You need around half an hour to gain an overview of the historic fort itself, then another just to soak up the panoramic vista. The hike up to the fortress can take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on how long you want to spend exploring the Old Town’s meandering streets or the shaded shrubland towards the top, though you can save time with scooter rental or on an island tour that includes round-trip transportation.
Some tours tick off Hvar as part of a multi-island itinerary, departing from the mainland and continuing on to the neighboring Pakleni Islands, Vis, or Brac. Alternatively, opt for a multi-day tour for an ever wider perspective of the Adriatic’s many gems.
Things to know before you go
- The fortress has some flat sections that are wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.
- Travelers with mobility limitations should arrange round-trip transportation, as the route up is very steep with several flights of steps.
- There is a terrace cafe inside the fortress, as well as a small gift shop.
- Bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat, as shade is limited.
- Some tours include admission in the price, otherwise, there is a small entrance fee to enter the fortress.
- Bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted.
How to get there
There is very little coverage if you’re caught in a sudden thunderstorm, so check the weather forecast before you ascend. Head up first thing in the morning to beat the crowds or just before sunset to see some of the best views in the Adriatic. The fortress is closed during the low season.
When to get there
The fortress is situated directly above Hvar Town, making it relatively easy to access on foot and even easier by rental vehicle or on an island tour, with plenty of parking available at the top. There is no direct shuttle service, though taxis are readily available from the harbor and bus station.
Hvar’s Napoleonic Fort
On the hill behind Fortica, an even higher fortress watches over Hvar and beyond. Built during France’s brief rule over the island in the early 19th century, this so-called French Fortress functions today as a seismological station. Though not open to the public, this hidden gem can be visited on an island tour or via a challenging hike; in return, visitors can enjoy photo-worthy views that make even the Spanish Fortress look dainty.
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