Sunday, 21 July 2019

Why You Need To Visit Split


It was only about a year ago that I first considered visiting Croatia - unlike a lot of the other places that I've visited which have been on my travel bucket list for YEARS. All of a sudden, the world and his wife seems to be visiting Croatia and I was keen to visit Split before it begins to feel too crowded with tourists. I decided on Split because it's a coastal Mediterranean city, which is a boat-ride away from islands such as Brac and Hvar and is also a bus-ride away from lots of other noteworthy places.


DAY 1:
We started the day by hiking up Marjan Forest Park. It was really tough in the 34 degree heat (make sure you bring plenty of water) but so worth it for the views. You don't realise how beautiful the Split peninsula is until you reach the first observation level and can see all the way across Old Town to the mountains. We followed the track up to the Church of St Nicholas and then went up some more steps to another observation level. The next observation level provided views of the islands. We could have carried on going to the highest observation point but we were exhausted by this point - it's a really steep climb so make sure you're wearing sensible footwear.

We decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at a beach near our Airbnb. We stayed in the Varos neighbourhood, which was very quiet and residential but it was still walking distance to all of the main attractions. The beaches near here are pebbles (I much prefer this to sand though as sand gets everywhere!) and the water is crystal clear. There was a section of the sea cordoned off for water polo, which everyone could use, and there were lots of people jumping into the sea from the rocks. Later on in the evening, we headed into Old Town for dinner at Apetit and wandered around before going to Basta for cocktails.


DAY 2:
Bacvice Beach is the most famous beach in Split and it is one of the few sandy ones so we decided to spend the day here. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that this is classed as a 'sandy' beach because only a small fraction of it is sandy and the rest is concrete with steps going into the sea. Also, the water wasn't as clear as the beaches in Varos so I preferred the other beaches we went to. There was an Aqua Park at Bacvice Beach though, which was so much fun and really good value.


For dinner, we headed to Basta - the place we had gone the previous night for cocktails. The food here is delicious and you look out onto the habourfront so you can watch all of the fancy yachts coming in after a day at sea. Afterwards, we walked around Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are loads of little alleyways to explore (similar to Venice) and the architecture is centuries old. I would recommend walking down Marmontova ulica because the floor is beautiful and then wandering off down whichever alleyways you feel like - there is so much to see and the best way to explore the area is to walk around. There is a water fountain near the start of Marmontova ulica that lights up at nighttime.


DAY 3:
This was the day I was most looking forward to; a trip to Krka National Park. I had seen tonnes of Instagram posts from here and I thought it was amazing that you could swim right up to the waterfall (at Plitvice Lakes National Park you can't swim in the water). We took a bus from Split Bus Terminal to Skradin. This takes just over an hour and then it takes another 30 minutes to get a ferry into the park - the ferry ride is included in your entrance ticket. There isn't any seating at the park near the waterfalls so everyone just puts towels on the floor - it's quite dirty though so bring a towel that you don't mind getting marks on. When we went it was a lot busier in front of the waterfall so we decided to cross the bridge and find a space to sit past the waterfall. I didn't realise until I got there how many rocks are in the water... people who had obviously done their research had come fully prepared with rock pooling shoes but I only had my flip flops. It was quite painful / slippery walking around on the rocks without any shoes on so if you're planning a visit here, make sure you bring some with you.


The map you're provided with your entrance ticket gives a suggested hiking route around the park, which takes about an hour. We didn't have time to do the full route, however we did walk to the waterfalls higher up the river. I would really recommend doing this because it's so much more peaceful further up the river and there was a little outdoor gallery when we went. There's also a restaurant near the top if you fancy having a meal overlooking the waterfalls. After our hike, we headed back to the ferry and then got the bus back to Split. We headed straight to NoStress Bistro for dinner and then went back to our Airbnb for an early night after a busy day!


