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17 Best Day Trips from Split, Croatia

Split is a charming city located on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Its stunning backdrop of the Adriatic Sea, exciting nightlife, and unique culture make it an excellent destination for visitors.

From the Diocletian palace to the bustling city center, there is plenty to explore and enjoy; however, with so many other exciting places to check out, you may be planning a quick day trip away. Croatia itself is incredible- and we get that- which is why we have compiled a list of some of the best day trips from Spit to explore Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and beyond.

From idyllic Hvar Island to rafting the Cetina River to spending the day in the famous Blue Cave, there is much to be explored. For a more green vacation opt for a visit to Krka National Park or the Plitvice Lakes National Park. For the history buffs out there, take a step back in time to the historic town of Sibenik or walk the ancient walls of Trogir.

So, if you’re looking for an escape from this vibrant city, why not take a day trip? It’s so easy to explore the beauty of Croatia with so many single-day trips from Split. So, let’s get started! Here are our top picks for Split day trips and exploring both inland and the Croatian coast.

TL;DR

  • Most Popular Day Trip from Split: Hvar Town and Hvar Island
  • Best Day Trip for families: Sibenik
  • Best Day Trip for beaches: Makarska
  • Best Day Trip for nature: Krka National Park
  • Best Day Trip for culture: Trogir
  • Best Day Trip for activities: Cetina River

Best Day Trips from Split, Croatia

1. Take the ferry to Hvar Island

Hvar Island Boats and Scenery

If you’re looking for the ultimate single-day trip from Split, Croatia, look no further than Hvar Island. This little slice of paradise is just a short ferry ride away and offers some incredible experiences waiting to be discovered.

Start your day by hopping on a ferry from Split and making your way to the island. Once you arrive, there’s plenty to explore. Spend the day lounging on one of Hvar’s many beaches or go for a swim in the crystal clear water.

Head inland and take in the sights of the ancient town of Hvar, filled with Venetian-style architecture. For more history, visit the Spanish fortress at the island’s peak.

The island is large, so we recommend sticking to Hvar town and its surroundings for the best day trip experience. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving delicious Croatian cuisine and bars to keep your night going. But be aware the last ferry back to Split from Hvar Town is around 8 pm in the high season.

Okay, we know we are just talking about Split day trips, but if you’re still there at sundown, you have to head to the infamous Hula Hula beach club and dance the early evening away with their daily sunset parties.

If you’re short on time and want to explore more surrounding Hvar, we recommend taking one of the most popular Split boat tours, including Hvar, the Blue Cave, and surrounding islands. This island hopping excursion is one of the best ways to explore the nearby Croatian islands in one single trip.

See Related: Best Islands to Visit Around the World

2. Visit the Pakleni Islands

Pakleni Islands Aerial View

Close to Hvar Island, the Pakleni Islands are known for their absolutely stunning beaches, secluded bays, and breathtaking landscape. It’s one of the best day trips from Split, as you can hop on a quick boat or ferry to get here – it’s only about 45 minutes away!

The islands are very popular amongst locals during the summer months when they come here to swim in its picture-perfect waters. But the Pakleni Islands are also great for a spot of snorkeling and scuba diving, thanks to its rich marine life!

These Croatian islands don’t just offer up amazing underwater views – you can explore its beautiful landscapes as well. Venture into the nearby forests for a peaceful hike, or take your pick from several secluded beaches for some sunbathing and relaxation. Most tours to the Pakleni Islands stop on Hvar Island due to its close proximity, so it’s an easy day trip from Split.

3. Marvel at the Blue Cave

Blue Caves Scenery

One of the most popular day trips from Split is a visit to the Blue Cave. The Blue Cave is located on the small island of Biševo, just off the coast of Croatia.

Inside the cave, you’ll find an enchanting underwater world of blue light and translucent waters. The island of Biševo is small and quiet- less than 20 people are considered permanent residents! Needless to say, the Blue Cave is a truly serene and beautiful experience.

The best way to get to Blue Cave is by taking a day tour from Split. These tours usually stop at the nearby island of Vis, allowing you to explore more of Croatia’s coastline in one day.

Once inside the Blue Cave, make sure to take some time to marvel at the incredible views. Be warned: take in as much as possible without leaving the boat.

