Split was initially included in our Slovenia and Croatia itinerary out of convenience. It’s the main transit point for ferries from the mainland to the islands and is a bustling city and port. But it’s also worth visiting in it’s own right. The ‘old town’ of the city is built within an ancient palace, Diocletian (the Roman emperor)’s retirement palace to be exact. The remains of the palace are full of ancient temples, tiny streets, hidden shops and restaurants and miniscule bars.
The waterfront is lively as well, with bars and restaurants lining the waterfront and boats hawking day trips to the many visible off shore. We had an awesome dinner at Bokeria, on the recommendation of Erin @ Oregon Girl Around the World. The food and wine were delicious, and the décor was fun as well. We followed that with a drink at Luxor, where you can actually sit and watch live music in the ruins of an ancient palace.
Then came the choice where our evening took a more interesting turn. To Je Tako was our next stop, where we sat outside enjoying Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian craft beers. We got started chatting with the American and his Croatian friend next to us, turns out he’s the expat who owns the bar. This was followed by shots provided by the restaurant across the alley of traditional Croatian moonshine… it was a great night but the morning that followed was a bit rough…
We woke up at 7 am for our 7:45 am boat ride and 5 island tour. We didn’t realise that our hotel desk didn’t open until 8 am and only took cash. Let’s just say it was a stressful start and next time we’ll pre-pay at check in. Fortunately, bakeries line the waterfront and coffee and breakfast pastries were found before boarding our boat tour.
The Blue Cave was the first stop, and we waited on the island for about a half hour before getting in the small boat to the cave. The way the light is reflected into the cave, it appears that the water is glowing! Really cool!
Our final desitination was Hvar, where we departed the ship and wandered uphill to find our Airbnb, far above old town. We had prearranged with our 5 island tour to end our tour on Hvar, rather than taking the ferry. It worked out to be a good way to do it, and although the Blue Cave was cool, I don’t know that I’d recommend the tour as most of your time is spent on a boat, not exploring the places advertised.
Read about our other adventures in Croatia and Slovenia: