Carpe Diem in Croatia: High-Class and Historic Hvar

The Island of Hvar off the coast of Croatia has been consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. 😍

DSC_3667
view of Hvar from the Spanish fortress

This island oozes glitz and glam, with celebrities and the wealthy elite flocking here to lounge in posh resorts, flaunt their luxury yachts, and party ’til the break of dawn. 💸

DSC_3705

These spectacular day beds reminded me of being a Greek goddess.🔱🏺

DSC_3710

If you’re not eating grapes this way, you’re clearly not doing life right.😂🍇

50032655
Ashton Kutcher feeding grapes to a Greek god on SNL courtesy of Google images
DSC_3708
paddle board yoga at one of the posh resorts

And although I didn’t spot any celebrities at night, I did marvel at the port full of mega yachts along the promenade, and kept my eye out for Tom Cruise, who supposedly frequents the island during the summer. 🤩

IMG_0340

Tom-Cruise
Tom Cruise in Hvar courtesy of Google images
IMG_0499
yachts in the Hvar harbor

Hvar Island’s high-class ambiance is only amplified by its historic surroundings. Hvar town, the main hub of Hvar, is a long-lasting 13th century gem full of historic Roman and Gothic architecture. 💙

DSC_3651DSC_3701DSC_3653DSC_3682Wandering away from the city center you encounter picturesque cobblestone alleyways decorated with pretty potted plants and ambient lighting.💮

DSC_3658DSC_3649DSC_3661DSC_3698Everything seems so purrfectly placed! 😉 🐱

DSC_3700Hvar also has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with the greatest number of hours of sunshine anywhere in Europe, so outdoor patios are a pleasure to be enjoyed all year round. ☀️IMG_0533

IMG_0447
coffee at Caffe Bar Pjaca

I actually read that if it ever snows on Hvar, the local tourism board will give all its visitors accommodation free of charge! 😮 ❄️

IMG_0558

Now, for the best view of Hvar town, I’d suggest heading to the top of the striking Spanish fortress.

IMG_0422
Spanish fortress viewed from afar

DSC_3656DSC_3657DSC_3675I loved admiring the color contrast of the white stone houses, red terracotta roofs, dark green trees, and the deep blue sea. Such a beautiful sight! 💜

SJRDE1627 DSC_3679

I guess others needed a little hooch to enjoy the view. 🍶 Party on, Wayne! 😂

DSC_3672
fun flask

Now, what I enjoyed most about Hvar was its tasteful tourism. Yeah, you can visit, but you have to play by their rules.

IMG_0522
harsh, yet helpful ways to enforce the rules 😱

Unlike some party tourist destinations where the overall atmosphere can get quite tacky, Hvar has strict rules about your behavior and dress in public. This keeps things classy and civilized. 👌

19756838_1615446188467554_8302462838963110338_n

And although there is a crazy nightclub called Carpe Diem that is associated with Hvar, it’s actually self-contained on a separate island. Wild party-goers usually take a free boat ride from the port of Hvar if they want to rage until the wee hours. In fact, one of our favorite activities at night was just sitting out at the chic BB Club, having a few drinks in their comfy lounge chairs, and watching the hilarious tipsy tourists walk along the promenade and make their way onto the boats to the nightclub. People watching at its finest! 🍸🎵

IMG_0503
DJ at BB Club
IMG_0504
Ozujusko beer and red wine at BB Club

Hidden Gems on Hvar

As for our favorite spots on the island, we definitely found a few hidden gems.

IMG_0475
Zmajska pivovara, my favorite microbrew at Falko Beach Bar 🍺

For starters, our overall favorite hangout spot was Falko Beach BarThey had reasonably priced drinks, delicious food, and a very chill atmosphere with hammocks, couches, and a sea view.

IMG_0465IMG_0483IMG_0534

It was the perfect atmosphere for lounging and playing cards, plus they had a small sandy beach not too far from the restaurant.🃏

IMG_0470IMG_0525For serious coffee lovers, I’d recommend Kava. My friend was addicted to their oat milk cappuccinos and I loved their cozy dog-friendly seating with interesting coffee-table books.

