From the incredible waterfalls at Krka National Park and Plitvice lakes, to exploring Dubrovnik, Hvar or swimming in the Blue Hole, these are the best day trips from Split, Croatia.
Split is one of my fave cities in Croatia. It’s got a great vibe, lots to do and it’s absolutely stunning too. It’s got that perfect mix of history, top restaurants and lots of sunshine, all things which make it a very popular holiday destination.
While there’s plenty to do in the city itself, no doubt if you’re visiting for a week or so you’ll want to get out and about. Whether you fancy a day of island hopping, or exploring the natural beauty of one of Croatia’s national parks, here are some of my favourite day trips from Split!
How to get to Split
Split’s international airport is located 24 km from the city centre. While there are plenty of flights from across Europe in the summer months, there are only three airlines (Croatia Airlines, Eurowings and Trade Air) which serve the route all year round.
The fastest way to get to the city centre from the airport by public transport is to take the airport shuttle bus which will take you to the central bus station within 30 minutes. The bus station is right by the harbour, so it’s pretty convenient, no matter where you’re staying in the city. You can also take the city buses 37 and 38 which stop next to the airport, but the journey will take you around 50 minutes. If you prefer to take a cab and be delivered door to door, it’ll cost between 250 HRK and 300 HRK (£29 to £35).
You can also reach Split by ferry from the islands, Dubrovnik or Ancona (Italy, approximately 11 ½ hours trip). Lots of ferry routes are seasonal so make sure to check ahead of time if you are thinking of visiting during low season. The ferry terminal gets really busy during high season, so arrive early if you’re heading off on a boat tour from Split to one of the surrounding islands – easily one of the most popular activities for a Split day trip.
Day Trips From Split
There are plenty of islands accessible via a short boat trip from Split. You can find out a few of my top recommendations here. Some of them are home to tiny medieval cities and charming fishing harbours, while others are completely uninhabited. If you fancy a day trip from Split, I’d recommend heading off on an island hopping excursion (with a quick dip in the crystal blue waters). Don’t miss a stop at the Blue Cave – you won’t believe the colour of the water!
Go on a day trip from Split to Hvar Island
Around an hour and a half from Split by ferry, Hvar is one of the most popular Croatian islands along the Dalmatian coast. When I visited I loved the contrasts on the island. Stari Grad is charming with its harbour, skinny streets and cute restaurants. Meanwhile hop on your sailing yacht around to Hvar Town and you’ll see a different side – the party side! Bars like Hula Hula and Kiva, plus nearby club Carpe Diem keep a constant flow of 18-25 year olds in the summer months. Whether you fancy staying overnight to experience the nightlife, or just fancy a day trip, there are plenty of great things to do on Hvar Island.
Oh and if you’re looking for a tour, check out this one which starts from Split and takes you to Hvar as well as four other beautiful islands. You’ll even get to see inside the Blue Cave. Check availability and latest prices here.
Enjoy a day trip from Split to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia. With its red roofs, ancient walls and turquoise blue waters, you’ll be reaching for your camera a lot! It IS possible to visit on a day trip from Split, but keep in mind that there is a 230 km distance between the two cities, so you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time on the road. There are a few different ways to get from Split to Dubrovnik.
- Travelling from Split to Dubrovnik by road: Keep your passport handy, as the road crosses briefly into Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’ll take you around 4 hours, depending on the traffic / time at the border.
- Travelling from Split to Dubrovnik by sea: You can catch a ferry from Split to Dubrovnik which takes around 6 hours each way. There are some lovely views, and you might get a chance to encounter dolphins on the way! There’s also a route on a catamaran during high season, which might be a little quicker.
This is one of my absolute FAVOURITE places in all of Croatia! Krka National Park is home to a series of beautiful cascading waterfalls. The water here is a stunning bright greeny, blue, and it’s the only Croatian National Park that allows swimming in the water. Pack your bikini and if the weather is nice, there’s no better place to cool off! Even better, it’s only around an hour from Split to Krka National Park, making it one of the best day trips from Split. You can read about my day trip from Split to Krka here.
Day trip from Split to Plitvice Lakes
If you thought Krka looked magical, wait until you see Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Leave the city behind and enjoy the incredible natural beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can wander through its 16 terraced lakes, interconnected with waterfalls (including the Great Waterfall, Croatia’s tallest waterfall), wooden trails and bridges. If you don’t feel like walking, you can also explore the National Park by boat or on a small train. If you’re driving it’ll take you around 2.5 – 3 hours from Split to Plitvice Lakes, or 4 to 5 hours by bus.
If you don’t have your own transport, there are lots of organised tours from Split to Plitvice Lakes, including this one which will get you there and back, and includes a boat ride too. Check latest prices and availability here.
Slightly off the beaten path compared to some of the other Croatian islands, Brac is home to the highest peak in the Adriatic Islands (Vidova Gora) and one of its most spectacular beaches. Zlatni Rat beach is the one with two beaches meeting at a sharp angle, with bright white pebbles and azure waters. For a day trip from Split, you can hop on board the Split to Brac ferry which takes around 2 hours.
Covered in forest and vineyards, the island of Korcula is mostly known for being the birthplace of Marco Polo. Most of the main attractions are located in the old town, which is sometimes nicknamed the mini-Dubrovnik due to its walls! There you’ll find the house where Marco Polo was allegedly born. The journey from Split to Korcula takes between 2.5 – 3 hours by ferry, making it a reasonably easy day tour from Split especially during the high season when ferries are more frequent.
Visiting Klis Fortress from Split
Overlooking Split, the impressive Klis fortress has one of the best views on the peninsula. It’s only 20 minutes away by car from the city centre, making it one of the easiest Split excursions on the list! If you’re a Game Of Thrones fan, it might look familiar, as they used it as a location for a lot of scenes. It’s relatively off the beaten path (although it probably won’t be for long!) so definitely enjoy this day trip from Split before the crowds take over!
Weather in Split
Split has a typically Mediterranean climate, warm and dry in the summer with temperatures reaching 30C+ in July and August, and mild in the winter with average temperatures between 5C and 10C. It’s sunny for the most part, with November and December being the rainiest months.
Best time to visit Split
Although there are lots of reasons to visit Split in the summer months (particularly for the city’s music festivals), beat the crowds and the heat by visiting Split in spring or autumn. In September, you can still enjoy the warm weather without having to fight for your place in the sun. I visited in October and was pleasantly surprised by how warm and sunny it was!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and it helps you plan the perfect day trip from Split!
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