When visiting Croatia, I knew I wanted to visit some of the islands off the coast of Split, but I was afraid our trip wasn’t long enough to do so. While we didn’t have enough time to spend the night on an island like Hvar, a day trip to the islands ended up being even better. This way, we got to see several different islands and also visit Croatia’s famous Blue Cave. Here’s my recap of the best day trip from Split, a tour of the Blue Cave and the islands!
Booking an Island Tour from Split
There are so many choices for island tours from Split. When choosing one, I wanted to make sure it included the Blue Cave and Hvar. I ended up choosing this tour from Waterworld Croatia because of the great reviews and the fact that the itinerary included more stops than other tours. The tour covers a lot of ground since they use RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) speedboats to get around quickly. While the tour can accommodate 40 or so people each day, you’ll be split up into smaller groups. Once you leave the docks in Split, you likely won’t see the other groups except in passing. There were nine of us and two tour guides in our smaller group.
Stop 1: Biševo Island and the Blue Cave
The tour starts with about an hour and a half ride to Biševo, home of the Blue Cave. I was initially nervous that the boat ride would be scary, but it was a lot of fun. We even saw dolphins on our way. I won’t be featured in National Geographic anytime soon, but you can kind of see it in the picture below!
Once we arrived at Biševo, our tour guide bought Blue Cave tickets for our group. We waited about 20 minutes for our turn, and then boarded a small rowboat to the Blue Cave. You can read more about the Blue Cave tour here.
Stop 2 and 3: Monk Seal Cave and Green Cave
After the Blue Cave, we had two quick stops at the Monk Seal Cave and the Green Cave. The Monk Seal Cave is also located on Biševo. It was named for the Mediterranean monk seal which used to inhabit the cave.
The Green Cave on Ravnik island has a similar phenomenon to the Blue Cave, but it’s less spectacular. The green reflection on the walls of the cave comes from the sun hitting the algae covered bottom of the cave. The Green Cave used to be free to enter and you could do so in your own speedboat. Now there is a fee, so we only looked from behind a rope. According to our tour guides, it’s not really worth the stop especially after seeing the Blue Cave.
Stop 4: Swimming Off the Coast of Vis
Our next stop was swimming in Smokova Bay off the coast of Vis island. Parts of Mamma Mia 2 were filmed on Vis even though the movie takes place in Greece! The tour guide stopped the boat about 100 yards away from the shore, but it was close enough to swim to the sandy beach. The water was so nice and clear even my mom went in! This was shocking since she hasn’t gone in the water on vacation probably since I was nine.
Stop 5: Hvar
After swimming, we headed over to Hvar Town on the island of Hvar. We spent about an hour and a half on Hvar, but I found I could’ve spent more time here. We walked around and had a chance to visit the fortress above the town.
If I go back, it would be nice to visit a beach bar like Hula Hula!
Stop 6: Lunch on Budikovac Island
After visiting Hvar, we took the boat over to Budikovac for lunch. There isn’t much on this island except for the restaurant we ate at and some nice swimming spots. The water here was so clear! Apparently sea urchins are a sign of clean water. Lunch with wine was included in the price of the tour. We were offered a choice of fish, pork, or pasta. The food wasn’t the best, but the outdoor seating area and beautiful view more than made up for it.
Stop 7: Brač
Our last stop of the day was Milna on the island of Brač. I thought Hvar felt small, but Milna was tiny! It was getting hot at this point so we took a quick walk around before heading to the shade to grab a drink. Our tour guides then brought us to a small wine shop where we sampled a few wines and some of the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted. I would have loved to buy some to bring home, but I didn’t check a bag. The olive oil was stored in a three hundred year old stone basin and the women bottled it fresh for each person that bought some!
After Milna, we had about a 45 minute ride back to Split. It was a long day in the sun, but this island tour is definitely one of the best day trips from Split. It quickly became one of my favorite things we did in Croatia. If you find yourself in Split and are choosing between sticking around Split or booking a day trip like this, I hands down suggest getting on the water and visiting the islands. Split will be there when you get back!