Split Island Hopping Guide

Whilst Split boasts numerous impressive attractions, from Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace to the popular Green Market, there are many islands within easy reach of this ancient city, ideal for day trips or for visiting on a cruise. Nature or outdoor adventure lover? You'll find many spectacular isles for everything from snorkelling among crystal-clear blue waters to hiking through lush greenery. Ancient sites and historic landmarks more your thing? You'll find islands with plenty of that too. Of course, foodies and wine enthusiasts will appreciate the mouthwatering cuisine and tasty wines found throughout. If you want to know the best islands to visit from Split and how to make the most of your time, this Split island-hopping guide is a must-read.
View of mega yachts on Hvar waterfront

Hvar

A must-visit for any Croatia vacation, sunny Hvar attracts celebrities and international jet-setters of all types, something you’ll notice as soon as the superyacht-filled harbour comes into view. Landscapes include everything from postcard-perfect beaches framed by brilliant turquoise water to lavender fields and vineyard-covered hills. Hvar Town is particularly famous for its lively dining and nightlife scene with everything from iconic beach bars and world-class restaurants to trendy nightclubs. History buffs will find plenty, including the Spanjola fortress, set high atop a hill, surrounded by walls with circular bastions and a tower. Other highlights include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, built in 1605 on the site of a 9th-century church, and Europe’s oldest active community theater, which opened its doors in 1612.

Explore Hvar
View of Zlatni Rat Beach in Brac

Brac

Less than an hour by ferry from Split, and a popular destination on an island-hopping cruise, Brac is home to what’s often named among Europe’s most breathtaking beaches: Zlatni Rat. Often referred to as the Golden Horn, it juts nearly a third of a mile into dreamy blue waters in the shape of a swirling horn providing an ideal spot for snorkelling, swimming, or just unwinding while marvelling at the incredible view. Brac is outstanding for enjoying authentic island life and a more tranquil setting. Beyond the beach, enjoy scenic hikes like the trek to Vidova gora, the highest point in the Adriatic islands, or take part in a unique wine experience by visiting one of Brac’s multiple family-run wineries.

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Korcula Old Town

Korcula

One of Croatia’s most enchanting islands, Korcula looks as if it was taken straight from the pages of a storybook. Truly not to be missed on a Split island-hopping trip, the historic center of Korcula Town is surrounded by medieval walls, imposing gates, and towers. As you stroll the maze of atmospheric streets, you’ll notice the significant Venetian influence, seen in places like St. Mark’s Cathedral with its pair of winged lions. If you visit in the summer, be sure to witness the regular Moreska sword dance performances. Beyond the historic walls, you’ll find many charming villages and alluring landscapes that include dense forests, vineyards, olive groves, and sandy beaches. 

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Stiniva cove

Vis

Vis is the furthest island from Split, but it’s well worth the trip as one of the country’s most unspoiled islands. If you’re looking for plenty of tranquillity during your Croatia vacation, this is it. Being closed off to the public for four decades while serving as a military base helped prevent much tourist development. Today, it offers a more authentic island experience with calm, secluded bays and picturesque beaches. If you’re lucky, you might even enjoy a swim alongside a loggerhead turtle or bottlenose dolphin. Learn more about the island’s history in Vis Town with its pretty Venetian architecture. The City Museum sits within a 19th-century fortress displaying archaeological treasures that include Croatia’s most extensive collection of Hellenistic artifacts. 

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Solta Town

Solta

Only a half-hour boat ride from Split, Solta is less developed than many of the other Croatian islands, providing an oasis for nature lovers with uncrowded beaches for sunbathing and swimming in calm, aquamarine-hued waters. Inhabited since prehistoric times, it was one of Roman emperor Diocletian’s favourite fishing spots. There’s lots of history and culture to explore, including the crumbling walls of a prehistoric fortress, the ancient ruins of sarcophagi, centuries-old churches, and even the remains of Diocletian’s fish market. You might enjoy delving into authentic island life by learning the art of making olive oil, honey, and wine at a local farm, or simply hire a bike and explore the landscapes on two wheels.

Explore Solta
Bisevo Cove

Bisevo

Not far from Vis, Bisevo Island is home to a tiny population with only about 15 residents, but it’s best known for the Blue Cave, one of the most popular trips to take from Split. Just 44 nautical miles away, this stunning natural wonder can only be visited on a boat tour. You’ll hop in a small boat that can get through the cave’s narrow entrance to witness a remarkable phenomenon. When conditions are right, the sun beams its rays through a crack in the roof which reflects on the white sea bottom below, illuminating the interior with a blue glow. The experience is only available from April through October, with optimal conditions frequent from mid-June to early September.

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