We’ve been really bad bloggers lately and have been having far too much fun in the sun, enjoying a much needed summer break on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. But, we’re back now and we’re ready to tell you all about it!
We chose Croatia as a holiday destination having originally decided to go to Hideout festival. However, due to dates and availability we couldn’t actually make it for the festival but by then we’d heard so many great things about Croatia we decided to go anyway.
With our eyes shut and a finger on the map, we decide to stay in the historic, coastal town of Split.
Our apartment (owned by Dalmatian Villas) was so adorable. With authentic green shutters, exposed brick and charming features, we were in the heart of Split and just a short walk away from the Diocletian Palace; the world’s most complete and best preserved remains of a Roman palace, holding an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.
The exterior walls of the palace hide a maze of narrow alley ways and cobbled streets, each bustling with lively restaurants and bars, so not only was it easy to get lost in there for hours, but it meant that there was always something new to discover. We spent a lot of time exploring these walls and had even more fun finding new restaurants to eat in, sampling everything they had to offer.
Split’s large harbour welcomes many cruise ships and acts as gateway to many of the Dalmatian islands so you always have something to do. Either hop on a ferry or charter a boat to visit the stunning beaches and equally as picturesque towns. For sunbathing visit Brac and head to Bol for the most stunning beach. In fact, Zlatni Rat in Bol is ranked in the worlds top 10 most beautiful beaches (according to a number of online travel portals including Lonely Planet). One look at the soft pebbly beach and crystal clear waters and it’s easy to see why.
Of course, a trip to the nudist beach is essential and it’s only right that you look the part.
If you enjoy fresh sea food then Croatia is for you – every restaurant offers fresh fish caught that day. We regularly gorged on seafood pastas which were delicious AND generously portioned. With Italy just across the water there is a strong Italian influence in Croatian cooking too.
Not only does Croatia offer a rich history, breath-taking scenery and phenomenal food but it also has nightlife for those who enjoy partying into the early hours of the morning. With hundreds of bars in the Palace and along the Riva, and lots of late night clubs lining Split’s Bocvice beach, you can find the perfect spot to enjoy drinks, dancing and the diverse crowd that Croatia attracts. Every night we found ourselves surrounded by groups from all over the world – Canada, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia etc. Split seems like a hub for 20 something travellers exploring Europe but you also find a mature crowd among the revelers.
On our final day in Croatia we decided to charter a boat, befriend our skipper Mario and explore more of what Croatia had to offer. In one day we visited Milna in Brac, Hvar’s main city and the Pakleni Islands. We docked at each island and spent some time learning about it’s history, admiring the stunning buildings and filling up on deliciously creamy gelato and fresh, chilled figs (a local delicacy).
We even managed to climb the steepest hill known to man in the searing heat, to see the 7th century Spanish Fortress at the top and marvel the amazing view of the city of Hvar, below.
Feeling the heat from sunbathing on the bow of the boat we decided to anchor in a bay belonging to the beautiful Pakleni Islands and dive into the crystal clear turquoise water to cool off. The afternoon was spent with in and out of the water to the sounds of the iPod playing from the boat. Bliss!
Currency: Euros or Kuna – Croatia’s local currency
Activities: Lots to see and plenty to do in and around Split. 9/10
Beach: The main beach in Split is a local beach so isn’t anything spectacular. However, travel over to the island of Brac and head to Zlatni Rat in Bol – voted as one of the top 10 best beaches in the world. 10/10
Food: Mainly seafood with a heavily mediterranean influence. 9/10
Value for money: We took Kuna over Euros and this seemed to work out cheaper as it’s the local currency. Everything is ridiculously cheap so you definitely get value for money. 9/10
All in all Split gets a whopping 9 out of 10. With no preconceptions of Croatia we didn’t know what to expect. However, we have returned with a fondness for the former Yugoslavia and a longing to return immediately. We would highly recommend it as a holiday destination for couples, families or groups of friends because there’s something for everyone.