As the February wind and rain batters my bedroom window, I find myself more and more thinking back to last summer when Dom and I travelled Croatia for three weeks (probs the best three weeks of my life). One of the places we visited was arguably Croatia’s most luxurious and sought-after island – Hvar.
Known as the Queen of the Dalmatian Islands, Hvar boasts white beaches, clear blue waters, perfect sunsets, and some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever tasted. I loved it so much that I’m taking my mum this year for her birthday.
So, if you’re over looking for winter break destinations, and have already started thinking about booking your summer hols, here are eight reasons why you should visit Hvar this summer.
1. The food (obvs this comes first)
Being an Adriatic island, Hvar is known for its fish and seafood. I’d definitely recommend trying a seafood dish in Hvar, or anywhere in Croatia really – grilled octopus, seafood risotto, and fresh lobster are the norm. I ate some of the freshest fish I’d ever tasted in Hvar, it was like it had been caught by a local fisherman, seasoned, grilled and put on my plate for me all within the space of thirty minutes.
Hvar’s old town is a maze of little cobbled back streets full of authentic Croatian restaurants complete with cosy outside seating areas. One of these I’d thoroughly recommend is Mediterranean restaurant Dalmatino’s – located down a narrow cobbled backstreet just next to Hvar Central Park club jazz bar.
2. Clear water beaches
(Scuse the hotdog leg ok). There are loads of little beaches on the island of Hvar – both sandy and pebbly. But the main attraction in my opinion is the clear blue water. Honestly, it was amazing. The water was lovely and warm too, which made it easy to get in and chill the f out without having to mentally prepare yourself to dunk your shoulders under.
There are loads of cool water sports activities to get involved in around various beaches too if you’re feeling a lil worse for ware.
3. Beach bars a-plenty
That brings me on to my next point – the beach bars in Hvar are literally the perfect way to spend a hot sunny afternoon. With a vodka peach slush in hand, good music, good food and all round good vibes, I could literally spend my whole afternoon and evening at one of Hvar’s many beach bars.
A personal favourite of mine is Hula Hula beach bar which is about a five minute walk from the Old Town.
4. The nightlife
If you’re going to Croatia and are after a pretty decent nightlight, then I’d definitely recommend Hvar (otherwise known as the perfect balance between Venice and Ibiza). With a perfect mix of sophisticated bars, cheaper cocktail bars, and late night island parties, Hvar offers something for everyone really.
If you wanna be a classy gal one night, and then a drunken lil so and so another – the world is literally your oyster (by world I mean Hvar ok). I’d defo recommend the Carpe Diem island party while you’re there.
For what works out to be around 12 quid, the people behind the Carpe Diem harbour side swankalicious bar take you out to a remote little island after dark for an all-night partay (pictured).
No joke it was like a mini festival on this island with really decent music too. And if you head round to the back of the island (where the security didn’t linger), there’s a little rocky area that you can be a naughty lil thing, get naked and jump in the sea in your drunken manner if you want.
5. It’s cheap af
Although I’ve heard otherwise, for me, Hvar actually worked out pretty cheap. I mean, of course there are luxurious options for hotels and restaurants, but if you’re on a low budget there’s no reason why you can’t have just as much of a great time there.
The restaurant Dalmatino that I mentioned earlier for example, was rated first on the whole island on TripAdvisor. For two mains, two deserts and a bottle of wine, it came to around £35 – not bad for a number one restaurant if you ask me.
Another tip is to look at staying at an Airbnb rather than a hotel. There are some really cheap options available, and our apartment which had two balconies, air con, and was about a ten minute walk from the Old Town worked out to around twenty quid a night.
If This is Dom look in all cute on a speedboat. Hvar’s lil beaches aren’t enough for you, there are plenty of options to jump on a boat and visit some of the hundreds of Croatia’s other islands. Or, if you’re feeling swanky, why not rent out your own sailing boat for the day and go on an adventure around Croatia’s beautiful islands and coastline?
7. It’s scenic and picturesque
Hvar is beautiful. With the old cobbled streets of the Old Town, the bustling harbourfront lined with bars and restaurants, and some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen – Hvar is definitely the perfect destination for a romantic summer getaway.
There’s something special about sitting by the harbourfront with your feet dangling over the edge, a drink in hand (can of beer for me, don’t judge), and watching the sun go down over the little Croatian sailboats bobbing around in the sea. Take me back plz.
8. It’s easy to get to
Hvar is just a short boat ride away from Split (less than an hour if I remember rightly). Split is home to one of Croatia’s busiest airports, and flights from the UK take around two and a half hours. With most UK airlines flying there in the summer months, getting to Hvar is pretty straightforward.
You could even plan it so you stay a night in Split beforehand and soak up some of the culture there first, or before your flight home. With a little bit of planning beforehand, there’s no reason why getting the boat to Hvar from Split should put you off travelling there – trust me Hvar is worth it.
So, as I said up there, the world is your oyster.
There are my eight reasons why you should travel to Hvar this summer – it really is a beautiful place. I’m currently writing up some travel guides for the other spots in Croatia we stopped off at – so keep your eye out for those if you’re looking for some holiday inspiration.
Have you been to Hvar? What did you like about it? Let me know.