If you’ve ever tried going on a boat trip with kids, you will know that you have to plan a long way to prevent and avoid meltdowns (yours – and theirs). Over the years, we’ve dealt with many guests who imagined a movie-style speedboat trip with children and came back looking like the volcano just spit them out.
After a profound trial and error process (sorry to our early guests!), and with over 12.000 guests each year, we’ve learned! So now we can recommend to you, with great confidence the best sea Day Trips for families with kids!
This will often mean that we will need to talk you out of going on certain boat trips you’ve already pictured while looking through leaflets. But, trust us – and you will thank us later!
There are some fantastic child-friendly boat tours from Split on comfortable boats to meet all your family’s needs (toilets, shade, cooked meals, space for running, resting, hiding –this one is for mums and dads, quiet areas for afternoon naps and fun & games). And you don’t need to worry about missing out, as they do go to all those must-see locations you want to visit! Plus, you get kids discounts!
This is our list of 5 BEST Sea Day Trips from Split for Families with Kids:
1 -SUMMER BLUES: HVAR & PAKLENI ISLANDS
The spacious mega catamaran offers lots of room for walking around, comfortable chairs and tables, toilets, 3 meals, and drinks. If you have two adults on guard, you can take shifts and relax by yourself on the wonderful see-through nets.
This trip is an excellent value as you will visit four islands: Šolta, Brač, Hvar and Pakleni Islands. The kids will love it as they can dive off the boat, look at the fish through the nets and watch the huge sails go up.
However, there are a few downsides. There is a slight possibility you’ll get a group of young people on the trip whose idea of relaxing is different than yours! Also, being a sailing catamaran, it can get a bit bumpy in the afternoons when the wind picks up. If your children are familiar with the sea, it’s ok. If not, better look at the other options below.
2 -TWO ISLANDS SWIMMING TOUR
This is the trip we recommend to all of our guests with kids, and we never go wrong! We even had guests who went on this same tour twice! The Polaris boat is spacious, clean, there is a big inside area with comfortable seating, outside shaded lounge area, two toilets, and they offer freshly prepared meals and soft drinks.
You will feel safe if your little ones can’t stand still as they really do have lots of space to walk around and play safely on this boat. The journeys between the two locations you visit are not too long which is very important for the impatient little humans.
The first location is a hidden bay on Brač Island where you can swim, snorkel, use stand up paddle boards, sea toys, jump of the different levels of the boat, or sit back and read a book in the shade. There are stairs to get in and out of the sea.
The second location is only half an hour away, and is a small village Stomorska on the Šolta Island where you can try gelati, coffee, or swim on one of many secluded beaches. Make sure you find a lovely house with blue windows in the center for amazing photos!
Lunch is served early – around 1.30 pm – which is great, as you do get hungry after swimming. The trip is perfectly timed so you are not traveling long distances, or staying at locations for too long. This is the trip we do with our children every year and we honestly can’t find any downsides for this beautiful Mediterranean family tour.
3 – DAY TRIP TO BOL
This tour takes you to the famous Golden Cape beach in Bol on the Polaris boat-the same boat we’ve already described for the previous Two Island Swimming tour.
Bol and its Golden Cape beach are very popular with kids, as the beach is covered with small round pebbles that provide hours of fun, there is always a ‘windy side’ of the beach where they can splash and play with waves, and plenty of shade under the pine trees for relaxing and afternoon naps.
However, the traveling distance on this tour is longer than on the previous tour. It will take 2.5 hours to get to Bol from Split, and some little ones can get a bit cranky on the boat. Also, you visit only one location and stay there for around 5 hours. We find that this may be a bit long for some children.
Nonetheless, if you want to spend a day at the famous Golden Cape beach with your family, you will have fun on this tour. Take some books and toys and walk around the boat with children. You can visit the captain who is really friendly and lets them ‘drive’ the boat!
4 -THE BLUE LAGOON FISH PICNIC
This is a great ‘budget’ tour that goes to the famous Blue Lagoon and Šolta Island. The boat is not as spacious as the Polaris boat above, but it is nice, and there is enough room for walking around, and chairs to sit on during the trip.
The Blue lagoon really is as beautiful as on the postcards you’ve seen.
The tour includes one stop where you actually need to jump of the boat to get in the sea (it is quite high and not suitable for children). But this is a very short stop, only about ½ hour. Other stops are longer and you can walk of the boat on the shore and swim at the beaches.
There is a marvelous beach at the first location that is a short walk from where the boat stops. It is definitely worth the walk – the sea is clear, and the beach is great for play.
You will get a meal too (you can choose fish or chicken -we recommend chicken for children as the fish is with bones), but not as much food as on the previous two tours, so stock up on snacks if you choose this one.
5 – HALF DAY SAILING TOUR
For those who want to experience proper sailing on a yacht – we do offer a four hours Half-day sailing tour that visits two Dalmatian islands. You get to sail between Šolta and Brač, stop in hidden bays for swimming and snorkeling and enjoy a Dalmatian snack.
Children will not have as much freedom as on the leisure boats, but it will definitely be exciting to experience some hands-on sailing and there is a closed area with toilet on the boat. Morning trips are usually more relaxing. For those looking for more excitement – choose afternoon trips when the wind usually picks up.
You will mostly have to jump of the boat to swim, as stopping in the villages in not guaranteed-sailing itself is unpredictable and highly dependable on weather conditions. This tour is best for older kids who have some experience on the sea.
That’s our list! Remember, early bedtime the night before, leaving home early in the morning as the traffic can be a problem, sunscreen, towels…and HAVE FUN!
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