As one would expect for an island, the history of Hvar has been broadly shaped and influenced by outsiders, each invading force leaving their mark, which has resulted in a rich cultural, archaeological and architectural legacy.
There is much to discover for visitors interested in the heritage of Hvar, as this brief overview of the island’s history will demonstrate.
Check us out on the map
Things to do
- Visit the Pakleni Islandsn
It may seem strange to advise people to leave Hvar Town as a top thing to do there, but the Pakleni Islands are an integral part of the town's tourism. Sitting like emerald jewels in the pristine Adriatic opposite the town, take a water taxi out and discover the best bays and some of the best food in the area. And don't forget to look back and see majestic Hvar disappear into the distance from your boat.
Top destinations include Palmizana, where tourism began without water or electicity in 1906; nudists should head for Jerolim, named by CNN as the world's top FKK beach; Stipanska on Marinkovac is home to Carpe Diem Beach, by day or by night; if you have never met a donkey named Mercedes, the eco-island of Galesnik should be your port of call; and the small settlement of Vlaka on the northern shores of Sveti Klement, complete with Roman mud baths, is one of the more interesting finds on this fabulous collection of islands.
Like it or loathe it, you can't ignore it - Hvar has a growing image as a party island. Carpe Diem is credited with inventing the vibrant nightlife in the town, and the main Carpe Diem bar and especially the beach at Stipanska are highlights for many, particularly the Full Moon parties. Hula Hula was recently named in the top 50 beach bars in the world, and is a great place to enjoy spectacular sunsets and after beach parties, while other clubs such as Veneranda and Pink Champagne offer additional choices.
- Discover the Wines of Hvar
Hvar is an island which has it all, but so many tourists leave without fully appreciating the quality of the island's wine, a tradition dating back 2400 years. The wine tours of the island take guests through the vineyards and inland villages, before a choice of tastings from some of Croatia's best known producers. Choose from the Romanesque tasting room of Andro Tomic, the leading boutique winemaker in Croatia, Ivo Dubokovic, or the country's only Grand Cru from Zlatan Otok. More info from www.hvartours.com
- Discover Hvar's Rich Heritage
Hvar Town has an astonishing array of heritage in and around its main square (the largest in Dalmatia at 4700m2. It is home to the oldest public theatre in Europe (built in 1612), the place where organised tourism began in 1868, and has a history and tradition that few destinations can match. Get the most out of it (and DO make the effort to climb for the view from the Spanish Fortress overlooking the town) by taking a guided walking tour.
- Get Active with Hvar Adventure
In addition to being beautiful places to visit, the Pakleni Islands are an activity destination, perfect for sailing and sea kayaking. From total beginners to seasoned specialists, Hvar Adventure have something for you. Land-based activities include hiking, cycling and excellent rock climbing. A great variety of choice to explore Hvar and its surroundings.