I usually go on group tours, as I like to experience exactly what the guests are experiencing when they travel. No ‘fancy’ travel agent special tours. I want to be able to tell people all the pros and cons of each tour, so they can make an educated decison on whether the tour they want to take is right for them.
But, I’ve noticed that more people opt for private tours in the last couple of years. Being such a growing trend, I wanted to explore it thoughly to see if it was worth investing in private tours , and why!
The first thing I noticed is that the private tours are not always more expensive! Surprising, I know. If you travel with a group of people, and you share the cost, it may cost you the same, or even less than the group tour!
If you have a day tour you want to do from Split in mind, read this information before booking. There are private day tour options for almost any tour: sea, land or adventure.
Why private tour?
On group tours, you have to follow the strict schedule. Your sightseeing time is limited. You eat in alocated restaurants (mostly of average quality-so the tour can be affordable for many people). If you wish to explore more, eat where you like, or take the tour at your own pace, private tour is a better option.
Your day – your way
On private tours you can plan your day according to your wishes. You can explore places you like at your own pace, eat where you like or visit museums, galleries or beautiful landmarks of your choice. On private sea tours, you can choose your own route, avoid overcrowded places, have lunch in seaside restaurants of your choice or visit beach bars – whatever you prefer!
On private tours, it’s just you, and the people you choose to go with (or family members you can’t leave behind even if you want to! Just kidding!) You avoid crowded busses and boats of the group tours. In the challenging times we have been facing with the pandemics in 2020, private tours are surely a safer way of traveling.
What places can you visit and what activities can you do on a private tour?
You can choose to do any tour as a private tour. Whether you wish to visit one of the gorgeous National Parks, historical cities, stunning Croatian islands or you wish to do an activity like rafting or zip-line – you can do it as a private tour. This means that you, or the group of people you chose to do the tour with, get a guide and transport to yourself, and you tailor the day according to your wishes (with the help of your experienced guide/skipper who can give you valuable advice).
How is the price determined?
For boat tours the first factor for price determination is the distance you choose to travel. This is explained in more detail below. There is a set price for the boat and the skipper for the certain destination, plus fuel. The price you get is for the whole boat (that normally takes 10-12 people maximum), and not per person. It is also for the whole day (from early morning to around 7 pm).
For the private tours to national parks and other land destinations in Croatia you also get a quote for the car/van/bus depending on how far you wish to travel.
Adventure tours are usually quoted per person for the activity.
Here is a little overview of what you can expect from boat, land and adventure private tours:
Private boat tours
How it works
You can do a private day tour to any islands that can be visited from Split in one day. That’s Brač, Šolta,Čiovo, Blue lagoon (Krknjaši Islands), Hvar,Paleni Islands,Vis and Biševo (Blue Cave). But, to make it easier for our guests, and to give some guidance ,we generally offer 3 different private tours: Blue Cave, Hvar or Blue Lagoon. The main difference between those is – how far you go (and this is important for pricing as I mentioned above).
Of course, these are only ‘frames’ to make it easier for people to make decisions and to understand the pricing. The possibilities are endless, and it’s up to you to create your own day tour!
Blue Cave and Hvar are full day tours, while Blue Lagoon is generally a half day tour.
The departure for the private boat tours is between 7 and 9 o’clock, as you decide. If you are doing a Blue Cave tour we suggest early departure. For other tours, you can sleep in a bit longer. The return must be before dark, for safety and is usually between 6.30pm -7:00pm.
The Blue cave private tour
As you can see on the map, Blue Cave (on Biševo Island) is the furthest destination. So, when you take a private tour to the Blue Cave,this means that you can visit any of the places marked on the map. In order that you like and at the pace you like. Some people choose to do the same route as on the regular group tour: Biševo (Blue Cave), Vis, Budikovac, Pakleni Islands & Hvar.
Others choose not to visit all those islands, but rather stay on one or two a bit longer, and relax. You can decide to have lunch in Hvar ,or Pakleni Islands. Or find some hidden bays and swim in the open sea. Some beatiful places are not included in the regular tour, due to lack of time, such as Komiža on Vis. On private tour, you can have a coffee in this beautiful island town (fun fact: Mamma Mia 2 was filmed there!). You can alter your any way you like!
Hvar Island private tour
On this full day tour, Hvar is your furhest destination. This means you can spend the whole day on the Hvar island, or you can visit some other islands that are on the way: Brač or Šolta and Pakleni islands which are very close to Hvar.
Your skipper can give you excellent advice about where to have lunch in Hvar or Pakleni islands, where to swim (whether you like secluded beaches or partying in beach bars), where you can find wine tasting, olive oil tasting…Basically, before your trip you have a little chat with your skipper and you decide on all these elements of your exciting day!
The Blue Lagoon private tour
When you take the private tour to the Blue Lagoon, this means that you can visit Krknjaši Islands, Čiovo, Trogir and Šolta Island. This is mostly a half day tour, but you can make it a full day tour of course.
This tour is great for families with children, as you don’t travel long distances on a speedboat. Every location is about 15 -25 minutes away max.
The Blue lagoon is a snorkeling paradise. It can get overcrowded on group tours because lots of boats go at the same time. You can choose to go at more quiet times, and see the real untouched beauty of this place. Trogir is a town-museum, a UNESCO protected jewel offering the maze of stone narrow streets and historical sites.
Private land tours
How it works?
If you wish to visit Krka Waterfalls, Plitvice lakes, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zadar, Mostar or any of the gorgeous cities, towns and landmarks in Croatia and nearby, private tours are the best option.
You choose your transport, always clean and air-conditioned and you get a professional driver for the day. You can pick where you want to stop, eat, which historical monuments you want to visit – of course we and your professional experienced driver/guide can give you excellent advice. You can book a local guide, you can book restaurants of your choice, as long as it is on the route to your chosen destination.
On your way to Krka Waterfalls, you get to stop in Šibenik, Primošten or Skradin…and other lovely coastal towns where you can explore history. If you go to Dubrovnik, you can stop in Ston and try the famous oysters, see the longest stone walls or visit a salt farm and learn a few things. In Mostar, you will not miss out on barganing at the colourful bazaar or trying delicious local dishes: čevapi, baklava, kahva and so much more.
Private adventure tours
Whether you want to try rafting, kayaking, hiking, cycling, zip-line or cliff jumping – you can do all these as a private tour. If you have a group of friends and you want to have a fun day at your terms, we suggest you do this.
The guide will be all yours for the duration of the tour and you can have a tour that is adjusted to your level of experience, unlike on group tours that are normally at medium level. You can even combine two or three activities in one day. Of course, you can add a meal and some interesting stops to your day.
I decided to give the Sailing the special place in this blog, as I found that this tour was actually the one made for private tours. There is absolutely nothing like sailing the Croatian coast all day, or half-day, or even just for the few hours during sunset.
You can literally stop in the middle of the open sea and swim, you visit the secluded bays that you can only visit with the boat, you can eat at the amazing seaside restaurants. The sound of the wind, and the sails makes it the ultimate Mediterranean day on the sea!
The skipper does all the work, so you can just relax. But, no one will stop you if you want to participate and help with sailing.
Normally, sailing is for groups of 8-10 people. Or just for 2! If you want a romantic getaway, Sunset sailing is your top romantic day trip in Split – and a good one for those looking for a perfect proposal spot. We’ve whitnessed some amazing proposals on these trips!
Private tours may cost a bit more, but you get so much more in return. During the challenging times of 2020 private tours are also a safer choice, and one that will give you a peace of mind. Talk to us – you can tell us your wishes and your budget and we will give you your best options.
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