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15 Amazing Things to Do in Stari Grad, Hvar’s Rustic Old Town

stari grad hvar

 Stari Grad Hvar. Or as the Italians call it, Cittavecchia or Cittavecchia di Lesina, is a charming town nestled on the north side of the stunning Hvar Island in Dalmatia, Croatia. This place is seriously old, folks – we’re talking ancient! In fact, it’s one of the oldest towns in all of Europe, and it’s not hard to see why humans have been drawn to this spot for so long. The town is perfectly situated at the end of a protected bay, and the surrounding farmland is top-notch, making it a prime location for settlement.

But wait, there’s more! Stari Grad, one of the best places to stay on Hvar Island, is also a municipality within Split-Dalmatia County. And get this – the most ancient part of the town is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Stari Grad Plain. Talk about impressive! The entire municipality is located within the protected area’s buffer zone. Stari Grad is definitely worth a visit if you’re a history buff or appreciate a good dose of charm.

Where to Stay in Stari Grad, Hvar Island

Maslina Resort: exceeds expectations with impeccable grounds, elegant indoor spaces, and picturesque settings, perfect for weddings and capturing lasting memories
B&B Heritage Villa Apolon: Charming historic house in Stari Grad village. Spacious rooms, modern bathrooms, harbor views. Friendly staff, excellent breakfast options. Impeccably clean.
Valamar Amicor Green Resort: Stunning, romantic resort with hospitable staff. Fabulous food, professional service. Memorable stay, definitely returning next yea
Apartments Suljic: 400m from beach & 500m from town center. Free WiFi, garden with BBQ, private kitchen, laundry, parking. Near amenities.
Apartments 2 Ivanković: City-view patio, free bikes, and garden. 1 bed, 2 baths, fully equipped kitchen, BBQ, cycling nearby. Perfect for couples
Apartment Primorac: Charming apartment near beaches. 1 bed, AC, fully equipped kitchen. Free parking and WiFi. Garden for relaxation. Couples’ favorite spot.
Town House Rosario: Stylish apartment with patio. Close to beaches, AC, fully equipped kitchen. Free parking and WiFi. Garden for relaxation. Couples’ favorite.
Apartmani Perić: Centrally located, air-conditioned apartments with outdoor fireplace and garden. Free parking. Organized excursions available. Close to beaches and attractions

stari grad

The Best Beaches in Stari Grad Hvar

Hvar Island is renowned for its beautiful beaches and little coves, and Stari Grad is no exception, but fine, Stari Grad’s beaches are not that remarkable compared to Milna‘s for example. With crystal-clear waters, stunning views, and a variety of activities to enjoy, the beaches of Stari Grad are a must-visit. From secluded coves to bustling stretches of sand, here are some of the best beaches in Stari Grad for sun-seekers and water lovers.

Plaža Lanterna

The Lanterna public beach, which features a small lighthouse, is situated from the new ferry harbor to Stari Grad. Visitors can avail themselves of a beach bar, showers, and a mobile toilet. However, the beach tends to get quite crowded and visiting during the morning and early evening hours is recommended to avoid crowds and to witness stunning sunrises and sunsets. 

It is not advisable to swim across the bay due to the presence of many boats, and care should be taken to avoid sea urchins. 

Personally, this is my preferred nearby beach, but for those seeking more options, there are numerous other beaches on the island, including Dubovica and Sveta Nedjelja, both located on the southern side.

Bonj, Stari Grad

This place is just fantastic – it’s clean, cozy, and has everything you need for a perfect vacation. If you’re a sun-lover, you’ll find plenty of spots to soak up those rays, but if you prefer a bit of shade, there are some lovely trees to provide respite from the heat.

Bonj, Stari Grad
Photo by Sándor Mulesza

What’s more, the amenities here are top-notch – you won’t have to worry about finding a clean toilet. The restaurant is a real lifesaver, especially since it’s one of the few on the island that accepts cards. Plus, the shallow waters near the shore are a real blessing for families with kids – they can play safely and have a blast.

To be honest, I hardly left this place during my vacation – it was just that good. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a serene and comfortable getaway.

Plaža Helios

It has lots of shade and was perfect for anyone looking to escape the heat for a bit. However, it might not be the best choice for families with young children.

There were some steps leading down to the beach. Still, unfortunately they were quite dangerous when I visited – they weren’t very clean. There was a disclaimer on the wall warning visitors about the potential hazards. So if you’re traveling with little ones, you might be extra careful or consider finding a different spot altogether.

Beach Stari Grad

The only rubble stone beach in Stari Grad. It’s not very big – only about 50 meters wide – so it can get quite crowded in the summer months. However, it’s a great choice if you’re traveling with kids – the water is very shallow and perfect for little ones to splash around in.

