Centrally located along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, Split is an ideal city to stay as a base to jump to other areas. There are a number of awesome day trips from Split to choose from and it can be overwhelming which ones to pick.
In this post I’ll share the top places to visit from Split including charming towns, waterfalls, a historic fortress, and islands off Split! Each of these excursions from Spilt are filled with beauty, adventure, and unforgettable experiences.
Some of these can be combined into a day trip and others you want to designate an entire day to.
After you have seen all the top things to do in Split, each of these day trips are an absolute bonus with such diverse activities. You are bound to add at least a few of these Split day trips to your vacation!
Personally, I rented a car to reach all the land destinations on this list. I found that driving in Croatia and surrounding countries to be super easy with nicer roads than back home in the US.
But if you would rather not drive, taking a guided tour is a fun and simple way to see them too. Under each day trip I list a popular tour as another option from going on your own.
Tip: If you are planning to see other regions of Croatia, consider using the perfect 10 day Croatia itinerary in your planning.
Best Day Trips From Split, Croatia
1. Blue Cave On Bisevo Island
Bisevo Island is the farthest island from Split and quite small. Unlike most of the islands, it is not inhabited other than a few people that work there.
For the most part, Bisevo is really only visited for one thing. The famous Blue Grotto!
The Blue Grotto is one of the prettiest sea caves on the island for its blue color. The only way to visit is on a tour.
Regardless of how you get to Bisevo Island, everyone that wants to go into the cave must get on smaller boats that take you into the cave.
Get ready to be amazed at the blue light illuminated from light that passes through an underwater opening. It really does look like lights on in a pool and is spectacular to see.
Depending on the tour you take, you might get to see the Green Grotto which is a bigger cave close by. It is a treat to see as it is less crowded than its Blue neighbor…
2. Hvar Day Trip From Split
A day trip from Split to Hvar Island is worth it whether you spend a few days on the island or go as part of an island boat tour.
The island of Hvar is known for its high-end clientele frequented by celebrities and the elite on holiday. Expect to see elegant hotels, restaurants, and quite the party scene in the peak summer months.
Don’t let the glamour of Hvar deter you from visiting as it is popular for good reason!
Besides its obvious beauty, it is an ideal island to walk around, lounge on a beach, and admire all the boats docked.
There isn’t a ton to do but that is part of its appeal. The best viewpoint of the island is either from the sea or at the top of Fortica Fortress.
Fortica Fortress is high up on a cliff on Hvar Island and does require a cardio inducing walk up or you can take a taxi instead.
Wander the tiny and charming streets including St. Stephen’s square with its cathedral and bell tower.
And if you have the time, indulge in a fantastic meal of fresh seafood and local wine…
3. Other Islands Off Split’s Coast
Split is one of the best locations to stay if you are interested in doing some island hopping.
The beauty of the turquoise clear waters and pristine beaches will win you over before you even step foot on any island.
There are hundreds of islands off of Split’s coast but there are a handful that are known to be the best for visiting.
Most of the islands are not inhabited but the ones that you can visit are quite breathtaking.
If you like to sail, Split is an excellent place to rent or charter a sail boat. You could easily spend a week or more hopping from one island to another.
Other Top Islands To Visit From Split
Brac Island – It is one of the biggest and most visited island near Split. This is an island you can stay on with plenty of beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars, and shopping.
Paklinski Islands – A total of 16 islands make up the Pakliniski Islands (Pakleni) and are pure paradise. Clear water in shades of blue dotted with boats along white sand beaches make it a popular stop on an island tour. There are no places to stay on any of the islands, but Hvar is the closest island to find a hotel.
Vis Island – Close to Bisevo Island (Blue Cave), Vis Island is more remote with a sleepy village vibe that is quite peaceful. The towns of Vis and Komiza are the two areas on the island where you can find restaurants and a small selection of accommodations.
Korcula Island – You’ll find the island of Korcula has a beautifully preserved old town with city walls resembling a much “smaller Dubrovnik”. Gorgeous beaches and a dense forest can be found on Korcula which is located off the coast about half way between Split and Dubrovnik.
4. Klis Fortress
About 20 minutes from the Old Town of Split is Klis Fortress sitting high up on the mountain with a panoramic view of the valley, city, and Dalmation Coast.
It is the perfect location to have a fortress as there is nothing at a higher elevation. They would have been able to see any invaders coming from a distance to their advantage.
Klis Fortress is quite impressive with its formidable structure that was established in the 2nd century BC. The views from the top of the medieval fortress are incredible without the crowds seen at other attractions.
For those of you that are Game of Thrones (GOT) fans, you might recognize Klis Fortress from Season 4 as the City of Meereen. It is where Daenarys comes into her power freeing the slaves of Meereen.
To punish the masters who had enslaved the people of Meereen, Daenarys has the masters crucified along the walls.
Walking around the ruins, the scene looks very close to what you see on the show except for some minor changes with CGI and one major change. On the show you will see a giant pyramid on top of the fortress but in reality, this is all CGI.
Tip: Expect to spend 1-2 hours walking the tiers of the fortress. This is a great activity to combine with visiting Krka Falls.
Hours & Admission: Klis Fortress is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm or 7:00 pm (depending on the season). Adult admission is 10 Euro.
5. Krka National Park Waterfalls
Krka Falls might not be as famous as Plitvice National Park, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. The waterfalls in Krka are so beautiful and different from Plitvice.
Split to Krka National Park is about an hour drive and is perfect to do as a day trip from Split combined with Klis Fortress. You could easily spend the whole day but stay at least 3 hours so that you get to walk the different paths and enjoy the park.
Unfortunately, as of 2021 there is “no more swimming” and several signs to remind you in case you forget.
