Back in June, we jetted off to Croatia for a week of sun, relaxation and Games of Thrones location sightings. Which was bloomin’ marvellous!
We wanted to make the most out of our time so we split our week in half, spending the first few days in Dubrovnik and then spending our last 72 hours in Split, Croatia.
Everybody recommended beforehand that we head to Dubrovnik (and it was a great recommendation). But while most people spoke of Dubrovnik’s beauty and fun things to do, we actually preferred Split WAY MORE! If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, don’t miss Split off your list.
So what shall I do to make the most of my 72 hours in Split, Croatia?
First off, before you book your trip, here’s a couple of pointers…
If one of your party can drive then I would recommend hiring a car. It is so convenient for driving between places, saving you a lot of commuting time. There’s plenty of street parking around and you can get pretty cheap deals. This will also save you money when driving from the airport. A taxi from the airport to the centre of Split alone will cost you 40 euros. Whereas we paid just over 40 euros to hire a car for the WEEK.
Croatia is expensive, so be prepared to spend quite a lot on your food and drink. To avoid wasting your money in tourist traps with rubbish food, use good old Trip Advisor. We used it for restaurant recommendations and we were never disappointed!
If you find yourself in any kind of car trouble (like we did when someone slashed our tire in Dubrovnik), go to Auto Antonio. They were so helpful and fixed up our tire in next to no time. It also was really cheap and only cost us 70 kuna. Absolute lifesavers!
Obviously, take some time on your first day to wander around the main centre of Split. The main area is set within the ancient ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient building built for the Roman Emperor, Diocletian, at the turn of the fourth century AD.
Walk through the winding passages of the ancient palace, where you’ll walk past plenty of shops and restaurants. You will constantly discover new passages throughout your time there, and on a night time, they are buzzing with bars and candlelit restaurants. It is such a buzzing city!
On the other side of the city walls, there is a waterfront promenade with bars and restaurants. We had a lovely dinner and drinks at the Olive Tree restaurant on the promenade. Richard had a burger that he claimed was ‘the best he’d ever had’. I had a sea bass dish which was cooked beautifully (albeit pretty pricey). But hey, that’s Croatia!
It was the first world cup games when we were in Croatia, so obviously everywhere was showing the matches. We sat in a wine bar, La Bodega, in the middle of the city walls for a few drinks while watching the football and it was such an idyllic location. They also served cheese and meat boards, and we returned for a coffee another morning. It became our go-to wine bar.
I can not recommend enough that you need to visit Krka National Park while you are staying in Split. This is when your hire car comes in handy…
Approximately an hour’s drive out of Split centre, Krka National Park is an incredibly popular spot. There’s a reason for it!
For 110 kuna each (which is approximately £13 each) you can walk through the national park and down to Krka waterfall. You can swim in the waters and admire the stunning views from down below or up the mountains. Looking down over the waterfall and the valley has to be one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen.
After a day out paddling in the waters of Krka, head home to get freshened up because you need to head out for dinner with a view.
Climb the steps up the side of a cliff and stop halfway at Teraca Vidilica for dinner or drinks with a view of the whole of Split. You can either lounge on a small sofa or sit at a table, looking out over the stunning view. The restaurant feels very girly and romantic, with roses on the table and white tablecloths.
While the food was very nice, the main selling point of this restaurant is the view. Head up for sunset to get a truly beautiful sight of the pink skyline as it fades to night.
Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or just a history nerd, hop in your car and drive shortly out of Split to Kliss Fortress.
For 60 kuna each (£7 approximately), you can wander around the ruins of the ancient fortress that looks over Split and the surrounding towns and villages. You can partake in archery, play with the armoury and learn lots of history about the fortress and the people who lived there once upon a time.
The ruins have stunning views, just be sure not to lean over the edge if you don’t do well with heights. And Kliss Fortress has been used as a filming location in Game of Thrones so be sure to get your photo on ‘the steps’.
We went up at midday, so it was absolutely sweltering. Make sure you take a bottle of water up with you and keep reapplying sun cream. Otherwise, you’ll end up a very dehydrated lobster, due to how high up and unforgiving of the sun the fortress is.
If you want to cool off after a morning up the Fortress, head to the ‘beach’ in Split. Split doesn’t really have much of a beach, but there is a hidden area just past the harbour (with boats over to Hvar by the way). This is pretty much the biggest beach you will find, with water to swim in and floating slides to play on. There are also some bars so you can grab a beer at and relax by the water before you jump in.
For dinner, head back into Split and get yourself in at Bokeria. You know I said that Richard had ‘the best burger ever’ earlier in the trip? Well, he had an even better one here at Bokeria. I had a delicious, rich, seafood risotto and I could barely finish it. The food was beautiful.
If you fancy a relaxing end to your day out of the main centre, in a quiet backstreet I have the perfect tapas bar for you. We didn’t eat here, but I took myself off for a bit of quiet time and read my book with a glass of wine – and it was bliss.
Tapas & Wine Toc is hidden away in a back street a short walk from Diocletian’s Palace. Tucked away and surrounded by stone buildings, it is a beautiful little place. I can’t even tell you how tranquil it is; especially when compared to the buzzing promenade that is only a 5-minute walk away. You’ll feel like you’re in a little town, instead of a busy city.
72 hours in Split, Croatia…
…is definitely 72 hours well spent. You get the best of everything – a buzzing nightlife, natural beauty, a bit of history, and plenty of great places to eat and drink.
And in my personal opinion, it’s more fun than Dubrovnik!