Look at a map of Croatia. It’s like a big boomerang across the Adriatic from Italy. Head to the southern end along the sea. This is Dalmatia. And it is lovely. At the center of Dalmatia is the town of Split. It sits as the starting point for visits to the surrounding string of islands off shore. The Dalmatian Islands pull visitors from all over the world to their crystal blue waters.
But don’t jump on that ferry so fast. Stay. Linger awhile. There are many lovely reasons to not skip Split. We loved it.
11 Reasons to Not Skip Split | Croatia
1. FIND HISTORY AT Diocletian’s Palace
Split is 17 centuries old and you can see this history through the ages best at Diocletian’s Palace. Even if you aren’t an ancient Roman history buff and don’t care much for old emperors, you will be hard pressed to miss the Palace. The walls encircle the old city and give it a weighty sense of time.
2. MARVEL AT THE CATTEDRALE DI SAN DOMINO
The beautiful Romanesque bell tower of the Cattedrale di San Domino sits like a beacon in the middle of Split. Climb to the top for stunning views over the city, the surrounding seaside and all those orange tile roofs.
3. CLIMB THE BELL TOWER AT SUNSET
Warning: the climb might be a little scary for those with height issues. But the view from the top is worth the small price. Views out to the Riva and the Harbor and Park Marjan in the distance.
4. TAKE A STROLL on the RIVA
The Riva is the beautiful walking and cafe area along Split’s waterfront. It is most people’s first impression of the city. Find a beach and smell the salt air, but don’t eat here unless you are limited on time. These restaurants cater to tourists.
5. EAT fresh seafood AT A KONOBA
Croatian food is delicious. Being a coastal town, there is, of course, lots of seafood on the menus. Sit outside at a cafe in the Pjaca, or People’s Square. Or better yet, try the black risotto at a local Konoba.
6. SOAK UP THE SLOW LIFE ON THE PJACA | THE PEOPLE’S SQUARE
Walk through the winding alleys of Diocletian’s Palace and you’ll find yourself in the Pjaca. Familiarly known as the people’s square it is constantly bustling and full of life.
7. Wander the Waterfront
Down from the Riva, a harbor beckons. Take a walk along the water. Classic Croatian fishing boats line the way.
8. BASK IN THE SUN AT BAČVICE
A 10-minute walk from the old town and you can be at Bačvice Beach. A wide, flat shallow and sandy bay is perfect for littles. Or make your way down the pier and rent a lounger. Cold beverages and ice cream from the string of cafés can keep you fueled while soaking up the sun.
9. MAKE YOUR WAY TO MARJAN PARK
Just out of town and worthy of a hike is the beautiful Marjan peninsula. Swim clubs and beach cafés along the water make the effort worth it.
10. Meet the Locals
11. SWIM IN THE SEA
The water stays warm here until into the fall. The Adriatic Sea is lovely.
So stay. In Split. And see for yourself. It is a perfect place to start.
Fun underwater discovering Scuba with Blue Planet Dive Center | Dubrovnik Croatia
Come under the sea. The Adriatic Sea with my family and me as we discover Scuba Diving for the first time, all five of us together. What a perfect first experience for our two youngest. My husband and I have been certified for many years, it was kind of a requisite entry card to be part of my family at the time. My parents liked diving and took us many wonderful places in our young adulthood. I have wanted to share the mystery and amazement of the underwater world with my children for awhile. As lovers of snorkelling, they were ready and eager.
You guys. Have you been to Croatia? You have? Then you know. Seriously. That place. It’s amazing. Why didn’t anyone tell me? Just kidding. I’ve been reading, following, tracking and stalking about a million feeds on travel in Croatia for a couple years. I will admit that when we decided as a family that YES, we were ok with moving to Denmark and trying this living abroad thing, we started doing a little collective wanderlust wish-listing. All of those places that would be easier to explore from our future base in Copenhagen.
My middle son and I did that a lot. When sitting down at night to tuck him in. (He’s a teenager now – we don’t “tuck in” per se anymore – but a goodnight check in – everything cool kind of gig now – that I still cherish.) But backtrack with me, while we were still in Oregon two years ago, waiting ad nauseum for employment contract negotiations to work themselves out. He and I would sit and scour through Google images of where we’d like to visit. What we’d like to see. How many things we’d love to do. We still do.
