HVAR

How Hvar can you go?

Beach parties and celebrity sightings have become a modern juxtaposition to Hvar’s archival past as a central base between Italy and wider Mediterranean sailing route. The Neolithic people blossomed on the island during pre-historic period, creating unique pottery while paving the way for Hvar culture which eventually constituted ancient Greek architecture and Venetian Empire’s military camp. Sunbathe at Beach Club Hvar, sip on a glass of local crispy white at Gariful. Dreams do come true on this splendid island.

WATCH VIDEO (SOUND ON): 8 Quintessential Must-Do’s In Hvar You Can’t Miss

Known as the beach clubs island, Hvar refers to itself as "the sunniest spot in Europe" since it has 2,715 hours of sunlight in a year.

Croatia runs on Central European Summer Time (CEST). It’s six hours ahead of New York — non-daylight savings time — and one hour ahead of London.

If you are a U.S. passport holder, you do not need a visa and can stay in Croatia for up to 90 days. European Union (EU) regulations require that U.S. passport holders have no less than three months validity when they depart the country.

All foreign citizens must register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival and inform them of any changes in their address. If you are staying in a hotel or renting through an accommodation company, the hotelier or housing company will register you automatically. 

If you are not a U.S. passport holder, you will need to apply for a Tourist visa under Croatian governance, otherwise your entry will be denied. And though Croatia is a part of the EU, its yet to become a member of the Schengen Agreement, so you will need a passport to travel to other European countries.

When you arrive at the Split airport, there are two options to reach Hvar. The first option is to take a taxi car to Split town. The 27 Kunas (USD $4.11) ride will take roughly 45 minutes. Then, the taxi will drop you off at the ferry port. Once you arrive, you will need to buy tickets for the ferry. 

The ferry boat travel takes two hours to reach the ferry port in Starigrad town, about 25 Kunas (USD $3.81) from Hvar. Jadrolinija ferry boat go three times a day 8:30 a.m., and 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. This option is considerably cheaper than direct private transfer, but it takes several hours to reach the centre of Hvar

The second option is direct transfer by speedboat to Hvar town. At the airport, a taxi driver will wait for you with a written sign with your name and direct you to the airport speedboat dock. During the speedboat ride, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery as you make the short trip to the Croatian island. And after arriving at Hvar, the boat driver will drop you off closest to your hotel.

When you arrive at the Split airport, there are two options to reach Hvar. The first option is to take a taxi car to Split town. The 27 Kunas (USD $4.11) ride will take roughly 45 minutes. Then, the taxi will drop you off at the ferry port. Once you arrive, you will need to buy tickets for the ferry. 

The ferry boat travel takes two hours to reach the ferry port in Starigrad town, about 25 Kunas (USD $3.81) from Hvar. Jadrolinija ferry boat go three times a day 8:30 a.m., and 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. This option is considerably cheaper than direct private transfer, but it takes several hours to reach the centre of Hvar

The second option is direct transfer by speedboat to Hvar town. At the airport, a taxi driver will wait for you with a written sign with your name and direct you to the airport speedboat dock. During the speedboat ride, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery as you make the short trip to the Croatian island. And after arriving at Hvar, the boat driver will drop you off closest to your hotel.

In an emergency situation, dial 112.

Since the war ended, there were approximately 90,000 landmines left in Croatia from the war. Although you won’t find them in major tourist areas, but if you’re preparing to visit off the beaten paths, be sure to consult a local guide. Mine areas typically have warning signs.

Croatia gets REALLY hot during summertime, so be sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated.

To avoid being overcharged, stay away from strip clubs since they’ve been known to bill thousands of euros for a bottle of champagne targeting tourists. If you can’t pay up, it’s a lot of trouble sometimes even involving physical harm.

Here are a few safety tips:

  • Never leave your drink at night clubs.
  • Stay vigilant when walking the streets at night.
  • Leave your valuables in a room safe in your hotel.
  • Carry a form of identification with you at all times.

Hvar, like most Croatian islands, has a standard mediterranean climate. July is the warmest month in Hvar, with an average temperature of 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celsius). The coldest temperatures are in January at 47 Fahrenheit (8 Celsius).  And during the rainy season, November is considered the wettest with an average of 111.0mm of rain. 

The best month to swim and visit Croatia is in August. It’s during the tail end of the peak tourism season and when the average sea temperature is set at 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celsius). The most daily sunshine hours are in July, with daylight lasting roughly 11 hours.

