How to get to Jelsa, Vrboska and Stari Grad by bus from Hvar Town

If you’re not going to rent a car or scooter while in Hvar, like me you’ll need to use local buses to get to and from the other main towns on the island.   I’ll take you through how to get to Jelsa, Vrboska and Stari Grad by bus from Hvar Town. 

Contents

The best route to take

If you plan on visiting all three towns and want to spend a couple of hours in each, it’s best to catch an early bus. During high season (July, August and September) it would be the second bus of the day at 8.30am.

The best route to take would be to make Jelsa your first stop of the day.  It’s the furthest town from Hvar.  The second stop would be the town of Vrboska, otherwise known as Croatia’s Little Venice.   After Vrboska, the last town would be Stari Grad before heading back to Hvar.

Hvar bus station - Croatia
Hvar bus station, Croatia

8.30 - 9.30 am: Getting to Jelsa

No matter which bus you get from Hvar town, if you plan to go to Jelsa first, you’ll always have to change bus at Stari Grad and catch another to Jelsa.

Bus stop at Stari Grad - changeover - Hvar_RiA Vistas
Bus stop at Stari Grad - changeover - Hvar

If you get on the 8.30am bus, you’ll swap onto the 9am bus at the adjacent stop in Stari Grad.  You’ll have time for the changeover as you should arrive at least five minutes beforehand.  There’s a Studenac market a few feet from the bus station in Stari Grad if you want to pick up supplies for your day trip.

Jelsa town entrance - RiA Vistas
Jelsa town entrance

The number 10 bus lines operate during the day which takes passengers to all the villages.  All buses will pass through Stari Grad.   It takes just under an hour to reach Jelsa from Hvar town (including the bus changeover).

When in Jelsa

Jelsa is easy to get around.  You can see quite a lot on foot in the town within a couple of hours and have time for breakfast. 

On route to Jelsa Town centre
On route to Jelsa Town centre
Jelsa centre - Hvar
Jelsa centre
Jelsa town centre - Hvar_RiA Vistas
Jelsa town centre - Hvar
Things to do in Jelsa

After taking in Jelsa and its surroundings, head back to the bus stop for about 11.10am to catch the bus at 11.20am.  It will take about 10 minutes.

11.20 - 11.35 am: Next stop Vrboska

The bus ride between Jelsa and Vrboska is pretty quick and in no time at all you’ll be in the quaint town of Vrboska. Known as Croatia’s Little Venice, Vrboska has one canal that’s lined with fishing boats – hence the name.

The Vrboska bus stop_RiA Vistas
Vrboska bus stop
Visit the Fortress-Church of Saint Mary
Visit the Fortress-Church of Saint Mary, Vrboska

Spending time in Vrboska is a peaceful and picturesque.  It has little cobbled alleyways and little shops tucked away on side streets and along the harbour.  While you’re in Vrboska, you can spend a little time exploring either on foot or try renting a bicycle or quad bike to get more sights in.

Vrboska cobbled streets - Hvar Croatia_RiA Vistas
Vrboska cobbled streets
Vrboska canal_RiA Vistas
Vrboska canal
Vrboska town and canal
Vrboska Town centre
Things to do

After a relaxing few hours in Vrboska, make your way back to the bus stop to catch the bus at either 1 or 2pm.

1-1.45 pm or 2-2.45 pm: On route to Stari Grad

When you board the bus, make sure you let the driver know you’re going to Stari Grad centre because there’s also another stop by the port.

Once you catch the bus it will make a stop in Jelsa for a few minutes before heading to Stari Grad.

Stari Grad habour_RiA Vistas
Stari Grad habour
Stari Grad Centre_RiA Vistas
Stari Grad Centre

Here’s a few things to do while in Stari Grad:

Lavendar icecream at Stari Grad - Hvar Croatia_RiA Vistas
Lavendar icecream at Stari Grad

4.05-5 pm: From Stari Grad to Hvar Town

Allow enough time to get back to the bus station.  If you want to spend more of your evening in Hvar, then I suggest getting the 4:05pm bus back to the town.

Different bus timings

You may decide to stay longer in Stari Grad so you can opt for the later bus at 6:50pm from there back to Hvar.  If you do that, be aware that the bus may make a stop at the Stari Grad port.  It will wait for the next ferry to arrive.  The wait could be anything from 5-20 minutes depending on whether the ferry was on time from its previous destination.   We waited for about 12 minutes.   If you have evening plans or need to catch a ferry yourself in Hvar, you should choose the earlier bus.

Cazmatrans bus service - Croatia
Cazmatrans bus service - Croatia
Stari Grad Port - waiting for the ferry
Tips
  • For views of the coastline, sit on the left side of the bus on the way to Jelsa or Stari Grad.
  • After the bus changeover at Stari Grad to get to Jelsa, sit on the right-hand side for views over inland.
  • Take small notes or loose change for the bus.
  • In Stari Grad there is a public toilet behind the little Market and square next to the information centre.
  • Look at each bus stop when you get off for the most up-to-date timetable. The bus company is Cazmatrans so you can also visit their website for timetables.

Notes:

You’ll find that the times stated on each journey were based on actual bus times when I was in Hvar.  They are likely to change depending on the season and timetable updates, so make sure you check ahead.

Hope that helps with planning a trip to the other towns on Hvar.  It’s a really easy journey and possible to visit all three in a day of you have limited time on Hvar island.

If you’re going to be in Dubrovnik, read my post about how to spend a day at BOWA.

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