When it comes to Croatia, it is well known that it offers so much in the sightseeing department.
You can find beauty everywhere.
But let us focus on Middle Dalmatia and the islands. The Croatian coast of the Adriatic sea is stunning. Croatia has more than 700 islands, countless bays and beaches.
Therefor, it is not a bold statement to say that Croatia is on the top of the list for boating lovers.
And all those amazing photos of Croatian islands, they’re real. Well, most of them.
In this article we will go trough everything that you need to know about boat trips from Split to the islands.
Boat trips from Split to the Blue cave
1. THE ACTUAL LENGTH OF THE BOAT TRIP
Even though a lot of travel agencies and boat charters offer a really thorough itinerary (boat trip schedule), no one actually mentions the ride itself.
Vis island is the furthest inhabited island in Croatia (40 nautical miles!). The only way to complete this boat trip in one day is via speed boat. Take note that The Blue Cave (Blue Grotto) is located on the island of Bisevo. Island Bisevo is a small island in the Vis island archipelago. It is another 5 nautical miles away from Komiza town. It is a long way to go. Speed boats are expensive, consume a lot of fuel and require a professional skipper. And since the skipper is responsible for the expensive boat and for the lives of the passengers, it is only natural that they get paid well.
But how does the actual boat ride looks?
Well, sometimes pretty, joyful, enjoyable.. Just as described on the websites and flyers.
But sometimes.. Not so much.
Adriatic sea can be quite tricky. No, it is not like an ocean and it does not generate large tidal waves.
However, due to strong winds that can come from any direction, the sea can get quite choppy.
This makes the ride quite wet and unpleasant. Especially for those that are not used to being on the boat. The first ride in the early morning is the one to get straight to the Blue cave. It usually takes between 1:30 up to 2 hours to reach the Blue cave, depending on the boat and the weather.
The point is, it could be good, it could be bad, but the ride is long either way.
2. THE BLUE CAVE (THE BLUE GROTTO)
The blue cave is the highlight of the boat trip. It is usually the first destination you visit.
But not so fast.
Even though the ride to the Blue cave is quite long, the wait can be even longer.
Due to the rising popularity, there are hundreds of other agencies and boats racing each other in the morning to reach the Blue Cave.
Once you reach the Blue Cave in the morning, the skipper will drop you to the bay called the Mezzoport. Over there, the skipper(or the sailor) will get you the tickets to get inside the cave.
And that is when the wait starts and your patience is tested.
Let me provide you a little bit more info about the Blue Grotto, just in case you haven’t investigated it already.
The only original and natural entrance for the Blue cave was the underwater entrance from the south, south-east side. Therefor, the cave was only accessible by diving below the sea level.
This is also an explanation for the color of the cave. The sun shines trough the natural underwater entrance, striking the white lime stones on the bottom of the cave and reflect the blue color all over the cave.
Based on the suggestion of Baron von Ransonet, an artificial entrance was created in the 1884.
This is the entrance that is used today. It is big enough only for the small boats. Therefor, no matter which company you decide to book for your Blue cave boat trip, no boat will be able to get inside the Blue cave.
Instead, you have to buy the tickets to get onto the small boats that will take you inside the Blue cave. Since the cave receives more than 10 000 tourist visits every day, it is always crowded on the island of Bisevo. Meaning, you HAVE TO wait.
For the season 2018, the staff of the Nautical center Komiza had thought a lot about how to resolve this issue. So the rumors are that for the season 2018 the tourist agencies will be able to buy the tickets online in advance. Also, the online counter for the number of the ticket which is next in the line will be set on their website.
This should resolve the issue of waiting at least a little bit, because the skippers will be able to take you swimming or sightseeing while you wait for your turn to get into the Blue cave, instead of waiting in the line, roasting on the sun. This is a huge plus! Congratulations on the idea to the staff of the Nautical center Komiza.
3. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW? DON’T BE TRICKED!
Due to rising popularity of The blue cave and Croatia in general, more and more tourist agencies come to the market each day, street sellers, etc.
Beware of the false promises. Some street sellers would do anything to get you on the boat for the Blue cave. Promises of dolphins on the way, lunch offers, the length of the boat trip, how long will you stay inside the Blue cave, swimming in the blue cave..
Here is the list of things you need to know:
1. Dolphins are wild animals. You might run into them, you might not. They do live in the Adriatic sea, but will you actually see them or not depends on the luck, not on the expertise of the agency. If you are told otherwise, you’re being lied to.
2.The trip to reach the Blue cave can be exhausting and hard. That is a fact.
3. No matter which agency you choose, you will not be able to spend more than 5 minutes (or less) in the Blue cave. Especially in the high season when you are treated only as a number. Not as valuable tourist. The Blue cave is under the juridstiction of the nautical center Komiza. They get to decide when the cave is going to be opened and how long can you stay inside.
4. NO SWIMMING IN THE BLUE CAVE.
Yes. No matter what the agency told you, you will not be allowed to swim in the Blue cave. The commissionaires simply don’t allow it.
5. SWIMMING IN THE GREEN CAVE IS CHARGED 10€.
The agency will take you in front of the Green cave entrance. Even though the green cave is big enough for your speed boat to enter it, it is restricted area.
This has been decided during the season of 2017 due to safety issues. Unless you swim inside and pay 10€, you will not get to see the beauties of the Green cave.
6. Lunch is not included in the price. Unless you book a special boat tour, the extra expenses are on you.
The boat trip includes a boat ride, water on the boat, tickets for the blue cave and insurance for the passengers. Everything else is extra.
4. MORE DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN MORE. MORE CAN BE LESS.
Don’t allow yourself to get tricked. Due to rising popularity of this boat trip, the countless agencies and charters that offer this boat trip want to differentiate themselves from the others.
Therefore, they add additional destinations and promises.
The idea of the name for the 5 islands boat tour is great. Great marketing skills.
But 6 islands boat tour or 7 islands boat tour sounds even better. Right?
Well, not so much. Just think about it this way. The boat tour is usually between 10 to 11 hours long.
And more destinations and places you squish into this time schedule, the less time you spend enjoying the destinations. Less sightseeing, less swimming, less relaxing.
More time riding in the boat. Which is exhausting.
5. WHERE TO BOOK IT?
There are two ways to do it:
– Shared boat tour.
Depends on your budget, goals and how many friends or family members you have for the boat trip.
In case you want to have a boat only for yourself, we recommend booking the private boat tour.
This is much better way to do it than the shared boat tour.
It is personalized for you. You can decide how long you want to stay on the desired destination. You don’t have to follow the routine. And you don’t have people you’ve never met squishing next to you.
Also, shared boat tours use fast RIB boats that provide no sun covers, meaning there is no shade.
Private boat tours use charter speed boats that have all the luxury equipment, including bimini top.
In case you are on the budget and you are only two persons traveling together, then we recommend you to book a shared boat tour. For example, price per person for 2018 is 125€.
For two persons it is total of 250€. Where the private boat tour will cost the same for 2, for 5 or for 7 people. So, in case you are a group of 5 friends and book a private boat tour, it would be total of 500 – 600€, but you have a private boat tour and a flexible itinerary. The same price as for the shared boat tour, except you have a boat for yourself.
In case you decide to book a shared boat tour, we recommend using the TripAdvisor to chose to company. The bigger the company, the better.
However, for the private boat tours we recommend using smaller companies. As the guests on the trip will be treated flawlessly.