croatia’s 1,100 coastal islands and a favorite of locals, celebrities and backpackers.

Easily reachable in under an hour by ferry or catamaran, it makes for a perfect day tour. Two companies service Hvar from SplitJadrolinija and Krilo that, combined, operate up to 18 trips per day during the peak season.

Hvar, Croatia
Jadrolinija Ferry

Both ferries dock directly at the Stari Grad Promenade, a picturesque palm tree lined promenade overlooking the Hvar harbor and pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Stroll Along Hvar’s Stari Grad Promenade

The Stari Grad Promenade in Hvar, Croatia
The Stari Grad Promenade in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography
Hvar, Croatia
The harbor in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Support Hvar’s Local Merchants

Not only does the Stari Grad offer wonderful views and numerous sidewalk restaurants, but a wonderful shopping experience as well. The alleyways leading off the Promenade are lined with shops staffed by local vendors. The perfect place to find that special gift for you or someone back home.

Hvar, Croatia
Street In Old Town Hvar. Photo Credit: Jocelyn Erskine-Kellie

Prague, Czech Republic

Visit Hvar Square

A short walk along the Stari Grad will take you to the historic Hvarska Pjaca most commonly known as Saint Stephen’s Square. Built in the Venetian piazza style, the Square dates from the 15th century and is the largest square in Dalmatia. On the eastern side of the Square you will find the Communal Well. Constructed in 1529, the well provided drinking water to the town’s population.

St. Stephen Square in Hvar, Croatia
Hvar Square with the Cathedral of St. Stephen and the Episcopal Palace. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Anchored by the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, the Bell Tower, and the Episcopal Palace, Hvar Square is the center of the island.

St. Stephen’s Square in Hvar, Croatia
A view of St. Stephen’s Square as seen from Tvrada Fortica. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

At the end of the Square is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Stephen, Hvar’s pope and martyr. The Cathedral was constructed in 1605 on the foundation of an earlier 9th century church destroyed by the Turks. Step inside the Cathedral and you will find a beautiful triptych depicting St. Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome painted by Venetian artists.

The Cathedral of St. Stephen’s
The Cathedral of St. Stephen’s Bell Tower in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Hvar’s Tvrdava Fortica

One of the first things you will notice after arriving in Hvar is the imposing Tvrdava Fortress looming high above the town.

Hvaqr, Croatia
Tvrdava Fortress, Hvar. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

The medieval castle dates from 1278 and holds a special place in the history of Hvar. In 1571, the Turks invaded the island and people living in Hvar took refuge in the fortress as the town was destroyed below.

Stone /Steps Leading To Tvrdava Fortica
A view of the stone steps leading from Hvar Square to the Tvrada Fortica in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

To reach the Fortress, take the stone steps leading from Hvar Square that connect to a shaded, winding path offering breathtaking views.

Pathway leading to the Tvrdava Fortress in Hvar, Croatia
A view of the shaded winding pathway leading to the Tvrdava Fortica in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

The climb takes under an hour and there are numerous places to sit and take a break. It is quite a workout, so take plenty of water if you plan to make the trek! If you’re not up to the walk, you can access the Fortress by taxi (approximately 100kn).

The amazing view of Hvar and the Adriatic Sea is the highlight of the steep trek up. However, the Fortress is empty and there is not much else to do other than enjoy the view.

Hvar’s Franciscan Monastery and The Church of Lady of Mercy

Situated on a small cove overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the Franciscan Monastery with the Church of Our Lady of Mercy is just a short walk from the center of Hvar.

The Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
View or the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography
The Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
A painting Of The Last Summer hangs in the refectory of the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Built in the 15th Century, the Monastery is open to the public and contains numerous relics and paintings. The magnificent, larger than life painting of the Last Supper by Matej Ponzoni hangs in the Monastery’s refectory and is one of many relics and artworks that can be found throughout the Monastery.

Cypress tree at the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
A view of one of the oldest specimens of cypress in Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

The Monastery is also home to one of the oldest specimens of cypress in Croatia. The age of the tree is estimated to be 500 years with branches that are elliptic in cross section.

A beach in Hvar, Croatia
A beach at the foot of the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

The small beach at the base of the Monastery is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful water of the Adriatic Sea.

Enjoy Hvar At Sunset

With the day ending, there is not a better time to enjoy the beauty of Hvar than at sunset with the Tvrdava Fortress highlighted in a golden glow.

Hvar, Croatia
Hvar At Sunset. Photo Credit: Capturing The Art Of Living/Rick Cooper Photography

Whether you are spending a few days in Hvar or embarking on your ferry to return to Split, there is something truly magical about “The Queen of the Dalamatian Islands”!

Safe Travels From …

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Published by Capturing The Art Of Living

Capturing The Art Of Living® is both a travel and photographic blog. We are a pair of international filmmakers who love to travel extensively and, just as important, love to share our experiences with the hope of encouraging others to learn more about our world. We invite you to follow with us and enjoy original photography, read about our travel experiences and find recommendations for awesome places to visit, what to see, where to stay and eat.

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