Hvar (pronounced Vaar or Key-Vaar — depending on where you’re from) Never heard of it? I didn’t either until I visited the once war-torn country of Croatia. Prior to my visit I heard that Croatia had some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but I really didn’t understand it until I arrived in Hvar.
The island of Hvar has the perfect mix of everything that you could possibly need on a tiny island; historic structures and churches, beautiful restaurants and bars, a port full of million dollar yachts and all of it….surrounded by turquoise waters. If one word can sum up Hvar it’s P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
Should you decide to make a stop in Hvar, be sure to include a few things in your itinerary:
- Day trip to the island of Bol – a beautiful island and although filled with tourists, it still gives you a sense of obscurity. You can hitch a ride with one of the many local boat operators that dock in Hvar. It’s about a 45 minute boat ride and if you’re lucky, the operators will catch your lunch on the way.
- Pizzeria Mama Leon – offers one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted. Order the margarita flat crust or one of the many calzones – you will not regret it. It’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and people watch.
- Drive from Stari Grad – if you plan on getting to Hvar by ferry, you will likely dock in Stari Grad. Grab a cab and ask your driver to take you through the winding mountains and stop at the Spanjola fortress where you can capture the beautiful views.
- Town Square – Hvar’s square is beautiful during the day but even more beautiful in the evening. Young groups and couples gather to listen to locals play music.
- Nightlife – For a night of drinks, dancing and fun be sure to go to Carpe Diem at the end of the Riva. The price for a mixed drink is reasonable and if you’re lucky you may see celebrities like Paris Hilton or Beyoncé pull up in their million dollar yachts before entering the club.
- Where to stay – Look into staying in a private apartment – when you get off the ferry in Stari Grad you will see many locals holding signs who are looking to rent out a room or their entire apartment. You can book these online if you plan on going during high season, but if you are going off-season you will have no problem getting a place to stay at a third of the price of a hotel.
Most of all enjoy Hvar and all it has to offer. Although it’s a small Croatian island along the Dalmatian coast, it is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been to. It’s very inexpensive to stay here and well worth checking out!