As for the beach itself, it’s mostly clean, and there’s plenty of shade to be found. There are two parts to the beach – one section is concrete with steps leading down to the sea, where you’ll find some hotels. The other part is a smaller gravel entrance. The sea is crystal clear, but be warned – the waves can sometimes be quite strong.

One downside is that no public toilets are available, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to spend a while here. Overall, though, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a unique and family-friendly spot to soak up some sun and sea.

Uvala Paklina

Uvala Paklina is a hidden gem tucked away on the edge of Stari Grad in Hvar Island. This small cove, partially cemented and surrounded by a lush pine forest, is the perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful escape from the crowds.

Uvala Paklina
Photo by Mirca Sekosan

While there are few shaded spots on the beach, the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape more than makes up for it. The rocky and concrete beach may not be to everyone’s taste, but the steps leading down to the sea make it easy to access the clear, inviting waters.

One of the things that sets Uvala Paklina apart is its uncrowded nature – even in the peak summer season, you’re likely to find some space to call your own. This makes it an ideal spot for those looking to relax and unwind in relative peace and quiet.

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Brizenica bay

If you’re looking for a beautiful, secluded spot to relax and unwind, the bay that lies just a short distance from Stari Grad is definitely worth checking out. While it’s set to become an exclusive hotel resort in a few years’ time, for now, it’s still accessible by car or on foot.

If you’re up for a bit of a hike, walking along the coast from Stari Grad is a great way to get there – but be warned, it’s not a walk for the faint of heart! It’ll take you at least 45 minutes to reach the bay, and you’ll need to be careful as you make your way along the sometimes rocky and uneven terrain.

Brizenica bay
Photo by alain R

You can follow a marked trail for the first part of the walk, but the last stretch requires a bit more of a scramble as you make your way across the stones or take the road above the coast. Despite the challenge, the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding landscape make it all worthwhile, and you’ll arrive at the bay feeling refreshed and invigorated.

If you’re not keen on the hike, taking a car is also an option, but keep in mind that the bay is still relatively untouched, so you won’t find any amenities there – come prepared with everything you need for a day at the beach.

Žukova Beach

This hidden gem is worth the journey, accessible only by boat or a scenic walk through old olive and livestock groves. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning combination of a small pebbled beach area flanked by stone flats. The sea is warm and crystal clear, but beware of the sudden depth. It’s unlikely to be crowded, so bring your snorkel and mask. Don’t forget sturdy wet shoes or some other marine footwear, as there are a lot of urchins.

To get here, you can take a scooter and descend a short road to the cliffs, where you’ll find a small pebble beach and a lot of different cliffs to set up camp on. Alternatively, you can easily reach it by car from Jelsa and take a 15-20 minute walk. The locals also use parts of the bay as a natural harbor, so you can walk around the entire bay to explore.

Some beaches can be day-tripped from Stari Grad like Plaža Trovna, is a wonderful and peaceful spot to visit, but unfortunately, it’s marred by litter that’s spread all over. If you plan to visit, please bring an empty trash bag and pick up as much litter as you can. We made an effort to clean up, but it wasn’t enough. Let’s all do our part to preserve the beauty of this place for future visitors to enjoy.

Some Interesting Things to Do in Stari Grad Hvar

Stari Grad, located on the island of Hvar in Croatia, is a charming town with a rich history and stunning natural beauty. From exploring ancient ruins to enjoying local cuisine, there are plenty of interesting things to do in Stari Grad. Whether you’re a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, this town offers something for everyone.

stari grad

White Cross / Glavica Hill

 If you’re in the mood for a breathtaking view of Stari Grad that won’t leave you panting for air, then this hike is for you! It’s short, sweet and super satisfying. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to make it back down before the darkness sets in. And let’s not forget about the bragging rights you’ll earn from being one of the few people up there. So, what are you waiting for? Strap on those hiking boots and get ready to take in a view that will leave you breathless (in the best possible way, of course).

The Archeological Heritage of Stari Grad

Faros is located on the eastern fringe of the present-day old city nucleus, Faros is a multilayered site that dates back to the 4th century BC. As you explore the area, you’ll discover the southwestern part of the walls of the ancient city of Pharos, along with the eastern entrance to the city (known as the dromos), which was found in Remetin vrt.

But that’s not all! You’ll also stumble upon the remains of two residential blocks that date back to the Greek colony of Pharos, divided by a street. These urban architecture remnants provide a glimpse into the lives of ancient Pharos residents.

stari grad hvar island

What’s truly remarkable about Faros is that the phases of the ancient city are stratigraphically ordered in the same spot. From the earliest period of Greek colonization to the Roman period and Late Antiquity, you can see the layers of history right before your eyes!

As you continue your journey through Faros, keep an eye out for fascinating archaeological finds, such as ceramic vessels, amphorae, and even coins of the polis Pharos. These precious artifacts provide insight into ancient Pharos’ culture and daily life.

