The Blue Cave in Croatia is often hailed as one of the country’s most beautiful natural wonders. Situated on Bisevo island, this magical grotto glows with the most brilliant hue of blue thanks to the sunlight bouncing off its white limestone floor.
As you glide through the calm water of the cave, it almost feels like you’ve been transported to a different world. It is enchanting and captivating and you’re guaranteed to love every second that you’re there.
How to go on a Blue Cave tour from Split
Before we look at how to get to the Bisevo Blue Cave in detail, there are a few things you should know before you set off. First of all, swimming is not permitted in the cave. There may be some tour guides that tell you it is allowed to entice you to come with their tour, but this isn’t true. There are cameras watching the entrance and given the number of boats that float through the cave, swimming would be pretty dangerous anyway.
Next, the best time for your Blue Cave trip is between 11 am and 2 pm. This is when the sunshine hits it at just the right angle to enhance its ethereal blue water. While the water shines bright blue, on close inspection it is completely crystal clear. This means you can see rocks sitting at the bottom, around 10-12 meters deep!
Finally, you cannot spend long in the cave. As you can imagine, hundreds of people want to visit the cave every day. Therefore, each boat is limited to between 5 and 15 minutes in the cave. Given that the cave is only 24 meters long, this is more than enough time to see it all and admire its beauty. Just don’t be shocked if it seems like a lot of traveling for a really short visit.
So, now you have some background information, let’s look at how to get to organize your Blue Cave trip from Split.
Where is the Blue Cave in Croatia?
The Blue Cave can be found in a bay called Balun on the island of Bisevo and is a three-hour return journey from Split by speedboat. While it is possible to do a day trip to the Blue Cave from Split and see nothing else while you’re at it, this isn’t a particularly good or fun idea.
There are two ways you can get to the Blue Cave. The first is to join on to a tour – for example, with Zen Travel – and the second is to do it yourself. Over the course of the rest of this article, we will take a look at both of these options in detail so you can decide which one best suits you.
Visiting the Blue Cave on a tour
Going on an organized Blue Cave excursion from Split is the most popular way to visit the Blue Cave. It is also the best way to get the most out of your trip because the majority of tours do not simply go to the Blue Cave and come back again.
Just going from Split to Bisevo and back would mean spending three hours on a speedboat, which costs a fair amount in fuel, just to spend ten minutes in the cave, you can imagine how disappointing this would be for most people.
Instead, tour agencies like to give participants the greatest bang for their buck by incorporating some of Croatia’s other highlights into the mix. Surrounding the island of Bisevo are a number of other islands, including Vis, Budikovac, Paklinski, and Hvar island. A standard tour to the Blue Cave may take you to some or all of these other islands as well as Bisevo.
As part of your Blue Cave boat trip, you will usually get the chance to explore parts of the islands on foot; snorkel in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea; and visit historical monuments in the islands’ Old Towns. If you want a taste of the history, culture, and nature of Croatia all in one go, a tour is the best option.
The main benefit of a joining a tour to visit the Blue Cave is not having to worry about what’s going on. You will be in the capable hands of seasoned tour guides who will ferry you from place to place, pointing out points of interest as you go. This allows you to focus on enjoying yourself rather than trying to decipher your own itinerary or work out where to go next.
You’ll also get the opportunity to meet new people who may end up becoming travel buddies later down the line.
The downside to traveling with a tour group is that you do not get to set your own pace. If you’re particularly enjoying a place, it is not an option to simply stay for as long as you please. When the tour guide rounds you up to get back on the boat, you have to go with them or risk being stranded on whichever island you find yourself at the time. There is also very little scope for taking a detour or getting off the beaten track.
Visiting the Croatia’s Blue cave of Bisevo independently
If you don’t think visiting the Blue Cave with a tour group would suit you then you may want to think about doing it solo. There are two options if you want to visit the Blue Cave independently. The option you choose will depend more on your budget than anything else, but we will go through them in detail nonetheless.
Option one is to get to the island of Bisevo by public transport. This is a lengthy procedure but is wonderfully scenic. To do this, you need to get a ferry from Split to Vis. The journey takes between 1h30 and 2h30 depending on the route the ferry takes. The price varies depending on how you book your ticket and whether you book in advance or not, but it is generally pretty cheap.
Once you arrive in Vis port, you need to hop onto a bus, which will take you to the other side of the island to the port of Komiza. This takes 15 minutes and gives you a chance to check out some of the island. Obviously, you don’t have to go straight to Komiza if you would rather spend time exploring the island of Vis first.
From Komiza, you hop on another ferry to the port of Porat on the island of Bisevo. Take note that there is only one journey each way. The boat leaves Komiza at 8 am and comes back at either 1 pm, 4 pm or 5 pm depending on the day. Be sure to check the most recent timetable before you plan your journey so you don’t end up stuck in Bisevo.
This ferry takes around 1h 15 min or you can take a speed boat, which is more expensive but a lot quicker and runs several times throughout the day.
Upon arrival in Porat, you will be able to buy a ticket to the Blue Cave. Once you have your ticket, you can wait for your number to be called in the shade with a cool drink.
Visiting the Blue Cave by hiring a private speed boat is much simpler. Just book a boat and a driver and tell him where to go. You cannot enter the Blue Cave with a private boat but you can switch over to one of the cave boats once you arrive. The rest of the day can be spent motoring around, checking out secret coves and beautiful bays.
As you can see, visiting the Blue Cave independently is far from impossible, but it requires meticulous planning. If you can handle that, then you’re in for a spectacular time. You can travel at your own pace and explore whatever you see that takes your fancy along the way. The freedom is liberating and often makes for a unique and unforgettable experience.
The downside of doing the Blue Cave independently is that without a tour guide, you might miss out places of interest that only an experienced local would know about. You can combat this by asking around in Split for places to visit before you set off. You also need to have a firm understanding of the ferry and speedboat timetables in order to make sure you can get there and home again.
While most young travelers are drawn towards solo travel and tend to see tours as restricting, the Blue Cave in Croatia is one of the few occasions where joining a tour group is a good idea. There are so many islands to explore in Croatia that you can save your solo adventures for another day. If you’re keen to see the Blue Cave, opting for the least stressful option makes sense.
However you choose to visit the Blue Cave, you’re going to have a good time. So, it’s up to you to decide how you want to allocate your precious resources of time and money!
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This post is brought to you in collaboration with Zen Travel