Where to Stay in Hvar Croatia: 10 Best Areas

If you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Hvar, this article will help! We’ll tell you all about where to stay in Hvar and what each area has to offer.

The Adriatic is an increasingly popular holiday destination within the Mediterranean as a whole. This Croatian island with its lovely beaches is at the forefront of this popularity. 

The weather is excellent with pleasant springs, hot summers, and pleasant autumns. That is a guarantee. Whether you want a quiet beach vacation or lively party scene, we’ve got it covered. Read on and find out!

Read Also: Where to Stay in Zagreb

Tips for choosing the best areas to stay in hvar

Croatia is a relatively new country, created after the split up of Yugoslavia. It has a long coastline on the Adriatic and its qualities as a holiday destination are beyond dispute. Hvar is one of its nicest islands and Croatia’s accessibility by air from huge population areas in Europe is just the start.

The quickest ferry from Split on the mainland is around an hour. There is plenty of choice and which ferry you take really depends upon where you are staying on Hvar. The journey itself on the beautiful Adriatic is a great experience. Your holiday has begun.

Hvar Town is one of the top choices but there are others. With Hvar offering amazing beaches, colour from its flowers, hills, and waters, history, and more, you have alternatives. Some are the best places for families to make their base, others have the liveliest nightlife. 

There are even places that are quiet and restful even in the high season. Hvar’s architecture and religious sites attract holidaymakers who want more than a beach holiday. Likewise, Hvar has walking trails that allow hikers to explore.

It is only recently that 5-star hotels have appeared on Hvar. Accommodation alternatives now range from camping to apartments and these quality hotels. 

>> FIND BEST HOTELS IN HVAR <<

10 Best Areas to Stay in Hvar: Where To Stay in Hvar

Ferries from the mainland go to Hvar Town, Jelsa, and Stari Grad. Hvar is a long, narrow island, running east-west with Hvar Town on the southern coast in the western corner. The other two are both on the north coast. Once you have read about these 10 areas, you will have a better idea of which ferry to catch.

Best Areas to stay in Hvar map

1. Hvar Town, the best area to stay in Hvar for nightlife

Hvar Town, where to stay in Hvar for nightlife

Hvar Town is the capital of the island and the best place to stay in Hvar if you want plenty of nightlife choices. The district around the harbor where the ferries dock is busy at any time. Those ferries arrive from the mainland but also link Hvar with other islands. 

The Venetian fortress is the major landmark in the town.  There are many historic buildings lining the narrow cobbled streets with plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants to choose from as well. When you head up to St. Stephen’s Square, you will see the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral that dates back to the 16th Century.

If you are interested in religious sites, you will find many religious relics behind the cathedral in the museum in the Bishop’s Palace. There is also a Benedictine Monastery, a Franciscan Monastery, and the Church of our Lady of Mercy. 

The beaches are at the end of town, pebbles rather than soft sand. They are worth a visit but just one of the daytime activities that Hvar Town can offer. The Pakleni Islands are just offshore so why not take a boat and explore? Explore inland where the lavender fields produce a unique fragrance.

The town has a range of places to eat, everything from casual places ideal for families to high-class restaurants patronised by wealthy clientele who seek out the 5-star hotels for their stay. Villas are also available to rent, providing more independence than even the best hotel can offer.

Hvar Town hotels in the main town are within walking distance of many of the places you will want to visit. It is a pleasure to walk the charming streets of Hvar old town, stopping to sample local wines or just get a cold drink. 

Stay in Hvar town if:

  • You are happy to make your base in the busiest place on Hvar Island because it provides the greatest choice.
  • Your ferry brings you to the Island capital and why travel further?
  • Exploring Hvar Island is on your itinerary with a hire car

Where to stay in Hvar town

Palace Elisabeth, Hvar Heritage Hotel is the oldest 5-star hotel on Hvar, and located within walking distance from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hvar’s Theatre and Arsenal, Fortica Fortress, and Harbour of Hvar.

Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel 4 -star hotel, located in the heart of Hvar, in a short distance from St. Stephen’s Square in Hvar, Bishop’s Palace in Hvar, and Hvar Heritage Museum.

Apartments and Rooms Bonkan Hvar a budget hotel in Hvar town, just 300m from the waterfront, the beaches nearby are Beach Bonj, Amfora Beach, Franciscan Monastery Beach.

