Croatia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And believe it or not, this country is spread out over 718 islands so to say choosing one is easy would be far from the truth. Obviously, not all of these are popular tourist destinations (thankfully!) but it's still a hefty challenge choosing just one to spend a week on. Luckily, when people think of Croatia, they often think of it synonymously with another word: luxury.
The island of Hvar is one of the larger Croatian islands and getting there is fairly easy via ferry from Split or Drvenik. This island goes above and beyond the call of rest and relaxation and is absolutely dripping with 15th-century history and architecture. On looks alone, this island is breathtaking - and, if that's not enough, the fact that it's also the sunniest place in Europe might just hook travelers. It's lavish, expensive, and worth it. Here's why.
Soaking Up Decadent Lodging Accommodations
All of the photos and videos you've seen of travelers waking up and walking out to seaside balconies, with stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and historic town below, really do exist. Hvar is one place to experience this, especially if splurging on luxe accommodations is an option. Many hotels on the island are owned by Sunčani Hvar, so this is the first place to look for that perfect room with the scenic balcony view. Right off the bat, guests are greeted in the lobby with a glass of some bubbly before being checked in for what's sure to be an incredible stay. The views from the hotel alone, before guests even head up to their rooms, are breathtaking.
In each room, guests can expect a warm welcome in the form of a notecard, treats, and fresh-cut flowers that are local to Hvar. The rooms at this hotel chain are lavish yet simple, with a clean and chic appearance that's perfectly fitting for the Croatian coast. Mornings start off with open windows and seaside breezes, along with a traditional Croatian breakfast that's fit for royalty. Some hotels, such as the Adriana, feature rooftop lounges and bars from which to take in the views even further.
Walking Around The City And Taking In St. Stephen's Square
More often than not, visitors will be treated to sunny days and warm temperatures in Croatia. This makes for perfect exploring weather and, budget allowing, plenty of tours both on water and on land. The easiest and best way to see the city in Hvar, though, is by walking. This city is already easily walkable and on the way, 15th-century buildings and landmarks will fill a traveler's sight, making them feel as though they've been transported back in time. And if one's hotel offers views over the harbor, then there's no need for public transportation - St. Stephen's Square is well within walking distance!
Essentially, every road will usually lead back to the Square as it's the central point of the city. Cafes line the streets and the city's alleyways are marble, which makes this harborside city feel as posh as it looks. During the peak season, yachts will fill the harbor which also adds an air of luxury to what's already a luxurious city. It goes without saying that dining in Croatia is nothing short of perfection, with fresh, local seafood at nearly every establishment and dishes that are world-class in flavor.
Hiking Hvar Is A Treat For The Senses
Hiking might not seem like the most upscale way to enjoy an island vacation but it's worth the effort (plus, with a spa-style shower and tub waiting back at the hotel room, why not get a little gritty?). The hillsides of Hvar date back to the ancient Greeks, who also called them home. The history is almost tangible in the natural flora and fauna of the island, and many of the trails intersect sweet-smelling lavender fields and enchanting olive groves. Wine lovers will also be thrilled to know that some of the trails lead straight to the island's best vineyards, as well, which is the perfect way to take a break from hiking.
In St. Stephen's Square, maps detailing specific hiking trails can be picked up from the tourism board. On there, visitors will also find detailed directions indicating where to find semi-secluded overlooks and crystal-clear bays throughout the island. And, if hiking still isn't something of interest, Jeep tours are also an option if it's within the budget. Off-road trails are some of the easiest ways to reach many of these points without even working up so much as a sweat.