The two main entrances to Krka National Park are the Skradin and Lozovac entrances. I recommend parking (free) at the Lozovac entrance and walk down through a beautiful forest. Or take a free bus down that is included in your ticket price.
The Krka River runs through the national park creating seven stunning waterfalls.
Follow the boardwalks over small pools created by the Krka River flowing down. It is very peaceful listening to the emerald green water flowing and you will likely see several brown trout in the pools.
Take your time and expect to spend an hour wandering down to the Skradinski Buk Waterfall, which is the biggest waterfall.
Here you will find vendors selling food, snacks, and drinks. There is a big grassy area to picnic at too.
If you decide to take a boat excursion to see the Roski Slap waterfall and the island of Visovac, give yourself an additional 3.5 hours.
Hours & Admission: You can find current hours here. Admission is 20 Euro (April, May, October) and 40 Euro (June, July, August, September). All other months are 7 Euro.
6. Trogir, Croatia
Trogir is a close day trip from Split and one of the quaintest towns in Croatia. From Split to Trogir it only takes 30 minutes to reach by car.
Or you can visit by taking a ferry from Split to Trogir that takes about an hour. And you can enjoy stunning views of the Dalmatian coast on the way!
If you are searching for a tour that includes visiting Trogir, this is a great choice…
Trogir happens to be an island although you might not notice due to its very close proximity to the mainland.
Only separated by a tiny bridge, the small old town in Trogir can be walked within a day.
You’ll find yourself happily wandering down cobblestoned alleyways with breaks at a café or taking an endless amount of photos.
Some of the top attractions to see in Trogir are St. Lawrence Cathedral, the town hall, and the waterfront promenade.
For the best views of Trogir make a point to climb up to the St. Lawrence Cathedral bell tower and the top of Kamerlengo Fortress.
7. Zadar, Croatia
Zadar is a town a little less than 2 hours north up the Adriatic coast from Split. Less visited in comparison to Split, it is quieter with a more laid-back vibe.
It really is the perfect town to wander aimlessly with charming walkways, squares, and places to eat.
As with Split, you’ll notice most of the architecture is Roman and Venetian influenced and still in great condition considering the age.
The Roman Forum is the top place in Zadar old town where you can see ancient ruins, St. Donatus Church, the clock tower, and Zadar Cathedral.
As you stroll along the beautiful promenade bordering the sea, two top Zadar attractions are the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation.
As the name implies, when the waves crash up against the steps an organ-like sound emits. And next to the sea organ is an enormous disk made up of solar panels that light up at night.
8. Port Town Of Omis
In the opposite direction from Zadar, is the quaint town of Omis, about 30-minutes south of Split. Its close proximity makes it a great Split day trip.
Omis is a small port town tucked along a section of the Adriatic Sea where it meets the Cetina River.
It literally has a rich history known as the home to the Omis pirates who plundered the riches of cities bordering the coast up into the 14th century.
Today you can still see reminders of the pirate days at gift shops or on pirate themed tours.
Omis is a great getaway for nature lovers that want to venture outside the city and go river rafting on the Cetina River, hiking, zipline, kayaking, or canyoning.
But if you would rather relax, Omis has beautiful beaches with Big Beach (Velika Plaza), Slavinj, and Brzet Beach the most popular.
Known as the Omis Riviera, the beaches in Omis won’t disappoint for their captivating turquoise waters.
Other activities not to miss out on are visiting Mirabella Fortress, hiking up to Starigrad Fortress, St. Micheal’s Square, and Church of St. Peter.
If you are looking to take specific tours in Omis for adventure, consider these top 3 tours!
9. Mostar, Bosnia
Mostar is a small town in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina close to the Croatia border about 2 hours from Split.
Although a tiny town to explore, Mostar has an incredible amount of charm, history, and culture making it a perfect day trip from Split.
If you are just visiting the old town section of Mostar, you can easily see everything in a day trip. But if you want to see some of the other nearby villages, then stay the night in Mostar.
Bosnia as a whole but especially Mostar has seen its share of devastation and hardship from the Bosnian War. Fortunately, the town has recovered and is a lovely place to visit with its famous Mostar Bridge.
The Mostar Bridge, also known as Stari Most is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most recognizable bridges in all of Europe.
Your eye can’t help but be drawn to the stunning arched bridge from afar or walking across it.
The town as a whole has a fairytale like quality with its cobblestoned streets, cafes to enjoy a Bosnian coffee, Museum of the Old Bridge, and Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque.
Best Hotels In Split
The best place to stay in Split is in the Old Town area, steps from all the main Split attractions, restaurants, and the marina. Each of these hotels has a great location as a base to explore Split and its surrounding regions.
How To Get To Split, Croatia
The closest airport to Split is the Split International Airport (SPU), also known as Resnik Airport.
The airport is a little closer to Trogir than Split, with about a 30-minute drive to Old Town of Split.
If you are coming from the town of Dubrovnik, it is about a 3.5-hour drive or a 2-hour drive from Mostar, Bosnia.
If you decide to rent a car in Split, driving and navigating in Croatia is very easy with nice roads. I found it easier to drive in Croatia than I do back in the United States.
Before You Go…
Although I don’t recommend doing a day trip from Split, if you have a few days free I highly recommend visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Plitvice Lakes is one of the most beautiful natural wonders for countless waterfalls, lakes, and trails.
Explore everything you want to know about visiting in my guide to Plitvice Lakes National Park and why I think you should visit over 2 days…
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Vanessa Shields is the founder of Traveling Ness helping people with trip ideas, itineraries, travel planning, and boosting confidence for female travelers to take a solo trip. She has been a travel writer and content creator since 2019.