Adventure Cruises in Hvar

No cruise spent island hopping in Croatia is complete without a visit to Hvar Island. One of the most popular islands in the Adriatic, Hvar features pristine coves flanked by massive mountains, fragrant fields of lavender and Hvar Town, a summer getaway for locals in the know. Cruises to Hvar, Croatia, explore the coast of this longest of the Dalmatian Islands, grant visitors access to the nearby Pakleni Islands and their beautiful beaches, and lead to walking tours of Hvar Town, delving into the island’s rich artistic, historical and cultural heritage.

Top things to do and see in Hvar Island

Hvar is one of the most visited islands in the most visited region of Croatia, the Dalmatian Coast. A Croatia sailing cruise to Hvar, however, will allow for plenty time spent away from the crowds, lounging on the beaches of secluded coves or kayaking among the Pakleni Islands. Those visitors looking for culture will enjoy strolling the streets of Hvar Town or dancing at Carpe Diem, the island’s most popular after hours beach bar.

The Pakleni Islands lay scattered along Hvar’s southwestern coast, visible from Hvar Town’s harbour. Though their name means “Hellish Islands”, they are, in fact, closer to paradise on earth. Known for some of the prettiest beaches in the region, the Pakleni Islands are largely untouched and undiscovered, offering a quiet escape from the crowds. Sparsely populated, the largest of these nineteen islands, Sveti Klement, is home to three small villages. Palmižana village has a few restaurants and hotels, including the oldest still-operating hotel in the region, first built in 1906. The island of Jerolim has a popular nudist beach, while Marinkovac Island is known for its boisterous beach bar parties and lovely Mlini Beach.

Hvar Town, the main settlement on Hvar Island, has a long history of art and culture. Tours of its Old Town will feature the Clock Tower, the Civic Loggia and the Hektorović Palace, while the Franciscan Monastery and Our Lady of Charity can be visited outside the walls of Old Town. While the town square is dominated by the impressive Cathedral of St-Stephens, one of the area’s prettiest churches, the hilltop Fortica keeps watch over the entire town. Its Venetian architecture hugging a picturesque bay dotted with small luxury yachts, Hvar Town is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee or glass of local wine while gazing across the water at the Pakleni Islands.

Hvar Town’s Fortica, or Town Fortress, is a medieval castle first constructed in 1282 and further fortified by the Venetians in 1557, but it sits upon the site of an ancient Illyrian settlement dating back to before 500 BC. Today the fortress houses a few archeological finds brought up from the seabed, as well as a small café and bar. The Fortica is reached via a walk through Old Town’s narrow streets followed by an easy hike over well-shaded hills.

Restaurants, bars and cafés are in abundance in Hvar Town, with something to meet every taste. Foodies will want to book reservations ahead to enjoy seafood at Macondo or the tasting menu at Zlatna Školjka. To let loose and party past sunset…and until sunrise, head to Carpe Diem, a little bit of Ibiza in the middle of the Adriatic, while Veneranda offers club events and the occasional open-air movie screening. Be sure to try the local wines, with the best whites coming from Dalmatia and the Kvarner area, and reds from Poreč, Buzet and the Pelješac peninsula.

Top Tips for visiting Hvar on a cruise

  • Take your camera when hiking to Hvar’s Fortica to capture the panoramic views of the Adriatic.
  • To enjoy the clear waters of the Pakleni Islands, pack your own snorkeling gear.
  • Wear sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen, especially during the summer months.
  • Note that if you wish to sample the food at popular restaurants in Hvar Town, like Zlatna Školjka or Macondo, reservations are highly recommended.

Best time to cruise to Hvar Island

The Adriatic coast is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, meaning that the best time to take a Hvar cruise depends largely on your preference.

May and October are generally the best time for a cruise of the Dalmatian Coast. During these shoulder months, the weather is excellent, the crowds are smaller and tourist services are still open.

Hvar cruises in June to August take advantage of the highest temperatures and clear skies. This is the peak season, however, so plan ahead as hotels and cruises will fill up fast during this period, while prices will be higher. Crowds will also be bigger on the beaches and tourist areas, though this may be a plus if you are seeking raucous parties.

Hvar cruises in late October to April are rare as many tourist facilities, including hotels and shops, are closed for the winter. Crowds will be much smaller and the weather is still mild, but the off season means opportunities for exploring the region will be limited.

Where do Hvar cruises depart from?

Most Croatia small ship cruises including stops at Hvar depart from Split or Dubrovnik. If your Croatia cruise leaves from Split, you will fly into Split Airport. Cruises leaving from Dubrovnik are serviced by Dubrovnik Airport.

The Dalmatian Coast is serviced by three international airports, in Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. All three airports can be reached by direct flights from many countries within Europe. Visitors flying in from outside Europe may have to connect in Zagreb or another European airport.

Please contact our reservations team to book your next cruise to Hvar Island, Croatia.


Hvar Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 9 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Paul R
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

A beautiful city, very tranquil. The dinner in the interior was fantastic

Diving Hvar in July on the New Star

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Peter M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

The traditional meal experience was brilliant and the town was beautiful to walk through

Diving Hvar in July on the New Star

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Tim M
  • Canada Canada

We originally felt it unfortunate that we were not moored in Hvar harbour, but actually really enjoyed strolling around Stari Grad ( where we were moored). Again, excellent local guide for walking tour. We liked that we had time on our own to explore and have dinner at a great restaurant (Black Pepper).

Diving Hvar in July on the My Way

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Paula R
  • United States United States

Great. The tour guide was fun and funny

Diving Hvar in June on the San Antonio

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ciro B
  • Australia Australia

Blue cave is amazing. Hvar is by far the most busiest of the smaller ports we stayed in.

Diving Hvar in June on the Markan

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Etienne V
  • South Africa South Africa

Only walking tour was offered. Nice town with knowledgeable, friendly local guide.

Diving Hvar in May on the Dream

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Timothy L
  • United States United States

Wonderful, excellent guide, great dining, beautiful views

Diving Hvar in May on the Avangard

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Ken M
  • South Africa South Africa

Interesting and the tour guide good (ecen singing a Croatian song for us. Could not overnight due to bad weather. However had the additional visit to Stari Grad - lucky us.

Diving Hvar in April on the Dream