• Town wall, Hvar, Croatia
    Hvar Fortress


Hvar Island — which insists it’s both the sunniest and greenest in Dalmatia — is known for its excellent wines (grapes love the island’s perfect combination of wind and sunshine), stony terraces, and smattering of fragrant lavender fields. The island’s main town, also called Hvar, has recently gained a certain hip cachet and upscale-ritzy “Croatian Riviera” buzz, turning this tidy little Dalmatian fishing village into one of the most popular (and most expensive) destinations in Croatia. While the infrastructure lags a bit behind, the steady string of über-wealthy yuppies dressed up for a night on the town don’t seem to notice. Although some travelers may find all of the glitz and high prices off-putting, the setting is undeniably gorgeous, and the island provides a cosmopolitan contrast to its lowbrow rival, Korčula.