Amazing Day Trips to Take Around Hvar, Croatia, by Boat

The ancient city of Split is easily reached by boat from Hvar
The ancient city of Split is easily reached by boat from Hvar | © lucky-photographer / Alamy Stock Photo
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For many, the island of Hvar conjures up images of lavish parties and hob-nobbing with the glitterati in trendy restaurants and beach clubs. However, there’s more to Hvar than just its party scene. Just a little ways away from the main town of Jelsa, you’ll find Tvrdava Fortica, an ancient fortress that dates from before 500BCE. The climb up to the fortress is relatively easy and you’ll be rewarded with unbroken views of the gleaming Adriatic. If you prefer to get out on the water itself, there are plenty of mini excursions available. Here we reveal some of the best day trips to do by boat from Hvar.

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Pakleni Islands

Natural Feature
The low-rise Pakleni islands are surrounded by calm, turquoise sea and yachts, and covered in scrubby vegetation.
© Dalibor Brlek / Alamy Stock Photo

Located just 10 minutes from Hvar by boat, the Pakleni Islands are made up of a cluster of small outcrops and hidden bays. On Sveti Klement, the largest of the Pakleni group, you can pop your mask on and snorkel to explore the crystal-clear waters around Tarsce Bay. After indulging in a swim, enjoy a delicious local meal at the tiny village of Palmizana, where you’ll find time-honoured dining establishments such as the Meneghello Restaurant.

Marinkovac

Natural Feature
Two traditional wooden sailing boats with tall masts are moored in the turquoise waters of Stipanska bay, which is sheltered by a rocky shoreline.
© Kuttig - Travel / Alamy Stock Photo

This is the second-largest island in the Pakleni Island group and is perhaps best known for the sprawling Carpe Diem beach club on Stipanska bay. For something a bit more low-key, head to the other end of the island, where you’ll find the serene shores of Zdrilca and Mlini beaches. The calm waters, clean stretches of sand and variety of restaurants make it ideal for families with young children to kick back and enjoy a lazy afternoon.

Crvene Stijene (Red Rocks)

Natural Feature
The sheer red and white limestone cliffs at Red Rocks plunge straight into the calm azure sea below.
© Oliver Wintzen / Alamy Stock Photo

This natural phenomenon is a must-visit for anyone who spends time in Hvar. Composed of towering red limestone rocks that plunge towards the sea, the Red Rocks are the result of century upon century of erosion. While this attraction is only accessible by boat, you can easily hop off for a swim or snorkel, or even try a spot of (safe) cliff jumping on the left side of the rocks.

Luciste

Natural Feature
The rocky inlet of Lučište has a jagged shoreline and a soft-sand beach, which is peppered with towels and sun umbrellas.
© Travelfile / Alamy Stock Photo

About 10 minutes away from the Red Rocks, you’ll find this secluded beach, which is mostly under the tourist radar. Because of its remote location, which is only accessible by boat, it doesn’t receive many visitors, so if you’re lucky, you might have the entire beach to yourself. Take a dip in the inviting waters surrounding the beach or simply flop back and bathe in the warm Mediterranean sunshine.

Sćedro

Natural Feature
A wooden pleasure cruise boat floats in the calm waters off Šćedro, which have a backdrop of low-profile mountains behind them.
© David South / Alamy Stock Photo

Situated in the Korcula Channel, close to the south coast of Hvar, this tiny islet is popular for boat-trippers because of its pristine beauty and earthy Mediterranean island atmosphere. With many well-paved trails, you can easily explore the little island on foot, visiting historical sights such as the remains of a 15th-century Dominican Monastery, as well the island’s highest point – Vela Glova.

Green Cave

Natural Feature
A view looking out of the dark mouth of the Green Cave, with a small sailing boat floating just outside.
© International Photobank / Alamy Stock Photo

You’ve heard of the famous Blue Cave on the Croatian island of ​​Bisevo, but have you visited its lesser-known, but no less spectacular, counterpart – the Green Cave? Located on the southwest side of the tiny, uninhabited island of Ravnik, this cave glows an almost ethereal emerald green, a natural phenomenon caused by sunlight reflecting the green algae growing on the ceiling and the walls of the cave down into the sea. Unlike the Blue Cave, visitors are allowed to swim, and even snorkel, here, so be sure to pack your gear.

Kornati Islands

Natural Feature
Aerial view of the Kornati Islands, a series of low-profile, barely-inhabited islands and islets, surrounded by calm sea.
© ANDREJ CRCEK / Alamy Stock Photo

Kornati National Park is made up of 140 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs spread along the Dalmatian coastline, and is best accessed by boat. For adventure seekers, the islands feature rugged karst terrain packed with caves and grottos to explore. If you prefer something more laid-back, head to the sheltered bay of Vrulje, where you’ll find the family-friendly Core Restaurant serving homemade delicacies such as rockfish fritters and Adriatic octopus, best washed down with a glass of fine Croatian wine or two.

Split

Architectural Landmark
Split, seafront view to harbor in Split, Croatia
Split, seafront view to harbor in Split, Croatia | © Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

Situated just a little over an hour away from Hvar by boat, the city of Split is great for those looking to stretch their legs and do some serious sightseeing. The city’s ancient roots stretch back 1,700 years to Roman times, and Split’s old town grew from the palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian, in the third century CE. Today, the Unesco-listed Diocletian’s Palace is a living museum of sorts, comprised of narrow streets lined with colourful cafes, boutiques and restaurants.

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