City of Split is the largest city in Dalmatia and for its geographical position is the perfect location from where to set out and explore numerous Split islands located in its vicinity. Due to the growing popularity of Split as a vacation destination you can now choose from a variety of Split island tours and set out to explore the beauties of the nearby islands in a single day.
The majority of the island tours from Split are done on fast speedboats for the main reason to visit as many of those hard to reach, secluded island destinations and attractions as possible. Each of them has a unique trait which characterises the location they are in. Our island hopping adventures aim to reveal the must see places on islands in a comfortable and fun way.
But where to go and what to see?
How to prepare for an Island Tour
As with anything in life each of us has their own affinities and interests. Same is with travel, to have a best time on a vacation it is good to know up front what you want to do, see and experience. Some people prefer quit destinations to relax and fill up their batteries before returning to everyday life, some people love to party and enjoy dancing in the sun on the beach all day long and some enjoy revealing tradition and history of the places they visit.
It is a good practice to choose the island tour based on your affinities and expectations.
For this reason we have created Split Island Tours guide to help you prepare in advance and find out all the destinations and attractions on the islands you can experience with island tours.
Besides knowing what you want to see the time also makes an important role. Do you have a full day to explore the islands or you just have a couple of hours. Naturally, on the full day island tour you can see much more islands and attractions then on a half day tour but sometimes the half day tour is just what you need to to make your vacation day perfect.
Time also plays another important role when preparing for an island tour. Once the tour is chosen take a look at the tour itinerary. Note how much time you will be spending on each destinations. Based on that time plan ahead what you want to see and experience in particular destination.
If the tour is staying in town Hvar for an hour it is unrealistic to plan a visit to Spanish fortress, Arsenal theater, visit Benedictine Monastery and take a swim. Make a plan that will fit into the allotted time you have on each destination.
If Hvar is the destination you really want to experience and one hour of allotted time on the tour is simply not enough, look for a tour that stays in Hvar longer. If none of the tours satisfy our requirement the best option, one that will guarantee your requirement are met, is to take a private island tour. On private tour you can create your own itinerary, consult with our team and create the perfect itinerary which will cover all your points of interest.
What to bring
All of the island tours from Split start in the morning hours from 7:30 AM to 09 AM depending on a tour with an exception of the Blue Lagoon half day tour which starts at 09 in the morning and at 02:30 in the afternoon.
It is a good practice to wake up earlier on a tour day, have a breakfast, a cup of coffee and do your usual morning routine. Sometimes, on island tours, it can be a while till you reach a restroom.
Island tours are usually done on fast RIB (rigid inflatable boats). During the speedboat ride from destination to destination you will be exposed to sun so make sure to put sun protection, put on a hat and wear sunglasses.
To keep hydrated on the tour make sure to bring with you a bottle of water and it is always a smart thing to pack a sandwich or have some snacks handy.
Without a doubt the most popular destination on island Brac is the small town of Bol on the south side of the island. Bol owes its popularity to the most beautiful and the most famous beach in this area, The Golden Cape beach or known locally as Zlatni Rat. This beach is unique in the world as its horn switches sides as the winds and the currents move. There are many sports activities you can take on Zlatni Rat which makes it famous for those looking for a more active holiday.
The beauty of the beach, small golden pebbles, clear blue sea and the forrest in its basin make this beach popular to all population.
Even though Bol is popular among locals and tourists it is not that easily accessible. You can take a catamaran ferry which departs once a day (limited capacity) or take a regular ferry to Supetar and then take a bus or a taxi to take you 35 kilometres on the other side of the island.
The second most popular place on island Brac is its largest town called Supetar. Supetar is easily accessible from Split with ferries that depart approximately every 90 minutes during summer months. Supetar has a number of beaches, none of them comparable to Zlatni Rat however, but there are beaches for everyone to choose.
For families with children the most popular is the Pliva beach located some 25 minute walk from the centre. Pliva is extremely popular with children for its deep protected bay, shallow sea and a sandy bottom. This is perfect for children to jump around and play while parents can relax in the shades of the trees.
Island Hvar, or how we like to call it the sunniest island as it has most hours of sun in the year over entire Croatia, is the most popular island for tourists visiting Croatia and Split. Town Hvar in particular. What makes Hvar so popular among travelers?
Aside for its ancient history, beautiful location, charming architecture, Hvar has grown in popularity as somewhat a party destination amongst younger travelers. You can find number of disco clubs and beach bars providing entertainment during the day and well into the night.
For those enjoying in revealing cultural and historical monuments and sites, town Hvar has a lot to offer as well. Right in the old port you will find the old Arsenal building, the site of the first public theater in Europe. Towering above the town you will find the Spanish fortress, locally known as Fortica, from where Hvar was defended through centuries and today provide a glimpse into the past as well as the unprecedented view of the entire region.
The other reason town Hvar is so popular is because right on its doorstep stands an archipelago of 16 small islands called Pakleni islands. This combination of Hvar and Pakleni islands is the reason why so many of the Split islands tours visit this area.
