Last Updated on July 19, 2022
Even though Split is Croatia’s second largest city, and the largest city on the coast, Dubrovnik tends to attract more travelers. Split has two advantages, however: It is cheaper, and is more convenient for day trips, thanks to its geographic location. There is a ferry terminal and a catamaran port from which tourists can travel to other coastal destinations or to the nearby islands. The ferry schedules are designed in a way that make it easy to travel from Split to another destination and back in one day. On the mainland, affordable public transportation and a functional bus network enable tourists to visit nearby towns. If you’re not sure what day trips to take from Split, we’re sharing our favorites in this article.
The eight best day trips from Split
Hvar is a popular island about an hour by boat from Split. The beautiful island is the most luxurious island destination in Croatia. While most people spend several days on the island, it’s also worth going for just a day trip. There are four different ferry companies offering trips from Split, but during high season, it is advisable to book tickets early, since the ferries do fill up. Depending on which ferry you’ll take you’ll end up either in Stari Grad or in Hvar Town. Both are worth a stroll, but Hvar Town is known as one of the most gorgeous cities in the entire country – definitely don’t skip it! If you’re looking for emptier, secluded beaches, head to the south of Hvar.
Trogir is a popular tourist destination recognized by UNESCO. The tiny Old Town of Trogir, famous for its mix of beautiful Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque buildings, sits on a small island between the mainland and Ciovo Island. You can take bus #37 from Split – the ride takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can use the Bura Boat Line, which brings you to Trogir to Split via the Adriatic Sea. The boat ride also takes about an hour. If you are traveling by car, you can get to Trogir in about 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
3 Brač – Bol
Brac Island is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Croatia. The island, which is located south of Split, is known for its crystal clear waters and idyllic beaches. Activities on the island include swimming, various water activities like snorkeling, or simply relaxing on the beach. You can get to Brač from the harbor by taking either a 50-minute ferry ride or a catamaran. The ferry docks in Supetar, a town in Brač Island. From Brač, visitors can take a 50-minute bus ride to Bol, a town on the south side of the island. If you enjoy surfing, head to Zlatni Rat (also known as “Golden Horn Beach”) which has two sides to it: A calm one, which is perfect for sunbathing, and a windy one, which is a popular spot for surfers and other water sports, such as kite surfing.
4 Krka National Park
Krka National Park is located about an hour north of Split – inland, not located directly on the coast. Krka is one of the most popular day trips from Split because of the beautiful scenery, amazing waterfalls, and trails to the many overlooks. Pack your bathing suit and your sunscreen for this trip – after a nice hike, you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing in Krka. There are some restaurants and souvenir shops within the park, too, so no need to pack your lunch. Many local travel agencies offer day trips to Krka National Park, but if you want to head there independently, you can take a bus from the main bus station in Split. If you go by car, it’s about an hour and a half from Split – the bus takes a bit longer. Here is an extensive guide how to visit Krka National Park on a day trip from Split.
Organized day trips from Split to Krka National Park start at only US$12, or around US$25 including food and a wine tasting.
Šibenik is about an hour north of Split, a scenic historic town with two UNESCO sites: Sv. Nikola Fort and St. Jacob’s Cathedral. Other must-see sights in Šibenik are St. Michael’s Fortress and the Cathedral of St. James, which is decorated with 71 (!) sculpted faces. Both are well-preserved historical sites. If you don’t have a car, you can take a 2-hour bus trip to Šibenik, or go with an organized tour.
6 Vis Island
Vis Island is a bit further away from Split than Hvar – about 2 hours and 20 minutes by ferry – and even though this is a long time in transit for a day trip, it is well worth it (and if you can spend a night or two – definitely do that!). There is plenty to see in Vis, most famously the Blue Cave and the Green Cave. Stiniva Beach is often named one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. Many travel agencies offer day trips from Split directly to these popular destinations, making it easy for you to get the most out of your time on the island, if you only have a day. Discover little towns in Vis, fortresses with beautiful architecture, and enjoy some local food and drinks in one of the many charming restaurants.
7 Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most popular sights in Croatia. The National Park has 16 lakes, each of which is stunning in its own way. Sadly, visitors are only allowed to look at them, and not swim in them. However, you can take a boat ride in the lakes to experience the amazing views from the water. Plitvice has two breathtaking waterfalls and there are several nature trails that nature lovers and hikers will enjoy. You can take an organized trip to the national park, or rent a car and drive there. If you take a bus, the ride is quite long – about 4 – 5 hours from the main bus station to the national park – be aware that this is quite a long day. Several tour operators offer day trips from Split to Plitvice Lakes National Park for around US$60:
Mostar is a hidden gem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is rich in culture, history and beautiful architecture. Tourists get to try čevapčići and Bosnian coffee and walk across the iconic Stari Mos, the “Old Bridge”, a medieval bridge that was reconstructed after being destroyed in the Balkans War of the 1990s.
If you’re using public transportation, Croatia Bus offers the trip to Mostar for €18, but be careful: there are two different routes, one takes 3 hours and 30 minutes; the longer one takes 4 hours and 40 minutes. If you’re traveling in your own car, you can take the highway and it’ll take you around 2 hours to get down to Mostar.Photo Credit: All photos used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Hvar by Elena; (2) Brac Island by Nick S; (3) Šibenik by pululante; (4) Mostar by Aiva.