Swimming and diving are strictly prohibited in these areas due to safety reasons. Never fear, as Biševo still has many more beautiful beaches surrounding the famous spot.

The best way to experience the Blue Cave is with a tour guide and on a boat tour. The surrounding waters getting to the cave can be pretty choppy to the untrained sailor. They’ll ensure you take advantage of the incredible sights and can provide you with all the history and information about this special place.

Tours usually include lunch on board the boat, which is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty and delicious Croatian cuisine. Make sure you check this out for one of the most beautiful day trips from Split.

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4. Spend the day exploring Brac Island

Brac Island Scenery

Heading away from Split and towards Brac Island is the perfect day trip if you want to explore Croatia’s stunning Adriatic coastline in a single day. Brac Island is the most developed of Croatia’s islands and offers plenty for travelers to explore. With frequent ferries from Split, this day trip is easily accessible.

For those looking for a beach day, Brac Island has plenty of sandy beaches to choose from. Zlatni Rat Beach, also known as Golden Horn Beach, is one of the most popular spots on the island, with its unique crescent shape and crystal clear waters. Here you can try some water sports or relax in the sun.

A great way to get around is by renting a car, which can take you through the island’s winding roads and give you access to fantastic views from various lookouts. Keep an eye out for olive trees – they line the island! So much so that an olive oil museum (Museum Uja) is one of Brac’s best highlights.

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, visit the Dominican Monastery and Museum. This monastery dates back to the 13th Century and is known for its impressive frescoes and Baroque-style architecture.

For the best view, head up to Vidova Gora Lookout. The highest viewpoint on the Adriatic Coast, you’ll have a stunning panoramic view of the entire island and can even see Italy on a clear day.

5. Unlock History at Klis Fortress

Klis Fortress and Skyline

Located less than 10 miles from Split, Klis Fortress is a fantastic half-day trip to explore the history of Croatia. The fortress dates back to the Middle Ages and was an important stronghold against invaders. It has changed hands many times over the centuries but remains incredibly well-preserved today.

The fortress has multiple levels, with various towers and fortifications scattered throughout. Visitors can explore each level, taking in the fortress’s history and enjoying magnificent views from the topmost levels.

Recognize it from somewhere? The famed fortress was featured in Game of Thrones as the city of Meereen, one of the three city-states in Slaver’s Bay. In fact, many spots in Croatia served as the backdrop for the HBO show and are consequently becoming increasingly popular tourist attractions. For die-hard fans, take a Game of Thrones walking tour! This Split Walking Tour starts in the old town, with transport to and from Klis included.

Not a GoT fan? No worries, you can take the line 22 or line 35 bus from Split town, which will take you to the city, followed by a short walk to the entrance with nary a word about Cersei, dragons, or incest.

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6. Discover the beautiful setting of Vis Island

Boats in Vis Island

Vis Island is a must for day trippers from Split, with its rolling hills, tiny fishing villages, and stunning bays dotted around the coastline. A great way to explore is by taking a boat tour around the island, where you’ll learn about Vis’s rich history and take in some incredible sights.

A popular attraction is the Green Cave of Vis. Though not as popular as the Blue Cave Tour, this emerald-lit water still attracts many visitors.

Vis has an excellent dining scene. The port town of Vis Town is a great place to grab lunch and try some local specialties, such as the famous Octopus Salad. Not feeling so bold? Plenty of restaurants serve freshly caught seafood, so be sure to stop by one for lunch.

Are you a Mamma Mia fan? Then Vis is the island for you. Although the famous musical is set in Greece, filming for the second movie was done in Croatia! Vis is home to many of the film’s most beautiful scenes. You can book a private Mamma Mia group boat tour to explore some of the most iconic filming locations.

For a step back in time, visit the secret military tunnels found on the island. These were used by the Yugoslav army, until Croatia’s independence in 1991, and are now open to the public. You can explore these fascinating tunnels and see an array of military relics.

Vis Island is a must-do for any day tripper from Split, with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With so much to offer, from musicals to military monuments, we recommend booking a single-day trip from Split that has all of the highlights rolled into one.

