Croatia

11 Perfect Day Trips From Split, Croatia

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With ancient Roman ruins, affordable prices, a bustling Riva (what locals call a Croatian seaside promenade), Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and one of the country’s most popular destinations.

But if you decide to spend your holidays here you are in for a treat. Not only you can enjoy all the great things to do in Split but also use the city as the base for some amazing day trips from Split. And there are many of them!

day trips from split

This gem on the Adriatic is not only ideal for expats living in Croatia, but Split is also an excellent jumping point for tourists exploring Croatia’s beautiful islands and Dalmatian coast, with numerous day trips from Split available. Hopping on a bus, car, or boat for a couple of hours gets you access to some of Croatia’s top attractions as well as across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

UNESCO Heritage sites, stunning national parks, and picturesque islands are among the Split day trips visitors can explore outside the city. What makes living in Split so remarkable is all these extraordinary attractions are easily accessible from the city center.

It’s no surprise that while Zagreb is the capital and Dubrovnik gets most of Croatia’s tourist crowds, Split is still a must-see on any Croatia itinerary.

day trips from split

With so many potential must-see sites, you’ll need local recommendations to prioritize the ideal itinerary. Luckily, we have Marco Sison, author of the European retirement website Nomadic FIRE, an expat from Split, Croatia, to help guide us.

If you only have a few days to spend in Croatia, don’t waste your time wandering about aimlessly; use this guide to note the best day trips from Split, Croatia.

Split essentials

Half-Day Trips from Split, Croatia

Split’s public transportation system is efficient enough to get you to any of these attractions. However, as some of the Full Day Trips are a long haul from Split, renting a car for the day increases your flexibility to make bathroom and food stops. Deciding your departure time and duration of stay at a destination can be worth the extra costs.

Renting a car is more expensive when you are traveling solo. But, if you are traveling with a group or make some friends at your hotel or hostel, renting a car may even be less expensive per person than depending on a Split bus or an organized tour group operator.

And if you don’t want to drive yourself there are organized tours available for Split day trips too.

day trips from split

Trogir

Many travelers to Croatia are Game of Thrones fans. A popular activity for visiting fans is to see the different real-life locations of their fantasy TV show. Trogir, a seaside town on the Adriatic coast, is a wonderful place to do just that.

Its ancient stone walls and the picturesque town’s fortifications make it an excellent spot for Game of Throne buffs and photographers alike. Trogir is also a great place to take pictures of the stunning Dalmatian coast, with water as blue as the sky and a pebbly beach as white as a bone.

The historic city of Trogir is among the most visited sites on Croatia’s coast. While the coastal town was once an important port, it is now more of a tourism haven that offers visitors an opportunity to stroll around the Old Town to enjoy the architecture and history. Or simply enjoy a glass of Croatian red wine on Trogir’s charming Riva.


Best tour from Split to Trogir: Split and Trogir Half Day Tour from Split

Read more about Trogir: Things to do in Trogir, Croatia in One Day

day trips from split

day trips from split

Omis

Located just 45 minutes or 16 miles down a windy coastal road, the quaint town of Omis, famous for its gorgeous harbor sunsets and towering seaside rock formations.

In the Middle Ages, pirates roamed the coastline near the town. The pirates built two medieval fortifications, dubbed Mirabella and Fortica, to protect the ancient town from sea assaults. Mirabella and Fortica’s fortress walls and towers are still well-preserved, and both sites are open to tourists. The beautiful views from the top are worth the climb.

Visitors to Omis not interested in making the hike can stay at sea level and soak up the sun on Omis’s main city beach, Velika Plaza. Several nearby cafes overlook the calm waters, perfect for sipping on a glass of Croatian wine and watching the sunset.

For the adventure junkies, Omis, which lies on the mouth of the Cetina River as it meets the sea, is most renowned as a gateway to thrilling adrenaline activities up and down the Cetina River. Visitors can ride a whitewater roller coaster while shooting down Cetina’s rapids on a river raft or kayak.

