48 hours in Split. Ten things you mustn’t miss out on!
Croatia is one of my top five all time favourite countries to visit, it's got a bit of everything! Split in particular is a fab holiday spot. I love it for it's rich history, superb swimming spots, that relaxed European vibe, fantastic food and wonderful people.
I stayed in a little apartment just on the outskirts of the main hub, it's an apartment block called 'Apartments Sun and Sea' (pic to the right) and it was divine - i highly recommend it for location and comfort. It is however a little pricey (100 euro per night, but it sleeps four people... divided between four that's actually pretty cheap!)
So you've got your flights and accom booked for your trip to Split? now you need to know what to see and do while you're there, here's the top ten things i suggest you shouldn't miss!;
- Take a long stroll through the skinny and winding streets in the old town. Europe is well known for its winding streets and cute little alleyways which somehow all entwine... but the old town in Split takes the cake on this in my opinion, it's literally a maze! a wonderful, culturally rich maze which will make you feel like you're in a movie.
- Eat at 'Konoba Lucac' - the food is INCREDIBLE, and so is the wine! it's located just on the outskirts of the city centre.
- Take a walk along the marina, right up to where it ends. I quite enjoy watching the enormous catamarans and yachts mooring and setting off, some of the boats you see will dazzle you! be warned though it doesn't always smell very nice along there...
- Spend a day chilling seal style on the rocks by the coast. You'll need to head south west of the marina and where the marina ends just keep following the coastline, you'll find your way back to the water (through a park with a children's playground) once you've found the water again there's a clear path that travels right along the coastline. You can park yourself on any of the rocks along here and just dive right into the crystal blue water - divine! there's ladders to get in too for those who might rather ease themselves in than back flip off a rock.
- Venture out of the city centre and explore some of Split's mouth watering (although pebbly and not barefoot friendly!) beaches. There is a beach in the heart of Split but it's dirty and not very inviting. If you follow the above mentioned coastal path you'll eventually reach two of Splits most pristine swim spots, Jezinac beach and Zvoncac beach, both are as inviting as the other. There's also a couple of little spots you can sit for a bite to eat and/or a refreshing beverage! i'd even suggest hiring a scooter or a car for the day and buzzing right along the coastline as there are more beautiful little swim spots dotted further along the coast that aren't really within walking distance. Note; logistics wise you can incorporate 3, 4, 5 and 8 all in the one afternoon!
- Take a walk through park Suma Marjan, be warned though! it's an enormous park and involves a very steep incline. The views of split from up there though are 150% worth the sweat and exertion, just be sure to take water with you! and maybe stick to checking out the view and then retreating back down for a dip and a cool down - i made the mistake of seeing the view and then continuing along the path... i soon became aware that the path went for what must be 10kms and there's no way down unless you turn and go all the way back to where you came from. After about 2 hours of walking in the blistering heat, stress levels slowly but surely rising, i ended up finding a dirt track and in sheer desperation i followed it down the cliff. It was precarious but it eventually led me to the back streets of a residential area just outside of Splits main hub. I was sweating like a pig and completely exhausted! you wouldn't believe what happened next. I crossed the road, walked down a random pathway (bearing in mind i had no idea where i was) and all of a sudden a glistening, glorious beach was stretched out before my eyes. I think i ran to get to that water! and let me tell you, it was one of the best feelings i can ever remember. Although i wouldn't do it again, it was certainly an adventure!
- You must try the most mouth watering traditional Croatian/Dalmatian dish called 'pasticada' it's basically a pot roast or beef stew usually served with gnocchi. It's to die for so look out for it on menu's!
- Refer back to no' 5 - head here with a few beers in tow and park yourself on the rocks to sit and enjoy the stunning sunset. Bliss!
- Check out Diocletian's palace, which is actually part of the old town, it makes up about half of it. They call it a palace but in reality it's a massive fortress. Note; no' 1 and 9 are virtually the same thing so logically you'd explore it all at once.
- Do you like sushi?... what about fresh oysters? ... if you answered no then ignore this one. If you answered yes then take my advice and eat at 'Oyster and sushi bar Bota' it's right in the centre of town however it's hidden a little off the beaten path, you won't be disappointed!
Extra tip; If you've got a spare day up your sleeve why not take a day trip to Dubrovnik? you can hire a car or a scooter for reasonably cheap or you can opt to go on a tour bus. It's about an hours drive from Split. If you don't fancy that or have already been to Dubrovnik you could also use your spare day to do a day trip on a boat, along the harbour in Split you'll find plenty of tour companies offering day trips which will include lunch and some will even include visiting one or two of the islands off the coast.