Island News

Top 5 Things to Do on the Island of Hvar in 2015

By Ivana 28 February 2015

Planning a holiday to Hvar this year and wondering what there is to do? Here are our top 5 tips for 2015.

Another tourism season approaches, and it promises to be another incredible one on Croatia's premier island of Hvar. There are beaches, activities, nightlife, gastronomy, culture - an amazing array of diversity for such a small island with a full-time population of just over 10,000 people. 

So what are the top things to do on Hvar, and what should you not miss this summer? Here are our top five:

1. Visit the Pakleni Islands

As if Hvar was not gorgeous enough, the emerald jewels in the pristine Adriatic in front of Hvar Town are the icing on the cake. The Pakleni Islands are one of the treasures of Europe, and yours to explore at your leisure, either by sailing in to the ACI Marina at Palmizana, or by regular water taxi transfer from the fabled Hvar waterfront.

What kind of Pakleni Island are you? There are fabulous beaches wherever you go, but naturists should head to Jerolim, named the world's top naturist beach in 2011 by CNN. Head through the trees to the other side and Kordovon beach, one of the most chilled places on the coast. 

Looking for upmarket service and a little nightlife later on? There is no competition to Carpe Diem Beach at Stipanska on Marinkovac, a great chill zone by day, and the place to party until the small hours at night.

Art, culture, nature and gastronomy? That would be Sveti Klement, whose most popular bay (also known as Palmizana) is home to the Meneghello estate, which has been running its unique tourism for more than a century. An arboretum, art gallery, peacocks and turtles accompany the finest cuisine. Or head to the northern settlement of Vlaka, complete with Roman remains and an ancient mud bath, and the legendary Tomic vineyards just one metre above sea level. Whoever you are, there is a Pakleni Island experience for you. 

2. Discover the Island of Wine

It has a wine heritage dating back some 2400 years to the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, and the island of wine is undergoing a renaissance with the energetic efforts of the Hvar Wine Association. The king of the reds here is Plavac Mali, a relative of Zinfandel, while the whites include grapes only grown on Hvar, such as Bogdanusa and Prc. Exports are booming, and Hvar wines can now be found in China, Russia, Singapore and California, as well as many countries in Europe.

Look out for the names PZ Svirce, Caric, Tomic, Dubokovic and Zlatan Otok on the restaurant wine lists, and check for dates of Hvar Wine Association tastings throughout the summer. And take a wine tour, visiting a choice of great growers such as the Romanesque cellars of Andro Tomic and the intimate konoba of Croatia's leading boutique winemaker Ivo Dubokovic, and the underwater cellars of Zlatan Otok in Sveta Nedjelja. For more information on wine tours on Hvar, click here.

(copyright Romulic and Stojcic)

3. Arrive in Style on Europe's First Modern Seaplane Service

Of all the places modern aviation history could have been made in Europe last year, it just had to be the island of Hvar, as the first scheduled seaplane service started between Split Airport and Jelsa. The 13-minute flight is certainly a game-changer in reaching the island, but it is also a fabulous panoramic flight experience, and many tourists visit the island for the flight experience and a spot of lunch. It really is fantastic, and affordable, with current prices just 149 kuna one way. Check out the video below for a flavour and you can book flights direct with European Coastal Airlines here.

4. Discover the Culture of the World's Only Island with 4 UNESCO Heritages

That's right, Hvar is the only island in the world with four UNESCO heritages. No other island has even three. These four (World Heritage Site the Stari Grad Plain, intangible heritages the Za Krizen Easter Procession, the Benedictine agava lace and the Mediterranean diet - along with Brac, Hvar is one of only 7 places in the Mediterranean included) do not include the oldest public theatre in Europe in Hvar Town, the Neolithic Grapceva Cave, the eco-ethno village of Humac, or the birthplace of organised tourism in Europe in Hvar Town.

Hvar is a unique island of culture, heritage and tradition, waiting for you to discover!

5. Get Active, and Discover Hvar by Land and Sea

There are many ways to experience the best of the island of Hvar, and not many would argue with a day on the beach, but for those wanting to get a little more active, Hvar is an amazing adventure playground. A sailing paradise of course, and what better introduction to the Pakleni Islands than a sunset cruise? Or get kayaking and explore the island's hidden coves and beaches close up, with the southern shore from Hvar Town particularly recommended. Enjoy rock climbing? There can be few more picturesque climbing challenges than the cliffs of Sveta Nedjelja with the glistening Adriatic below. Hiking, cycling, even Ironman training - if it moves, you can bet the excellent Hvar Adventure are behind it.