So last week, I continued my writings about Croatia.
If you’re just joining, this is what you missed:
- How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!
- 10 reasons why Zagreb is a family destination – A great place for teenagers!
At the beginning of our journey, I told you that this trip was a family holiday along the coast of Croatia.
We had planned just ten (10) days – three (3) days in Zagreb, three (3) days in Split, and four (4) days in Dubrovnik.
Isn’t it thrilling?
It was better than I ever hoped.
I would love to be able to write loads more about Zagreb, but that would take me months!
So sadly, we have to move on to:
I absolutely loved Split!
And it seems that I just can’t resist putting in some sort of reference in connection to Game of Thrones.
I’m a freak!
LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!
Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia!
It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is a link to numerous Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula.
Split is one of the oldest cities in the region and considered to be slightly over 1,700 years old, founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in 295 A.D!
It later became the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, otherwise known as Salona, and thereafter, a Byzantine city.
In the 10th and 11th centuries, Split came under the rule of the Croatian kings.
In the 12th century, it became a free commune under the Hungarian-Croatian king, and by the 15th century, the medieval free commune was replaced by the Venetian administration until the 18th century!
In the 19th century, Split was entangled with Napoleon and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Italy, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the ex – Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and finally, as an important part of an independent Croatia!
WHY GO TO SPLIT?
Split is a great little place.
It’s also the imperial city with a huge palace that was built by the Roman Emperor – Gaius Valerius Aurelius Diocletian – in 295-350 A.D. In fact, the palace is the city of Split!
The transformation of the palace into the town began in the 7th century, and is very Mediterranean in feel and pace.
There are little town squares, al fresco restaurants, palm trees, open-air markets, and classical seating under the arms and guises of historical buildings.
Everywhere you move is connected to the historic core, such that the historic town of Split and the Palace, is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site!
Not only that, but I was hugely impressed that Split was not just a town full of old bones and ruins, but that the city is actually growing out of the palace!
The market stalls are made from the bricks, the flea-markets are on the promenade, the restaurants are under the huge Roman columns, and the city gates are romantic meeting points, and places where everybody “hangs out!”
There’s a reason that I spend a lot of time travelling to old parts of Europe.
I like traditions.
And I like history.
And I really like the town of Split.
I was in awe!
I even managed to get myself a couple of Roman soldiers!
TAKE ME THERE?
It’s not possible to fly non-stop from Berlin, so we flew with Lufthansa, via Munich on the way in, and Austrian Airlines, via Vienna, on the return leg.
Our outward journey from Berlin Tegel (TXL) to Zagreb (ZAG) with a stop-over, took 6 hours and 20 minutes. Our return journey from Dubrovnik with a stop-over, took just 4 hours.
However, you don’t even need to fly, as you can either take a cruise ship in from the Mediterranean States, a ferry from Italy, take a bus-coach from anywhere you like, or simply rent a car and drive from Austria or Slovenia!
Note: There’s a tiny little train station in Split, but it isn’t very regular so you’re better off by road!
If you’re on a tight budget then many bus-coach companies such as MeinFernbus / FlixBus also go to Croatia. But do be aware that the fastest routes are usually only sold in Croatia itself.
My husband – The Music Producer – doesn’t like driving on holiday, so we decided to use the coach-bus between Zagreb – Split.
Zagreb – Split was a straight-forward ride, and took 6 hours and 20 mins. Cost: €24.00 per person.
IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?
But it can be a little tight as Split is tiny.
In fact, there were very few tourists around as it wasn’t yet “the season,” and many a restaurant were luring customers in with 10% discounts.
But in the summer, prepare to gird your loins, and fight your way through!
Zagreb is the capital city in Croatia, and it’s very small!
Split is even smaller, and receives up to 3,000 guests per cruise ship, in the summer!
I can’t imagine where they would put them, but it won’t be pretty!
Having said that, if that’s the only time that you can travel, don’t let anything get in your way, as most cruise visitors are only in town for half a day, so the evenings will all be yours!
WHAT IS SPLIT LIKE?
We were only there for 3 days, but we could have stayed for an extra day, making it four (4).
It’s of historical and architectural interest, the seafood and wine is impressive, and the waters are clean, green-blue, and crystal clear.
You simply can’t go wrong!
I DON’T SPEAK CROATIAN.
Neither do I!
It’s amazing how many languages a typical European speaks.
Most speak a minimum of three (3)!
If you speak German, Italian or Korean, you’re good to go.
Besides, everyone pretty much speaks English too!
AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?
Ha! Ha! Not unless you really want to!
I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Split isn’t cheap-cheap, but if you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips.
And the seafood is marvellous!
We pretty much spent a large amount of time drinking lots of wine, whilst people watching. And a few more!
And on this trip, we decided to book apartments instead of hotels or hostels.
We had great difficulty with personal space in Madrid last year, as The Tall Young Gentleman has recently turned 15 (OMG!), and is very tall. We decided to either book two (2) hotel rooms, or a large apartment instead.
Prices are low, and the quality and standard of apartments available, is exceedingly high. I’ll write more about it in the next few weeks!
Book ahead to get good prices.
I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?
Too many to write at the moment.
More next week!
WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?
All of Croatia is pretty small, so every city we visited was quite walkable.
Cars are not allowed into the Old Town!
For the day-to-day, the locals used some sort of cart!
The best way to see Split is to simply walk.
We were lucky to get a private customised city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board who paired us with an expert guide called Dino Ivančić.
Dino was lovely & so, very funny!
In fact, Dino is a bit of a local star himself. Not only is he a qualified expert historian, but his Split – Croatia roots (not his hair. Ho! Ho!) go back more than 1,000 years! And he’s a hit with journalists & bloggers from all over the world!
I was interested in getting the low-down on Game of Thrones.
I know. I know!
And he very kindly obliged, showing us not only the Roman remains, but also where bits of the series was filmed.
I was so excited, running around and pointing out where the former Slave-Masters got stabbed to pieces, Grey Worm and the Unsullied got attacked, and Ser Barristan Selmy was murdered by the Sons of the Harpy, in the streets of Meereen!
About historical culture of course!
We really got a wonderful insight into the people and history of Split, and fantastic guidance around the world heritage that is the Diocletian Palace.
Thank you so much!
Split has nothing at all to do with a banana!
Split is superb!
It has astonishing culture, and the sea is gorgeous.
Because, Game of Thrones!
And there be Dragons!
WOULD I COME AGAIN?
All the way!
The city of Split is a living monument, alive and brimming with history.
I can’t wait to visit again.
Let’s do it!
Where we stayed: Luxury Guest House Roman Horizon – We paid just €45.00 per night however, there was a mix-up in the apartment that we booked, and the apartment that we received. I booked a huge apartment with a communal roof-top terrace, and got a studio instead!
It was border-line uncomfortable for 3 people. I’m still trying to settle our differences on whether the description quoted was wrong, or whether I misunderstood the description!
UPDATE! I’ve sent in my thoughts to booking.com who were great. It seems that some other guests had the same complaint! However, to be fair, the apartment would have been fantastic for TWO (2) people rather than for three (3)!
My recommendation: A great apartment for two (2) people (and a small child) only.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SPLIT IN CROATIA – BRING OUT THE DRAGONS!
This article is not sponsored and even though we received a complimentary city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board, all opinions and the delightful ruins and lakes that we strolled through, are my very own!
In May, I’ll be writing more about Croatia, and visiting Sweden!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in May, you’ll miss all the fun!
May is going to be exhilarating!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!