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. In order to ensure you get the most of your Split to Hvar day trip, we’ve put together this guide that includes everything you need to know for planning the perfect day.
How to Plan the Perfect Split to Hvar Day Trip
How to Get From Split to Hvar
Getting from Split to Hvar by ferry is the easiest and cheapest way to reach the island. Ferries from Split to Hvar leave multiple times a day during the summer season, leaving as early as 8:30 AM. Return ferries from Hvar to Split depart as late as 10:05 PM, offering you plenty of time to explore the island in just one day. It typically takes about an hour and a half to travel between Split and Hvar.
Other options for getting from Split to Hvar include privately owned ferries and island tours that offer one-day visits to Hvar Island. However, the cheapest way to travel between the destinations is through Croatia’s main ferry company, Jadrolinija.
You can check the latest schedule on the official Jadrolinija website.
Be sure to get on the ferry that takes you directly to Hvar Town. There will be other routes that take you to other destinations on the island, but you’ll want to make sure you go to Hvar Town.
Ferry Tickets Split to Hvar
Split to Hvar ferry prices typically run around 220kn (or $34 USD) for one adult round-trip ticket. Of course, the price can change at any moment so it is best to check the latest price on the official Jadrolinija website mentioned above.
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 purchase your tickets online once you know when you will be traveling and show it upon boarding on your phone.
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 Islands 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!
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.
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
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 of the town and the nearby Pakleni Islands.
Entrance to the fortress costs about 40kn for an adult ticket which allows you to climb all the way to the very top of the fort and visit the small prison inside. The views from up here are undeniably amazing, and you can even enjoy a refreshment at the cafe.
If you are short on time, you can also drive your scooter or car up to the top and park for free while you visit.
For more tips on what to do and see, check out the Ultimate Guide to Hvar Town, Croatia.
Explore the Rest of Hvar Island
Once you’ve gotten to know the old town, it’s time to hop on a scooter (or into your vintage car) and explore the rest of the island! The best way to spend the rest of the day is to visit some of the island’s best beaches (more on that below), frolic through lavender fields, olive groves, and vineyards, and stop by a few towns.
Another 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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. For more information on visiting Krka National Park, be sure to check out this blog.
- 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.
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.
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