Boat trips, beaches and exploring the caves around Havar Island

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
8
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
5
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
9
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
4
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
5
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
7
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
70 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Croatia
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 400
Time of year visited
July
All Tags
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
114th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 40% SUMMARY RATING: Superb

Summary

Havar is the most luxurious beach destination in Croatia.  You’ve got the glitzy harbour with super yachts and world-class beach bars, a variety of adrenaline pumping lash centres in Havar Town coupled with more chilled out spots all around the island, and places like the Blue and Green caves to be explored by boat all around the island.  Definitely one of the highlights of Croatia and the whole Balkans

highlights

#1 The beautiful harbour of Havar Town - full of banging beach bars and uber cool restaurants overlooked by the super yachts

#2 Finding some of the more hidden spots just outside of Havar Town

#3 The beautiful deep blues of a swim into the Blue Cave by Vis (forgive the rubbish photo)

#4 Wandering through the cobbled streets and small eateries of Havar Town itself

#5 Enjoying the crystal clear waters all around Havar and having them right on your hotel doorstep as you walk out of your hotel

#7 Taking a swim by some of the treelined beaches with little churches peaking out

#6 Gorping at the wide variety of mega valuable super yachts that fill Havar Town's harbour

#8 Taking a journey a little further inland into the more central parts of Havar to experience that very laid back Mediterranean summer feel

Travel Tips

  • Make sure you take a boat trip – an island like Havar, with its caves, smaller islands and sailing culture, is perfect for exploring by boat.  You’ll find heaps of options to take depending on what you want to see.  I’d suggest a trip over to Vis and the caves that surround it
  • The Blue Cave is not to be missed – a sea cave that, because of the limited light that enters, gives off a stunning blue.  Yes it gets busy, but there is still something super cool about swimming into that perfect blue water and protected area of the cave.  The Green Cave is also worth checking out, although not quite as impressive
  • Havar’s Old Town is worth spending an afternoon in – everyone focuses on the boat trips, beaches and hedonistic activities, but the Old Town is actually surprisingly pretty.  As usual with old towns, leave the map behind and aim to get lost
  • Have a wander just outside of Havar Town for some great beaches – there are plenty of beaches to explore.  Dubovica Bay was probably our favourite, but there were also lots of smaller far quieter beaches within walking distance of even Havar Town.  Pokonji Dol is in  particular very picturesque and only around 20mins walk from Havar Town
  • Where to stay – it depends on what you’re looking for and how much time you have.  If looking for lash / partying, then the choice is obvious – Havar Town.  Similarly, if you are short on time, Havar Town makes the most sense because you can use it as a base to easily explore the whole island and there are plenty of places where you would avoid the noise and general busyness of the beach bars.  But if you’re looking for something a bit quieter and / or you have the time, coastal spots like Stari Grad and Jelse are less hectic and beautiful
  • Part of a 2-3 week itinerary – the Western Balkans are a seriously underrated part of Europe and represent one of the best 2-3 week trips you can do in this part of the world with stunning castles and old towns, and some of the best coastline in the world all compactly housed within 8 countries.  For the 2-3 week itinerary for the highlights and general tips for this part of the world, see this travel entry and where Havar fits in –3 week trip around the Balkans States

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone