So many people we speak to say that Croatia is their favourite place in Europe, so we decided we’d better finally get over there to check it out! We decided a week in Split was a good starting point!
Split carries its tourism well, the whole waterfront in front of the ancient Palace of Diocletian is bars and restaurants, and the harbour is filled with sailing Croatia type boats full of young revellers, but it handles this very well, and the whole atmosphere feels alive and happy.
Our week was made up of lots of sun, nice wine, decent easy food and a whole lot of the salty sea!
On arrival, we headed straight from our apartment into the Old Town and to the waterfront for our typical first evening stroll to get our bearings, find a Pina Colada and decide what our game plan for the next day would be.
After a drink, we checked out Bačvice beach which we had heard was the only sandy beach around. All the locals play Picigin here (due to the sand I guess) a ball game played in shallow water where the ball is essentially batted around a group with the aim to keep it in the air! There are balls flying everywhere! The sea here isn’t the beautiful crystal clear colour that we enjoyed everywhere else and it’s also not particularly relaxing so we just had a quick toe dip and headed off to find dinner.
We spotted a Mexican style restaurant on a side street in a pretty lane as we strolled back towards the Old Town which looked promising but quiet so decided to keep wandering and see what else we liked to look of, but returned after not too long and were lucky to nab the last table!
We spent the next full day on Marjan Hill checking out its beaches, with Kazjuni and Bene marked out as key places to stop and not much more of a plan we headed off to find coffee to fuel our hiking.
Marjan hill is a beautiful place, very lush and green with loads of walking trails and people out and about exercising. We enjoyed a satisfying walk and fabulous views before heading to our first beach.
Kazjuni has beach loungers and a bar with service to your chairs and umbrellas and is a very pretty spot! There isn’t a whole lot of shoreline and it’s very pebbly so you’re best bet is one of the loungers which you can hire but it may feel a bit expensive unless you are staying for a while longer than we did.
We ended up at Bene for lunch, which has a completely different feel to Kazjuni, more a lakeside vibe, with no loungers etc, but a very relaxed restaurant with tables outside serving pizza, fries, beer and wine. By the time we had wandered home along the coastal path, we were pretty tired and heavily sunned so a refreshing shower was in order before heading back into the old town for the evening, which was just as lovely on night two. We did see someone get mugged that evening in the old town while standing around the old tower, and then a bit of an altercation as they tried to get it back. We are always careful but relaxed with our things as we travel so it was a bit of a reminder to keep my hand over my bag as we walked around in crowded areas.
For our second day in Split, we wanted to explore one of the islands, I had a very good feeling about Šolta so we hopped on a ferry and arrived in the most gorgeous little village, it felt really quaint and incredibly laid back.
After coffee and ice cream, we headed off around the little island on foot looking for a little spot bay we had found on the map, it was pretty hot and we were relieved to get there and find a private spot to ourselves! We had loaded up with snacks and drinks and were able to base ourselves here for a few hours of swimming! Definitely make a day for visiting Šolta if you’re in Split and make sure you take a walk beyond the pretty village to explore further, we felt like the only people around for quite a while!
Brač was the other island we spent a day exploring, this time, asBrač is quite large, we hired a scooter to zip about. We had heard about the famous beach of Bol, which is known as the Golden Horn and wanted to see it but expected it to be quite crowded, so we made a beeline for their first to arrive early and have time to head off to other places.
It was nice, far too busy, not somewhere we would have enjoyed staying for long. We went for a quick dip spent about 30 minutes sunning ourselves and before hopped back on the scooter in search of somewhere a little less crowded.
We’d read about Surmartin – a little fishing village and headed back across the island to check it out. It was a great choice! Super quiet, ice cream and food shops, a lovely little bay and best of all, lots of big smooth rocks to perch on and jump into the ocean from!
Michael zipped into the village and grabbed us lunch to eat on our perch and we spent hours here enjoying the most amazing coloured water and peaceful surroundings.
After a few hours we jumped back on the scooter and made a few more stops at bays we’d see on the map and enjoyed exploring as many coves and beaches as possible before heading back to return to bike and have a drink whilst we waited for the ferry back to Split, totally sunned out and happily exhausted!
That night we booked into an amazing restaurant, called Galerija Food, in the Old town on Split, which we’d totally recommend especially for anyone with any dietary requirements, it has its only little beautiful outdoor area where you sit and soak up the surroundings.
On our final day in Split, we decided to jump on a tour and go to the famous blue lagoon, when we got there, it wasn’t very blue and very busy! It was quite a cloudy morning, and so I suspect if you get a really clear day you’d get to see the blue water. Luckily, the speed boats also sped us over to check out the town of Trogir, which as you can see has a beautifully preserved old town with Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque buildings.
But our favourite part of this day was lunch, or rather, the location! We speed back to Solta, and were taken to a fabulous restaurant which was set on the hillside, with the tables laid out cascading down the terraced hill, serving mostly a boat and yachtie clientele, (as otherwise, it may be hard to find) we moored up and the staff help us off and then we were able to find a seat, order food and drink and swim whilst you were waiting then eat dripping wet when you saw your food coming to your table!
After lunch, we jumped back on the boats, raced across the ocean to Split, hopped off the boat and hailed the closest taxi and headed straight to the airport! It was probably the most fabulous way we’ve ever finished off a holiday!