It was before we even moved to Europe that we knew Croatia had to be on our list. The short list. We had to go there. I just didn’t realize how much I WOULD LOVE IT. I know. I know. I say that about a TON of places. But I haven’t been this taken or mesmerized. Constantly awed and engaged by a single place. By a whole country. Croatia is freaking beautiful. Did you already know that? You’ve been there haven’t you. If you’ve been – you do. If you haven’t – look it up immediately. Everything you could want. I will have lots of posts to share soon to try to convince you to check it out if you haven’t already. And we didn’t even see the whole country – there is so much more to explore. I wanna go back! Like now.
I want to thank everyone who joined last week’s Faraway Files #3 – we had a bunch of beautiful and truly inspiring posts. Keep ’em coming! You guys rock. Seriously there were some posts about rocks. Beautiful ones! Here are some of my favorites – for different reasons. It was difficult to whittle this week! So many good contributions!
Emma from Bavarian Sojourn took us to an Almabtrieb in the Italian Dolomites and I was charmed, intrigued and entertained. How colorful and charming are these cows? And her descriptions of the goats passing “…like a gaggle of arguing children on a school trip,” was perfection. Thanks Emma!
Hilary from HilaryStyle played tourist in her own backyard, which is easy to do in her home Southern California. She took us to somewhere close to my family’s heart – Huntington Gardens in San Marino, California. As it turns out – my Mother-in-law was a docent at the art museum there and I have heard stories of the beautiful Japanese Gardens for YEARS. Thank you Hilary for putting it back on my wish list! Good family fun in a gorgeous setting.
From West Coast to East Coast – let’s visit city by the sea Portland, Maine with Corey of Fifi + Hop. The “other Portland” to this Oregon Girl – I loved seeing the similarities and differences between the two bi-coastal Portlands. “Families as much as hipsters enjoy visiting Portland,” … “whether you’re into the outdoors, the arts or excellent food, Portland has something for everyone.” Sound like Portlandia? In Oregon? Haha! I KNOW! But check out her post to see how the Maine Portland distinguishes itself in the most New England-y of ways.
And last, but definitely not least is this stunning post about Skelling Michael – an island off the coast of Kerry, Ireland by Different Shores Blog. The images are the most swoon worthy this week (IMHO) and despite the somewhat terrifying looking paths that one must traverse, I just might try it! Just to see those views and those puffins! Check it out.
Special mention goes to #FarawayFiles newcomer A Nesting Nomad – her post about a train trip from Chicago, IL to Seattle, WA (that is a LONG WAY PEEPS) was not only charming and amusing, but informative – keep it up!
So where are you taking us this week? What will you add to the growing collection of #FarawayFiles? This week, I’m taking you back to Madrid. Spain. Come along for the ride – don’t have a post this week? You can still engage with this growing travel community. Just read some of the linked posts to see where might pique your wanderlust this week… Here’s how to read along and link your own travel posts:
This is the place to link up your travel posts every Thursday. Faraway Files is a weekly file of the best travel ideas on the web. We want to dream of faraway places, to make new travel plans and share our travel secrets. Inspire us to travel to places we’ve never considered before or revisit a place we thought we knew. We know that you can feel faraway even when you’re close to home so share your experiences of travels near and far wherever you are in the world.
We’d love you to join us in building a really supportive community who will inspire and share each other’s posts. All three of us will try to read and comment on every post and we’ll share them on social media too. Each week we’ll choose our favourites and highlight them on our blogs and social media channels using #FarawayFiles.
How it works:
Link up one travel-related post and add the Faraway Files badge onto the post or your blog (code below) or link back to the hosts.
The link up will go live every Thursday at 8am, UK time (9am, CET) until midnight on Friday. It will alternate between Untold Morsels, Suitcases and Sandcastles and Oregon Girl around the World. This week’s link up is right here at Untold Morsels. Head on over there and add your post!
Link ups work best if everyone shares so please comment on all three of the hosts’ posts and at least one other.