Above photo: Views over Hvar Town and Pakleni islands
Visiting Hvar for a day trip from Korcula island is very easy and convenient, we are neighboring islands! I personally do this trip at least several times a year, just to change the island and visit Hvar instead, to take a break and enjoy a simple day out there.
Here are some tips and recommendations for this journey:
There are several good ways to do the trip between these two islands. First to say – yes, you can drive to Hvar island from Korcula Island but I would not recommend that. It takes a very long time, about 4 hours each way, which is very time-consuming for a simple day trip. Instead, I can recommend you to take local fast foot passenger ferries (catamarans) that sail between two islands. At least, this is what I do. Also, for a day trip to Hvar island, I would recommend you to visit Hvar Town only and to avoid visiting any other places on the island as that is also time-consuming and hardly doable in a situation that you are there just for a day and local buses are not frequent. In case you plan to rent a car in Hvar (you can do it in advance here), that is fine – you will indeed have a few hours to drive around the island.
In Hvar Town, you can have a great and relaxing day out where you can also do some sightseeing, swim, sunbathe, kayak, sailing for a couple of hours, lunch, coffee & relax there and still have enough time to get back by ferry to your accommodation on Korcula.
Select either Korcula or Vela Luka as your departure points:
I suggest you take the morning ferry to Hvar and the afternoon ferry back to Korcula town. If you don’t mind getting up early morning, take the 6:00 ferry to Hvar. You will be there at 7:30 and will have the whole day in front of you. At 18:00 take the same ferry that goes to Korcula on its way back from Split. You can do this trip all year round.
The fare cost just 40 to 70 Hrk one way which is the cheapest possible way to reach Hvar from Korcula town. You can book your ticket in advance here.
In the high season, July and August, there are also later ferries but I would not recommend them for a day trip as you will not have enough time to properly explore Hvar town.
If you are staying in the western part of the Island then going to Hvar involves an even shorter time.
In July and August, you can embark on the same ferry that I mentioned above from Prigradica (a small bay near Blato) at 6:30. This will be even cheaper, just 50 Hrk each way.
For the rest of the year, take a fast catamaran from Vela Luka to Hvar at 5:30 in the morning, arriving there at 6:20. Or if this is too early to get up, go on Sundays with 8:00 one. You will be in Hvar town at 9:00. At 15:15 or 16:15 (depending on the season) take the same ferry that goes to Vela Luka from Hvar town on its way back from Split. This is a bit cheaper trip, 40 HRK each way. You can book your ticket in advance at Jadrolinija.
Hvar town is very similar to Korcula town. As soon as you arrive there, just go for coffee and a nice breakfast as your arrival is in the early morning. There are plenty of cafes on Hvar seafront that serve a really good breakfast for a price that is not extremely expensive.
Or, if you are doing this trip in warm weather, use this early morning shade and cool air to visit The fort Fortica (Spanjola) above the Town from where you can see a fantastic panorama of the town’s harbour and nearby Pakleni archipelago (photo on the top of this article is taken from there).
After that go for a walk around the Town for some sightseeing. Visit the local museum, the Cathedral, explore its streets and squares (see all info here).
Get an early lunch/brunch in one of the town’s seafront restaurants and head for a beach in Pakleni archipelago for a swim, sunbath and relax. Take a taxi boat in front of Arsenal, near Hote Riva, to get there (just 10 minutes speedboat ride). The nearest beach there is on Hvar Beaches that is only 5 minutes ride by taxi boat.
In the afternoon, don’t forget to get back to Hvar port in time for your trip back. Give yourself at least 1 hr to make sure you don’t miss your connection as you may end up stuck on the island.
Bearing in mind that getting to Hvar from Korcula island takes just about 1 hour by fast ferry I can recommend you this as the best option for a day trip. And yes, I suggest you book your tickets in advance particularly if you are visiting in July and August.
You can also choose an alternative like private tours or private speedboat tours but I would not recommend you that. These private boats and speedboat tours depend on how good is the weather so they are not really reliable in terms that you can be absolutely sure you can do the day trip. So to avoid disappointment, my recommendation is to stick with public transport aka these fast ferries above that I recommended. They do operate in most weather conditions.
The only disadvantage is an early morning departure. However, it can actually be a great advantage! It will give you some time to explore Hvar before the sunshine is so strong that walking around the town’s sights can be actually not pleasant at all.
And before you leave, have a look at this fantastic video of Hvar: