This is a travel guide for the best islands near Split.
To make this guide complete we included a rough guide to the ancient town of Split.
We explored all the islands on a sailing trip in summer 2019 with Sail Croatia and one can say:
This was a once in a lifetime experience we’ll never forget!
We were absolutely blown away by the turquoise water and the beauty of islands near Split!
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Let’s get started with our sailing guide for Split!
Split and islands nearby
Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and a starting point for amazing sailing and boat trips in the Adriatic Sea. Scenic ports and marinas, rocky coasts and world-class stone beaches make this region one of the most popular destinations in Europe.
Highlights of Split town
- the 1700 years old Diocletian’s Palace is one of the most important architectural heritage of the Roman Empire
- The Riva with numerous cafés and restaurants
- Cathedral of St. Duje (Domnius) with a bell tower (57m) with original Dalmatian medieval architecture
- Peristyle Square as the central square of the palace in front of the Cathedral St. Duje
- Statue of Grgur Ninski and touching his big toe to receive good luck
- Pjaca – People’s Square is one of the most popular piazzas in the city
- Marjan hill from which you will have the best view over Split
The best sailing destinations around Split
One day in Split – The best things-to-do
Start your day at Diocletian’s Palace. The World Heritage Site is the main attraction in the vibrant old Roman town. You’ll be impressed by the old stone buildings lining in the narrow streets and the picturesque cafés, where you can enjoy a fantastic espresso.
Try not to get lost in the Veli Varos west of the Diocletian’s Palace and visit the seaside promenade, called “Riva“. Especially in the morning and evening, it is the perfect place for having a walk, going out for dinner or licking delicious Italian ice cream!
The promenade passes the trail up the Marjan Hill (best viewpoint of Split) until you reach the sailing marina, where the sailing trips start.
Only a few more minutes to the west, there are some nice places for a jump in the crystal clear water of the Adriatic Sea. Especially advisable after a long day of sightseeing in Split for a golden sunset.
The best islands near Split
The coastal region of split offers world-class sailing destinations with ancient towns, stunning harbors, and super clear waters.
Šolta is one of the closest sailing destinations to Split. Therefore it is also perfect for a half-day or day trip from the mainland of Croatia. Because of all the other popular and touristy islands near Split, Šolta is less touristy and has a more intimate flair.
The picturesque bay of Necujam is a nice place to anchor for the night. The bay is a perfect place for swimming, water activities like canyoning and SUP, and even has a super shallow wrack which is great for snorkeling.
Brač Island is about the same distance away from Split as Šolta. It is most famous for its unique shaped stone beach, called “Zlatni Rat” or “The Golden Horn” next to Bol.
If you are using Instagram you’ve probably seen some dope drone shots of this place already. The shape of the Zlatni Rat beach changes all the time, depending on the currents.
Like almost every of the few beaches in Croatia, Zlatni Rat is very crowded and on top of that a favored place for party people.
Tip: go to Zlatni Rat for sunrise and experience this place only with a handful of other early birds.
Other places worth to visit on Brač:
- Vidova Gora
- Bay Lučice, Slavinjina
Croatia’s most popular island Hvar (not so easy to pronounce) is one of the absolute highlights.
The town of Hvar is seen as the “New St. Tropez” the numerous restaurants, bars and clubs. But it’s not only for party people worth a visit.
Although it’s very crowded during the peak tourist time, it didn’t feel hectic or overcrowded.
We moored in the harbor of Palmižana, which is close by and has a frequent water taxi running all day long.
Once you’re in Hvar town, take the stairs from the St. Stephen Square up to Fortica (Spanjola) and enjoy the spectacular view over the old town and close islands near Hvar.
For close beach options, stroll the seaside promenade to the West and choose between several public spots with much space for towels on the rocks and water access.
Hvar also offers multiple options for day beds and cocktails. For example the Bonj ‘Les Bains’ Beach Club, the famous Hula-Hula Bar (about 2km walk from the center of Hvar), or even more exclusive, the Carpe Diem Beach Club and Bar on Stipanska Island. You can reach the island by a short boat ride from Hvar.
Despite its good appeal, Vis Island attracts way fewer tourists than the other islands near Split. Perhaps, due to its long distance from Split, most tourists rather choose the other islands.
This is why Vis is highly recommendable for tranquil and rural experience and more laid back vibes.
We sailed all the way to the beautiful marina of Komiža, which is a good place to organize trips to nearby attractions like the Blue Cave or Budikovac island.
Last but not least there is one more island we haven’t visited but in order to make this a guide complete we don’t want to miss out on it:
Korcula is located a bit more in the South and way bigger than the other islands near Split. Make sure you check out the old city of Korčula and the Pupnatska Luca Beach.
Sailing to the islands near Split has been one of the most amazing trips we have EVER done! The water is absolutely insanely clear, the ancient towns are gorgeous and the food is super delicious!
We can highly recommend you to read our full blog post about our sailing experience with Sail Croatia.