For the second leg of our Croatia adventure, we were off to the island of Hvar.
Dubrovnik to Hvar is such a popular route that this journey was a piece of cake. All you have to do is hop on the ferry, kick back, and relax for three and a half hours on the ferry’s very nice oversized cushioned seats. Plenty of room!
Best Time of Year to Travel to Hvar Croatia
We took our trip in the first two weeks of October, which, lucky for us, is not peak tourist season, but the weather is still 77 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny every day! I would recommend this time of year over and over again! Throughout our whole trip, we were always able to snag a beach chair, didn’t have to wait at restaurants, and had smaller groups for tours. Plus, simply having fewer people in the city made it much easier to move around.
We were very happy to find that despite us visiting in the off-season, there was still plenty to do. That being said, I wouldn’t have wanted to push our trip much later because certain restaurants were having their last days, and some excursions were on their final week. We accidentally hit a sweet spot with our timing and wouldn’t have wanted to go any other time of year..
Speed Boat Tour Hvar
The speed boat tour we took was an absolute blast; however, if you have any history of getting motion sickness, this excursion is not for you! Now, we went on a particularly windy and wavy day, but I can’t imagine, even on the calmest of days, it being a smooth ride.
Our trip took us an hour and a half out into the open sea to our first destination, the blue caves. From there, our group got into an even smaller boat to venture into the caves themselves. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Once in the cave, the water is a rich blue that appears to be glowing. This is because there is an underwater entrance to the cave that lets light in from below thus, the water is your main light source in the cave.
From there, we made our way back to Hvar, but not without stopping off at multiple beaches to relax, explore, and grab a bite to eat! One of the beaches was even on Vis Island, which was used as a filming location for Mama Mia Here We Go Again.
There are many speed boat tour options out of Hvar, varying in price, itinerary customizability, and group size. As long as you don’t get seasick, there is a speed boat tour option for you.
Though we noticed the perks of the off-season throughout the whole trip, our kayaking day was where it was most evident. The kayaking tours can have up to 30 people in each tour, so you can imagine our surprise when we showed up and found that it was just us two with a guide, leaving a lot of room for a flexible schedule.
Now, don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert kayaker or even have a kayaking experience to enjoy this adventure! A little arm strength might help, but your guide will work with your group’s capabilities. On our trip, we stopped at two beaches and had plenty of time to relax. Now, this was the one time coming at the end of the season worked to our disadvantage. The beach that we spent the day at usually has a handful of small restaurants where beachgoers can get food and drink; however, they had closed two days before we got there.
Even without the restaurants being open, you are sure to have a good time! Let’s face it, you are on a beach island soaking up the sun and the water. It can’t be too shabby. If you are lucky, your guide might bring snorkeling gear. The highlight of Hvar for us was using the snorkeling gear and cracking open sea urchins for a squid that we found to feed on!
Though we enjoyed getting to get to know our guide, I am confident that a larger group would have been just as fun! So don’t let going during the busy season deter you from hopping in a kayak and venturing out into the sea!
The City Fort Hike
One of the first things you will notice upon arriving in Hvar is the fortress that sits atop the hill looking over the port. One way to get to the top is by taxi or bus, though if you are able, the walk is quite lovely, but be warned, your legs will be in for a workout.
The hike can be started from the city center and is primarily uphill with a good number of stairs to climb, so bring your walking shoes.
Not only is the view from the top spectacular, but there are numerous good vantage points along the way. Bonus if you can make the trip right before the sun sets for those golden hour pictures.
Now, there is an entrance fee into the fort itself for about 10 Euros. Unfortunately, we were a bit hungry after a long day, so instead of exploring the inside, we headed out for dinner. Thus, I can’t speak from personal experience about what’s inside. That being said, exploring the fortress was recommended by multiple Hvar locals, so I’m sure it is worth the ticket. Or you can be like us and just enjoy the hike and views!
Hvar is any beach lover’s dream! Either enjoy the beaches on the main island or venture out to the surrounding islands for crystal clear water and breathtaking views. If beaches aren’t your thing, don’t worry; there is no shortage of other adventures. In fact, we spent five days there, and there are still things I wish we had had more time to see, such as browsing the local shops.
We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Hvar at the beginning of October, but the locals also recommend visiting in mid to late September. At that point, there are fewer tourists, and all the restaurants and shops are guaranteed to be open. So, if Croatia has ever been on your radar, here is your sign that it is a must-visit!