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2. Jelsa, where to stay in Hvar on budget

Jelsa, best area in Hvar for budget

Jelsa is on the midpoint of the north coast of Hvar Island, 16 miles from Hvar Town across the narrow interior. It sits in a bay below forested mountains running down to the sea. Its beautiful beaches just outside the town attract tourists, many of whom will have arrived by ferry directly into Jelsa harbour.

The best beaches are on the south side of the bay while there is a water taxi that will take you to others, two being naturist beaches, Zecovo and Glavice. 

Its origins as a small agricultural and fishing town go back to the 14th Century. The architecture of the 15th and 16th Centuries is still evident today. 

Tourism is now the biggest contributor to the local economy and the town has much of that to offer without attracting the crowds of Hvar Town. If you wander the streets, you will find them quieter than Hvar Town but they still contain shops, bars, and restaurants to cater for visitors and locals. 

The Church of Saints Fabian and Sebastian in a paved square is a notable landmark. It was built in the 16th Century although the surrounding buildings came later. The altar in the Church includes a wooden statue of the Madonna. It was brought from the mainland as people fled from the invading Ottomans.

The harbour is a focal point and sitting back to observe the activity is a pleasure in itself. After sunset, numbers grow to enjoy the bars and restaurants. While none close early, you will not find any staying open into the early hours. 

There is a good range of accommodation options including apartments and villas for those wanting independence and hotels from 2-star up to 5-star. In general terms, Jelsa is cheaper than Hvar Town both in accommodation and average daily shopping and eating.

Stay in Jelsa if:

  • Your ferry is to Jelsa and you are unconcerned about your base because you are going to explore.
  • Budget accommodation is your preferred choice.
  • The setting below the mountains appeals to you.

Best places to stay in Jelsa:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN JELSA

3. Stari Grad, where to stay in Hvar for first time visitors

Stari Grad Hvar for first timers

Hvar’s third ferry port is Star Grad which sits at the top of a cove in the northwest of the island. Stari Grad means ‘’old town’’ and this is one of the oldest towns on the island, indeed in the whole region. The Greeks colonised it in the 4th Century BC and you will still see references to Faros, the place the Greeks departed from to reach Hvar Island.

If you want a place to relax but still have good facilities for holidaymakers, Stari Grad is a place to investigate closely. Most of the restaurants and bars are in the harbour and marina district. The nighttime atmosphere tends to be very pleasant and fairly quiet.

The beach is nearby but it is a concrete surface although sunbathers still seem to use it in numbers. There are more traditional beaches round the headland that have a backdrop of forested slopes. 

If you love history and architecture, walk around the narrow alleys running off a number of small squares. Bougainvilleas provide the splash of colour amidst the old buildings. The old town walls, a villa from Roman times and 2 Illyrian forts are among the places of interest.

The Greek tower on the Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also worth a mention. If churches are your thing, Stadi Grad has 9 of them. The Church of St. John is on a site that was first developed in the 5th Century. Several of the churches are very old with modern additions in the 18th or 19th Centuries.

The 16th century Tvrdalj Castle and the Stari Grad Museum in Palace Blankini are interesting. In the museum, you will see a reconstruction of an old Greek shipwreck, an art collection, relics from Stari Grad Plain, and the 19th Century Captain’s Room.  The Mausoleum of Sime Ljubica and the old windmill on the harbour are other points of interest.

Stari Grad will always be cheaper than Hvar Town with accommodation including mid-range hotels as well as private apartments and villas.

Stay in Stari Grad if:

  • You are very interested in history and architecture.
  • You’re the first time visiting Hvar
  • Relaxing is a priority but there are still some bar and restaurant choices.
  • You want some value for money accommodation options.

Best places to stay in Stari Grad:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN STARI GRAD

4. Vrboska, best area to stay in Hvar for Authentic experience

Vrboska is a village between Stadi Grad and Jelsa on Hvar’s north coast. Back in the 15th Century, it developed as a port with buildings on either side of the estuary, connected by a stone bridge. 

Forested hills with olive groves and orchards surround Vrboska which now depends primarily on tourism for its income. There are local beaches including a couple reserved for naturists. Campsites are nearby and provide the cheapest form of accommodation you can find. There are apartments and luxury villas available for rent but you will need to book early for the latter. 

