If you’re enjoying your holidays in Split and you just want to go for some island hopping in Dalmatia, or you want to spend more time on one of the Split islands, then some of these information might be useful.
Besides being the second largest city in Croatia, Split is also a big traffic hub with airport, ferry port and train station connecting Split to almost entire Europe. The ferry port in Split is the main stop on your way to the islands of south Adriatic sea.
Some of the most popular Croatian islands are located in the Split archipelago and can be reached from Split by ferries or catamarans in 30 minutes or more. The biggest, closest and most popular islands which you can visit from Split are: Brac, Solta, Hvar, Vis, Lastovo and Korcula.
#1 Brač Island
The island of Brac has the best ferry lines to and from Split so you can have a daily excursion to Brac, go for a swim on one of the most popular Croatian beaches – The Golden cape in Bol; enjoy premium olive oil and homemade food in Supetar; or enjoy a bicycle ride around Sutivan and Bobovisca. It takes only 30 minutes to get to Brac and you have ferries all day long. Since it is so close to Split, you can even sleep in Split and enjoy daily excursions to Brac.
#2 Šolta Island
The island of Solta is a small island next to the island of Brac and although it is so close to Brac they don’t have that much in common. Brac being much bigger, while the island of Solta kept its quaint charm and wild nature, especially on the south side of the island. The largest island settlements are Rogac, Maslinica and Necujam. Maslinica is probably the most picture perfect place because of the amazing Martinis Marchi castle in the village. Solta is perfect for Robinson type of tourism, although all Dalmatian islands have their intact natural spots.
#3 Čiovo Island
The island of Ciovo is the only island on this list which you can reach by a boat and by a car. Ciovo is so close to the mainland and the town of Trogir that it has a small bridge connecting them to each other. This is also the reason why many people fail to recognize that Ciovo is an island. Although it is almost a part of Trogir from one side, the other side of Ciovo is more wild and natural. Take a boat ride to the other side and enjoy in stone coves and wild beaches of Ciovo.
#4 Drvenik Veli
The island of Veli Drvenik is one of the islands in the archipelago of Split and Trogir, known for its Blue Lagoon – a shallow bay with the most turquoise sea where you can go swimming and snorkeling all day. Although you can’t get there by a ferry from Split, you can book your boat tour to Blue lagoon and enjoy a private boat ride with your family and friends to Croatia’s Blue Lagoon.
#5 Hvar Island
The island of Hvar is a bit further away from Split, but still close enough for a day trip to one of the most popular Croatian island in the world. Hvar is known for nightclubs, posh restaurants and beautiful beaches with lounge bars. Next to Hvar is a small group of islands called Paklinski islands with some of the best restaurants in Croatia so if you plan to visit Hvar, take a boat trip to Paklinski islands.
#6 Paklinski Islands
The Paklinski islands are close to the city of Hvar and you can visit them by a boat all day long. The most famous place on Paklinski or Pakleni islands is Palmizana, a secluded cove on the south side of the island known for its gastronomy and famous restaurants and lounge bars. Besides food enjoy walking in the beautiful nature and visit the botanical garden with hundreds of indigenous plants.
#7 Šćedro Island
The island of Šćedro is another island near Hvar where you can have a daily excursion with a boat, just to taste amazing food, especially organic lamb. Scedro is known for beautiful beaches, privacy and intimacy like nowhere else.
#8 Vis Island
The island of Vis has been receiving more popularity in recent years even though it will take you a couple of hours to reach it by ferry from Split. Vis is the perfect combination of subtle Mediterranean charm and serene nature with only two small towns of Vis and Komiza, and small villages scattered across the island. The famous Stiniva beach is located on the south side of Vis, and since the island is so small you can easily visit its famous bays and coves by a rental boat.
#9 Biševo Island
The island of Bisevo is just opposite Vis and the town of Komiza and it is the home to one of the most beautiful natural wonders on the Adriatic – The Blue Cave. The Blue Cave is the must see tour you should take during your vacation. The blue light piercing through the cave walls will be a memory you’ll cherish forever. You can enter the cave by a small boat and spend some time in it where the sea, cave and the sun form a unique canvas together.
#10 Lastovo Island
The island of Lastovo is further away from Split so you would have to take the longest ferry ride to get there, but it is definitely worth it. Lastovo is a paradise on Earth, natural, intact, preserved and unspoiled. It isn’t an island for you if you’re searching for a party island, but if you want to listen to crickets on an empty stone beach by a lighthouse, then Lastovo is the place to go. Almost the entire island is a natural forest park and some of the best shrimps and lobsters are being caught in the crystal clear sea of Lastovo, so you will be able to enjoy amazing homemade cuisine.
#11 Korčula Island
The island of Korcula is the last one on our list since it is the furthest to the south, near Dubrovnik. The island is covered in vineyards and olive gardens since it is something that all Dalmatian islands have in common. The town of Korcula is a fortified town near the Peljesac peninsula, so besides being close to Dubrovnik it will remind you of it, too. Besides Korcula visit the towns of Vela Luka and Lumbarda.
Korcula is like all these islands a great place to ride your bicycle, but since it is not as close to Split as Brac, Solta or Hvar; you should consider sleeping over on Korcula as well as on Vis and Lastovo.
All islands in the Split archipelago may seem similar due to same climate, forests and herbs or the architecture, but once you visit them you will realize how different they are, and by visiting one you will surely miss something on another island. So spend more time in this area and try to immerse yourself into the culture, nature, gastronomy and life on Split islands.