There is nothing better than Split in the summer, the jewel-bright ocean, the cool sea breeze, and the bustling city center. It is no wonder Split has become a popular tourist destination. However, if you can put up with the crowds, Split offers a magical combination of beach break and historical and cultural attractions.
The old town dates back to the 4th Century when the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace by the sea. However, most of Split Old Town was built in between the 11th and 14th Century. While many of the buildings are now shops and boutique hotels, due to UNESCO World Heritage, the exteriors of the Old Town buildings are still the original brick and red tile. Wandering around the Old Town is a great way to spend the morning in Split. Take a walking tour so you can learn a little bit about the history of the city. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, there are walking tours which take you to some of the filming locations.
When the summer sun becomes too much, stop into one of the fascinating museums to escape the heat. The Split Live Museum shows visitors how the Romans used to live when Split was part of the Roman Empire. Split is also home to Croatia’s oldest museum, the Split Archaeological Museum which displays Medieval and early Christian art which was unearthed during archaeological digs.
Being a coastal country, Croatian food is based heavily around seafood with Mediterranean influences. Olive oil also plays a major role in Croatian cuisine and is often used as a dressing. Fresh pasta and rice also feature heavily in Croatian cuisine. While the restaurants in the marina have wonderful open air terraces, for traditional food at local prices, head to the outskirts of the old town to the more residential areas. Here, tucked among the winding alleyways you will find local haunts at much more reasonable prices.
A visit to Split wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t visit one of the beautiful beaches. Many of the beaches in Croatia are pebbly, and this section of coastline is no different. Bačvice beach is the only sandy beach close to the city center and is, therefore, one of the most popular beaches. If you want to nab a sunbed and parasol, you will have to get there early. You have to rent them, but they are a reasonable price. Kaštele beach, 20 minutes walk from the Old Town is a little quieter, it attracts more of a local crowd, so there are no sunbeds. This one is a pebbly beach, but the pebbles are smaller, and the water is calm enough for swimming. In the middle of summer, the water is lovely and warm, but it can be quite cold in spring or the start of summer.
The best time to go to Croatia is during spring or summer when the weather is warm, and there is a low likelihood of rain. If you are planning to go swimming, summer is best as the water will be warm. Weather in summer is on average high 20s and early 30 degree Celsius.
Croatian is the main language spoken in Croatia; however, Bosnian and Serbian are also widely spoken because of their proximity. Because of the tourism boom, English is spoken by most Croatians.
VOYA’S FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT INCLUDE
One of the most popular things to do in Split is to visit Diocletian’s palace. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in the 4th Century AD by a Roman Emperor. It is an impressive building and was used as a filming site for Game of Thrones. It is one of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture in the world. Today only parts of the palace are open to tourists. Much of the building has been adapted into private apartments and boutique hotels.
Another popular thing to do is go island hopping from Split. There are numerous levels of service offered on island hopping tours, everything from big tour groups to private speedboats which include drinks and gourmet lunch. However, getting out on the water and getting a glimpse at the neighboring islands, Hvar, and the Blue Cave. Do some research to see which islands you want to see as some itineraries vary slightly. It is also worth noting that some itineraries may change on the day due to weather.
VOYA'S FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY INCLUDE
The Hotel Marvie is a 25-minute walk from the center of Split. It is a large modern hotel with a rooftop infinity pool and sea facing rooms with balcony. There is also a spa including an indoor pool, Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, whirlpool tub, and a fitness center. The therapists specialize in physical therapy and dermatology. The hotel restaurant serves a range of local seafood, risotto, and pasta dishes alongside a domestic wine list.
The Vestibul Palace Hotel is located right in the center of Split, and its eleven rooms and restaurants are spread over two historic buildings. It is located in one of the city center’s brick buildings and the common areas of the hotel feature exposed brick. All of the rooms come with Molten Brown bath products and an Android phone with free calls to the EU. The hotel staff are discreet as this boutique property often attracts celebrities. There is also a speedboat and skipper that guests can rent to go island hopping for a day.
VOYA'S FAVOURITE DISHES TO TRY
Crni rižot is a popular traditional Croatian risotto made of seafood such as mussels, clams, squid, or cuttlefish. Squid ink gives the dish its striking black color. It is perfect in summer paired with a crisp white wine.
Rozata is a traditional dessert which dates back to the Middle Ages. A custard pudding is made out of eggs, milk, lemon zest, rose liqueur and sugar and then baked in a caramel-covered ramekin. It is a fresh summer dessert that you will find in most local restaurants.