The city of Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, is known for its ancient Diocletian’s Palace, pristine beaches and vibrant culture. However, the surrounding area offers a treasure trove of hidden gems, tucked away from the bustling crowds. Venture beyond the city limits and discover hidden gems near Split to explore breathtaking natural wonders, historical sites, and charming villages. In this blog, we’ll reveal what are must-visit places near Split, Croatia that will elevate your Croatian experience to new heights.

1. Blue Cave Split

Just off the coast of the island of Biševo lies the enchanting Blue Cave, a natural wonder that will leave you mesmerized. Accessible only by boat, this limestone cave is famous for the glowing blue light that fills the space when the sun’s rays refract through the water. To witness this magical phenomenon, visit during the morning hours when the sunlight is just right. Don’t forget to book a guided tour in advance, as entrance to the cave is strictly controlled.

Boat tour through the blue cave in Split.

2. National Parks near Split

Croatia is home to eight national parks, and two of them are located near Split: Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park, each of them perfect for a day trip from Split and a little family adventure.

Krka National Park is located about an hour’s drive from Split and is famous for its cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. You can take one of many full day tours from Split or explore the park on your own, hiking along the trails that lead you through the park’s stunning landscape.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located about a three-hour drive from Split. It is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia, famous for its 16 interconnected lakes and breathtaking waterfalls. Visitors can explore the park on foot, taking in the scenery from the wooden boardwalks that wind through the park.

Beautiful view of the lake and waterfalls on the Plitvice Lakes.

3. Marjan Hill

For a quick escape from the bustling city, and the best viewpoint in Split, Marjan Hill offers a peaceful retreat just minutes from Split’s center. This lush, forested hill is a stunning sightseeing spot of Split, often referred to as the “lungs of Split” and provides a perfect spot for hiking in Split, or simply enjoying a picnic with a view. With numerous lookout points offering panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic, Marjan Hill is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Don’t forget to visit the charming hermitage caves and the 13th-century St. Nicholas Church while you’re there.

4. Islands to visit near Split

No visit to Split would be complete without exploring the nearby islands. Hvar, Brač and Vis are just a short ferry ride away, with direct ferry lines from Split to Hvar and from Split to Brač. Each town offers its unique charm and attractions, as well as provides the perfect spot to discover local culture. Hvar boasts a vibrant nightlife scene and historic sites, Brač is famous for its beautiful Zlatni Rat beach, and Vis is a haven for wine lovers and history buffs. With crystal clear waters and picturesque villages, these islands are perfect for day trips or longer stays.

Sky view of beach Zlatni rat on Brač island in Croatia.

5. Cetina River

The Cetina River, located near the town of Omiš, is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. This hidden gem offers a range of thrilling adventure activities, including white-water rafting, canyoning and zip-lining. The river’s picturesque gorges, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear waters make for an unforgettable day in nature.

Rafting adventure with a yellow boat near the rocks on the river Cetina.

Places to stay

With many things to see near Split you will surely need a place to stay. We recommend Central Square Heritage Hotel, a lavishly decorated 4-star hotel in the very heart of Split, just steps away from the city’s most popular sights and the old town. Other options are Prima Life Spalato Guest House, a luxury boutique hotel in Split near the beach with a city view, and Nirvana Luxury Rooms, equipped with a flat-screen TV, a coffee machine and free toiletries and WiFi.

Luxury room in a Central Square Heritage hotel in Split.

Split and its surrounding area offer a wealth of diverse experiences, from the awe-inspiring beauty of National Parks to the historical charm of nearby towns and islands. By venturing beyond the city limits, you’ll discover the hidden gems of the Dalmatian region, enriching your Croatian adventure with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and set off on a journey to explore these five must-visit places near Split.

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