DSC_3696 (2)IMG_0363IMG_0361

For rock-bottom prices, we loved Da VinciThey had coffee, house wine and beers for 2-3 bucks. Quite a steal considering some places charge 10-20 bucks for a cocktail. They also had super sea views, which is the perfect atmosphere for a daytime coffee or happy hour drink! 💰

IMG_0510
kava with a view ☕

The final hidden gem was Alviz restaurant, which had insanely speedy service and a delicious selection of local Mediterranean dishes at fair prices.🤤

DORN4088
vegetarian pizza with beer, wine and bruschetta for about 30 USD 🍕

To save money, we also shopped at Konzum grocery store. We could make a delicious Spanish tortilla or a local Ajvar pasta with wine for about 5 USD per person.

IMG_0435
Spanish omelette made from eggs, potatoes, and onions
IMG_0493
ajvar pasta with black olives, feta, and local wine

Ajvar is a popular Balkan sauce made from red peppers and eggplant. It is served as a dip with bread or on pasta.

IMG_E0440

Activities on Hvar

Options for activities include kayaking and windsurfing, or taking a speedboat tour to the nearby Pakleni Islands. ⛵

DSC_3666
view of Pakleni Islands from the fortress

Side note: Although Hvar is one of the most popular islands, Croatia has over 1,200 islands in total!

DSC_3693

Hvar Island is also quite large and full of quaint local towns, including Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Europe with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites for an island town.

hvar_dalmatia_ferry_lines
Here’s a map of Hvar Island and its proximity to Split courtesy of Google images. Hvar Town is on the left with other towns like Stari Grad, Jelsa, and Sucuraj pinned as well. Popular islands aside from Hvar include Brac, Vis, and Korcula.

There are also caves, hidden beaches, and wild lavender fields that flourish during the summer. You can even find fragrant lavender satchels in most of the gift shops. 💜

IMG_0390

While we enjoy all these activities, one of our favorite budget-friendly activities was just heading to the sea. There’s a path stretching along the coastline and at the edge of the rocks there are convenient ladders to enter the water. You can really pick any spot on the rocks to layout and jump in when you need to refresh.👙

DSC_3704DSC_3678DSC_3694If you want an actual beach, our favorite was Pokonji dol Beach, located about a 20-minute walk from the town.

DSC_3690DSC_3691TWMN5007

Here’s where I attempted a DIY underwater model photo shoot. 😂 📷

KJMO2196
fancy frog legging 🐸😂

I guess I won’t quit my day job. 🙈

MWYM9264
life is too short not to laugh at yourself sometimes

Where to Stay: 

There are quite a few fancy resorts on the island, but what seems more prevalent is Airbnb.

DSC_3718We rented a cozy condo tucked away in a residential area fitted with an outdoor patio and balcony.

IMG_0549DSC_3684DSC_3685

We really enjoyed seeing this side of the island, as it helped us realize that Hvar isn’t just a tourist town, but a place where local Croatians live as well. Aside from tourism, there is a strong community of fishermen here. 🎣

DSC_3713IMG_E0565DSC_3686We even supported some local kids by buying their adorable art work as a momento.

IMG_0561

BeFunky-collage
We found prices starting at 40 USD for a last-minute booking.

The Airbnb host actually rents through the tourist agency, Fontana, which we highly recommend. They offered us discounts on tours and even let my friend use their grandma’s house for a Skype business conference. So sweet!

IMG_0568

Getting There: 

The journey from Split to Hvar is about one hour on the ferry. Tickets are easily bought on the day for about 15 USD each way.

IMG_0336

Apparently though, if you give birth to a child during your ferry ride, your baby will have free rides to Hvar for the rest of his/her life. 🤔 🍼

IMG_0334
Now Carpe Diem is actually Latin for “Seize the Day” and I’d say that regardless of whether you visit Carpe Diem nightclub or not, you should still seize the day here and enjoy it to the fullest. 😊

IMG_E0398IMG_0524IMG_E0393
Anyway, after a beautiful sunrise in Hvar, I took a ferry back to Split, then headed on the bus to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stay tuned to hear all about it! Until then!

IMG_0539

12 thoughts on “Carpe Diem in Croatia: High-Class and Historic Hvar

    1. Yes, I thought Hula Hula was fun for sunset drinks too and I loved how the whole island overall didn’t feel like a party place. The madness was very self-contained. 😂 Thanks for checking out the post! Take care and safe travels! X

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It looks beautiful, I sadly haven’t been to Croatia yet but hopefully that will change soon. Not sure I’d want to go in the snow but nice to know I’d possibly have a free stay if I do! Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to ajeanneinthekitchen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.