Croatia is one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Europe, and most visitors prefer to make Split their place of choice. And it makes sense. Split is a city with almost 2000 years of history, ancient ruins, beaches, and – most importantly – a geographical position that makes it ideal for one-day tours to the many of the most popular locations & natural wonders of Croatia. With the abundance of day tours, it is easy to do some mistakes when choosing day tours from Split.
In the peak season, Split can become extremely busy, overloaded with too many exciting day tours, making it confusing for visitors who try to fit as many tours in their short holiday.
We’ve been in the day tour industry long enough to be able to witness many mistakes people do when choosing day tours from Split and give you a bit of solid advice on what to avoid so you can have the most enjoyable trip.
Let’s start with some of the important tips on how not to make mistakes when choosing day tours from Split:
1. Slow down
You will not be able to see everything during a short stay
The most beautiful Croatian islands and natural wonders are in such close vicinity of Split that you can visit the 6 most popular islands in one day on a speedboat tour from Split, or visit amazing natural wonders like Krka Waterfalls and still get to stop in Šibenik or Skradin. You can even visit a winery on your way. All in one day!
There are one-day tours to the Blue Lagoon, Blue Cave and 5 islands, Golden cape, Hvar. There are adventure tours such as rafting or canyoning on Cetina River – and it can get quite tempting to try and fit it all in your short holiday. But if you try and cramp all these activities in a few days, you might feel exhausted and end up running from one meeting point to another.
I would recommend visiting an agency with professional staff where you can let the staff know what your preferences are, what you are most interested in, and get advice on how to plan your days. Professional staff can give you advice on what is suitable if you are travelling with kids if you like history or if you are a foodie, if you want to party and have fun…there is something for everyone. Feel free to contact us, we will be happy to take all your wishes into consideration and suggest the ideal tours for you. In the meantime, check out our blog on how to spend your time in Split if you only have 3 days!
2. You don’t have to see all the must-see places
You can pick what suits you best by thinking about your preferences
When choosing day tours from Split you can pick those that suit all your needs best, without feeling you are missing out on something. You’ve probably heard about the stunning Blue Lagoon, picturesque Hvar, heavenly Pakleni islands, the magical Blue cave, truly amazing Krka waterfalls … You’ll be showered with colourful pamphlets on every corner in Split, and everyone will tell you that their tour is the right tour for you. What do you do? You can’t see it all (it took us years to go to all the tours).
One thing is sure-anywhere you go you will witness beautiful scenery, and swim in the crystal blue Adriatic Sea. Ask yourself – are you ready to spend all day in the sun on a speedboat, or do you prefer relaxing on a big boat where you can lie down on sun chairs covered with shade and sip a drink while enjoying the views? Are you travelling with kids? Would you like to have local food and wine served, or is this not important to you? Do you mind a 4-hour bus drive to Plitvice, or would you prefer only a 1.5-hour drive to Krka? Once you have an answer to all these questions – choosing day tours from Split will be so much easier!
3. Don’t waste your money
By picking cheaper tours
We have been located on the Riva Promenade in Split for years, and we have saved many people who were left down by dodgy tour operators. Buying a cheap tour seems great, but when you get to the meeting point at 7 am and your boat is not there, and no one is answering your phone call is not a desirable situation to be in. Agencies may give less discount – but you can be reassured that someone will always be there to help you, that you will get full advice on what to take with you and when and where you need to be for the meeting point.
The agencies will have experience with the quality of the tours. No one likes to deal with angry guests complaining about bad tours. So, agencies will have a good thought of which tours to include in their offer.
We have personally visited all the tours on our offer, as guests. We did this not only to see what the tour was like in regard to organization, safety and fun – but also to let our guests know what to bring, what to pay attention to and to help them with ‘first hand’ advice.
4. Choose early morning for city walking tours
To avoid the crowds
If you are a history lover and wish to visit Diocletian’s Palace and Split Old Town – early mornings are the best. Split is quite busy from 7-9 am when all the boat tours start, and then it gets a bit quiet between 9 and 11 am. Plus, it is still not too hot in the city.
Picking a private tour is the best, as the quality guides will ask you what interests you most and adjust your tour. Some people are really into historical facts, some like to have a casual stroll and hear some stories about the locals and funny anecdotes, and some want to go to Green and Fish markets to see the local food & see everyday life in Split while learning about the local produce and customs. Whatever you like, let the guide know in advance and you will have an enjoyable walk through the 1700 years of history.
5. Choose your accommodation carefully
If you are planning to go on many day tours
Although the accommodation outside the city may be cheaper and closer to the beaches, it may complicate your holiday if you plan to do lots of day tours.
