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How to Plan a Split to Hvar Day Trip in 2024

Planning a Split to Hvar day trip? This guide covers everything you need to know so you can plan the perfect day trip to Hvar from Split!

Glamorous parties, jaw-dropping beaches, breathtaking scenery, incredible food… There’s a reason Hvar Island makes it onto nearly everyone’s Croatia itinerary. Hvar Island is like the St. Tropez of Croatia. Dazzling with its sparkling seafront, charming visitors with its quaint old towns, and luring party-seekers into its epic social scene.

Stars like Beyonce and even Prince Harry have stepped foot onto the glittering shores of Hvar, making it one of Croatia’s most coveted island getaways. However, the island’s celebrity status does come with a price tag. If you are trying to save money, visiting Croatia on a budget, or are simply short on time, a Split to Hvar day trip might just be the right choice for you.

Luckily, Hvar Island is only a short ride away from Split, which makes it easy to visit in just one day. As someone who has been living in Croatia since 2014, I’ve thoroughly traveled the country and have visited Hvar many times (it’s one of my favorite islands!). I’ve put all of my knowledge into this guide to help you plan the perfect Split to Hvar day trip and ensure you get the most out of your time while on the island.

Let’s dive in!

Hvar Town Croatia

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How to Plan the Perfect Split to Hvar Day Trip in 2023

About Hvar Island

With over 2,800 hours of sunshine per year, Hvar is the sunniest island in the Adriatic Sea! Located 40km (25 miles) off the Croatian coast, Hvar is a stunning summer destination with plenty to explore and discover.

From its incredible beaches and lush natural landscapes, to its charming historical town full of amazing food – there’s something for everyone on this gorgeous island. And if you’re looking for a bit of excitement, Hvar has been dubbed as one of the most incredible party destinations in all of Croatia.

If you’re not the party type, don’t let that deter you. It is entirely possible to enjoy the history and natural beauty of Hvar without getting near the clubs. So whether you want to relax or live it up in the nightlife, Hvar will not dissapoint.

While visiting Hvar on a day trip is totally doable if you are short on time, it will only allow you to scratch the surface of what this majestic island has to offer. So if you can, I highly recommend staying for at least a few days.

A gorgeous sunset over Hvar Town on Hvar Island, Croatia

How to Get From Split to Hvar

Planning a Hvar trip from Split is pretty easy! There are three ways you can reach Hvar from Split, all of which involve a boat. Since Hvar is an island and there is no Hvar Airport, you’ll need to take the public ferry, a private boat, or an organized group tour to reach it.

Split to Hvar Ferry

Getting from Split to Hvar by ferry is the easiest and cheapest way to reach the island. There are several ferry companies that operate routes between the two destinations, each with their own timetables.

The experience is relatively similar across the board. All Hvar ferries have restrooms and some even have a cafe on board where you can order coffee or something to drink. Most ferries have an indoor, air-conditioned area, and an outdoor area where you can enjoy the sea breeze. Seats are not assigned on the ferries, so if you want to snag a good spot, get in line at least 30 minutes or more before departure.

The only major difference among the ferry operators is the time it takes for the ferry to reach Hvar from Split. When booking your ticket, make sure you select Hvar, Hvar or Hvar Town, Hvar as your final destination from Split as there are routes that travel to other towns on the island.

Jadrolinija ferry in Croatia | Split to Hvar day trip

Jadrolinija also offers a car ferry from Split to Hvar, however the journey is longer and the ticket cost is higher if you do want to bring a vehicle. Therefore, I’d only recommend taking the car ferry if you plan to explore the island for a number of days.

How long is the ferry from Split to Hvar?

The journey time from Split to Hvar can take anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes, depending on the ferry company you travel with.

The earliest ferry departs Split at 7:30 AM during the summer months and the last ferry departs Hvar to go back to Split at 9:00 PM. The summer Hvar ferry schedule makes it very easy to organize your own Split to Hvar day trip. If you are traveling in the spring, fall or winter, be sure to check the ferry schedules as they will be far less frequent than in the summertime.

Ferry tickets Split to Hvar

Split to Hvar ferry prices typically run around €18.00 for an adult one-way ticket, or €36.00 for a round-trip ticket. Of course, prices can change at any moment so it is best to check the official ferry provider you will be traveling with.

Do you need to prebook ferry from Split to Hvar?

If you are planning a day trip from Split to Hvar during the high season (the months of June through August), you may want to purchase your ferry tickets ahead of time. While the car ferries are larger and will typically have room for pedestrians, they can still fill up pretty quickly.