DAY 4:
We spent the whole day relaxing on a beach near us: Bay Jezinac. I much preferred this beach to Bacvice Beach because it was a lot less busy and the water was so blue. We had been considering visiting either Brac or Hvar on this day but it turned out to be a lot more difficult to visit these islands than we initially thought - we were looking at going to Bol in Brac but there was only a catamaran that went there in the afternoon meaning we wouldn't be able to get back on the same day. If you're wanting to visiting one of the islands from Split, I would recommend spending one night there so you're not in a rush to get there and back in the same day. Later on, we headed to Panchos Burritos for dinner. There are no tables to eat-in here so we took them to the Riva and ate on one of the benches there. This was the perfect setting to watch the sunset across the harbour.


DAY 5:
On our last day, we went to Diocletian's Palace, which was built in the 4th century and some Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here. Most of the palace can be seen for free but parts of it you have to pay to enter. We started at the Brass Gate (there are 4 gates to the palace) and walked to Peristil and Jupiter's Temple where you can see the Egyptian Sphinx statues. We exited via the Golden Gate where you will find the Gregory of Nin statue (apparently you should rub his toe for good luck!). We then headed to Street Let Me Pass, which is Europe's narrowest street. Afterwards, we bought one last gelato from Slasticarna Riva. They had an impressive selection of gelato - I tried a different one each night! We decided to go back to Basta for one final dinner as this was our favourite restaurant from the whole holiday. Then we walked along the habourfront back to our Airbnb as the sun was setting and got in a taxi to the airport.


There are a few other day trips you can do from Split such as visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Trogir or getting a boat to the Blue Lagoon. If we had more time, we probably would have visited these so it's worth keeping these in mind when planning a trip to Split. It is such a beautiful city with so much to offer - but equally you could spend your whole holiday on the beach. Have I convinced you to book a flight to Split yet?
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30 comments

  1. Love your pictures, what camera are you using?

    Cheers, Joy Della Vita Travel Blog

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    1. Thank you! I'm using the Sony RX100 - it's a compact camera but the photos are nearly as good as my DSLR! x

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  2. All of your photos are beautiful! I've noticed a lot of people have been visiting Croatia recently, so I will have to keep Split in mind for a future trip x

    Kara | http://karascloset.net

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    1. Thank you! Yes it seems to have become a really popular holiday destination all of a sudden x

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  3. OMG so many amazing things to do! Think I have to add this to my bucket list

    www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

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  4. Definitely on the bucket list, thanks for the post!

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  5. It is definitely a beautiful place to visit!! I saw a travel show on tv last year on Croatia and it's been on my bucket list since then!!!

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

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    1. I would love to visit more of Croatia! Hopefully you'll get to visit soon x

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  6. This looks such an amazing place! Thanks for sharing this! :)

    https://julesonthemoon.com/

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  7. Wow!! The place looks so good. Hope to visit it one daaay! <3

    https://thepromdichic.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/nature-awaits-lower-magat-eco-tourism-park/

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    1. There's so much to do there! Definitely worth a visit x

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  8. Stunning photos, I love the images of Basta it looks so pretty!

    laura xo
    www.shehearts.net

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    1. Thank you! It's such a beautiful place x

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  9. wow these places are amazing, loved the Old Town. I would love to visit Croatia.

    www.ninakobi.com

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    1. The Old Town is so pretty! I really want to see more of Croatia x

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  10. Oh wow, so gorgeous! On my list to visit next year x

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    1. It really is beautiful! Hopefully you'll get to visit x

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  11. I love the pictures! I follow you now!

    https://jasminlen.blogspot.com/

    Jasmin

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  12. The gothic looking old town is rather beautiful and love places like this! So pretty. Thanks so much for sharing Emma. Beautiful photographic.

    Laura xo
    www.shehearts.net

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  13. Split has now been added to my bucket list, looks soooooo beautiful!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. It is! I would love to visit more of Croatia because I'm sure it's just as beautiful as Split x

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  14. These pictures are so beautiful, I want to go to Croatia so much! Would you say five days was enough time in Split?

    Danielle | walshdanielle.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you! Split is so beautiful. I would say 5 days is enough - we could have spent 1 less day at the beach as well and gone on another day trip instead because we weren't pressed for time x

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