Croatian is the official language in Croatia, it belongs in the South Slavic family. Although it may sound very similar to Serbian or Bosnian, but it’s important not to lump them all into one. The accents may not be similar and they may use different vocabularies but due to the past between these countries, you should recognize that Croatians speak Croatian.

English is also widely spoken in Croatia, making it easy for travelers to communicate with locals.

Here are some keywords to know during your trip:

Hello: Zdravo

Thank you: Hvala

I’m sorry: Žao mi je

Good: Dobro

Cheers: Živjeli

  1. Don’t walk any Old Walls during peak tourist hours. One thing you’ll notice is that almost every major city has an Old Wall (or Bell Towers in Zagreb and Split.) These stairs are quite narrow and difficult to climb, imagine having to hike and squished with massive tourists in heat. Not fun and quite dangerous.
  2. Be careful of what you say about Serbia. Since the fall of Yugoslavia, Croatian War of Independence left harsh feelings between Croatians and the Serbs.
  3. Don’t call Croatia Yugoslavia. Prior to its independence in 1991, Croatia had to fend itself from outside forces including:  Hungarian, Habsburg, Ottoman, Venetian, Serbian and Yugoslav. Croatia became truly free after the Bosnian War in the early 90’s. So calling it Yugoslavia would be quite an offense to locals.
  4. Refer to local language as Croatian, even if it may sound like Serbian, Bosnian and other languages spoken in nearby countries. In general, they can all sound similar but the accents are different. But call it Croatian, not Serbian-Croatian or anything else.
  5. Avoid the mines. Towards the end of the war, hundreds have been killed due to mine fields. Croatia isn’t expected to be mine-free until 2019. Even if most touristic areas don’t have mines now, if you visit Eastern Slavonia, Brodsko-Posavska County, Karlovac County, or Zadar County, stay on popular paths. Veering off means you may run into mine fields.

The Croatian Kuna is the currency of Croatia. The most popular Croatia Kuna exchange rate is the HRK to EUR rate. The currency code for Kunas is HRK, and the currency symbol is kn.

Tipping ! Tipping roughly 10% is pretty standard in Hvar, even if there’s a fee tacked on to your bill. If the service exceeded your expectations, placing a 15% gratuity is ideal Croatian etiquette. 

During your trip, if you make a purchase of more than 740 kunas then you’re eligible for VAT tax return at the airport. All you have to do is:

  • Ask for PDV-P form.
  • Fill it out on the spot, then have it stamped by the person you made the purchase from.
  • At the airport, show the receipt to the Croatian Customs who will verify the form.
  • Your refund will be returned to you in kunas within six months.

Or you can simply buy items that are labeled “Croatia Tax-Free Shopping” in shops.

Electrical supply is 230 volts and 50 hertz AC. Croatia uses the standard European (round-pronged) plugs. Your converter should look like this:

The tap water in Croatia is perfectly safe and drinkable. Though, public water fountains in Hvar aren’t recommended for consumption. 

Wi-Fi

Your local cafes and hotels will usually have free and fast internet Wifi. Here are a list of cafes and restaurants that offer free Wifi.

SIM CARD

The main cell carriers in Hvar are T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT), Vipnet and Tele2. T-HT is the leading service provider, with almost half of its users in Croatia. Both T-HT and Vipnet offer affordable, short-term and date-heavy tourist packages. You can purchase these packages at the carrier’s official stores, as well as in several convenience stores, souvenir shops and electronic stores around Hvar.

Taxis are prevalent in most major cities, although once you’re in popular cities including: Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik; you won’t need cars to get around since everything is within walking distance. In many cities, taxis are far more expensive than Uber (such as: Dubrovnik) so check the prices first before choosing one over the other. Before getting in taxis, always ask for the estimate price first to prevent from being overcharged.

Uber is used, in addition to taxi apps like:

LGBTQ rights in Hvar have expanded vastly in recent years. The gay scene has opened up various venues and events for LGBTQ members. Places like the Rivar Hvar Yatcht Hotel, Amfora Hotel Hvar and Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel are among the most popular accomdations for LGBTQ tourists. But even with the city’s latest efforts, LGBTQ members may still face some social challenges. Though not permitted, showing extreme public displays of affection (PDA) are better to be limited.

Hvar, and most of Croatia, have a problem with its recycling methods. Many tourists have issues figuring out how the trash and recycling bins are organized, particularly with sorting items like plastic, glass and paper. In the EU, it’s expected that around 60% of the country’s waste be recycled, with Croatia sitting at 19%.

SHOP ETHICALLY:

packing list

THE ESSENTIALS:

Try a local dish: Gregada is made of several kinds of fish, then boiled with potatoes.

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