You can check the ferry schedules and purchase your Split to Hvar ferry tickets online on the official websites listed above. No need to print your ticket, just pull it up on your phone and show it upon boarding.

Split to Hvar Tour

Another option for visiting Hvar on a day trip from Split is to join in on an organized boat trip to Hvar from Split. There are numerous tours that depart from Split every single day during the summer, with options to choose among speedboats, catamarans, or sailboats. I’ve listed some of the best Hvar tours from Split below – just be sure to book in advance if you are traveling during high season as day tours sell out quickly!

Blue Cave & Hvar Speedboat Tour
Visit 5 islands and 7 unique locations on this 10 hour, round trip tour from Split! Swim in the blue lagoon and explore some of the most beautiful coves and beaches on this side of the Mediterranean. This fantastic 5 island tour will take you beyond Hvar island, allowing you to see the famous Blue Cave on Bisevo Island off the coast of Vis as well.

Full Day Catamaran Cruise to Hvar & Pakleni Islands
Embark on a full day catamaran from Split to Hvar excursion to visit Hvar Island and the Pakleni Archipelago. This Hvar tour from Split is ideal for solo travelers, couples, and small groups who want to escape to the islands without the high price tag of a private tour. On this day trip, you’ll stop at 3 swimming spots with time to enjoy wandering around Hvar Town at your leisure. Food and drinks are also included in the ticket price, so all you have to worry about is having a good time!

Hvar Romantic Sunset and Sailing Experience
Cruise around Hvar in a sailboat as the sun casts its magical glow over the breathtaking landscapes around you. This tour can be booked as a private experience or a shared one, and is a perfect way to end the day on Hvar Island with your partner, family or group of friends. Dive into the still waters for one last swim of the day or simply enjoy the tranquil ambience on board with a glass of wine in hand.

Private Boat Trip

Book a private boat and skipper and visit Hvar from Split on your own terms. A private boat tour will allow you to customize your itinerary to your group’s liking, so you can go straight to the best locations without wasting any time (you only have one day after all!). Your skipper (and local expert) can take you to gorgeous swimming spots, secret coves, and places you would never be able to reach on your own.

If you are traveling with a group, a private Split boat tour might be the best and most cost-effective option.

How to Explore Hvar in One Day

The best way to explore Hvar Town is to rent a scooter for the day and discovering the island’s beautiful beaches and towns. When you exit the ferry in Hvar Town, there will be a number of places where you can rent a scooter for the day or even a vintage Volkswagen beetle convertible.

Both of these are great options for driving around and exploring Hvar Island on your own. The roads are well-paved and should be relatively easy to navigate. Hiring your own scooter or car for the day will allow you to save time and pack in more sights and activities during your Hvar day trip.

If you would prefer to just stay in Hvar Town and see everything on foot, this is totally doable as well. You might want to consider taking some time to explore the old town and then hopping on a boat from the main harbor to the nearby Pakleni island archipelago for swimming. These water taxis depart every hour and it takes only about twenty minutes to reach the islands.

This is the perfect way to get a taste of some of the areas best beaches without having to worry about renting a car or scooter. Just be sure to keep track of the time so that you catch the boat back and don’t miss the ferry from Hvar to Split!

View of the Hvar Town waterfront promenade on a sunny day.

How to Spend One Day on Hvar Island

Explore the Old Town

When you arrive in Hvar, you will disembark the ferry right on the town’s sparkling waterfront promenade. The first thing you’ll want to do when you step off the boat is to get your bearings by strolling through Hvar’s charming cobblestone streets.

There is so much to discover in each narrow laneway, from local boutiques to darling restaurants and coffee shops, walking the town streets is an event in itself. Take the morning to wander around and explore before the sun heats up and temperatures rise.

A few noteworthy places to check out include the Venetian Loggia and Clock Tower as well as the 17th century Hvar Town Public Theater.

Check Out St. Stephen’s Square and Cathedral

Said to be the largest in all of Dalmatia, St. Stephen’s is a beautiful Renaissance square sprawling over 4,500 square meters. Like an icon towering at the end of the piazza, St. Stephen’s Cathedral cannot be missed. The cathedral and the square were once the most important spaces on the entire island.

Hvar Town square is lined with restaurants and cafes, making it a great place for people-watching. Take a break here and enjoy a cup of coffee or grab a bite to eat.

Take in the View From Fortica Fortress

One of the best things to do in Hvar is to enjoy the view from the fortress that safeguards the town.

