With so many options, it can be tough to pick the best day trips from Split, Croatia.
Split is an awesome city to base yourself in while visiting Croatia, but between the nearby historic cities, lush national parks, water sports, caves, and adventure activities, it can feel totally overwhelming choosing just a few day tours to go on.
I’ve spent around a month traveling Croatia to date and, in that time, have tried quite a few activities and visited many towns. With this experience under my belt, I can honestly say that Croatia is one of my favorite countries in the world, and no matter how you decide to spend your Croatia trip, you’re going to have a fabulous time.
From cities to parks and ancient castles, there is a day trip from Split for any taste, and I’m positive that any of these options will have you absolutely swooning!
The Best Day Trips from Split, Croatia That You’ll Love
Krka National Park
If you’re looking for a lush oasis filled with beautiful boardwalks, hiking trails, wildlife, caves, and ever-evolving waterfalls, then a Krka day trip from Split is for you!
Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Split, Krka National Park is about 142 square kilometers of pristine foliage just waiting for you to explore. While here, be sure to visit the Skradinski Buk Falls (they’re front and center and pretty hard to miss), the island of Visovak, and the sky-high Roski Slap waterfall.
What’s more, you can even swim at some of the waterfalls in Krka – which will feel more than refreshing after a hot day hiking the trails. Remember to bring your bathing suit and some sunscreen!
How to Get to Krka National Park from Split
- Tour – If you’re short on time, keen on learning all you can about Krka National Park, and want someone else to figure out the logistics of your visit, then booking a tour is the way to go. This Krka Waterfalls Tour from Split by Zen Travel is great as not only will they take you to Krka National Park, but you’ll also get a chance to visit the nearby cities of Primosten and Sibenik.
- Drive – As mentioned above, the drive from Split to Krka National Park is only about an hour, and renting a car in Split couldn’t be easier. Driving gives you as much flexibility as you need with your schedule.
- Bus – When I took a Krka day trip from Split, I took the bus. The bus goes straight from the downtown terminal to the gates of Krka and takes only marginally longer than driving. That said, if you plan on taking the bus to Krka in the summertime (high season), then I recommend booking at least a day ahead as it can fill up fast.
Located just inland from Split, the Cetina River is the place to be to get your adventure on.
The river itself is 101 kilometers long and runs from the Dinara mountains all the way to the town of Omis. Industrially, the river is essential to the local population, as it provides water for agriculture and is used by several hydro plants.
However, in recent years, the Cetina River has blossomed into a Croatian adventure-travel mecca. When visiting the Cetina River, you can expect to go ziplining, river rafting (there are options for all levels of dare-devils), canyoning, river tubing, and you can even go on a canoe safari.
How to Get to the Cetina River from Split
- Tour – Honestly, the easiest (and safest) way to get your adventure on at the Cetina River is to take a guided tour from Split.
Plitvice National Park
If you’ve done any prior research into the best day trips from Split, chances are you’ve come across a photo or two of Plitvice National Park.
The oldest national park in Croatia, Plitvice is characterized by over 90 waterfalls, 16 terraced lakes, and miles of boardwalks. The park is made up of the Upper Lakes and the Lower Lakes; two sections that are equally impressive in my opinion.
The upper lakes consist of high, dramatic waterfalls, while the Lower Lakes consist of shorter falls and some of the most turquoise lakes you’ve ever seen in your life. No matter which way you turn your head, your view will be postcard-worthy. You can quote me on that.
However, because of the ecosystem protections in place, you can’t swim at Plitvice National Park as you can at Krka. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for somewhere to take a dip.
How to Get to Plitvice National Park from Split
- Tour – This Plitvice Lakes Day Tour will take you from Split to the Plitvice Lakes, introduce you to the park’s flora and fauna, and take you for a boat ride on the largest lake in the park — Kozjak.
- Drive – Plitvice National Park is about a two and a half-hour drive from Split and is easily drivable.
- Bus – There is a bus that goes straight from Split to Plitvice Lakes, but it does take a little longer at roughly 3.5 hours. If you plan on taking the bus, I recommend taking the earliest one in the day and planning your return for late at night. There are about 10 bus departures between Split and Plitvice per day, so you shouldn’t have trouble picking a schedule that works for you.
Blue Cave (Bisevo Island)
Taking a Blue Cave Tour from Split is one of the top day trips in the area.
A natural sea cave located on the coastline of Bisevo Island, the Blue Cave is a site that needs to be seen to be believed. During daylight hours, this small cave is filled with the most spectacular blue light, while the surface of the water shimmers in silver.
The bright blue color is due to daylight entering the cave through an underwater opening in the rock. For this reason, it’s said that the cave is best experienced on a sunny day around noon and that no matter the weather (but as long as it’s day time), you’ll be able to see the blue wonder of the cave in all its glory.
However, keep in mind that the cave is an extremely popular site, and it’s best to either visit in the off-season (meaning, not July or August) or be prepared to have a limited time slot in the cave. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 100 000 tourists visit this small cave every year.
Due to the high tourism numbers, there is no swimming in the cave.
How to Get to the Blue Cave from Split
- Tour – Due to the logistics of getting there, I highly recommend taking a Blue Cave Tour from Split. This 12-hour tour will not only take you to the Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, but it will also have you exploring the islands of Vis, Budikovak, Paklinski, and Hvar. You’ll snorkel in the sea, hit up some beaches, and explore charming towns.
