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When I think of heaven, a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea immediately comes to mind – Hvar. A two-hour ferry ride from Split, Croatia, the island of Hvar is a paradise that is remote enough for a weekend retreat yet close enough to easily get to mainland Croatia.

I arrived on the island early in May, the perfect time to avoid the incoming tourist season yet still soak in the warm weather. While most people venture to Hvar City for its party atmosphere, I opted for the quieter, more peaceful location of Stari Grad. The town is one of the oldest settlements in Europe with neolithic tribes occupying present-day Stari Grad between 3500 BC and 2500 BC. In 384 BC, the ancient Greeks officially established the town and it has been inhabited ever since.

Stari Grad Harbor

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With WagnerThe harbor of Stari Grad is a leisure and easy walk that provides wonderful views of quaint fishing villages, old stone buildings, and the bluest teal water. Lining the streets around the harbor are delicious, authentic restaurants with some of the freshest food you could ever imagine!

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With WagnerSecret Swimming Hole in Stari Grad

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With WagnerWhile sandy beaches are far and few on the island of Hvar, there is a wonderful secret beach less than a 20 minute walk from the center of Stari Grad (see map below). Bring a towel, lounge on the huge slab of stone, and admire the crystal clear water surrounding this gorgeous island.

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner

Old Architecture of Stari Grad

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With WagnerBefore catching my ferry back to mainland Croatia, I spent my final morning exploring the stone streets, overgrown gardens, and secret passageways of this ancient town. Ushering in May, the town was lush and green with everything in bloom!

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With WagnerThis heavenly island of Hvar and the town of Stari Grad have completely stolen my heart. I daydream several times a week about when I’ll next be able to vacation in this paradise. Enjoy this perfect weekend escape from mainland Croatia and fall in love with Hvar!

Heavenly Hvar Island via Wayfaring With Wagner
HINTS + TIPS:

+ STAY: At this clean and convenient Airbnb in the center of Stari Grad: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1020990
 + TRANSPORTATION: Make sure to check the ferry times beforehand! They run a limited schedule until the middle of May. When on the island, rent a car! Scooters tend to be really unsafe on the island and bus transportation is almost non-existent.

11 Comments

  1. Okay, my love for Croatia is no secret and it pains me deeply that I haven’t visited Hvar (or Brac or Vis) yet!!

  2. What a gorgeous place! I can’t decide what I think is more beautiful – the gorgeous stone streets of the town or the incredibly blue water of the sea? I really do need to get myself over to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast! ;)

  3. Suze - Luxury Columnist Reply

    Wow, Stari Grad looks so colourful, I’d love to visit! Thanks for sharing the tip on the secret beach too. Hope your move to Hamburg goes well

  4. I’m dying to visit Croatia! I’ve been wanting to road trip from Dubrovnik up to Plitvice Lakes for so long now, and every time I see a post on somewhere in Croatia, it just makes me want to visit even more! It looks like you had a great time there!
    xo April | April Everyday

  5. Looks beautiful! A friend of mine just went to Croatia…I need to start travelling more gaaaaaaah. With my new job (well hopefully soon) will need to head out a bit more often and take advantage while I’m living in Europe :)

  6. Pingback: 10 Cities in the Balkans Not to Miss On Your Next Trip to the Region

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