Split was our second stop in Croatia after flying into Zagreb and visiting Plitvice Lakes. While we had two full days to explore, only part of our time was actually spent in Split itself. That’s because Split makes for a great home base for visiting the islands of Dalmatia and some other nearby sites. This itinerary of two days in Split covers all of the highlights of Split’s Old Town and will also get you out on the Adriatic to visit some nearby islands.
Day 1: Explore Split and Trogir
Take a Walk Along the Riva and Visit Diocletian’s Palace
Spend the morning getting acquainted with Split. You can start by walking around the waterfront promenade called the Riva.
From the Riva, enter Diocletian’s Palace and the streets of Old Town. I recommend taking a walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace and Old Town, but that won’t be until later in the afternoon so use this time to get a glimpse of Split’s historic city center. Before arriving in Split, I had no idea what Diocletian’s Palace actually was. This massive palace makes up about half of Old Town. Back in the 4th century AD, it was used by the Roman emperor Diocletian as a palace and a military garrison. Today, the space is used for a mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, and even apartments.
Visit the Basements of Diocletian’s Palace
Diocletian’s Palace is free to visit with the exception of the basement. There is not too much to see down there, but I still think it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. You may recognize it as the place Daenerys kept her dragons in Meereen.
Take the Ferry to Trogir
The town of Trogir is situated on a small island about 17 miles west of Split. Trogir is about a 35-minute drive from Split, but there’s a better way to get there. The Bura Line services Split to Trogir several times per day and takes about 1 hour each way. Once in Trogir, spend a few hours walking around the historic Old Town. We opted to take a walking tour and also spent some time exploring on our own. You can check out the full details on visiting Trogir here.
Walking Tour of Split
Once back in Split, take an evening walking tour to learn more about what you actually saw earlier in the day. We booked a walking tour of Split with Portal Tours, the same company we used for our Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes tour.
Day 2: Explore the Blue Cave, Hvar, and Brač
On your second day in Split, it’s time to hit the water for an all-day tour of the nearby caves and islands. This tour from Waterworld Croatia uses a highspeed boat to bring you to three caves and four additional stops on other islands including Vis, Hvar, and Brač. You can read the full details here.
Visiting the Blue Cave
The Blue Cave is a cave on the island of Biševo that can only be accessed by boat. The bright blue appearance of the water is due to an opening in the ceiling of the cave that allows sunlight to reflect off the bottom, creating an iridescent, glowing effect. More details on the Blue Cave here!
Swimming in Vis
After visiting the Blue Cave and two other caves, you’ll stop a Smokova Bay on the island of Vis for a swimming break. Fun fact – part of Mamma Mia 2 was filmed on Vis!
A Stroll Around Hvar
After swimming, head over to Hvar Town on the island of Hvar. Spend some time walking around the town. If you’re up for the walk, check out the Venetian fortress overlooking the town for the best views of Hvar.
A Quick Stop in Milna
The last stop of the day is in the village of Milna on the island of Brač.
Have an Extra Day in Split?
If you have another day to spend in Split, here are some ideas of what to do:
- Swim at Bacvice beach
- Climb Marjan Hill
- Visit Klis Fortress
- Take a day trip to Krka National Park
While Split itself isn’t huge, you’ll want to spend at least two days here to take advantage of the surrounding attractions like Trogir, the Blue Cave, and Hvar. You can certainly cover a lot of ground with two days in Split! After our time in Split, we took the ferry to Dubrovnik for more fun in the Croatian sun.