7. Chase some waterfalls at Krka National Park

Krka National Park Falls

No trip to Croatia is complete without a visit to Krka National Park. This stunning park is home to seven waterfalls and dozens of lakes, rivers, and forests that make for a breathtakingly beautiful day out.

The Krka river is a 45-mile-long river known for its cascading waterfalls in the National Park. This spot is a great place to take in captivating views of the country’s best inland scenery and get some fantastic photos for your Instagram account.

The most popular spot for visitors at Krka National Park is the Skradinski Buk waterfall, an extensive waterfall system with crystal-clear waters. Although swimming here has been recently prohibited, other pockets in the park allow it. One of these is the Roški slap, the second most popular cascade.

For those looking for something a little more active, there are plenty of hiking trails around the park, taking in some stunning views of the waterfalls. The nearby town of Skradin is a popular base for day trippers from Split visiting Krka National Park, with plenty of restaurants and cafes offering traditional cuisine and local wine excursions.

Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s most beautiful national parks, making it a must-do for anyone looking to get out of Split for a day or two. With its stunning nature, great views, and food options, this is one day trip you won’t want to miss. Be sure to book a single-day trip from Split that takes you to Krka National Park for the whole experience!

See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November

8. Spend the day in Trogir

Houses in Trogir

Head to the charming town of Trogir for a day trip from Split. This medieval town is located on an island connected by bridges and is a great place to explore, with its narrow cobblestone streets and old buildings. It’s also home to some incredible architecture, such as the 16th Century St. Lawrence Cathedral, which features a unique Romanesque and Gothic design.

It’s also home to the Kamerlengo Fortress, a 15th Century defensive structure that has been lovingly restored in recent years. It’s a great spot to explore or admire from afar. The central square in Trogir is a great place to relax and people-watch, with plenty of restaurants and cafes.

Trogir is also known for its delicious cuisine, with numerous restaurants and cafes serving traditional dishes like cevapi, sarma, and burek. Be sure to try the local delicacy of octopus salad made with potatoes, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Of course, one of the must-see attractions when visiting Trogir is its waterfront promenade. This picturesque spot provides magnificent views of the harbor, nearby islands, and stunning architecture. Short on time? Trogir is an excellent option for even a half-day trip from Split

9. Get your adrenaline fix at the Cetina River

Cetina River Aerial View

Tired of the beach? Why not take a trip down the Cetina River? This river runs through Split and is a great spot for white-water rafting and cliff jumping. It’s a great way to get the adrenaline pumping while taking in some of the stunning views of Croatia’s countryside. After your adventure, you can take a break in the picturesque village of Omis, with plenty of restaurants and cafes offering local cuisine and wine.

From zip-lining to canyoning, there are plenty of activities to do when you visit the Cetina River. There are even bike trails and hiking routes if you prefer a more leisurely pace.

If you feel leisurely paces are just too damn leisurely, make the most of your time on the river, by doing an awesome adventure group tour that combines rafting and cliff-jumping into the Cetina. The Cetina River is one of the best day trips from Split and should not be missed. Whether you go rafting, cliff jumping, or just admire the countryside views; it’s a great way to spend your day.

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10. Do some Island Hopping!

Solta Island Scenery

Another great day trip option from Split is simply taking a Croatian boat tour and hopping around the beautiful islands, including a jaunt to the famous Blue Lagoon! It’s easy enough to make a day trip out of it with boat cruises offering lunch and great views of the three nearby surrounding islands.

The first stop on the tour is Necujam Bay. Locally known as Shipwreck Bay, you’ll have a chance to snorkel and explore the wonders beneath it. You’ll have plenty of free time for exploring the wonders of the bay before having lunch and heading to the next stop.

Solta Island is the next tour stop and home to gorgeous beaches in the world, turquoise water, and plenty of historical sites. The island is mainly well known for its charming fishing villages, which offer up some delicious seafood dishes.

You’ll stop in the quaint town of Maslinica as a base for the next few hours. The island is also home to some stunning natural spots, including several small coves and bays perfect for swimming or enjoying the view.

The final stop on this three-island tour is the absolutely incredible Blue Lagoon found on the island of Drvenik Veli. It’s a perfect spot for those who want to relax and take in the scenery or for snorkelers looking to explore the underwater world around them. And if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of dolphins swimming in the distance!