Amazing town of Hvar harbor aerial view, Dalmatia, Croatia | Split to Hvar day trip

From the town streets, follow the stairs that lead uphill and look for the signs that say “Fortica”. Soon, you will be on your way to the town’s historic Venetian citadel overlooking the entire town. The fort’s striking position makes it the perfect location for admiring the most incredible views over the town and the nearby Pakleni Islands.

You will need to purchase an entrance ticket to the fortress to gain access to the viewpoint. The ticket allows you to climb all the way to the very top of the fort and visit the small prison inside as well. The views from the top of the fort are undeniably amazing, and you can even enjoy a refreshment at the cafe.

Explore the Rest of Hvar Island

Once you’ve gotten to know the old town, it’s time to explore the rest of Hvar! Hvar has a gorgeous coastline, and one of the best ways to see it is to rent a scooter or hire a care for the day. One popular way to drive around the island is in a vintage VW Beetle Cabrio, which is not only fun to ride around, but also makes for some awesome photo ops.

The main roads on the island are quite good and maintained, so you can easily drive to Hvar’s best beaches, frolic through lavender fields, olive groves, and vineyards, and stop by a few towns. One town that is worth checking out on a one-day visit to the island is Stari Grad. Stari Grad literally translates to “Old Town” as this is the oldest town on the island (and one of the oldest settlements in Europe!).

A bright and sunny day on St. Stephen's Square in Hvar Town

Stari Grad is a sweet little former fishing village that feels much more local and authentic than the glitzy streets of Hvar Town. Stari Grad will give you a taste of what life was like on the island before it was discovered by tourists. Here, you’ll want to check out the home of Petar Hektorovic, wander around the impressive stone streets, and try a lavender ice cream before you leave.

Other towns worth checking out on the island are Jelsa and Vrboska.

However, simply driving around Hvar with no real destination can be an exhilarating journey in itself! Feel the wind blowing through your hair, bask in the sunshine on your skin, and take pleasure in magnificent coastal views as you traverse the island’s winding roads. From hidden viewpoints to abandoned stone villages, you never know what you’ll find on Hvar.

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    Visit the Best Beaches on Hvar Island

    • Pokonji Dol – Just a short drive away from Hvar Town, Pokonji Dol is a fantastic commercialized beach that is dotted with a few restaurants, bars, and facilities.
    • Dubovica – One of the most beautiful beaches on Hvar Island that can be easily recognized by only the iconic stone residence.
    • Jagodna – Jagodna bay is a sweet little beach that is still relatively undiscovered. This tiny cove features small, almost sand-like pebbly beach, and high cliffs perfect for diving into the deep blue sea.
    • Malo Zarace – Malo Zarace is a beautiful pebbled beach surrounded by rocky cliffs, and there are typically little to no crowds here.

    For more information on Hvar Island’s best beaches, check out this post.

    A woman diving at Dubovica Beach, Hvar Island

    If you plan to explore Hvar Town on foot rather than renting a scooter or car, check out these beaches that are within walking distance of the town:

    • Hvar Town Beach – Hvar Town Beach is a small city beach that is located just a short walk away from the main square in front of the Franciscan Monastery. Despite the boat traffic near the beach, Hvar Town Beach is very clean and shallow, making it a great place to take a dip and to look for sharks in Croatia.
    • Bonj Beach -Bonj Beach is situated directly in front of Hotel Amfora, about a ten-minute walk from the center of town. The pathway leading to the beach is beautifully paved with large stone tiles and leads you through a wonderfully scented pine forest to get to the beach. You do not have to be a guest of the hotel to swim at Bonj Beach and you can rent out a seaside bungalow or sun chair for a fee.
    • Hula Hula Beach – continue walking a bit further from Bonj Beach and you’ll reach Hula Hula Beach, arguably one of the most popular spots on the island for good food, drinks, and partying. The sunsets from Hula Hula Beach Bar are particularly gorgeous, so it’s a good idea to head there in the evening for some drinks and appetizers before heading back to Split.

    A public rocky beach also lines the pathway leading to Amfora Hotel. Due to its limited accessibility, this beach is much less crowded than both Hvar Town Beach and Bonj Beach. There are several ladders positioned along the rocks for climbing in and out of the water and the beach is perfect for anyone who enjoys a more rugged experience.