Fortress of Petar Hektorović

Step back in time and experience the cultural heritage of Stari Grad at the magnificent Tvrdalj, the summer house of renowned poet Petar Hektorovic. Marvel at the incredible architecture of this centuries-old building and the intricate details that have stood the test of time. Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating stories of Hektorovic and his poetry, while enjoying the charming atmosphere of Stari Grad. Don’t forget to stroll through the tranquil gardens and take in the stunning scenery. A visit to Tvrdalj is an essential experience for any traveler to Stari Grad.

Škor square

This beautiful little square in the heart of town is not only is it an ideal spot for music lovers, but it’s also a must-see destination due to its traditional architecture and lively atmosphere.

This vibrant square is always buzzing with life, thanks to the presence of various restaurants and a mix of local residents and tourists. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the local culture, soak up the atmosphere, and even make some new friends!

stari grad hvar

Every year, writers and poets flock to this little square to share their work, which creates a truly magical experience for all who attend. In addition, during the summer months, there are a variety of concerts held in the square, as well as other events such as wine tasting nights. So, no matter when you visit, there’s always something exciting happening in this little corner of Stari Grad.

Interestingly, the square takes its name from the shipyard that once occupied this very spot in the olden days. So, not only is it a hub of culture and entertainment, but it’s also a place steeped in history.

Stephen’s Church 

If you’re into historical architecture, check out St. Stephen’s Church in Stari Grad. This gem from 1607 was actually built on the site of an even older cathedral, which was relocated to Hvar after the bishop was relocated by Venice. In front of the church is a charming square where many events are held. And be sure to note that the bell tower is not connected to the main church building.

stari grad hvar

Stari Grad Plain

Stari Grad Plain on the Adriatic island of Hvar’s time capsule! This cultural landscape has been preserved since the 4th century BC, making it a natural reserve and a testament to the ancient Greeks’ geometry. It’s like going back in time, with ancient stone walls and trims, and small stone shelters that have kept their charm over 24 centuries. So, forget about time travel movies and come experience it for yourself! 

Stari Grad Restaurants Based on Customer Reviews 

If you’re hungry for adventure and delicious food, Stari Grad on Hvar Island is the place for you. We’ve scoured the reviews and compiled a list of the top-rated restaurants in town, so you can feast like royalty. From seafood platters to mouth-watering pizza, these spots are sure to satisfy your cravings. Bon appétit!


This restaurant in Stari Grad is a must-visit if you’re looking for delicious food and excellent service. Try the seafood platter or mixed grill plate, and finish off with a creme caramel or berry cheesecake. The terrace offers beautiful views and a lovely walk around. Don’t forget to try the figs for dessert! The restaurant also offers a great wine selection, music, and atmosphere. Be sure to add this spot to your list of places to dine in Stari Grad.

Restaurant Alfonso

This new restaurant in Stari Grad has a lovely interior and a serene terrace. The staff is friendly and they have an impressive selection of wines. Their pizzas are exceptional and are made with fresh ingredients in a wooden stove. 

Restaurant Alfonso
Photo by Lola Lola

However, be cautious with their “olio e peperoncino” topping as it can be extremely hot. Overall, the food is excellent and the artistic atmosphere of the restaurant is a rare find in a touristy location. I highly recommend visiting this place and will definitely be coming back.


This 5-star restaurant is a must-visit. To book an appointment, message them on their facebook or Instagram account. The service is lovely, and they explain everything in English. Try the wife’s must-have black risotto and the lamb shank. The bread before dinner is good and the outdoor seating is a great experience. Don’t miss the high-quality lemon torta for dessert. Despite everything we ate and drank, the price was reasonable. Highly recommended for a visit to Stari Grad, Hvar!

Konoba Batana

This family-owned restaurant offers exceptional food, passionate hospitality, and a lovely atmosphere. Their truffle pasta is a must-try! Located just off the main promenade, the restaurant is worth the short walk.

Konoba Batana in stari grad hvar island
Photo by Konoba Batana

We received a recommendation from a local, and we were satisfied. Our group of 8 experienced a bit of slow service, but the food quality and the staff’s friendliness more than made up for it. Take advantage of this gem of a restaurant!


Lovely restaurant with great food, including vegetarian and vegan options. Portions are generous, and the service is friendly. Nook is run by Chef Nino and his partner, Dajana. The food is delicious and filling, with options for meat-eaters as well. The garden terrace is beautiful and perfect for a romantic dinner. The servers are friendly and efficient. Highly recommended!

Konoba BARE

This restaurant is absolutely fantastic! The owners manage everything themselves, including growing their own food and wine. They serve traditional food, with fresh fish and meat from the local market. You must book a table, but it’s definitely worth it!

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things to do in stari grad hvar island

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Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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