Hvar, Croatia

Hvar harbour, Croatia

I’ve discovered one of the most beautiful islands in Europe the world. And hey, you know how much I loved Formentera. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen plenty of posts about beautiful Hvar. We woke up super early in Dubrovnik, ready to arrive at the port for our four hour catamaran trip up Hvar. Hvar’s a tiny Croatian island renowned for its beauty and party vibe throughout summer. It was a highlight of the Croatian itinerary for both Jo and I.

Arriving in Hvar

We managed to sleep for a fair portion of the boat trip and chatted away to a lovely British couple that we met. Eventually, our boat docked at the incredible Hvar harbour. It’s truly stunning, with gorgeous coloured water. Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is a party island that’s most popular in the summer months. It has a beautiful old port town with walls that date back to the eighteenth century. There’s also a fortress and a square. There are some beautiful beaches, and fields that grow a popular export of Hvar – lavender. The nearby Pakleni Islands are easily accessible by boat, with some stunning secluded beaches and bars.

Hvar harbour, Croatia
Hvar harbour, Croatia
Hvar harbour, Croatia

Surrounded by glamorous people, the most insane yachts (some complete with helipads), and sparkling turquoise waters, we hadn’t anticipated what was ahead for us. Admiring the beautiful colours of the water, we dragged our suitcases along the cobblestones to a harbourside cafe. Here, we sipped smoothies and munched toasties whilst people-watching.

Boats of Hvar, Croatia
Boats in Hvar, Croatia
People watching near Hvar harbour

Pharos Bayhill Hotel, Hvar

Time to find our hotel, the Pharos Bayhill Hotel. I warn you now to think ahead on this one! Given the island’s size, there aren’t a whole ton of hotels around so make sure you book early. Many of the hotels are a fair walk from the harbour also. This means you need to get across several cobblestones and most likely a hill. We’re always keen for a challenge, so walked to our hotel instead of getting a taxi. We dragged our heavy suitcases across cobblestones, and up flights of staircases not designed for it. This was all in mid-thirty degree Celsius – but hey, girl power! Our hotel was fully refurbished last year, so we were excited to see it.

Pharos Bayhill Hotel, Hvar

At the top of the stairs, there was a reasonable hill to contend with, but we finally found our little haven for the next few nights. Our room was modern, clean, and basic but comfortable. There’s also a pool with a bar, and a daily buffet breakfast for all guests. The breakfast was reasonable, but do note it stops at 10.30am each day. This isn’t ideal as a millennial hotel where most people are hungover in the morning. The pool was great, with friendly staff, club tunes, and a reasonably priced cocktail and food menu. All we really needed. What was weird was spotting a girl we knew from our hometown of Cheltenham. We dumped our cases and set out to make the most of the sun.

Exploring Hvar, Croatia

Tiptoeing through an assortment of bay and olive trees, we stumbled across the incredible Bonj Les Bains Beach Club. It’s a beautiful beach club with cabanas, a restaurant, and massage tables right next to the sea. We made a pact to come back there the next day for a slice of paradise.

Bonj les Bains Beach Club, Hvar
Bonj les Bains Beach Club

Feeling pretty tired from our super early start, however, we went to bed early after a few cocktails so that we’d be up bright and early. And where better to start the day than down by the sea!? Reconsidering going to the beach club, instead we were content simply lounging by the rocks next to it with the occasional dip in the sea when the sun got too hot.

Sunbathing in Hvar, Croatia
Sunbathing in Croatia
Girls in Hvar, Croatia
Sunbathing by the sea
Laura in Hvar, Croatia
Sunbathing next to the Adriatic Sea, Croatia

We spent much of the day like this. We hopped between the sea and the comfort of our hotel pool’s sun beds for cocktails and pizza.

Hula Hula Beach Bar

Having only caught the end of the sunset the night before, let me introduce you to the go-to bar on Hvar come 5pm. Introducing Hula Hula Beach Bar. It’s famous for its chilled house music, huge jugs of cocktail with extra long straws, and a VIP crowd pouring in from yachts to start champagne showers and see the sun disappear.

Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club
Drinking at Hula Hula Beach Club
Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club

Hula Hula is famous for its sunset views across the Adriatic Sea, awesome sounds from its DJs, and party atmosphere. Throughout the day it’s a beach club with sun beds, VIP tables, and massage beds. You can also eat from the beach club’s tasty restaurant, and rent a boat to explore the island. It really is so much fun, and you’ll make a tonne of friends. We scrambled the bar’s inflatables, watched the sunset, and drank from the daily rose champagne showers.

Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar
Inflatables at Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar
Sunset from Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar

After the sun set, we set off for the harbour for our next destination. En route, we were invited for dinner with some Brazilians who were holidaying on the island.

Seafood dinner on Hvar
Lobster spaghetti on Hvar, Croatia

Head down to the harbour and make sure you give the lobster spaghetti a try. Croatia’s cuisine is generally delicious – a fusion of Italian with seafood. I loved everything I ate, but the lobster spaghetti is a culinary delight of the country so be sure to try.

Carpe Diem

Hvar is home to two main nightclubs. Firstly, Pink Champagne, located near the Old Town of the island, and its more famous sister, Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem has both a bar on Hvar Island, and a beach club and nightclub on one of the neighbouring Pakleni islands. The unique and cool thing about this club is that you catch a boat from outside the Carpe Diem bar at Hvar harbour. From here, you travel across to Stipanska on the Pakleni islands to get to the club, which is open from 2am – 6am. World class DJs play at this incredible, isolated club, which is lit up like an illuminated forest. It felt like being at the Glade stage at Glastonbury Festival, if you’ve been.

Girls at Carpe Diem, Hvar

Be ready for a long night ahead, but a truly awesome experience. Being somewhere so secluded with everyone just there to party was something very special. Hvar is definitely one of the best party cities in the world.

Sunrise from Carpe Diem, Hvar

When you’re ready to swap the dance floor for your bed, grab a slice of pizza and wait for the next boat back to Hvar. You’re treated to a glimpse of sunrise if you time it right. Watching night turn into day at Hvar harbour at dawn is also very cool.

Hvar harbour at dawn
Hvar at sunrise
Hvar square at dawn
Sunrise over the harbour
Hvar harbour at dawn
Hvar harbour at sunrise, Croatia
Sunrise over Hvar, Croatia

After a really fun and long night, we were very ready for bed. Until tomorrow!

Another Night at Hula Hula Beach Club

Waking up hungover, it was our last day in Hvar. From the friendly people to the beautiful scenery and party atmosphere at night and in the beach clubs, we’d sorely miss it. There was only one place we wanted to spend our final night in Hvar before moving on to Split. Hula Hula, of course!

Sunset at Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar

One great thing about Hvar is that it feels incredibly safe. Everyone on the island is there to have a great time, much like Ibiza. The difference is being able to leave your belongings on the rocks whilst you go swimming, not worrying that they’ll go missing.

Drinking at Hula Hula, Croatia

We finally managed to lift ourselves from the poolside sun beds, thanks to burgers and juices from the pool bar. It was time to get ready for a final night at Hula Hula. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see how much fun we had at Hula Hula already. Once again, we enjoyed the sunset, party, and drank giant cocktails.

Sunset from Hula Hula Beach Club
Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar
Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar
Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club
Hula Hula Beach Club, Hvar
Girls at Hula Hula Beach Club

Just outside of Hula Hula Beach Club and on the way to the harbour, there’s plenty going on. You’ll likely get chatting to a bunch of people. There’s also a game where you can try and hold on to a railing for 2 minutes to win money which is fun. We hit the hotel feeling a little tipsy, and got ready for our last supper in Hvar.

Our Last Night in Hvar

Once the corks of numerous bottles of rose had popped, and the sun had set once again over Hvar, we nipped back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. One thing I love so much about travelling in Europe is that people eat much later than back home in the UK. It’s also usually so sociable, and incomplete without decanters of wine.

Girls in Hvar, Croatia

We walked from our hotel down the hill and into Hvar’s harbour, wandering through cobbled alleyways to find the best spot to eat. It’s always a good sign when a restaurant is packed out – even at 10.30pm. Amazing aromas from the kitchen greeted us as we walked past. We found a great spot and sat down.

Girls having dinner in Hvar, Croatia

With a little help from our waitress, dinner was delicious . We feasted on her recommendations – calamari, tuna steak, squid ink risotto, and more. The perfect ending to a wonderful time in Hvar. Split, we’re ready to see what you have for us next.


Are you a Hvar fan? What kind of partying do you get up to on the island, and what are your favourite things to see? Let me know in the comments!

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Laura
Laura

I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

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8 Comments

  1. November 12, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Really fantastic post with so many incredible suggestions of things to do in Hvar! Your post sold me – I absolutely need to visit the island next summer. I am also bookmarking it to remember all the awesome places you mentioned!

    • whatlauradoesnext
      Author
      November 13, 2016 / 9:57 am

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad I’ve convinced you – make sure you go! I’d really recommend the hotel we stayed in, but it really is just a beautiful island 🙂 Thank you for following and do get in touch if you need any more tips!

      • November 13, 2016 / 11:21 am

        Thank you so much! And will do!

  2. November 13, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Hvar looks incredible! We just got back from a trip to Dubrovnik and I wish we had a little more time to head up north and explore more of Croatia, because it’s such a beautiful country! It sounds like you had an amazing time there!
    xo April | http://www.aprileveryday.com

    • whatlauradoesnext
      Author
      November 13, 2016 / 9:59 am

      Oh it really is! Consider it an excuse to go back to Croatia – there are so many beautiful islands there and I want to back to explore those too. Hope you enjoyed Dubrovnik as much as we did! 🙂

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