While it’s often thought of as a summer resort full of partiers, there is so much more to Hvar than first meets the eye. Located out in the Adriatic, the island of Hvar is home to quaint villages, hilltop fortresses, renaissance-era churches, amazing beaches, lavender fields, and bumpin’ bars alike.
About an hour and a half ferry ride from Split, Hvar is also the sunniest spot in the country — it averages 2427 sunny hours per year.
During my time on Hvar, I stayed in the town of Starigrad. Starigrad is a little off the tourist trail and less busy than the town of Hvar, but I fell in love with it due to its relaxing vibe, quaint medieval streets, and friendly locals.
How to Get to Hvar from Split
- Tour – If you want to hit up a few islands along with Hvar, then check out the Hvar, Brac & Paklinski Islands tour by Zen Travel. Not only will they give you a tour of these three islands via their personal speedboats, but they’ll also take you snorkeling and introduce you to some of Croatia’s finest cuisine.
- Ferry – Due to Hvar being heavily on the tourist trail, there are plenty of ferries that go from Split to Hvar every day. Just be sure to book ahead!
Read More: Top 15 Things To Do in Split, Croatia
A small town full of history, stunning architecture, and tons of things to do, Trogir makes for an excellent day trip from Split, Croatia.
Just a half-hour drive (or ferry ride) from Split, the settlement of Trogir dates back to 380BC and, due to the various eras of inhabitance by the Greeks, Romans, Hungarians, and Venetians, there is a ton of history to uncover here.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Trogir’s old town is pedestrian-only and very walkable. In fact, due to the size, you should have no trouble canvassing most of the town in a day.
While here, I recommend you visit the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Ciovo Island (it’s lush and there are some great beaches), Cipiko Palace, Kamerlengo Castle, the Clock Tower, the City Gates, and be sure to check out a farmer’s market.
How to Get to Trogir from Split
- Bus – There are numerous buses that go from Split to Trogir every single day. Just head on down to the main bus terminal and grab yourself a ticket.
- Ferry – Due to Split being just across the water from Trogir, there are also plenty of ferries that make the trek daily. Just keep in mind that the main ferry operator on this route, Bura Line, only runs in the summertime.
- Tour – If you’re looking for a more robust experience, then I recommend taking this Blue Lagoon and Trogir tour. A half-day tour, this will take you into the crystal clear waters of Trogir’s Blue Lagoon (get ready to snorkel!), and through the historic streets with a guide.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, explore ancient Roman streets, and explore bona fide Croatian culture, then take a day trip to Zadar!
Just a little under a 2-hour drive from Split, Zadar has the best of everything — beautiful beaches, amazing sunsets (it’s said that Alfred Hitchcock was a big fan), a historic old town, architecture, and museums. Plus, it’s a town not on the cruise ship route, meaning you’ll have a much quieter and relaxing time here than the major Croatian ports.
Zadar is especially the place to go if you want to get a taste of the Croatian mountains, as it’s right on the edge of the Velebit mountain range. For this reason, Zadar is hugely popular among mountain climbers and hikers.
Plus, Zadar is home to the world-renowned sound and light attractions of the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation; respectively. Honestly, these two unique spots are reason enough to plan a day trip to Zadar.
How to Get to Zadar from Split
- Bus – The bus is a really easy way to get from Split to Zadar, but keep in mind that there are a few different routes that will take various lengths of time.
- Drive – If you drive from Split to Zadar, it’ll take you about 2 hours each way.
Nicknamed “The Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is characterized by its famed old-town, terracotta rooftops, walkable city walls, and its incredible views of the Adriatic. Located in Southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is a city set high above the turquoise sea and is about a three-hour drive from Split.
Some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik include walking along the city walls, exploring the Old Town, taking a tour of the Trsteno Arboretum botanical garden, riding the Mount Srd Cable Car (I recommend this activity at sunset), and visiting the Rector’s Palace.
However, keep in mind that Dubrovnik is also the most-touristed city in Croatia, and if you visit in the summer, you’ll have to contend with throngs of other travelers. For this reason, I recommend visiting in the shoulder season. I went to Dubrovnik in early June and found it was a great time of year.
How to Get to Dubrovnik from Split
- Drive – As mentioned above, driving from Split to Dubrovnik will take about three hours. While you can take the bus from Split to Dubrovnik, it’ll likely take longer than if you drove, and thus eat up a lot of your day trip.
- Tour – To get the most out of your visit without having to handle any of the logistics, consider taking one of the many guided tours out there.
About a half-hour drive from Split, Klis Fortress is located near a village of the same name and is one of the most magnificent sites in the country. What is essentially a fortress built along a rocky ridge, the Fortress was used for years as a point of defense. Presumed to have been built around the 3rd century BC, Klis Fortress changed many hands before eventually being abandoned.
Then, when the popular drama Game of Thrones decided to use the fortress as one of its Croatian sets, money started being poured into fixing up the grounds. Since then, Klis Fortress has become one of the top-visited sites in Croatia and makes for an easy (but spectacular) day trip from Split.
From the Fortress, you can see all of downtown Split, a sweeping view of the Adriatic Sea, and all the surrounding islands.
How to Get to Klis Fortress from Split
- Bus – There are several bus routes that go from Split to Klis.
- Drive – If you already have a car rental, then this will be the easiest way for you to get to Klis Fortress from Split. However, I wouldn’t recommend renting a car just for the sake of getting here.
That’s it for my list of best day trips from Split, Croatia! Croatia is one of my favorite countries in the world and I’m so excited that you’ll be spending time there. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments!
Many thanks to Zen Travel for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.