Top 10 things to do on Hvar Island with kids

Top 10 things to do on Hvar Island with kids

Hvar has to be pretty high up on the list of top Croatian islands to visit and is a great destination for families.

Whether you’re island hopping or looking to stay longer, we share our top 10 things to do on Hvar Island with kids.

Why visit Hvar Island with kids?

We only had 2 weeks to see as much of Croatia as possible and there are so many beautiful islands to choose from. But Hvar made it onto our itinerary.

With a reputation for being a swanky party island for the rich and famous, I was concerned about how expensive it would be and wondered how suitable it would be for kids.

But I had no need for concern…

Hvar turned out to be one of my favourite places in Croatia.

It’s incredibly beautiful, has a charming old town packed full of amazing restaurants, konoba’s (traditional Dalmatian restaurants) and bars and there are plenty of things to do with kids.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids

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Getting to Hvar Island with kids

There is no airport on the island of Hvar so you will have to fly into one of the main international airports, closest being Split then Dubrovnik.

You can then take the ferry from either Split, Dubrovnik or many of the other Croatian islands over to Hvar.

Despite being anxious about getting seasick (which we didn’t), ferries are such a convenient way to travel in Croatia.

In peak season, they run frequently back and forth between the Croatian islands and connect back to the mainland. They are cheap, quick and a comfortable method of transport and the kids absolutely loved their little sea adventures.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - ferrries

If you are worried about seasickness, take a motion sickness tablet to be on the safe side. We took Stugeron travel sickness tablets on one ferry journey when the sea was a little rough and felt fine.

Our eldest often suffers from motion sickness in the car and also finds that these travel bands work well too.

⭐️ Find out more…

Looking for an EPIC 2 week Croatia itinerary? Click here to read our family itinerary visiting Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar & Split

Getting from Split to Hvar Island

Unless you’re midway through island hopping, the most common route visitors will take is from Split (closest international airport) to Hvar Island.

If you are travelling straight from the airport, you will need to take the airport shuttle bus into Split first.

Click here to read this post for more advice on where to get the shuttle bus from, the cost, journey duration etc.

The bus drops you off at the bus station which is also the ferry port and where the ferry service offices (Krilo and Jadrolinija) are. You can purchase tickets at the office or book them online.

The ferry from Split to Hvar takes approximately 1 hour and costs 110 kn (approx. £13) per person. Children under 3 travel free.

Please note: prices accurate at the time of writing and have used the exchange rate of 1 GBP (British Pound) = 8.5 HKR (Croatian Kuna) – Jan 2019

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - ferry from Split to Hvar

Where to stay in Hvar with kids

I only ever recommend accommodation that we have actually stayed in and genuinely loved our stay.

Hvar is full of accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements but if you are looking for an amazing family-friendly hotel in Hvar, then Dela B&B is perfect.

I cannot recommend this hotel enough for the location, facilities and lovely, kind-hearted family who run it and provide outstanding service to their guests.

We stayed in Hvar Town but other popular areas to stay are Stari Grad and Jelsa.

If you want to look at all accommodation on Hvar Island, use the search tool below.

Top 10 things to do on Hvar Island with kids

1. Explore Hvar Town

Hvar is a thriving and charming town located along a pretty bay lined with swanky yachts. You can easily spend a day or more exploring the stone-walled streets, finding hidden restaurants and cake shops.

You can’t miss the main square which is the largest in Dalmatia and dominated by the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral at the bottom end.

It’s lovely to hear the bells ringing in the evening whilst strolling around the square and enjoying an ice cream from the shop nearby.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The main square and along the harbour is flat and completely suitable for strollers. However, if you want to explore the back streets where many of the restaurants and bars are, you will have some steps to contend with (but nowhere near as many as Dubrovnik).

In the evenings, the family at our hotel drove us into the town centre and back, so we managed without a stroller, but in the day we got around fine with it.

We love our Baby Jogger City Mini stroller because it’s great on cobbled, uneven ground and folds instantly, simply by pulling a handle.

2. Wander around the harbour

Take a stroll around the harbour and take in the view across the sparkling Adriatic Sea to the Pakleni Islands. There are plenty of luxurious yachts to admire and choose which one would be yours if you were super rich!

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - harbour

There is also a little beach if you fancy a rest and a refreshing dip in the water.

There are bigger and better beaches further out of the town centre. I would highly recommend taking water shoes because the beaches are mainly rocky and can be very sharp on bare feet.

3. Sample the local wine at Wine Bar Pršuta 3

If you like wine, then you can’t visit Croatia without sampling the local wine, many of which are produced on the islands including Hvar.

We found this fantastic wine bar on TripAdvisor and were amazed at the consistent 5-star ratings – we had to go and check it out.

Based on the reviews, we were expecting extortionate prices but were surprised to find they were pretty average.

Wine Bar Pršuta 3 really lived up to its TripAdvisor reviews… It has a HUGE selection of wine and the waiter will recommend one based on your taste.

The place has a great vibe in a great location, nestled down a charming narrow street and plays brilliant music. The kids enjoyed dancing away and collecting corks from the owner!

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Wine Bar Pršuta 3

4. Treat your taste buds to dinner at Fig Café Bar

Another consistent 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, we were so happy to come across this jewel of a restaurant.

I can honestly say this was the best dinner we had during our 2 weeks travelling around Croatia.

Tucked away down another charming, stone cobbled street, the ambient atmosphere invited us to sit down straight away. You might have to wait for a table as it is very popular but we enjoyed a drink whilst we waited.

We tucked into the most flavoursome, freshly prepared dishes of…

– Pear & Blue Cheese Flatbread
– Watermelon, Prosciutto & Feta Salad
– Jamaican Butter Chicken Burrito

The flavours are amazing, the presentation is beautiful and the service is warm and friendly – make sure you don’t miss out on dinner here.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Fig Cafe

5. Enjoy Hvar’s lively nightlife

Despite being notorious for its lively nightlife, Hvar is perfectly suitable for kids at night.

Clearly, with a 5 and 2-year old, we weren’t looking for an all-night session in boozy clubs and bars. In fact, Hvar’s nightlife seems to have something that suits everybody.

Stay close to the main square and cathedral and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and places to sit and have a drink whilst people watching.

As you walk further away from the main square, the chic and sophisticated bars start to become more lively but didn’t give an impression of being tacky or tasteless.

If you are looking to party all night, many go over to Carpe Diem on the nearby island of Marinkovac where the drinks flow all night and DJ’s play until sunrise.

6. Visit Hvar Fortress (Španjola Fortress)

Perched dominantly on the top of the hill behind Hvar Town, Hvar Fortress or locally known as Španjola Fortress is definitely worth a visit.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Hvar Fortress 1

There is a steady 20-minute climb up a series of steps from the old town, over a road and through a gate and then up a zig-zag path to the top. If you have a stroller then you will have to carry this up the steps but once you reach the path, this is perfectly suitable for strollers.

You can also take a taxi up to the top via the road. We were lucky enough to be chauffeur driven up to the top by the lovely uncle at Dela B&B and then walked back down into the town. It’s a pleasant and extremely scenic walk and our 2 year old managed it fine.

There is a small entrance fee but once inside Hvar Fortress you are rewarded with incredible views over Hvar Town, the beautiful Adriatic Sea and the nearby Pakleni Islands.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Hvar Fortress 2
Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Hvar Fortress 3

The kids loved running around and exploring the fortress, even the prison. There is also a café and toilet facilities.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Hvar Fortress 4
Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Hvar Fortress 5

7. Spend a day exploring the Pakleni Islands

The Pakleni or Paklinski Islands are a chain of beautiful islands that stretch across the sea directly in front of Hvar Town.

There are lots of ways to explore the Pakleni Islands including regular water taxis, boat excursions or you can do what we did and hire a private motorboat (no license required).

This was probably our most exciting day on Hvar!

We had so much fun moving from island to island at our own leisure, giving the children a turn at steering the boat and mooring up at the different islands.

Car-free and covered in lush pine trees and rocky outcrops, we loved exploring each one. And surrounded by the sparkling clear, turquoise sea, you won’t be able to resist jumping in for a swim.

See my full post on renting a boat to explore the Pakleni Islands here.

8. Visit other parts of Hvar – Stari Grad and Jelsa

We only spent 3 days in Hvar so didn’t get chance to explore the rest of the island.

If we’d had longer we would have considered hiring a car, taking the bus or cycling to other parts of the island.

Stari Grad is thought to be the oldest town in Croatia and is the historical heart of the island. And Jelsa is located in the centre of the island and surrounded by pine forests, vineyards and olive tree plantations.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - Jelsa
Jelsa - Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash

9. Visit the lavender fields on Hvar Island

This was another attraction on Hvar Island that we were unable to see because it was the wrong time of year.

Due to its climate and all year round sunshine, Hvar is famous for its high-quality lavender which blooms in June and July. I would have loved to have seen (and smelt) it but we were there towards the end of August so were too late.

Things to do on Hvar Island with kids - lavender fields
Lavender Fields - Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

10. Swim in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea

Whatever you decide to do during your visit to Hvar or any other part of Croatia, you will not be able to resist swimming in the sea. When people talk about crystal clear, turquoise water, the Adriatic Sea around the coast of Croatia is certainly this.

I’m not a huge fan of swimming in the sea, but when it’s so clear and so inviting, even I can’t say no.

Final thought...

Hvar was one of my favourite places in Croatia because of its beautiful setting, charming pedestrianised old town and the variety of things to do.

These were our top 10 things to do on Hvar Island with kids but there are plenty more things to do both on and around the island.

We stayed for 3 nights which was just enough time to explore Hvar Town and the Pakleni Islands but we would love to go back to explore the island further. 

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