Most day tour meeting points are in the centre of Split, right on the Riva Promenade (boat and bus tours both). If your apartment is out of the city, even though it may not be a long way, travel to the meeting points in the early mornings can take a long time.
I’ve helped many people who were running late because their taxi or bus takes 3 times longer in the mornings due to high volume traffic. Unfortunately, some were late for tours – and if the same tour is booked out for the next few days (it usually is), you will not get a refund for being late, and you will miss out on the tour you wanted to see.
It is better to have an apartment right in the centre so you can walk to your meeting point and have a relaxing coffee and breakfast on the Riva Promenade before going on your day tour.
6. Try the food outside the city centre
To taste the real local food
The food scene in Split is rapidly growing, and we are very excited about it. More local food is being included in the menus and simple Dalmatian meals are being served. Keep the amazing food tours in mind when choosing day tours from Split.
The centre of Split is full of fast-food restaurants, with quick meals you can find anywhere in the world. This is great for those who just want to quickly eat before going on the next adventure. But if you are a foodie and really want to experience not only food but also the ‘feeling’ that comes with it, take a tour out of the city to the local wineries, farms, and markets.
There are some amazing tours where you can sit down and speak to local winery owners on their balconies overlooking the islands while drinking wine and eating local meat, fish, and veggies from their garden. This is how you really get to know the place you visit!
You will find tours near Split, Krka Waterfalls and on the islands offering a proper ‘foodie experience’ – homemade food and veggies you can pick yourself.
7. Take adequate equipment with you
Especially for going on adventure tours
Make sure you ask what you need to bring with you if you take adventure tours, such as Rafting, Canyoning or Kayaking.
We have made many mistakes – so we included the ‘WHAT TO BRING’ section on our web to help you pack and prepare properly. We thought we knew it all, but once you go on a tour-you realize that there is always space for improvement.
For example, take long sleeves and a change of clothes because your van will be air-conditioned, and it will be cold in wet shirts and beach clothes even on the hottest day. Or – always bring snacks and water because every tour has some breaks, and most of the time you’re in nature without shops and places you can buy some. Last but not less important, you don’t want your shoes and clothes to be ruined- ask about what to wear and what equipment is included in your tour. These are just some of the tips – check out our tips for all the tours – we’re sure they will be helpful.
8. Avoid peak season
If you don’t like crowds
This is a bit of a tricky one, especially for sea day tours.
Visiting Split during peak season (July and August) means that all day tours are available every day. You can pick any tour and it will be available plus the weather will be good for all the tours. But the city is crowded with people, and it gets quite busy.
If you prefer history tours, food tours and exploring on your own, the quiet months are ideal for you ( April, May, first part of June, September and October).
However, if you wish to visit islands on speedboats, swim and do all the summer activities, you may find the choice of tours to be limited during those months( pre and post-season).
Firstly, there are fewer tourists and it gets harder to have enough guests each day to reach the minimum number of guests required so you will not be able to book a tour on any given day. Secondly, the weather can be moody, and you may not be able to go to islands on speedboats (Blue Cave gets closed a lot due to weather during these months).
I suggest – decide what is most important to you and make your choice by that.
9. Check the day tour reviews
To get some ideas about the tour operators
As for everything else, it is helpful to check the reviews for a company you wish to book your tour with.
We always check the reviews of our potential partners when choosing day tours from Split we want to include in our offer. This is one of the ways for us to get a ‘feeling’ about the company before we decide to sell a certain tour.
There are so many day tours from Split and as many tour agencies. Do a bit of homework before travelling – not only you will find out what tours are available, but you can check out different reviews and comments of your fellow travellers and get a few tips!
Keep in mind that competition means many potential fake reviews! Check out our blog on how to recognize a fake day tour review to help you in your research.
10. Don’t forget the city activities
If you prefer to stay in Split
Don’t get too carried away with bus and boat tours to forget about the amazing tours available right in the city. If you are not keen on travelling to different destinations and prefer staying in the city – you are not limited to History walking tours only.
There are adventure tours in Split, such as Kayaking around Marjan Hill! My recommendation is to try this during sunset. In the late afternoon, when the breeze is getting slower, the sea becomes calmer, and the sun is not as intense. Try spending a few hours kayaking and swimming around Marjan Hill and enjoy the city views from the sea.
Other than kayaking, Split offers various food tours, SUP tours, museum tours (even Game of Thrones if you are a fan).
Split is a great place to visit, and Croatia offers too many beautiful natural wonders you can visit from Split. Instead of getting overwhelmed, get the right information, decide what suits you best, book on time and avoid doing the mistakes people do when choosing day tours from Split!