4 Must-Visit Islands Near Split (Croatia)


Summer is coming.

And Game of Thrones should be one of the many reasons why you decide to visit Croatia, a country with an adventurous past, delicious food and glorious sunny days. Which happens to be even more amazing in Summer.

There are two main starting points in Croatia: Dubrovnik and Split. Today I will be writing about the latter. Split itself is a wonderful town where you can spend a couple of days, or even longer if you are an architect and wouldn’t mind visiting Diocletian’s Palace again and again (guilty!).

After some days in Split, you may want to explore the blue coast and the sandiest islands in the Adriatic. The best way to do so is by boat – whether you rent or own one. This list includes the closest islands near Split, ordered by proximity.

Have you visited these islands? Are you planning to visit Croatia this summer? Let me know in the comments 🙂

1. Šolta

Šolta is a beautiful island 19 km long and 4,5 km wide with great local wine, honey and olive oil. The best thing about this sometimes neglected Dalmatian island just 9 nautical miles from Split is that there are very few tourists. The fact that they don’t have ATMs (not that we’ve found), was a positive sign for us. Undiscovered bays and coves can be found by walking around the coast. Roman heritage can also be seen on Šolta with several ville rusticae in coastal and inland towns and villages. Read more here.

Fun fact about Šolta: The name of the island origins from the Greek name Olyntha, meaning unripe fig and even today the locals have kept their long nurtured agricultural traditions and legends.
Where to have a drinkŠišmiš Restaurant (Maslinica)
Where to eatRestaurant Pjero (Rogač)

2. Brač

The islands of Brač and Šolta are only 800 m apart. However, the lack of any direct boat connection between these two islands, makes them very far one from another. Brač is the largest Dalmatian island, and the third largest in Croatia. With so many quality stones, and a long tradition of stonemasonry, one is not surprised to find so many sculptures and sculptors on the island. The best-known sculptor born in Brač was Ivan Rendić, whose works are on display in the Gallery in Supetar. The Petrinovic Mausoleum is also worth a visit. Read more here.

Fun fact about Brač: There are 25.000 sheep on the island versus 14,000 residents.
Where to have a drink: Cocktail Bar Bolero (Bol)
Where to eatBelvedere Dalmatian Restaurant (Bol)

3. Hvar

Hvar is the sunniest spot in Croatia – they have an impressive 2724 sunny hours each year –  and it’s well-known as the most luxurious beach destination. The island is also famous for its lavender, that turns whole swathes of land into a fragrant riot of colour in early summer. Two things not to miss are the Cathedral of St. Stephen, located on Hvar’s town square and Tvrdalj Castle in Stari Grad. Read more here.

Fun fact about Hvar: Hvarʼs theatre, founded in 1612, was the first civic theatre in Europe. It’s still open for public use.
Where to have a drink: Rooftop Adriana Hotel (Hvar)
Where to eat: Zori Restaurant (Palmizana)

4. Vis

Stari Grad on the island of Hvar may well be celebrating its 2400-year anniversary since its founding by the Ancient Greeks in BC 384, with many claiming it to be the oldest town in all Croatia, but the people of Vis will tell you that they hold that title by a few years with the founding of Issa, a colony founded by the Dorians from Syracuse in the 4th Century AD. Vis is rich in history and landscape. The beach of Stiniva and the blue cave are one of its many wonders. Read more here.

Fun fact about Vis: Vis has a submarine parking that can be visited, clear marks of its military past.
Where to have a drink: Frutarija Vis (Vis)
Where to eatRoki’s (Plisko Polje)

Another beautiful island to be visited is Korčula. Although it’s closer to Dubrovnik than to Split. Hope you found this article useful and if you are looking for more island inspiration check this post about Ibiza.

13 thoughts on “4 Must-Visit Islands Near Split (Croatia)

    • Thanks Sally, exploring from the sea is a completely different perspective for which I am grateful. The only thing… after a week I started shifting a bit from side to side due to the constant movement of the boat. We slept there too so when being on firm land, my head was going a bit left and then a bit right heheh. Have you been to Croatia before?


      • No, I’ve heard of that area from people I know that are Croatians. Maybe someday I’ll make an effort to travel there. BTW, I assume that you’re using a drone for those aerial pictures–I have to get one.


  1. Hello Virginia! I’ve been to Croatia but haven’t rented a boat. We’re you happy with your experience? What company did you use?


    • Hi Jenna, I think seeing Croatia by boat is so different because the coastline is beautiful. Being able to visit the more hidden areas or the inaccessible bits is definitely a plus. I can’t help you with the boat rental as we were coming with our own boat 🙈 But if you find any information, let me know so I can add it to the post 👌🏼 What areas did you visit last time you were in Croatia?


      • Very nice! My husband is Croatian so we go every year. I’ve been to Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar. I will look into boat rental and let you know how it goes this summer. Thanks!


        • That’s exciting, Croatian summers forever 😍 Between Zagreb and Dubrovnik (I know they are very different) but in terms of culture and architecture, which one should I visit first? Please share with me your findings about the boat rental 🙂


  2. Pingback: The Free Architecture Guide of Split (PDF) | Virginia Duran

  3. Before you visit any islands in Croatia, make sure you figure out the best time and month to visit. I must say that Spring is the best time to visit in Croatia. The warmth of sun is pleasant and good for tanning and relaxing. The islands will seem green and with lots bird migrating back to their places. The rates of visitors in tour of national park in Mljet increase during this season.


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