Among 16 islands of the archipelago the most popular is the island of St. Klement, the location of popular Palmizana. Palmizana started welcoming tourists from all over the world back in the late 19th century mainly because of the Meneghello family who inhabits this island for the past three hundred years. This family is also responsible for a botanical garden on the island in which they ova planted exotic plants from all over the world. The garden was created some hundred years ago.
St Klement island also has various trails you can take across the island to enjoy in the plants and nature which are simply fairy tale like.
In Palmizana you have the perfect opportunity to taste real local seafood cuisine. Due to the waters rich in fish and shellfish you will always gave a fresh supply in the number of local restaurants. The seafood is prepared traditionally making it the perfect opportunity to taste local cuisine right at the source.
Besides Palmizana on St Klement island, the standard stop of most island tours from Split, you can also visit other islands of the archipelago. Some have beach bars to party till sunrise, some have secluded bays and beaches to enjoy in the sun, unspoilt nature and perfect transparent blue sea. One is for certain, though, wherever you see a restaurant on any of the islands, you can be sure that they are serving top notch seafood.
Besides Palmizana, if you wish to visit the other islands of Pakleni islands archipelago then it is best option to take a private island speedboat tour.
Island Šolta is very close to Split and you can visit Rogac, its largest destination with a ferry which operates few times a day during the summer months. From Rogac you can go to visit Necujam or Stomorska, all located on the north side of the island and both very close by.
The places on Šolta island do not offer a great nightlife scene and as such are not very popular with younger population nor with the tourists. There are in general not many tourist amenities on the island. However, Solta provides something lost to the majority of islands in Dalmatia, an escape, a place where you can still find secluded bays and beaches.
This is what makes it popular primarily to the older generations of Split residence, a place where they can go back in time and have everything as it once was.
Maslinica, a small town located on the west bank of the island is definitively the most popular destination for tourists on Solta island. It was even named as the most beautiful tourist destination in the World by some tourist magazines. What makes Maslinica special is primarily its location. Nestled in front of it are 7 small islands making this small tourist destination looking it came right out of fairy tale.
Very close to Maslinica is the location of Drvenik Veli island. It takes only about 5 minute speedboat ride to get from Maslinica to Krknjas Veli island which is 600 meters away from island Drvenik. In between them is the most popular swimming and snorkelling destination in the area, the Blue Lagoon, as we like to call it.
The Blue Lagoon became popular for it shallow waters and unbelievably transparent turquoise color of the sea. Tours from Split to Blue Lagoon departs usually twice a day and include visit to old town of Trogir, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is interesting to note that the old town of Trogir is also located on the island. The entire ancient core of the town stands on the island between the coastline and island Čiovo. Today we call Čiovo peninsula because it is connected by the bridge with Trogir old town. Because of the bridges connecting coastline and the old town of Trogir with Ciovo peninsula most Croatians don’t even know that the old town of Trogir is actually located on the small island nestled between.
Most distant of Split islands is the island Vis. To get from Split to Vis island you can take a 2 and a half hour ferry which will take you to the largest town of the island, town Vis. Even though Vis is not that popular with travelers, mainly because of its limited capacity and lack of hotel units this island has a lot to offer to the travelers. You can see the charm and beauty of the island if you have seen the movie Mamma Mia 2 which was filmed on the island.
Besides town Vis, other popular location is town Komiza located on the south-west side of the island. Hardly accessible, Komiza offers unique insight into the lives of the Vis locals. People of Komiza are famous fishermen through the centuries and for that purpose they have designed their own shipping boat Falkuša way back in 16th century. At that time there were 74 Falkusa boats moored in Komiza as opposed to 3 you can see today. But these 3 are the only Falkusa boats in the World today.
To celebrate their world famous fishing history in Komiza you can find a fishing museum where you can learn all about Falkusa and what makes fishermen of Komiza world renowned.
Island Vis also has numerous attractions one should not miss when visiting the island. The most famous one is the Croatian natural wonder, Blue Cave, located just outside Komiža, on an island called Biševo.
South side of island Vis hides the beautiful Stiniva Cove, a must stop for every Blue Cave and Hear tour. Stiniva Cove will probably be familiar to you as you have probably seen it on Croatian postcard or any other form of tourist publication, but nothing can compare to when you visit and experience Stiniva Cove first hand.
Very close to Stiniva Cove, on islet Ravnik is the location of the popular Green Cave. Today you can no longer enter the cave with a boat or for free as was the case in the past. Nevertheless, Green Cave is a natural phenomenon worth experiencing.
Because of the changes in administration of the Green Cave you can now visit it only as a part of our private island tour.
The distant island near vis called Budikovac offers its visitor a protected lagoon with transparent blue sea, usually an empty pebble beach and a restaurant with a single inhabitant on the island.
Split island tours are a great way to experience variety of natural beauties, traditions and uniqueness of the island. We hope this guide will help you prepare for the to have a best day on your Split vacation!