Best Blue Cave Tour From Split, Croatia
We’re bringing you the answers to the most common questions about going on the ridiculously amazing Blue Cave Tour departing from Split.
On the Croatian Island of Bisevo, in a bay called Balun, lies the Blue Grotto sea cave, also known as the Blue Cave. It’s one of 26 caves on the tiny island, and this spectacular natural phenomenon is without question one of the best caves in Croatia.
Bisevo Island is composed of limestone rock and is inhabited by just a handful of people all year round. The cave, which was formed by erosion from the Adriatic Sea, is best visited around 11 am and 2 pm each day, depending on the time of year you visit, to fully appreciate its beauty.
Once at the cave, you’ll be struck by the piercing blue hues of the cave, caused by sunlight reflecting through the water and bouncing off the white limestone bottom.
How And When Was The Cave Discovered?
Explorer, painter, and adventurer Baron Eugen von Ransonnet first discovered the Blue Cave in the early 1880s. He stumbled upon it during a diving expedition and was immediately captivated by it. By then, the cave was only accessible by diving because its only natural entrance was below sea level.
The Baron suggested that an artificial opening be made to enable small boats to access the cave. After blasting off part of the rock using dynamite, a small entrance about 2.5 meters wide and 1.5 meters high was created in 1884. It is through this entrance that people can access the cave.
Blue Cave Tour Details
Many new tourist agencies have popped up, with an increasing number of visitors heading to Split each year. There are dozens of day trip agencies offering Blue Cave tours, and if you are even remotely thinking about taking a cave boat tour through the Blue Cave, here are a few things to know before you book a tour.
Blue Cave Tour Distance From Split
In Central Dalmatia, the most popular island destinations are Hvar, Brac – Bol, and the farthest island in Croatia, Vis. Located just five miles from Vis is Bisevo, home to the Blue Cave.
Many trips head to the Blue Cave from Split (or Trogir) each day. You will see the agency’s signs offering a chance to look at the caves as a part of many day trips:
- 5 Islands Tour
- 6 Islands Tour
- Blue Cave Tour
- Blue & Green Caves Tour
- Hvar-Vis Island Blue Cave Tour
The core attraction on any one of these tours is, of course, the Blue Cave. If you’re like me, you might be wondering how to find a tour to see just the Blue Cave only, right? Well, the thing to note here is that the Blue Cave is located on the farthest territorial point on the Croatian Adriatic Coast, which is a long way to go to spend 5 minutes in a cave and return.
Plus, to get to the Blue Cave and back in one trip from Split, you need to get there by speedboat, which takes 1.5 hours one way. As you can imagine, going on a day trip on a speedboat uses a lot of fuel, which costs a pretty penny.
So, to give you an excellent return for your hundred-plus euros, the vendors arrange other stops along the way to help you feel like you are getting value for money.
If you don’t want to be on a Vis Blue Cave tour with other people, you could book a private tour like this.
A Longer Tour Is Not Always The Best Tour
Many agencies in Split want to differentiate their offer from others, so they add additional destinations. But let’s be honest, five stops are enough!
Don’t be tricked into booking a tour with any more stops. All you will do is spend more time on the boat and less time exploring each destination.
Out of the 10+ hours a day trip like this takes, you’ll spend about 4 hours in the speedboat and approximately 6 hours touring the destinations. So, any extra stops will reduce the time for swimming and exploring. Who wants to spend more time on the boat than at the destinations? No one!
We advise choosing a program that includes a maximum of five destinations.
- The Blue Cave itself (of course!) on Bisevo Island
- Monk Seal Cave on Bisevo Island
- Hvar Town on Hvar Island
- Paklinski Islands
- Stiniva Bay on Vis Island
- Blue Lagoon on Budikovac Island
Check Reviews Before Booking
Sadly, a few lame agencies in Croatia will make false promises, like promising you can go swimming with dolphins. As you know, dolphins are wild animals, so that can’t be guaranteed.
Other day trip vendors will overpromise you the amount of time you can spend in the cave. One way to find a good agency is to read reviews using Get Your Guide or TripAdvisor.
Getting To The Blue Cave On Your Own
There are no hotels or any type of accommodation to be found on Bisevo Island, where the Blue Cave is located (around 70km away from Split), so it’s only possible to visit on a day trip. You can also visit from Trogir or Hvar via a speedboat tour which should take around an hour. From Split or Trogir, it will take around 1.5 hours to arrive.