Don’t expect a busy nightlife but there are sufficient good bars and restaurants for you to enjoy your evenings. Most of the amenities are in the harbour area, and that includes the shopping. There is a small marina that offers berths to yachts sailing in the Adriatic Sea

The Fisherman’s Museum is interesting, telling the story of local fishing over the years. Some of the churches are also worthy of a mention, the 16th Century St. Mary of Mercy and the Church of St. Lawrence where you will see some wonderful paintings. The Church of St. Peter is one of the oldest religious buildings on Hvar Island.

St. Mary of Mercy was developed into a refuge at a time when there was a serious threat from both the Venetians and then the Ottomans. 

Stay in Vrboska if:

  • Nightlife is of minimal interest.
  • You enjoy learning about local history and village life.
  • You want a good choice of accommodation.

Best places to stay in Vrboska:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN VRBOSKA

5. Milna, where to stay in Hvar for families

Milna sits in a small bay close to Hvar Town on the southwest coast. Its attractions are largely by day with anyone wanting nightlife finding it less than 3 miles away in the island’s capital.  Its popularity with tourists suggests it has the right formula.

Its origins are in the 16th Century with Baroque architecture still in evidence in the western end of the village. The mansion belonging to the Ivanic family is surely the best example and you can stay there. It is a boutique hotel today.

Lavender is an important crop in Hvar and as far back as the 17th Century, this region was famous for the oil that was exported from other parts of Europe, notably Paris. Tourism has not resulted in the village losing its essence. There are as many restaurants as bars and the local cuisine is excellent. 

In total, there are four small beaches in the immediate area, pebbles not sand with shallow clear water suitable for all, from young children upwards. There are basic facilities and refreshments on site. If you want a break from the beach, take a walk in the pine trees that line the shore. 

There are cycle trails, boats for hire, donkey rides and scuba diving is good. Walking tours are available locally with information on Milna’s history as you walk. One of the most interesting is to a small village nearby, Malo Grablje which is now deserted and has been since the 1960s. 

Milna is quiet after sunset but you will be able to enjoy a pleasant dinner, and a drink but nothing is really open very late.  Perhaps your hotel bar may serve you a late drink, and there is good accommodation available. Demand is high so it is worth booking early to avoid disappointment. 

Stay in Milna if:

  • You enjoy exploring the local area around your base.
  • Busy nightlife is unimportant to you as long as you have a good bar and restaurant.
  • You want a family location with shallow water for the kids.

Best places to stay in Milna:

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6. Zavala, the coolest area to stay in Hvar

Zavala is another delight on the south coast. It remains fairly quiet and certainly not over commercialised. Its pebbled beach sits below hills covered with pine trees with the smell from lavender and rosemary fields adding to its appeal. It is definitely a place for tourists wanting to relax.

Even the journey from Jelsa, the best ferry port for you if you want to stay here, is delightful. The road goes through a small village, Pitve, and a long and narrow tunnel which is controlled by traffic lights because it is a single lane and unlit. 

Emerging from the dark, a great view of the coastline and the blue Adriatic unfolds in front of you. There are small offshore islands in the setting as well. Once you arrive, you find a small harbour and a nice promenade lined with hotels and apartments, and further on bars and restaurants.

Dining here is a pleasure. Your plate will have things grown locally, and the day’s catch is to be recommended. Olive oil is pressed locally, the wines are local and seasonal fruits are wonderful. 

You will find a good range of accommodation, and good value as well. You can even camp or rent a villa. 

Stay in Zavala if:

  • You enjoy local cuisine in pleasant surroundings. 
  • Seeing local village life is important to you.
  • You prefer to avoid tourist crowds.

Best places to stay in Zavala:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN ZAVALA

7. Zastrazisce, where to stay in Hvar for a quiet holiday

Zastražišće Hvar
Apartmani Nikola in Zastražišće

This is a village of just 200 people so few holiday destinations offer a better chance for a quiet holiday taking in typical Greek village life. There’ll be no tourist crowds if you choose Zastrazisce as your base. Even those 200 live in stone cottages that are spread out over a wide area. 

Zastrazisce sits at around 700 feet above sea level thereby giving you great views over the area. You will find just one restaurant, a single shop, a school, and two churches. The closest place of any size is Jelsa, 13 miles away by road. 