Zooming down a zipline is another exhilarating way to enjoy the amazing views. You will fly over the river and forests while zagging and zip lining through the mountain canyons from 500 feet.


Best Omis tours:

day trips from split

Klis Fortress

It’s no secret that Game of Thrones is loved by many around the world. The show has millions of fans. One of the show’s iconic images was of the Dragon Queen, Daenerys Targaryen, arriving with her army at the slave city of Meereen flanked by rows of her crucified victims. Meereen’s real-world counterpart is Klis Fortress, located roughly 30-minutes and 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Split.

While Klis Fortress was never a slave city, the area has been a defensive structure defending the valley leading to Split since the age of the Roman empire. Because of its strategic location on a mountain pass leading to Split, Klis was fought over, conquered, and changed rulers several times throughout its history.

Aside from Croatian kings, the Ottomans and Venetians each had a period defending the castle. The zig-zag ramps and multi-level defensive terraces show the influence of the different ruler’s military doctrine.

Even non-Game of Throne fans can enjoy a day trip to Klis. The historically preserved castle is interesting to explore. There is a museum detailing the fortress’s history, complete with displays of the weapons and armor used during the different historical conflicts.

The medieval fortress is a good spot for a picnic. The strategic location high in the mountains provides Klis with phenomenal sightlines overlooking Split, backdropped by the Adriatic Sea and the Mosor and Kozjak mountains.

Klis has an entrance fee of 8 EUR.


Best Klis tours from Split:

day trips from split

Full-Day Travel Trips from Split, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia is known for amazing beaches and islands on a backdrop of clear turquoise waters. But crystal blue water isn’t exclusive to the Croatian coast.

One of the country’s famous destinations are the lakes, pools, and waterfalls in Croatia is Plitvice Lakes National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park’s terraced lakes, and numerous gorgeous waterfalls make Plitvice National Park is one of Croatia’s greatest natural wonders.

The park thoughtfully laid out wooden boardwalks around the waterfalls and circled over the lakes, allowing visitors of all ages and activity levels to experience some of Europe’s best-preserved wetlands.

There is something for everyone in the park. Visitors can take a relaxing stroll on the more accessible wooden paths to admire the different beautiful waterfalls. The Instagram-worthy natural beauty keeps dedicated photographers busy. For those who want to work up a sweat, there are challenging hikes to take on.

I recommend starting your trip as early in the morning as possible. The Plitvice Lakes is a bit of a journey from Split. Plitvice National Park is the longest day trip on this list, at close to a three-and-a-half-hour drive. If you arrive after noon, expect peak crowds and traffic jams on the popular walking trails.


Best tours from Split to Plitvice Lakes:

Read more about Plitvice Lakes here.

day trips from split

day trips from split

Dubrovnik

For anyone thinking about visiting Croatia, the coastal city of Dubrovnik needs a little introduction. It is a place of legend and history, where centuries of culture meet modern fantasy to form the most intriguing tourist destination in Croatia.

Like Dubrovnik’s larger sister city, Split, this ancient walled city does double-duty as a UNESCO Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones film location. The narrow streets and high walls of the Old City are a display. It is easy to fall into a fictional fantasy world where warriors and dragons are fighting on the city walls of Kings Landing.

Dubrovnik’s recognition comes with a cost; Summer crowds here are nearly unbearable. Large cruise ships dock at the port and empty thousands of tourists to swarm the historic city center like a cicada cloud. Dubrovnik prices, already Croatia’s most expensive city, spiral out of control during the peak summer months. Rent costs increase 3-4 times off-season rates.

Dubrovnik is a perfect day trip, ideal for those who want to spend some time there without the hassles, costs, and crowds of staying in Dubrovnik.