The Blue Lagoon is one of the top day trips from Split and should not be missed. Whether you want to sit back and relax on the beach or go for a swim in its calm waters, it’s an excellent spot for anyone looking for some fun in the sun!

11. Hop the border to Mostar

Mostar Old Bridge and Sunset Scenery

Make sure to have your passports handy for this one! A day trip from Split to Mostar will take you on a magical journey across the border and into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The historic city of Mostar is known for its iconic 16th Century Ottoman bridge, Stari Most (Old Bridge). The rebuilt bridge stands today as a symbol of togetherness, despite the conflict that ravaged it during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the old town – perfect for a spot of lunch or some souvenir shopping at the Old Bazaar.

Owing strong influence to the Ottoman’s coffee culture, Mostar is lined with charming little cafés lining the old town where you can admire the views as you sip on your strong Bosnian coffee.

For the adventurous ones out there, why not take part in the most popular activity in Mostar? Jumping off the bridge! Every year there is a bridge jumping contest at Stari Most. It’s an adrenaline-fueled experience to watch (and probably more adrenaline-fueled to jump!)

Mostar truly feels like it is straight out of a fairy tale, and its charm should not be missed on your day trip from Split. With plenty of history, culture, and activities, a visit here will surely leave you with lasting memories.

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12. See the beautiful waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park

Waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park

No day trip list would be complete without mentioning Plitvice Lakes National Park! This is another lush park that often rivals Krka National Park. This national park is one of the top tourist attractions in the country. It has become so popular that it is almost a must-see on anyone’s day trip from Split list! The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 16 interconnected lakes and 92 waterfalls, as well as many species of flora and fauna.

A visit to the Croatian national park is into two parts – an Upper Lakes area with walking trails leading to spectacular waterfalls and a Lower Lakes area with boardwalks taking you across stunning turquoise waters. Plitvice Lakes National Park is also home to some of the best cascades in Croatia. Though swimming is currently banned in the park, you can still admire them from afar.

Famous for its lush green forests, Plitvice Lakes National Park is the perfect place to relax and take in some spectacular scenery. With 16 crystal clear lakes, there is plenty of exploring to be done here. Stroll along the wooden pathways that weave through the park, or take a boat ride across one of the larger lakes for an unforgettable experience.

The most convenient way to reach Plitvice Lakes National Park is by booking a group tour, which includes pick up and drop off at the park’s entrance. Alternatively, you can drive there, but parking can be crowded in the summer months.

13. Cruise down the coast to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Cityscape

A personal favorite of mine, Dubrovnik is a must-see for any day trip from Split. Dubrovnik is an old city with a rich cultural heritage and stunning sea views of the Adriatic Coast.

One of several places nicknamed “The Pearl of the Adriatic,” you can expect to find plenty of historical monuments, Renaissance churches, and Baroque palaces here. The city’s old town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can wander around cobbled streets and admire the magnificent architecture.

Dubrovnik is known for its stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters. Take a swim in the Adriatic Sea or lounge by the shore with a good book in hand – the choice is yours. Beaches line the town, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style.

In addition to its stunning views, Dubrovnik offers plenty of cultural experiences. Take a walk around the old town and admire its beauty while you listen to live music or watch street performers. For the history buffs, take a tour of Fort Lovrijenac – one of the city’s most famous landmarks. 

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14. Go on a Croatian Wine Tour

Drinking Croatian Wine

Croatia might not come to mind when you think of world-class wines, but it should! Most people don’t know that Croatia has some of the best wines in the world. Due to their ideal weather and harvest conditions, the grapes grown here have a unique and delicious flavor.

The Peljesač Peninsula, located on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, is one of its most popular regions. The Peljesač region is home to some of the country’s best wineries.

So much so that they throw their own festival celebrating the famous drink every year. The Peljesač Wine Festival runs from Mid-May to Mid-June every year, and if you happen to be there, then it is something you won’t want to miss.

On this wine tour day trip from Split, you’ll visit several Peljesač wineries and learn about the vineyards and their unique fermentation processes. You’ll also try some delicious wines and have a tasty lunch with local ingredients. This is private tour is a great day trip for people exploring Croatia’s wine culture and learning more about the country’s grape varieties!

