I’m very lucky to have been away four times since finishing uni at the start of June. It’s been very busy and a lot of fun! Craig and I had a fabulous week in Split, Croatia, at the end of June. It was a lovely time to visit as it was busy but not peak tourist season yet. The temperatures were already thirty plus degrees, very toasty even for me (and I’m always cold!)!
We’ve looked at Croatia the past couple of years but never quite managed to find flights cheap enough. This year we were actually planning a central/Eastern European trip for but as circumstances changed we decided to keep it simple and finally see some of Croatia.
It was tricky to decide where in Croatia we wanted to go. Originally we’d thought about spending some time in Split then moving on to Dubrovnik or vice versa, but ended up just opting for a full week in Split with the intention of doing some day trips from there.
Where we stayed
We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment called the Split Ann Apartments. We thought this would be a good base for doing day trips and it worked out well. The host was lovely and the apartment was very clean and exactly as pictured. The location was great and we were right in the city centre. I think we basically walked in a 20 minute radius from where we were staying each day to get to restaurants, shops and the port!
What we ate
This was my longest trip since I went full on low-fodmap last year and I was quite nervous! However, Split turned out to be great food wise for me. Ten points for fodmap friendliness!
Being the over packer and planner that I am, I did take a fair amount of food with me. Since we checked a bag into the hold, my hand luggage was basically a tote bag full of food! For breakfast, I brought oat biscuits and muffins and I bought yogurt and fruit when we arrived. For lunch, I had a loaf of wheat-free bread and rice crackers. I got some cheese, tomatoes and salami in a local shop and made up a sandwich/rice cracker tower every morning. These did get increasingly unappetising as the week went on, but I was fed and my tummy was happy so I can’t complain really!
In the evening, eating out was so much easier than I expected. If you like fish, this is the place for you! Much like Grasmere, I ate a lot of sea bass. There was also a lot of gnocchi on the menus, another good fodmap friendly option. I didn’t find dishes to be particularly garlic or onion heavy either. A couple of places I’d recommend in particular are:
Toto’s Burger Bar – I had chicken and courgetti here one night which was a nice break from fish! Craig had a bit of food envy so we ended up going back later on in the week and I had prawns, also very tasty.
Step by Step – I had delicious sea bass here. I feel like I’ve eaten quite a lot of sea bass recently, and this was the best! However, the service was incredibly slow so go before you get too hungry.
Capo, Trogir – This one isn’t actually in Split, it’s in the nearby town of Trogir but I’ll pop it in anyway because Craig and I had some very tasty supersize salads here. I actually felt like a Kardashian (their salads are always huge!). Salad is often a last resort for me and it’s not often I’m raving about it, but this was genuinely delicious!
One thing we noticed was how popular ice cream was. In the evening, it seemed everyone had a cone in their hand! We found a couple of places which had sorbet including Luka which was brilliant. I love love love ice cream and this was some of the best I’ve had. Their menu changes weekly but it had a couple of sorbets each of the three times we went. If you can handle lactose, you can really go wild! Craig had an apple pie ice cream there and it was just incredible.
What we did
One of our main reasons for choosing Split was because we wanted to see the Krka National Park. It has the biggest waterfalls in Croatia and is the only national park where you can swim. We booked a bus excursion to get there when we arrived in Split with Daluma Travel. This was an air conditioned coach for about 50 people and included a guided tour upon arrival. We then had about three hours to explore by ourselves at our own pace. It suited us perfectly at only 23€ each, but if you’d prefer a smaller excursion there were plenty to choose from too. There were tour companies everywhere around the Palace advertising excursions so you can just have a wander.
Look how beautiful Krka is! I was amazed when we were driving there that there would be waterfalls- it seemed so dry! I was so impressed with how pretty and relaxing it was.
We had some beach time too. Split has a small beach near the port called Bavice. It was really crowded, and whilst it was nice it was probably my least favourite. We visited Zlatni Rat in Bol, on the island of Brač and we liked it so much we went back for a second day.
You can get a car ferry to Supetar on Brač, then take a bus to Bol. You can pick up timetables and buy tickets at the port and the buses are very close at the other end so it was actually very easy. I loved Bol and I’d definitely go back.
Another day we walked up the Marjan Hill. This was such a hot day. There were hardly any other people doing the same thing so it was lovely and peaceful, but they were possibly a lot more sensible than us going for a hike in thirty five degree heat!
The views over Split were pretty, once I’d cooled down in the shade enough to appreciate them. When we were walking down again a Segway tour whizzed past us. That seems a much better way to do it in the summer! We were looking for Bene beach to spend the afternoon, but I think it was further away than Craig (the navigator) had anticipated and I was actually getting worried about how little water we had left. We ended up walking down to Kasjuni Beach. It was a lot smaller and quieter than Bavice or Zlatni Rat and I’d definitely recommend it as an alternative to Bavice. I think all the beaches we went to were pebbly. Does anyone else prefer pebbly beaches? I would say to bring or buy some water shoes to look after your feet when you’re going in and out of the sea!
Split is surrounded by islands, and whilst it’s easy to get to Supetar on Brač the others have less frequent ferries. When I was researching things to do in Split I came across lots of speedboat excursions which would give you a chance to see multiple places in a day. We decided to book a trip with Blue Cave Travel as birthday presents to each other. This is the same logic that got us to Berlin last Christmas! I really like an ‘experience’ instead of a gift. I’m so glad we did this trip as we got to see loads which we wouldn’t have managed otherwise. It was a very busy day and I could easily do a whole post about it! We left Split at 8am on a speedboat and headed to the Blue Cave. There were twelve of us on the trip, and our boat looked much comfier than those we saw doing similar trips so I’d definitely recommend looking them up if you’re going. We then visited Stiniva Bay and the Green Cave, then stopped near Palminaza for some swimming and snorkelling. After that we headed to Hvar Town where we spent about three hours.
Plenty of time for exploring the beautiful little streets! Then we visited Milna on the island of Brač where we went for some olive oil and wine tasting before heading back to Split. A holiday highlight for me!
On our last day we took a bus to the nearby town of Trogir. It’s very small- I think I read it takes just fifteen minutes to walk the circumference of it!
It has really beautiful architecture and actually felt a bit like a real life museum. I think we were just there for a couple of hours but I’m glad we visited.
Split itself is lovely, very small and compact! In the evenings we wandered around the old streets near Diocletian’s Palace. One of the bars right next to the palace had live music in the evenings and it was fab just to sit on the steps and enjoy.
So, I think that about covers our trip to Split! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed our time there. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere, people were really friendly and the weather was fab. I’m glad we did what we did using Split as a base, but if I went back I’d like to spend a night or two in Split and then more time on the islands of Brač and Hvar. It definitely made me want to see Dubrovnik too, maybe as a city break in spring time?
My next holiday (and final, for this summer) is in Vilamoura in Portugal. I’m enjoying topping up my tan before getting back to reality!