Hvar is a part of the Middle Adriatic island group and is the fourth largest island in the Adriatic Sea. It is, however, the longest island in the Adriatic sea, stretching for 72 km. Due to its strategic position, the island of Hvar has always been an essential foothold in the Adriatic. The ancient Greeks colonised the island in the 4th century B.C., establishing the town of Pharos which is today known as Stari Grad. Throughout history, many different cultures and civilisations left their mark on this beautiful island, leaving us today with plenty of archaeological findings and artefacts. Today, the island of Hvar is one of Croatia’s top holiday destinations with a 140-year long history of organised tourism.
Why you should choose a Hvar Sailing Trip
The island of Hvar offers a perfect mixture of breathtaking natural beauty, impressive cultural heritage and exciting nightlife. The island’s diversity provides a plethora of options for your ideal sailing holiday. If you are looking for an escape from the crowds and commotion, there are plenty of places dotted across the island you can find isolation. For those seeking a more dynamic vacation, Hvar provides you with a bustling nightlife with plenty of restaurants and nightclubs to enjoy your summer nights in. Proximity to nearby islands such as Brač, Korčula, Vis and Mljet extends the possibilities even more.
Enjoy Hvar's ideal sailing conditions
The island of Hvar enjoys the most sunshine in the whole of Croatia which earned the island the nickname “Sunny” Hvar. The island enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and dry and hot summers. Similar to the rest of the Adriatic, the sailing conditions around the island are optimal with small waves, favourable winds and no significant currents. Most dominant winds are Jugo (southern) and Bura (northern), but they are much more present in the winter than summer. During the summer, tramontana and mistral winds blow in the afternoon and night, bringing much needed cooler air.
When's the best time to sail in Hvar
As the island offers plenty of sunshine throughout the year, perfect sailing months extend from early May all through to early October. Being one of Croatia’s top tourist destinations, Hvar can get quite crowded during the summer. Those who wish to get away and enjoy privacy may want to avoid peak tourist season and book a holiday in May or September. But if you are looking to enjoy water activities, cultural events and beautiful warm weather, summer months of July and August are perfect for you. Keep in mind that summers can get quite hot and dry, so plan accordingly.
Explore some of the best areas of Hvar
Hvar is divided into four administrative parts: town of Hvar, the town of Stari Grad, municipality of Jelsa and municipality of Sućuraj.
The town of Hvar is located on the southwest part of the island and is the most significant settlement on the island. The town is characterised by a vast number of cultural and historical landmarks, rich culinary heritage and a bustling nightlife. The cultural attractions you should visit include the Cathedral of St.Stephen, Hvar theatre, Franciscan monastery and the Hvar Heritage Museum. The town of Hvar also offers a big selection of restaurants perfect for enjoying quality seafood and local wines. If you are looking to soak up the sun, swim or snorkel, the town of Hvar has plenty of beautiful beaches. For those more adventurous, there are daily excursions to the nearby Pakleni islands.
Town of Stari Grad sits at the end of the Starigrad bay, some 20 km north of the town of Hvar. The town was initially named Pharos when ancient Greeks founded it. Today there are plenty of archaeological sites in the Stari Grad area, some of them protected by UNESCO. Stari Grad is a popular tourist destination with plenty of beautiful beaches scattered along the bay.
Located on the north of Hvar is the town of Jelsa. It is filled with colourful stone houses and narrow streets. This small town is a perfect family getaway. Lush pine forests, beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea are the ideal setting for a day of enjoyment under the sun.
At the easternmost point of the island is the small town of Sućuraj. Although small, there are plenty of things to see and do in Sućuraj. Beaches Perna and Sućuraj are among the most beautiful beaches on the whole island of Hvar, with plenty of bays in between to spend a perfect summer day anchored.
Hvar sailing marinas to dock and refresh
There are several well-equipped marinas and ports located on the island of Hvar.
ACI Marina Vrboska is located on the northern coast of the central part of the island, situated in a bay at the end of a narrow inlet. This well-protected marina is open all year round, offers 119 berths and 12 dry berths and offers moderate amenities.
Another ACI marina located near Hvar is the ACI Marina Palmižana, located on the Pakleni islands. Located just 2.5 NM from the town of Hvar, this marina is opened seasonally, all the way from April until the end of October. The marina has 180 berths, moderate facilities and is an ideal spot to enjoy the natural beauty of the Pakleni islands.
The nautical port of Stari Grad is located at the end of a 5 N.M. long bay, making it one of the safest ports on the Adriatic. Stari Grad Port is a modern port built in 2010 and expanded in 2016. The port offers 120 berths and 30 dry berths and is located very near to the centre of Stari Grad, making all the attractions and amenities easily accessible.
Located in the town of Hvar, the Port of Hvar is open to public traffic under the Port Authority of Split-Dalmatia County. Due to the high demand and lots of traffic, free berths are hard to find, and reservations in advance are required. There are several buoys in the port of Hvar where you can moor while anchoring is not permitted.
Our top places to anchor when sailing in Hvar
Vela Garška bay offers anchoring in 8m in all three coves. Provides good shelter but is exposed to southern wind.
Hvar Ranta is a small bay with one mooring buoy located a 15-minute walk away from the town of Hvar. It can be a useful anchorage for 2 or 3 boats if there is no room in Hvar town port. The bay is 10m deep and offers protection from everything but southern wind.
Luka Sućuraj offers anchoring just outside the swimming area. The sea bed is sandy and offers good holding. It is a short walk to the town of Sućuraj.
Luka Tiha is a popular anchorage on the northern side of the entrance to Starigrad bay. It provides good shelter for all except southern winds. Sea depth is between 8 and 12 m while holding is good in sand and weed.
Parja bay lies just a mile east of Rt Pelegrin, at the western tip of the Hvar Island. The bay offers good shelter from all elements but the northern winds. Depth is between 6 and 8 meters while the seafloor is mostly sand and weeds.
What to expect from yacht charter prices
As Hvar is one of the most popular destinations in the Adriatic, charter prices can get quite steep. Prices are usually significantly higher during the tourist season, between May and September. Depending on the boat you choose, and the time of year you decide to go, charter prices can vary between 250 € and 1000 € per day. Sailboats are usually cheaper, depending on the size, while catamarans and especially yachts can be quite expensive. It is recommended that You book your charter months in advance as there are discounts and deals often available. If you are somewhat of an inexperienced sailor or looking for maximum relaxation, hiring a local skipper is highly recommended.