Best tours from Split to Dubrovnik:

Read more about Dubrovnik:

day trips from split

day trips from split

Šibenik

Šibenik is one of the most charming towns on the Croatian coast, with a beautiful location around the bay created by the Krka river flowing into the Adriatic Sea. The town was first mentioned in the 11th century and since then it’s been an important spot in the region since it’s the oldest ancestral town of Croats on the eastern Adriatic coast.

The Old Town of Sibenik is packed with winding lanes and numerous monuments, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Cathedral of St. James, as well as a few historical palaces. Due to its strategic location, Sibenik has four fortresses, each of which offers beautiful views of the city, sea, and nearby islands.

You can combine visiting Sibenik with Krka National Park or Primosten – another picturesque seaside town located halfway between Split and Sibenik.

day trips from split

day trips from split

Krka National Park

Krka National Park is one of the most famous natural sights in Croatia and a real wonder of nature. Lush forests, cascading waterfalls, fast-flowing creeks – you will be surrounded by all of these and more. This is such a perfect nature getaway from the busy Croatian towns and seaside resorts. Since Krka National Park is located just outside Sibenik, visiting the place is easy (however, public transport doesn’t really exist here so a tour is your best option).

The center of the Krka National Park is Skradinski Buk waterfall where you will most likely start your trip. Around the waterfall, you can find numerous walking paths, some of them built just above fast-flowing creeks, inviting you to take a walk in the area. If you have more time there are some hiking trails leading up to the upper parts of the park, from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the area. A bit further you can find Roški Slap (another waterfall) and Visovac island with the monastery from the 15th century.

Until 2020 it was possible to swim in the part of the river Krka in front of the Skradinski Buk waterfall. But even without this activity, Krka National Park is such a wonderful and beautiful place to visit that you don’t want to miss it.


Best tours from Split to Krka National Park and Sibenik:

Read more about Krka National Park: How to visit Krka National Park in Croatia

day trips from split

day trips from split

Mostar

If you want to visit another country during your trip to Split it is most definitely possible. Hop across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit Mostar as one of your Split day trips.

This iconic city is known especially for its Old Bridge suspended high above the turquoise waters of river Neretva. And the bridge itself is already a good reason to come here but there are more attractions the city offers.

Wandering through the colorful bazaar, on the slippery stones makes you feel like time has stopped here. This is also a great place for some souvenir shopping, especially since prices are much lower than in Croatia.

For the best views of the Old Bridge, the bazaar and beyond you can climb to the minaret of Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque – going up through the narrow staircase can be a bit of a challenge but the panorama from the top is definitely worth it.

You can combine a trip to Mostar with a stop at beautiful Kravica Waterfalls, a great nature getaway in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Best Mostar tours from Split:

Read more about Mostar:

day trips from split

day trips from split

day trips from split

Island Day Tours from Split, Croatia

Hvar Island

Hvar Island is a gem on the Adriatic and is on every tourist must-see Croatian island list. With only a short one-hour ferry ride from Split’s Old Town, Hvar is an ideal boat trip combining cruising the seas while still allowing for some sightseeing on an island.

While there is plenty to see on the entire island, visitors should focus on Hvar Town if you only have time for a day trip. There is even a fast ferry that docks directly in Hvar Town.

A medieval fort perched on a hilltop guards the Croatian town and greets boats floating into the historic town harbor. In Hvar Town, you’ll find a charming town square that is among the largest in Croatia. As the town grew outward from the square in the 13th century, you can literally follow Hvar’s history by stepping out of the center of town in any direction.

You can spend the day wandering the cobbled streets of Old Town, taking in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Stephen, or dining in one of the restaurants on the Riva to experience the island’s delicious traditional cuisine.

For a treat, climb up the ramparts of the medieval castle that looms above the town to get a spectacular panoramic view of the Hvar’s white buildings distinguished by their terracotta-roofs contrasted boats sailing out of the harbor into the ice blue Adriatic waters.

Hvar Island is one of Croatia’s most enchanting destinations. Although you can easily go for a day trip from Split to Hvar, for a truly fantastic experience, take several days and enjoy Hvar’s stunning architecture, picture-perfect beautiful beaches, and rousing nightlife.