You can also explore the surrounding region and the town of Ston, where you can sample their Pinot Noir and Plavac Mali varietals while learning more about Croatia’s rich wine history. One of the region’s favorite wineries is Miloš Estate, which produces some of the finest Plavac Mali wines. While you’re there, take a tour around their cellar and enjoy a delicious lunch at their beautiful vineyard.

And if wine isn’t your thing, perhaps take a trip so you can admire this gorgeous part of the world. With sparkling blue waters, dramatic rocky mountains, and historic villages, the Peljesač Peninsula is a stunning corner of Croatia to explore.

15. Head to Zadar for the day

Zadar Cityscape

If you’re looking for one of the best day trips from Split by train, Zadar is a perfect choice! This beautiful coastal city is full of history and culture, with plenty to explore. You’ll experience the city’s unique charm as you wander around its old town or visit attractions like St Donatus’ Church, the Sea Organ, and the Greeting to the Sun Light show. Plus, you can take a sightseeing tour of Zadar’s historical sites, learning more about its rich history.

One of the most unique attractions Zadar has to offer is its Sea Organ – a giant musical instrument powered by the sea’s waves! As the water laps against the steps, it creates beautiful and ever-changing whistling melodies that make you feel like you’re in an enchanted land. You can also marvel at the Greeting to the Sun Light Show nearby, an incredible light show powered by solar energy.

Personally, when I visited Zadar, I found it to be a more peaceful and smaller version of Split, made all the more unique with the Sea Organ (despite its popularity with visitors). Though there is still a bustle in the summer months, Zadar is an ideal place to relax on the banks of the Adriatic Sea, enjoy a Laid-Back Fun Bike Tour and soak up the sun.

This day trip from Split is perfect for anyone looking to experience something different than what you find in the larger cities of Croatia. From the beautiful blue sea to historical sites and amazing restaurants, Zadar has something for everyone!

Zadar is easily reachable by bus with many options daily. For an equally scenic, and slightly more relaxing route, we recommend taking the train!

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16. Stroll along the streets of Šibenik

Boat and Houses in Šibenik

The charming town of Šibenik is one of the most popular day trips from Split. This picturesque city is full of historic buildings, cafes, and restaurants.

But the main attraction here is the St James Cathedral – a stunning example of 15th Century architecture and one of the most important monuments in Croatia. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is full of historic buildings, cafes, and restaurants.

You can head up to St. John’s Fortress for the best view in town. From here, you’ll get a fantastic panoramic view of the city and possibly even a glimpse of the nearby islands!

The streets in Šibenik are filled with interesting boutiques, shops selling locally made products and souvenirs, and quaint cafes. So make sure to take your time exploring the city and stopping for a bite in one of the local restaurants.

Thanks to its location on the Adriatic coast, Šibenik is also the perfect place to go swimming or get involved in fun water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding. With its variety of options, the charming town is great for the whole family.

The best way to reach Šibenik is by taking one of the several daily buses or ferries departing from Split. Alternatively, you can take the train, which takes around two and a half hours, making it one of the best day trips from Split by train.

17. Cruise down to Makarska

St. Peter Statue and Makarska Cityscape

When people think of Croatia, they often picture endless blue seas and a rugged coastline, which is exactly what you get when you take a day trip from Split to Makarska! This beautiful coastal town is located on the Adriatic Sea and is known for its stunning turquoise waters, golden beaches, and lush nature reserves. This idyllic town is considered the gateway to the Makarska Riviera, one of the most popular regions in Croatia.

You can also explore Makarska’s hidden coves, ancient churches, and bustling marina. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, make sure to visit Nugal Beach for its pristine water and high cliffs leading down to the golden sand. Clothing here is optional, with most of it being a nudist area!

For nature lovers, you can follow the trail up the nearby Biokovo mountain for some of the best views in Croatia. This mountain is also home to the Biokovo Nature Park, which protects some of Europe’s rarest plant and animal species!

The best way to get to Makarska is by car, so hop in your rental and take a leisurely drive down the coast. Makarska is easily reachable by public transport, with multiple buses a day in the summer months.

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