Where is Hvar?
Hvar is an Island on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It is about 33 miles from Split, or an hour and ten minute ferry ride.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to specifically talk about Hvar's main town, Hvar Town.
How to get to Hvar
If you are traveling to Hvar, you will first need to get to Split, either by airport or by ferry. From Split you can get a ferry or catamaran to Hvar. During season ferries run several times a day but you may want to consider booking in advance because they can fill up.
There are multiple ferry lines that run to Hvar and you can find that information here.
You can also simply walk down to the port and purchase a ticket at the booth.
At the time of this writing, a ticket to Hvar was 110 Kuna and the return ticket was 120 Kuna, about $15 - $16 USD each way.
Best time to visit Hvar
Season on the coast of Croatia runs from about June through August. During this time it is extremely busy with tourists.
The advantage to this is that everything is open and it assuredly warm enough to swim. The disadvantage is it can be HOT, expensive and tourists, lots of them.
I went at the beginning of June and Hvar Town wasn't bad for crowds. Everything was open accommodations were easy to find and pretty affordable. It was uncharacteristically hot for this time of year and the water was a bit brisk.
All in all, I would return at this time of year because it was warm enough to enjoy the ocean while not being overly crowded.
Croatia does not have warm weather year round. It starts to become tolerable beach weather in about May and will stay that way through mid September or so.
Is Hvar safe?
In general Croatia is extremely safe. As a solo, female traveler, I felt safe in Hvar Town.
Obviously exercise normal precautions. Pick pocketing is common in Europe and, like anywhere, do not leave your drinks unattended.
Where to stay in Hvar Town?
Hvar Town is quite small and most any of the options you will find, whether you are looking for an Airbnb or a hotel, will be convenient to the town square.
There are a lot of cute airbnb apartments in town and I personally stayed in one of them. There are also some extremely nice resort options, all right around the square or on the water, if you want something with easy swimming access.
If you are planning on staying for quite a while, consider booking something short term and then searching for an apartment when you arrive. You will likely get better prices that way.
The airbnb I stayed in, in early June, was only $66 USD per night. When I checked the prices of a nice, beach side resort, it was $177/night. As you can see, Hvar Town is still quite affordable, however these prices may rise later in the season.
What to do in Hvar Town?
Hvar Town is small but it's packed with things to do.
Water activities: This is the most obvious one. It is an island, after all! Croatia is known for having some of the cleanest water in the world and this is obvious the moment you step foot on the island. You can see straight down to the bottom of the water and it is gorgeous.
Swimming locations are plentiful, as are other water activities, like boat excursions and scuba diving.
A word of warning: sea urchins abound in the crystal clear waters of Croatia and you do not want to step on one. Not only does it hurt but it runs the risk of getting infected. They are easy to spot, as the water is so clear. But you should either get a pair of water shoes, like these, or, as one of the locals told me, just get in the water where it is deep and don't put your feet on the bottom. :)
Night life: Full disclosure, I am not a night life person, so I do not speak from experience here. That said, Hvar Town has a lively night life scene. With plenty of bars to get a drink and an island theme of "hedonism", you are sure to have a good time.
Cafe's and restaurants:
History: As with most of Europe, there is much history to explore in Hvar.
My favorite is the fortress that sits above the Island, watching over it.
The climb up looks more daunting that it is and is actually quite a nice walk. The entrance fee was about 7 euro and it well worth it for the view alone.
Once in the fort there's much to explore, including artifacts and a jail.
There is also a cafe where you can sit and enjoy a drink or some food.
I recommend going at the end of the day and catching sunset and the absolutely breathtaking view of Hvar Town.
Should you go to Hvar Town?
In one word: YES.
It's beautiful, safe and the people are welcoming and hospitable. There is something really magical about Hvar and absolutely worth visiting.
Incase you needed, more convincing, here's some of the photos I took while I was there: