The name Hvar refers to both the island and the principal town on the island. If you arrive on the island by ferry, you may land at Stari Grad, which lies northeast of Hvar. We found the road from Stari Grad to the town of Hvar, creeping along a narrow precipice overlooking the sea, to be beautiful but harrowing. If heights bother you, opt for the road that runs through the interior.

Billed as the sunniest island in the Adriatic, Hvar also is one of the more stylish. If you arrive when the lavender plants are in bloom, you may never want to leave.

Located 180 mi/290 km south of Zagreb, the town of Hvar, which crowds up a steep hill overlooking a scenic harbor, is small but breathtakingly beautiful. There are plenty of lively cafes for whiling away evenings, but we preferred catching a performance at the tiny theater built above the town's arsenal: It's said to be one of the oldest community theaters in Europe (entrance is through an art gallery next door). Hvar also has annual theater and music festivals as well as sporting events. Also check out the 16th-century Spanjola fortress and the 15th-century Franciscan monastery.

Spend some time visiting the buildings left by the various peoples who occupied the islands (Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Austrians and the French under Napoleon). There are few beaches on Hvar, so sun lovers flock to the nearby beaches of Jerolim (located on Jerolim Island) and Stipanska (located on Marinkovac Island, part of the Pakleni Islands), where clothing-optional sunbathing isn't really an option: Nude tanning is de rigueur. http://www.hvarinfo.com.

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