Before visiting Hvar, I had assumed that ‘partying’ was all that this Croatian town on the island of the same name had to offer. While the nightlife is brilliant (and, given that I was on a ‘girl’s holiday‘, was certainly the main attraction for us) – it must be noted that the historical sights and viewpoints are equally as impressive. Admittedly, I would suggest that one night in the town is sufficient for someone looking to experience the culture without the nightlife. However, for someone looking to strike a cultural-hedonistic balance, my suggested itinerary for two nights in Hvar Town is as follows:
Start off your day with breakfast – if you stay at Luka’s lodge, it’s pancakes on the menu!
Pull on some trainers and make your way down to the main square, Hvarska Pjaca, and the Cathedral of St. Stephen. It is the largest square in the region of Dalmatia in which the island of Hvar sits and, while its stones were laid in the 1700’s, the square’s fountain dates back to 1520. This is a great place to ‘people watch’ with a late morning coffee.
Buzzing from your caffeine rush, now is a great time to start your uphill climb to the Fortica (the Fortress, known as Španjola to the locals). This medieval castle hosts the most wonderful panoramic views across the terracotta-roofed town, the Adriatic Sea and the nearby Pakleni islands. Spend some time admiring the 16th century architecture and stop for a drink and a light bite at the castle’s cafe.
One of the most charming features of Hvar Town is its narrow, cobbled lanes. From Španjola, make your way back to the main square via some of these twisting streets, soaking up ‘authentic’ Hvar and its residential atmosphere.
Head back to your accommodation to get ready for dinner and a ‘big night out’. Having made reservations for these establishments in advance, follow in the footsteps of celebrities with dinner at the incredible seafood restaurant Gariful (said to have been visited by Prince Harry) followed by a late night at the party favourite of Paris Hilton, Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is definitely an experience – the ‘club’ is on its own island, Marinkovac, and you have to take a 10 minute water taxi from Hvar Town port to get there.
Inevitably nursing a hangover, have breakfast at your accommodation and grab some swimming stuff. Head back down to the town and take a stroll around the port – admiring some of the monstrous yachts that are anchored there – in the direction of Hula Hula Hvar. Spend a day lounging at this beach club with live music, a delicious lunch menu and one of the best sunset views on the island.
After a day at the beach club, freshen up at your accommodation and then head out for dinner at Dalmatino, a wonderful meat and fish restaurant with incredibly friendly service, offering a vast range of dishes alongside traditional options such as fish stew (gregada) or a local beef stew (pasticada). Post-dinner, Ka’lavanda is the perfect location for a few nice cocktails.
If you’re in Hvar and wondering what you can get up to elsewhere on the Dalmatian coast, check out my top 10 things to do here.