The other option is to use the taxi boat from Komiza on Vis island. From there, it will take you 15 minutes to arrive.
Of course, the easiest and best way is to take an organized trip to eliminate transportation stress.
Regardless of how you choose to arrive, there is only one way into the cave: via the small boats run by the site. These last for 15 minutes at the most, so you need to keep your eyes peeled!
If you’re not taking an organized tour and visiting on your own steam, you’ll need to know the admission fee to get inside the cave.
Thankfully, the price is relatively low for such an amazing experience.
- 1 July to 31 August: 13.5 Euros
- All other months: 9.50 Euros
Summer Is Extremely Busy
As you can imagine, this spot’s beauty will always attract visitors, and during the peak summer months of July and August, you may be in for a much longer wait to enter the cave. For that reason, if possible, try to visit outside of these months if you can.
May, June, September, and October are quieter months that still give you the best of the weather without all the waiting around.
There Are Times When You Can’t Enter The Blue Cave
There are certain times when it’s not possible to enter the cave. Remember, this is a natural sea cave, and the opening is tiny, at around just 1 meter in height. It’s unlikely that your trip will be in vain if you visit during the spring and summer months. During these times, weather and sea conditions are usually perfectly fine. However, if you visit outside of those times, particularly towards the end of autumn, you may have your trip delayed or possibly canceled.
If the wind is particularly strong, the waves will be too high, and it is too dangerous to attempt to get inside the cave. While you may not have any clue when you set off as to what the weather will be like, you can usually check online the day before and understand whether there may be a potential problem or not. Then you can make your decision.
The good news is that if you choose a tour, you’ll get your cave ticket price refunded, although the boat will probably still be chargeable. This is because you won’t usually know that you can’t get inside until you arrive. However, the boat to the cave still shows you some awe-inspiring scenery, so you won’t completely miss out.
Best Time Of Day To Visit
If possible, time your visit so that you enter the cave between 11 am and 2 pm. This is when the light really shows the colors inside the cave to the best of their ability. However, you won’t be disappointed at any time, as the bright blue of the water is something to take your breath away.
There Will Be A Long Wait Getting Into The Cave
Before you head into the caves, you will spend an hour waiting in a queue (of course, some days it will be much less, and on others more) on Bisevo for your turn to enter and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Blue Cave.
The tickets will, in most cases, be bought on your behalf by your skipper. While you wait, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the crystal-clear sea, chilling out with a beer or cup of coffee at the cafe.
The Blue Cave Is Small But Impressive
You may need to wait a short while before your boat can enter the cave because it is so tiny – but that’s what makes it so special! The entrance to the cave is just 1 meter high, but once inside, it opens up to 14 meters in height.
The cave is only 24 meters long, and the water is 12 meters deep.
Once inside, you can take photographs, but you cannot use the flash. However, don’t worry about lighting, as there is enough natural light inside to give you great photos anyway. Of course, do not lean outside of your boat when taking photographs.
You Can’t Stay In The Blue Cave For Long
You should know that the time you can spend in the caves is decided, not by your captain, but by the concessionaire who limits the stay in the cave to just 5-15 minutes per boat. Do not be fooled by anyone selling you a tour package that advertises with them you can stay longer. That is not true.
You Can’t Swim In The Blue Cave
The Croatia Blue Grotto is protected, so the answer to the question “can you swim in the Blue Grotto?” is a firm “no.” You will see some photos of people swimming, but trust me; you can’t. Instead, you could swim close by while you wait your turn to enter the cave.
You Can’t Take Your Own Boat Inside
Sorry, after reading all of this, I know you are probably thinking, stuff it – you’ll just go on your own – but you can’t.
When you come back from your Vis Blue Cave tour (or if you’ve already been), be sure to let us know any other tips we should add in the comments below.
WAW! Amazing! Thank u for info., it’s a must see next visit to Croatia!
I’ll be in Split with 5 free days… added to the list
Hi. I am an Australian going to Croatia again in July to stay with my Croatian husband, longer than the visa-free 3 months. I need to apply for temp res. Does my police criminal history check require an apostille stamp? I’m leaning to the side of yes, but don’t want to spend $60 if it’s not necessary. I know it will require translation. Thanks for any information!
It used to. But in not familiar with the new rules. I wouldn’t risk coming without it. Just in case personally.
Chasing the Donkey Croatia Thanks, will bring it stamped. The bureaucracy is bad enough without having to chase up an apostille stamp, if it’s even possible!