Any trip to the Croatian island of Hvar, surrounded by the brilliantly blue Adriatic, should make ample time to explore its many beaches. From popular stretches within easy reach of town to pine-backed secluded coves, Hvar has you covered when it comes to beaches.
Whether it’s well-equipped beaches with bars and restaurants or tranquil bays with nothing but sea and sand, Hvar’s diverse seaside offering will undoubtedly meet your sunbathing and swimming needs. From party beaches like Carpe Diem, to more secluded options such as Pokonji Dol Beach, and nudist spots including Amo Beach on the nearby island of Jerolim, there’s plenty of choice.
Pro tip: like many Croatian beaches, beaches on Hvar tend to be quite rocky, so be sure to bring along a good pair of beach or water shoes. For extra comfort, you may want to put a foam yoga mat underneath your beach towel in case no lounge chairs or sunbeds are available.
Beaches on Hvar
If you want a beach with a restaurant, try Falko Beach Bar & Food, says Mira Ćurin, current president of the Mountaineering Association of Hvar Island (Planinarsko društvo Hvar). Aside from the pristine waters at the beach, the 15-20-minute walk along the coast from Hvar Town is spectacular in itself. “It’s under some pine trees and the best place to relax,” says Ćurin – whether that means lounging on a hammock or by the water. You can sip on a drink or have a snack one minute and be swimming in the sea the next.
Pro tip: try the prawn or black risotto – and be sure to stay for sunset.
Hula-Hula Hvar is a beach, bar and restaurant rolled into one. And the later it gets, the more it turns into a party hotspot. Take a dip in the sea before socialising with friends over olives, octopus salad and peach daiquiris. There are also VIP tables, sunbeds and even a massage area. Pro tip: go at sunset to experience the magnificent colours of the Hvar sky, but get there at least an hour or two in advance so you’ll get a good seat and vantage point.
If you want to get further from Hvar Town, try out Pokonji Dol Beach, which is about a 20-30-minute walk. While Google Maps may show you a shorter route, the seaside path is a far more picturesque journey. Andrew Brown, a local resident who rents out apartments to visitors, says this is his favourite beach. “It’s the best, most traditional beach – which is also family-friendly with a restaurant and parking,” he says. While you sunbathe under an umbrella, take time to admire the view, which includes a small island in the distance with a lighthouse. You may want to bring along a snorkel, or perhaps rent paddle boats and canoes to explore more of the surrounding area. Pro tip: take the uphill trail off Ive Roića Street for unbelievable views. If you get hungry, sit down to eat at local restaurant Mustačo Hvar, and try the grilled calamari or seafood platter. “After visiting Pokonji Dol, you can walk along the coast towards Milna and you will find a great beach bar called Pachamama,” says Brown.
To get a tranquil beach experience away from the crowds, try Dubovica Beach, located about 8km (5mi) from the centre of town on the southern shore of Hvar. Note: bring a good pair of shoes, as you will have to walk down a semi-steep path to reach it. Once down on the delightful pebble beach, when not taking in the beach itself, you can enjoy the view of the old country house alongside it, or admire the sea life below the surface of the aquamarine water. Since this beach is in a cove, it’s less windy than some other beaches. For food, there’s the Dubovica Beach Bar, where the speciality is freshly caught seafood.
About 6km (4mi) from Jelsa, in the northern part of Hvar, you’ll find Soline Beach in Vrboska. Not only is the beach picturesque, but so is the pine forest surrounding it. Although it’s a pebble beach, there’s a sand volleyball court there if you fancy a game. The beach is family-friendly, but if you desire a naturalist (nudist) beach, there’s one nearby. In any case, as part of your visit to Soline Beach, you should explore the village of Vrboska, too, says Brown, which is often referred to as Little Venice due to its many bridges. With just over 500 inhabitants, the village is a hub for tourism, fishing and wine production.
“One of my favourite coves is Pokrivenik – on the eastern part of Hvar island – with magnificent high cliffs on both sides of the cove and a large pebble beach in the middle,” says Ćurin. There’s also a small dock for boats, as well as a restaurant where you can try the fresh fish of the day.
Beaches a short boat ride from Hvar Town
When visiting Hvar, visiting the Pakleni Islands (sometimes referred to as the Paklinski Islands) is “a must,” says Brown. They’re made up of a chain of more than a dozen islands with several bays and coves, which means plenty of beach options. To get there, you can take a water taxi for just 40 Croatian kuna (around £4.80), or go on a pre-organised tour. Brown’s pro-tip, however, is to rent a boat. That way, you can be on your own schedule and easily beach hop from one cove to another. “Rent a small boat called a pasara – you don’t need a licence and you can explore all of the Pakleni Islands,” he says. And they’re not as expensive as you might think: they start at around 370 kuna (£44), and can fit up to five or six people. If you’d rather leave the steering to someone else, you can also rent a boat with a skipper.
Brown suggests checking out Mlini Beach in Ždrilica Bay on the island of Marinkovac, which is part of the Pakleni Islands. Via taxi or private boat, the island is just a short ride – about 15 minutes – from Hvar Town. Plus, it’s not as party-oriented as some other beaches – you can just relax and take in the shimmering water. If you want a drink, snack or a terrace with lounge chairs and umbrellas, Brown suggests one of his favourite places is on the island. “The coolest bar/restaurant is Mamato,” he says. There, you can try a variety of local catches: from mussels to seafood risotto.
If you are looking for a party vibe, you can find it at the buzzy Carpe Diem Beach, also on Marinkovac Island, a short boat ride away from Hvar Town. By day, the bamboo hut, comfy wooden beds and sofas have a relatively chilled vibe. There’s also a wellness area with a variety of sporting activities, including a beach volleyball court and diving school. For those wanting to feel ultimate freedom, there is also a nude beach area called Stipanska. Come nightfall, the sprawling space transforms into more of a party zone, complete with a pool bar, sea terrace and VIP area – and lots of music and dancing. Here, you can literally dance all night until the sun comes up. Carpe Diem Beach also hosts a wide range of events, including Full Moon Parties. Pro tip: to get you back to Hvar Town safe and sound, free water taxis will drop you off in front of Carpe Diem City Bar.
If stripping down to your birthday suit is more your style, you can find plenty of nude beaches around Hvar. One of these is Amo Beach on the island of Jerolim, just a few minutes by boat, from Hvar Town. Clothing is optional and you’ll find that some areas of the beach are more secluded than others. Overall, the island provides relaxation that more touristy islands and beaches don’t. Pro tip: if you expect you’ll get hungry, you may want to bring a picnic along, as food options are not as plentiful as they are at other beaches.
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