    Additional Day Trips From Split

    A Split to Hvar day trip is a great way to get to know one of Croatia’s most beautiful islands. However, if you are interested in exploring further, there are plenty of other destinations that would make excellent day trips from Split. Some of these include:

    Split to Vis day trip
    Vis is Croatia’s furthest and perhaps most interesting island. This island was closed off to tourists for many years, allowing it to preserve much of its natural beauty and authenticity. If you have time, you might also consider visiting the Blue Cave just off the coast of the island of Vis.

    Mostar day trip from Split
    Although located in the neighboring country of Bosnia & Herzegovina, the unique town of Mostar is only two hours away by car. This is a great destination for those wanting to experience something different from the typical coastal towns.

    Split to Brač day trip
    Brač is a stunning island located just an hour ferry ride away from Split. This island is filled with breathtaking beaches and amazing hiking opportunities.

    Split Krka day trip
    Krka National Park makes for a wonderful day trip from Split. It can be done by car or by bus, and depending on the type of transportation you choose, will take up to hour-and-thirty minutes to reach. Check out this post for more information on visiting Krka National Park.

    Krka National Park on a day trip from Split

    Split to Trogir day trip
    The charming medieval town of Trogir is located just a twenty-five-minute drive away from Split and is well worth spending the day exploring. For more on what to do and see in the lovely town of Trogir, head over to this post.

    Split to Dubrovnik day trip
    Many people who are on a tight schedule or budget often wonder if a day trip to Dubrovnik is possible. A Split to Dubrovnik day trip is definitely doable, but it is not the best way to experience the Pearl of the Adriatic. The drive to Dubrovnik itself takes around three hours, which means that you will spend a minimum of six hours in the car just to get to and from the city.

    If you are visiting during the high season, many large groups visit Dubrovnik on day trips, which means that by the time you arrive in the city, it will likely already be packed with tourists. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid this is to stay in or around Dubrovnik for a few days and visit the city in the morning (before the large groups arrive) or in the late afternoon and evenings.

    Where to Stay for Your Split to Hvar Day Trip

    Where to Stay in Split

    Split makes a fantastic base for day trips and exploring some of Croatia’s most epic destinations. If you want to spend a few days in Split, here are some recommendations on where to stay:

    Beautiful red building on a square in the heart of Split Croatia.

    Where to Stay in Hvar

    You can easily visit Hvar on a day trip from Split, but if you want to stay longer and embrace the Mediterranean island vibes of Hvar, here are some great accommodation options:

    For more unique accommodations, Hvar is home to some of the most unique Airbnbs in Croatia, as well as one of the best glamping spots in Croatia!

    Split to Hvar Day Trip Wrap Up

    That wraps up the ultimate guide for a Split to Hvar day trip! Though you could linger longer in Hvar, if your Croatia itinerary is limited then this one-day excursion offers the best opportunity to see the island.

    Whether you choose to visit Hvar Island by ferry, book a private boat tour or join in on an organized day trip, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable time visiting one of Croatia’s most beautiful islands. If you plan to do some more island hopping in Croatia, be sure to grab this guide.

    Croatia Travel Planning Guide

    💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
    As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).

    🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
    Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!

    🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
    10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.

    📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
    Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!

    🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
    For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.

    🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
    I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

    🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
    Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)

    💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
    Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!

    🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia?
    Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.


    Can you take a day trip to Hvar from Split?

    Yes, it is easy to take a day trip to Hvar from Split either on your own or with an organized tour.

    Is a day trip to Hvar enough?

    A day trip is enough to explore Hvar Town alone. Alternatively, a day tour provides a great opportunity to see more of the island and its highlights.

    Is it better to stay in Hvar or Split?

    If you want an active vacation, Split makes a great base for easy day trips to exciting destinations. If you’d rather spend your days swimming or relaxing on Croatia’s most beautiful beaches, you should stay in Har.

    Is Hvar walkable?

    Yes, Hvar Town is very walkable, making it easy to visit on a day trip. You will, however, need some type of transportation to reach other parts of the island.

    Do you need to prebook ferry from Split to Hvar?

    If you are visiting in the summer, it is a good idea to prebook the ferry from Split to Hvar to secure your spot as this is the busiest season and ferries are likely to sell out.

    Can I take my dog on the ferry in Croatia?

    Yes, Jadrolinija allows dogs on board for free. They are not allowed in the air conditioned area, but can be outside as long as they remain on a leash.

    Can you drive from Split to Hvar?

    No, it is not possible to drive from Split to Hvar. The only way to reach Hvar from Split is to take a ferry, private boat, or visit on an organized boat tour.

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