Once you are done with the sightseeing and enjoying the island, Hvar to Split ferries depart from the center of Hvar, making it super easy to travel around.


Best Hvar tours from Split:

day trips from split

day trips from split

Brac Island

Located only a short ferry ride away, with frequent connections throughout the day, Brac Island is one of the easiest and coolest day trips from Split. It’s one of the largest islands in Croatia and the one with the highest peak on all Adriatic islands – Vidova gora (780 m.a.s.l.) from where you can admire some spectacular views of the area.

Brac Island is packed with attractions and interesting places to visit. The most popular spot on the island and the real highlight of Brac is Zlatni Rat (or Golden Horn) – one of the most famous beaches in Croatia, known for its pointed shape, which you most likely have seen in numerous pictures online. It is located on the southern part of the island, near the town of Bol, and is popular not only among sunseekers but also fans of watersports as that’s where you can enjoy plenty of activities.

Other places you can see during your day trip from Split to Brac are charming seaside towns like Supetar, Bol, Sutivan, Postira, and Pučišća. When getting around the island you will surely be impressed with its beautiful, hilly landscape and numerous picturesque locations around.

Brac is also known for its marble that was used to build the Diocletian Palace in Split or the White House in Washington.


Best Brac tour from Split: Hvar, Brač & Pakleni islands cruise with lunch & drinks from Split & Trogir

day trips from split

day trips from split

day trips from split

Korcula

The beautiful Korcula Island is located a bit away but visiting it is still doable as one of Split day trips. There are a few ferries per day between the two places, with a journey time of around 3 hours – if you catch the morning ferry there and the late afternoon boat back you should have around 8 hours to enjoy Korcula. And you can see a lot in that time!

The highlight of the island is Korcula town with its beautiful but very charming and picturesque old town (conveniently located right next to the place where ferries arrive/depart from). Since the town has a long history you can expect plenty of monuments here, including St Mark’s Cathedral (where you can climb the tower for the best views), the town walls, or the house where apparently Marco Polo was born.

Once you are done exploring Korcula you can relax in one of the cafes or restaurants, or at the beach with stunning views of the Old Town and Pelješac peninsula. Or you can go a bit further into the island to see what else it has to offer.

day trips from split

day trips from split

day trips from split


About the author: Marco Sison, a Retirement Coach for Nomadic FIRE, is a trusted source for living abroad and personal finance. He has been featured in USA Today, US News and World Reports, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, and many others. He writes about personal finance and early retirement overseas for Nomadic FIRE. He has traveled the last six years to over 40 countries to show the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US.

Further reading

I published many articles about Croatia that you might find useful when planning your trip there. Here are some of them:

If you are looking for articles about a specific destination – check out the map with all the articles I’ve published (and their locations). You can also join my Facebook group about traveling in the Balkans and ask your questions there.


Travel Resources

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Split

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Croatia here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates about the new posts
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Croatia too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

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day trips from split


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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Valentin
    22/09/2021 at 07:06

    I have to say that I disagree with some of these tips.
    Fortress Klis, Trogir and Omiš are a good half daytrips from Split
    Personnaly, I would not recommend Plitvice or Dubrovnik because it is way too far away. If you do a daytrip, you would loose more then 6 hours for car traveling. Dubrovnik deserves more then a day so it is not recommended for a daytrip.
    I would add Sinj – a nice small town, known as a pilgrimage place.
    Fortress Knin can also be a good daytrip. It is the most preserved fortress in this part of Croatia.
    And I would recommend town Imotski and its Red and Blue lakes. I don’t think you can find many lakes like this one in this part of Europe.
    Zadar and Šibenik can be a great daytrips from Split. Šibenik is 1 hour away and Zadar 2 hours. And cities are more then affordable comparing to Split.

    • Reply
      kami
      25/11/2021 at 17:32

      Thank you for your tips, Valentin!

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