Island Hopping from Hvar is a very good idea as the island is situated in the center of Central Dalmatian islands with good car and passenger ferry connections so it is indeed a good place to island-hop to local islands and to Split or Dubrovnik. There are direct and indirect ferry connections from Hvar to nearby islands such as Brac, Korcula, Vis, and Lastovo as well as the local Pakleni archipelago. Here is what is available:
Island Hopping from Hvar by car
If you intend to drive your car or rent one it is important to know that most of the local ferries don’t take cars. Although, each island is connected to the mainland by at least one car ferry.
Itinerary for short island hopping by car from Hvar:
Option 1: Visit Hvar, Brac & Vis islands
Drive from Hvar Town to Sucuraj and get a car ferry from there to the mainland. From there drive to Makarska and get on a car ferry to Sumartin on Brac island. From Brac, get on a car ferry from Supetar to Split. Once in Split, get on a car ferry from there to Vis island. From Vis, you have to get back to Split by car ferry, as it is the only car ferry from the island.
Option 2: Visit Hvar, Korcula & Lastovo islands
The alternative itinerary is to extend your journey further South and once in Drvenik (see first step above), drive further to Peljesac to get on a car ferry from Orebic to Korcula from where you can get to Lastovo island by car ferry from Vela Luka.
Option 3: Extend your trip to Mljet island and Dubrovnik
To extend your option 2 journey, drive further to Prapratno ferry port and get on a car ferry to Mljet island to visit its National Park. If you have more time, get back to Prapratno and drive for another hour to visit Dubrovnik and its Lokrum island.
These are just a couple of practical options for traveling between Hvar and the local islands. When planning your journey, bear in mind that the main car ferry port on the island is Stari Grad. To explore further, check the below map of ferry crossings in the area.
In this map, you can see different ferry crossings for island hopping from Hvar by car or as a foot passenger – check available routes and options:
Island Hopping from Hvar as a foot passenger
If you are a foot passenger, island hopping in the area is much easier as all car ferries also take passengers, and there are several passenger catamaran & ferry services that run to and from the island.
Here is an example of islands you can visit from Hvar ferry port by local ferries with maximum one-hour ferry crossings: Hvar to Vis island (by new TP Line fast catamaran service), Jelsa to Bol (by Jadrolinija fast ferry), Hvar to Korcula (by Krilo catamaran), Hvar town to Pakleni Islands (by local boats, just a few minutes ride).
If you have more time, for a few more hours you can get to Lastovo, Mljet, and Dubrovnik too. Note – there are a lot of connecting ferries that you can use from other islands to extend your journey if you wish. You can always consider getting from Hvar to Split and exploring further from there (like the Split to Dubrovnik ferry route).
Off Season Island hopping (Winter)
Island-hopping in Croatia is very popular and is available all year round although ferry sailings in winter are limited to a couple of ferries a day. To get all ferry options you would need to travel from June to September. April to October also offers better options than winter months.
All car ferries operate all year round (with fewer crossings) while some of the foot passenger ferries and catamarans don’t operate until April and they stop in late October. Check with croatiaferries.com to explore further details and options where you can find details of each trip including timings, prices, and how to book island hopping in the area. You will also notice that some ferry routes only run in summer so make sure you consider that when planning your journey.