The locals of Zastrazisce traditionally made their living from agriculture. In years gone by, livestock was the main activity but today it is olives, oranges, and lavender that provide the income for the families. Tourism makes a small contribution. You should probably hire a car if Zastrazisce is your preferred choice as a base. 

You may just park up for several days but it is always nice to be able to explore further afield. You could of course cycle if you are fit enough to do it.  Several coves and bays are worth a visit, both on the north and south sides of Hvar. Remember Hvar Island is no wider than 6 miles at any point.

The village of Humac and Grapceva Cave with its impressive stalagmites and stalactites are of interest without having to start the car. Rather than man-made landmarks, the highlight of the village is an olive tree that is over 2,000 years old. 

Not surprisingly, there are no hotels in the village. Stone cottages that have been modernised are the option. 

Stay in Zastrazisce if:

  • You are happy with basic clean accommodation.
  • The environment is important to you.
  • A quiet holiday is your preference. 

Best places to stay in Zastrazisce:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN ZASTRAZISCE

8. Sveta Nedjelja (Sveta Nedilja), one of the best areas for hiking and climbing

Sveta Nedjelja is below the highest summit on Hvar, Mount St Nicholas at around 2,000 feet, on the island’s south coast. It is perfect for tourists wanting a relaxing break away from tourist crowds, yet wanting decent amenities.

There is just a small pebble beach with rental apartments behind typical local buildings elsewhere in the village. Narrow streets and alleyways typify Sveta Nedjelja. Leave the village and head uphill and you will find terraced vineyards which produce its lovely red wine. There are olive groves as well from which locally pressed oil is produced. 

Points of interest in Sveta Nedjelja include the charming small chapel, a cave where you will find a graveyard, old monastery ruins, and another church, all dating from the 16th Century. You will need to have a level of fitness to hike there. The cave is halfway to the summit and will take around 45 minutes.

Climbers wanting a challenge, both from the cliffs and steep climbs seem to have found a place on Hvar Island that appeals to them. However, if all you want is to relax, stay down in the village, enjoying the harbour with its bars and restaurants and the pebble beach.

If you book a self-catering apartment, you can stock up in the local shops or eat out in a cafe or restaurant. The business that produces oils from lavender and rosemary is happy to welcome visitors who want to watch the process.  Then you could go next door to the wine bottling plant and maybe sample some while you are there.

If you want to see the surrounding area and want help, take a tour with a local who will use trails to show you the small farms and the countryside. If you rent a car on arrival in Hvar, the drive is 20 minutes from Jelsa and 30 from Hvar Town.

Don’t expect much in terms of nightlife but a relaxing evening is important to some. The accommodation options available is mostly apartments and villas with balconies and terraces looking out to sea. Just absorb your surroundings! Heaven!  

Stay in Sveta Nedilja if:

  • You like hiking and climbing during the day.
  • Nightlife is not a priority as long as you have some restaurant and bar options.
  • Village life is just fine with you. 

Best hotels in Sveta Nedjelja:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN SVETA NEDELJA

9. Gdinj, the best area near Hvar for relaxation

Gdinj is almost 20 miles east of Hvar Town, past both Humac and Zastrazisce. It is a village where settlement started in the 16th Century with tiny hamlets amalgamating into a single village of old stone cottages. It is regularly described as a place where time has stood still but who says that is a bad thing? 

Its population of 100 either works in the fields or run a small number of shops, bars, and restaurants. Some of the old cottages are deserted but others have been modernised to provide accommodation for visitors. Accommodation options are converted studios and apartments with a few local houses also available to rent. 

At one time, Gdinj was much bigger, with a population of around 800. Socio-economic conditions changed that with people gravitating to larger places. While tourism is very welcome, it is unlikely to result in much population growth, certainly not back to the previous levels. 

Although there is a bus service between Hvar Town and Gdinj, realistically, if you want to stay here, you should rent a car on arrival from your ferry. Once in Gdinj, you can enjoy the tranquility and the sunshine. Incidentally, Gdinj is located at almost 1,200 feet. You have lovely views of islands on either side of Hvar, north and  Brac, and south to Korcula.

Amenities are simple and basic with some services only available in the nearest larger settlement. In this case, it is Jelsa. The few bars and restaurants are the sum total of nightlife alternatives but staying in Gdinj is about other things. You can buy all your basic needs locally if you want to do some self-catering. 

The beaches, indeed the coastal area in general and the pine forests make for a beautiful setting. The Church of St. George, which was built in the 16th Century, is the man-made highlight of Gdinj. It is 5 minutes out of Gdinj, built in Renaissance-Baroque style.

Stay in Gdinj if:

  • You want a quiet location.
  • Basic amenities are very acceptable.
  • You don’t need crowds or a hectic nightlife.

Best places to stay in Gdinj:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN GDINJ

10. Sucuraj, a fishing village in Hvar Island

Sucuraj Hvar

The fishing village of Sucuraj is at the extreme eastern end of Hvar Island. The smallest town in Hvar Island, it is the closest point to the Croatian mainland. There is a ferry link to Drvenik on the mainland that only takes around half an hour. Only if you intend to stay at the eastern end of Hvar Island would you take this ferry.

While it is thought that Sucuraj was first settled in the 14th Century, there is no physical evidence for you to see. Augustine monks built a monastery with no accurate information on the date it was built. Rebuilding has been a regular occurrence, the first in 1309, the last in 1994.

Venetians built a fort here in the 17th Century. They also built the Church of St. Anthony which is still there today.  However, what you see is a rebuild after the original was destroyed in the 19th Century. The old lighthouse is worth a visit, as is the Church of St. Jure.

There is a reasonable choice of bars and restaurants in Sucuraj with shops selling all you might need.  It is a typical Adriatic village with stone buildings, twisting, and narrow alleyways. You should explore the many bays and coves, found both on the north side and the south side of Hvar. 

The beaches and shallow waters are great for youngsters if you decide that you do not need loads of facilities for a family holiday. You can explore by hiking or cycling or simply take gentle strolls. The small fishing fleet ensures that the restaurants have fresh fish every day. You can go to sea yourself, visiting any of the small islands nearby. 

In terms of accommodation, there is a choice of studios and apartments as well as houses, many offering great views over the harbour and the beaches. Sucuraj is not for everyone and the locals would agree but it can offer a memorable holiday for those wanting something a little different. 

Stay in Sucuraj if:

  • You want a place with good beaches and swimming conditions as you are on a family holiday.
  • Exploring the locality is important to you.
  • You enjoy typical Adriatic villages with narrow streets and stone buildings. 

Best places to stay in Sucuraj:

FIND BEST HOTELS IN SUCURAJ

I recommend to watch the virtual tour about the best places to stay in Hvar in my video:

Where to stay in Hvar: Best Areas to Stay in Hvar, Croatia

FAQs on where to stay in Hvar

Where in Hvar Should I stay?

Some tourists do not look past the ferry ports on Hvar Island. Have Town is a top choice as is its Palace Elisabeth. In Stari Grad, it is worth looking at Hotel Antica or B&B Heritage Villa Apolon. If you prefer independence to a hotel, in Jelsa, there is Apartments Goic.

Is It Worth Staying in Hvar?

Hvar is a lovely island and the proof is the increasing numbers of holidaymakers that are heading there, some, time after time.  As long as you don’t want busy bar streets and loud discos, you will want for nothing on Hvar Island.

Is Hvar a Party Island?

You will find action on Hvar Island but it is low on any list of Mediterranean ‘’party islands.’’ In Hvar Town especially, and Stari Grad, you will never be short of nighttime entertainment. There are lively beach bars that you will definitely enjoy.

Where to Stay in Hvar for Nightlife

Hvar Town is certainly the top choice on Hvar Island if you are looking for plenty of nightlife. It may not be a priority if you choose Havar for your holiday and you will enjoy a nice evening atmosphere where you stay. Look at Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel.

Conclusion

Hvar Island in the Adriatic Sea has much to offer. Hotels in Hvar range from budget upwards. Hvar accommodation includes luxury hotels, some with their own private beach, luxury villas but also plenty for those on a budget. Affordable accommodation is a priority for many tourists. 

If you want a secluded bay, beautiful beaches, stunning sea views, and a flavour of local life, Hvar Island passes the test. When you are wondering where to stay on Hvar Island, it depends on what you are looking for. If you want almost total seclusion, you can even find that. 

Croatian islands are outstanding holiday destinations and if you have yet to visit one, head to Hvar and see what we mean.

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