Which One To Choose For A Croatia Vacation?

For those looking to explore Croatia in all its pristine glory, there are two top locations that can leave travelers torn when it comes to picking which is right for them. The island of Hvar is one of the most beautiful spots in the Croatian Dalmatian islands, with fields of lavender, a mild climate, and a thriving nightlife scene. Yet Brac Island offers one of Europe’s top beaches, a quiet atmosphere, and the highest peak in all the Adriatic, which makes this location one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets. For adventurers pressed for time and looking to decide between the two, here is a rundown of both islands to help in deciding which is the best spot for you.


Related: If You’re Looking For True Luxury In Croatia, Hvar Is The Best Island

Hvar Island: A Sunny Paradise

There are few places as pretty and pristine as Hvar Island, situated in the southern part of the Adriatic, just off the Croatian coast. With alluring beaches and moderate temperatures year-round, this is a destination that should not be missed. Hvar receives the most sunshine out of all the islands in the Mediterranean, with an annual average of 2,843 hours of sunshine per year. That means Hvar offers a lot of days from which to enjoy sunbathing and warm swimming. One of the larger Croatian islands, visitors can get to Hvar by taking a ferry from Split or Drvenik. Visitors can enjoy Hvar’s vibrant nightlife and arts scene and should make a point to see a show at Hvar Theater, established in 1612 and the oldest public theater in all of Europe.

Hvar’s Fields of Lavender

Nicknamed the Island of Lavender for a reason, Hvar is filled with rolling hills with this purple flowering plant that fills the island air with its aromatic, calming scent. There is so much lavender on this tiny island, that only fifty years ago 8% of the world’s total lavender was produced here. The ideal time to visit is in June and July when the lavender is in full bloom. And for the full lavender experience, time your visit with the Lavender Festival, a two-day celebration and education of all things lavender that includes pressing freshly gathered lavender for its essential oils and eating lavender-flavored ice cream.

Related: Everything You Can Do in Croatia, Depending on Which Month You Visit

Beaches In Hvar Are Perfect

Hvar might be a little island, but when it comes to beaches it has plenty to offer. Swimmers should head to Pokonji Dol Beach, just a twenty-minute walk from Hvar town. With a pebble beach with turquoise waters, visitors will want to dive in right away. For just a ten-minute walk from Hvar town, there is Bonj Beach. Near plenty of bars and restaurants, one can sunbathe and swim during the day and easily join the nearby nightlife when the sun sets.

Of course, if you are seeking beautiful beaches but would like to add hiking to your adventures, Brac Island is the way to go.

Brac Island Is Simply Hard To Beat

With all the beauty Hvar has to offer plus just a little more adventures on the menu, Brac Island is a great fit for travelers looking to stay active. Known as one of the top kitesurfing spots in the world at one of Europe’s top beaches, Zlatni Rat Beach in Brac Island offers travelers the chance to catch the famous afternoon wind out on the water. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the ethereal beauty of this beach, which is nicknamed the Golden Horn, for its unusual shape that juts out into the sea. Other beaches in Croatia offer a quiet chance to devour a summer read, but Zlatni Rat Beach is for swimming, kitesurfing, and all-around adventuring.

Hike The Highest Peak In The Adriatic Islands

For more active adventures, hike the Vidova Gora trail on Brac Island. Known for its stunning views and moderately difficult trail, hikers are rewarded with the highest peak in all the Adriatic Islands. Long considered a must-see for visitors to Brac, this is a great way to see the islands and magical waters that surround them.

Brac And Hvar Both Offer Memorable Destinations

Whether travelers opt for the sunny purple hills of Hvar or the adventurer’s paradise of Brac, both islands in Croatia can give visitors a unique experience. It is, as always, up to the traveler to decide for themselves if they prefer to lie calmly on a beach or test their strength kitesurfing against the wind. “To thine own self be true,” as Shakespeare said, and surely he was talking about feeling torn by the many options in Croatia’s beauty? Of course, he was.

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