There are so many options of day trips you can take from Split, Croatia. You can visit islands, caves, National Parks and neighboring towns. During March the day trips from Split are a bit limited due to weather conditions and lack of tourists. While this can be seen as a bad thing for us it was perfect. Our day trips were low stress, not fighting crowds or tour buses, cruise ships or large groups. It was primarily just us and locals wherever our day trips took us. (Read more about our time in Split.)
Not having the option of most of the islands or any of the caves we narrowed our day trips in Split to these five places:
Trogir is a small town on the sea just north of Split. For one of our day trips we took a direct bus from the main bus station which delivered us to Split in about 30 minutes. The journey there isn’t very beautiful, a lot of traffic, malls and industry however I think the industrial areas make the arrival in Trogir even more dramatic. As the bus pulled into the station the small town of Trogir starts to reveal its ancient beauty.
Mountains and water wrap around Trogir providing a breathtaking backdrop. I couldn’t wait to walk across the small bridge and explore the ancient stone city. As we walked over the bridge towards the main gate I kept telling J. “This is just perfect. It is perfect.” I must have said it 100 times before we boarded the bus back to Split.
After entering the main gate the small alleyways of white stone buildings and cobblestone streets lead us to a large square where the cathedral and clock tower are located. Having been in TONS of town squares in my life I wasn’t prepared for the quaintness of this one to move me as it did.
We followed the winding streets around the town, stopping to take pictures of the quaint buildings, the colorful laundry hanging on the lines, flower boxes full of red flowers, and gorgeous little nooks. We made our way to the promenade along the sea. Like Split the promenade is immaculately clean with large white stones, and gorgeous sea views. In Trogir it winds its way around the city towards the Kamerlengo Castle.
Heading back into town we found an incredible place to sit and have lunch before heading back to Split. (We ate at the Calebotta Restaurant where they even had a veggie pasta dish of swiss chard pesto with almonds.) I truly didn’t want to leave this quaint little town. Even though most of the shops and restaurants were closed it was so peaceful and gorgeous I wanted to hang out, read some books and pass a few months away.
A little tip for a day trip from Split to Trogir. If you travel by public bus, which is very comfortable and easy, make sure it is the direct bus. We made the mistake of getting on the local bus which took over an hour to get back and dropped us off in the middle of the newer part of the city.
Another town close to Split worth visiting on a day trip is Omis. We took the local bus and arrived there in about 45 minutes. The route runs along the Dalmatian Coast offering gorgeous views almost the entire trip. We actually hopped on the wrong bus, but the locals and bus driver evidently worked out how to accommodate us before we left the station, without us knowing it. When we arrived in Omis the driver had forgotten about us but the other passengers did not, they all reminded him and he immediately stopped the bus, and apologized profusely. It worked out perfectly for us as we ended up in a great location to see Omis in its entirety.
The route we ended up taking lead us over the main city bridge where the mountains split creating a beautiful gorge for the river to come through the mountains and into the sea. These dramatic mountains are so majestic towering over the city. There is an ancient fortress standing over the city high on the mountains. It is built so perfectly into the mountain cliff it almost eludes your sight at first.
Omis is famous for its pirate history. Throughout the quaint old town area there are symbols of these strong pirates who would use the river and huge gorges as a home base. Now the town is filled with restaurants and the impeccably maintained old stone buildings. There is the Happy Man House, a trail up to the Starigrad fortress, and small little churches all tucked into the medieval walls of the city.
During the warmer months Omis is popular for rafting down the river through the gorge. The high season also brings opportunities to free climb, scuba dive, zip line, windsurf and trek. I was deeply disappointed we had to miss these.
Krka National Park
Before embarking on our day trip to Krka all I knew was that Krka National Park is famous for its seven waterfalls. Bruno, the owner of our Airbnb, drove us along the beautiful coastal highway to reach Krka. Driving a car takes about one and a half hours, depending on construction. Each bend in the road revealed a new amazing seaside village or dramatic mountain view.
Arriving in Krka there is a large parking lot, and then a ticket office. You can either walk down to the water using a path on the left side of the road, or during season you can take a shuttle bus. Walking along the marked path offers some amazing views of the surrounding mountains, it is a rocky path so don’t wear flip-flops. Once you arrive at the bottom of the path you are greeted with a gorgeous view of the lakes and the Visovac Monastery. The Monastery is set on a tiny islet in the middle of the grand lakes. The soft turquoise blue of the water against the rocky mountains is absolutely stunning.
We took the wooden walkway around the water and worked our way down to the seven waterfalls. Water flowed all around us with waterfalls, trees, moss covered rocks, a few geese, and mountain views to inspire anyone, as we made our way to the bottom of the trail. Once we arrived at the bottom the spray from the waterfalls cooled us down but made photos almost impossible. Perhaps it was a blessing as we were forced to stand in the majesty of this incredible natural phenomenon. In the summer months travellers can swim in the pools created by the waterfalls.
As we walked back up we found some gorgeous little stone buildings surrounded by lush green grasses and watermills. It was a vision of perfection. Snow had been melting for weeks so the water around the houses was at full capacity and the waterfalls were overflowing. This made for an incredibly dramatic experience. Krka is not to be missed during a stay in Split. It is a day full of naturally beautiful surroundings which you can see nowhere else in the world.
It took us about an hour to walk down to the main waterfalls and the swimming area. We moved at a slow pace, taking time to snap photos and take in the surroundings. Krka can get busy in the summer months but I am told it never feels overly crowded. So plan for several hours at the park and take your time to enjoy all it has to offer. There are options for eating, having drinks and toilets. (If you are vegetarian you may want to bring your own food or eat in a local village as food options are extremely limited.)
Our goal was to visit some of the islands off of the Croatian mainland for a few of our day trips. However, because we were traveling in March most of the ferry lines were not running. Brac was one of the only places available for us to visit. So on a Sunday morning we hopped on the ferry to visit the island of Brac.
The ferry line runs from Split to Supetar. It is an extremely comfortable and beautiful trip. From the ferry you can see some of the other towns around Split as the boat makes its way to Supetar. There is great coffee and some food available on the one hour ferry ride.
As the ferry pulls in towards the town of Supetar the Petronovic family masoleum comes into view. It is an outstanding building with beautiful tombstones. The walk along the Riva and the pebble beaches is so beautiful, and like everywhere else in Croatia, absolutely pristine. We loved the architecture at the masoleum and the fantastic views of Supetar. During the high season there are watersports, cafe’s, restaurants and plenty of places to get massages along the walk.
The town of Supetar is quite lovely. The Church of the Annunciation is a beautiful piece of architecture with an outstanding painting inside. The houses are all quaint little stone structures huddled together to create an old downtown area. Since nothing was open yet we wandered the streets, then found a great lunch spot where we were able to partake in the amazing olive oil from the island. After lunch we huddled in a cafe, sipping coffee and taking in the beautiful sea view.
There are several villages on the island, the beautiful beach of Bol as well as the town of Pusisca and Milna. During high season they are all easily reachable either by taxi or local bus. If you have your own car you can certainly bring it over on the ferry and then drive yourself around the island. Being off season we should have arranged a driver before we arrived so we could see more of the limestone island. Even without venturing away from Supetar it was worth the day trip over to see the beautiful architecture and enjoy a more authentic Croatian experience.
Where to stay:
We stayed in this wonderful Airbnb in Split.
How to get to your day trips:
We traveled with the Croatian bus system. You can find information and schedules here.
We used this website to figure out the schedule for the ferry to Brac. We bought the tickets at the ferry station just past the bus station.