The curse of travelling for this length of time is that you don’t always have time to properly look into all the destinations you are about to visit. Split on the Croatian Coast was one of those places. But, that was okay because after 103 days on the road, Split became the perfect place to simply veg out, take a dip and enjoy the sun!
A few things changed when we left Budapest. First of all, our initial plan was to visit Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a couple of days. However, all our travel research just didn’t give us the option of going directly to Mostar from Budapest. We would’ve had to make an overnight stop in Split, and then head directly to Mostar the following morning. Of course, we wanted to return back to Split after Mostar to spend a few more days. To make a long story short we ended up cancelling Mostar and just stayed an additional couple of days in Split.
The journey from Budapest to Split was long, 10 hours by bus. I should mention that we had a 45-minute changeover in Zagreb! 💕
The first morning in Split I woke up with flu-like symptoms. Maybe just tired or ate something bad, who knows ❓😕 Best to rest up!
By the following day, I was back to myself and my hubby made me Turkish coffee and pancakes.😊 By the way, we’ve been able to find Canadian maple syrup in all the countries we’ve been to so far. Nice treat!
Our first mission when we left the apartment that morning was to visit la p’tite nappe champêtre’, cousins. 🤣
It didn’t take us long to figure out Split and the vibe here. We had some gorgeous weather so it felt like being in a big sunny resort destination with some historical sites. Split has a long promenade along its waterfront with palm trees, turquoise water and lots of cruise ships and ferries taking tourists and locals alike to and from the islands. The locals told us that the city this time of year is beginning to come alive. We would agree now but early that morning you couldn’t tell!
Split has hundreds of restaurants and terraces beautifully set up to lure you right in.
After a couple of days, we started looking into doing a day trip to the island of Hvar. There are a few islands off the coastline in-between Dubrovnik and Split, but the only one that was of real interest to us was, Hvar.
Unfortunately this time of year the catamarans and ferries are not doing as many runs as they will do starting in May. The scheduling was becoming too complicated for just a one day trip.
So what next? A haircut and a little retail therapy is always nice. 😊 My Croatian hairstylist 💇♀️ told me that if I wanted to discover some really cool Croatian fashion brands, Krug was the place to go. She was right! This is a beautiful little boutique with Croatian brand clothing and accessories all made locally by Croatian designers.
After the shopping, it was definitely time for a treat! We heard about this cute little pastry shop called the O’š kolač pastry shop. The pastry chef, Tea Mamut has served people like Kate Hudson, Michael Douglas, and Roger Federer.
Ms. Mamut, we’re on our way!. 😊🍰
I knew when we got to the pastry shop entrance that I would love this place. It is cheerfully decorated in pastel colours of lime and pink to welcome you in. Make this your first stop in Split.😊
As you probably could guess, Split has many tourists. One morning we woke up early and decided to go visit some of this city’s historic sites before the tour groups arrived.
The Diocletian’s Palace is an ancient palace that was built for the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, at the turn of the 4th century AD. It’s incredible to think that this Palace dates back to the Roman Empire! What remains of it forms about half of the old town of Split. The remaining structure is huge although only parts of it are still intact. During the day, lot’s of activities for tourists take place in its square below. We were there early so it was pretty quiet.
Loved the pastel colours of Hotel Bellevue (below) in the center of Split.
Later that same morning before it got too warm out we decided to climb the Marjan Hill to get a view of the city. It was hazy morning so it was a bit difficult to make out the mountains in the distance.
There was an inviting restaurant at the top of the hill so after the hike up there why not have a second hearty breakfast with a view!😊
Yes, we confess we absolutely love European markets. So much variety and everything is fresh. In Split, they have a huge outdoor market called, Pazar. As you get close to it the colours and aromas of everything give you a clear indication that you have landed at the right place. Nothing can replace the local atmosphere that these markets provide with a look of all the regional specialties
In Split, we’ve been eating Paski Sir cheese . It’s made of sheep milk and has a distinctive flavour. I think we’ve become addicted to it!😊
Due to warmer temperatures in some of the places we’ve been too so far, we’ve been eating fresh local produce for several weeks now. We have been eating fresh strawberries every morning for several weeks.
We noticed a few colourful umbrellas in Split. Maybe a trend similar to Zagreb will develop here as well??
We visited Meštrović Gallery and would recommend this to anyone visiting Split. Ivan Meštrović Gallery is an art museum dedicated to the work of the 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. His pieces of art are quite impressive to see. His life story is interesting as well. The museum itself was actually his Villa, which he left to the Croatian people and in his deed as well he included 132 pieces of his artwork.
While in Split we stayed in an Airbnb called Jazzy apartment. Really nice, spacious, clean and jazzy. We’ve been very fortunate with our accommodations so far and this one did not disappoint us either.
In keeping with this apartment’s theme, we ended up checking out a few jazzy spots in Split. At Marvlvs Library Jazz Bar we found an interesting place to sip our coffee and browse through a collection of books with easy listening jazz music in the background. The owner is a poet and artist himself. Music groups and occasional literature evenings take place here. Check his place out.
Another cool spot for our luncheon date was Bokeria. The owner has a very good reputation for his two restaurants in Split. The first, Bokeria was inspired by La Boqueira Market in Barcelona. It’s a modern and stylish restaurant in the old part of the city and is well known for its excellent food, wine list, and service. We have to applaud all three, as it was exactly what we got there. I think we had the best Croatian wine right here, without even expecting it. We hope you’ll find this red wine on your travels to the Adriatic Coast, a 2012 Plavac Mali from Hvar Island. We must say all the Plavac wines we’ve tasted in Croatia have never disappointed us, but this one was special.
The owner of Bokeira opened his second place, Bokamorra two years ago. Everything about the Bokamorra’s space is divine. A chic pizza and cocktail bar/restaurant that is also comfortable enough to have a casual flair to it. We noticed a few young families enjoying a pizza lunch together. Nice to see that it caters to everyone.
We loved the plush, baby blue velvet booths. Oh yes, and there is a dazzling, gold-tiled pizza oven in the back of the restaurant which I didn’t get to photograph but it matches the beautiful bar upfront. A pretty snazzy place to eat pizza I’d say.
Well time to move on to our next destination. We are getting excited about our next 14 days in Istria as this is a destination that we have been looking forward too very much on this trip. Lonely Planet describes Istria as “the region offers some of Croatia’s best foodie experiences, from dining on fresh seafood and hunting for truffles, to tasting top-quality extra virgin olive oil and wines.”
We hope this will be what we find there.
What we enjoyed about Split –
1. We enjoyed seeing many locals going about their daily activities.
2. The beautiful warm breeze coming off the Adriatic sea.
3. A nice dip in the Adriatic sea. The water is so clear, it’s truly a paradise for swimming and cooling off.
4. The beautiful boutiques. 😊
5. Loved going through the maze of tiny little pedestrian streets and passages which are full of quaint bars, cafés & restaurants.
What we didn’t find here –
It’s Sunday evening and we are catching our next bus at 5am tomorrow morning heading to Rovinj. This will be another 10- hour bus ride.
Every morning we make sure that we log all our expenses from the day before. This trip is the first time we’ve been away for this amount of time and we wanted to ensure that we had a very good handle on all our daily expenses. This will hopefully assist us in the future when planning for our next trip. 😊
Bonne Nuit! 💤