WELCOME TO SPLIT CROATIA

We always look forward to our Summer excursions, especially when we are about to journey to an unknown territory. We had read several articles on the beauty of Croatia, so we got busy with a little research, and off we went...and so happy we decided to explore this seafront promenade.

First stop: Split

First stop: Split

Split, Croatia is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, centered on the Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian. Surrounded by mountains and sea, Split has it all: Roman ruins, shops, and fantastic restaurants! 

Stroll along the promenade and you'll find plenty of areas to relax and appreciate the history along with a breth-taking view.

 Watching the city wake up on my morning run.

Every stone-paved path you turn on is more exciting than the next. We followed the voices and stumbled on this courtyard of incredible singers.

It's magical, mystical and you feel as if you're on the back lot of a movie set. The stone changes color as the sun begins to set, you will find an abundance of little restaurants at every turn, every corner. It's hard to decide where to park yourself for a meal. We found the places on the inside were the best, always look for a few locals and you can usually find an authentic experience, and fewer tourist. 

 Croatia grows an abundance of Lavander. Oils, lotions, and potions were available everywhere, and we found scarves...(my favorite) and their Olive Oil was incredible!  Make sure you wear a shoe that has a rubber sole. The first time I stepped out in my flat sandals, I almost had a close encounter with the stone floor! All of Croatia is paved with these stones, so FYI wear rubber soles. It's fairly casual so you can save your favorite heels for another location. The shoes I'm wearing in the photo, I purchesad in Capri. They are perfect for walking around day or night. They're no too high, and very comfy. Most importantly...no slipping! You can find them on Amazon. Made by Toni Pons.  (you can shop the post below)

 

Diocletian's Palace, a Unesco World Heritage site dating back to A.D. 295, and a recent film location for "Game of Thrones"  The "palace" is a mini-city of its own. There are more that 200 buildings and 3,000 residents within an eight-acre enclosed space. At night you can listen to beautiful music as you wander the streets.

Welcome to BOKERIA - The best restaurant in Split.

BOKERIA was recommended to us from a friend. The owner and manager and yes, you might find him in the kitchen... is Luka. He's from Split, attended UCLA, played water-polo and moved back to open up the BEST restaurant in Split. We had several meals there and a water and coffee break. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A favorite for the locals.

The interior is stunning. Bokeria was inspired by the La Boqueira market in Barcelona. It's modern and classy design, shelves lined with beautiful wine bottles and liquor. The flowers change daily, thanks to the daily market up the way, and you can experience a great vibe plus the service was excellent.

The interior is stunning. Bokeria was inspired by the La Boqueira market in Barcelona. It's modern and classy design, shelves lined with beautiful wine bottles and liquor. The flowers change daily, thanks to the daily market up the way, and you can experience a great vibe plus the service was excellent.

A large chandelier hangs from a chain in the middle of the room and extends over two floors. You'll have the choice of Mediterranean meals and the menu is decided based on the season and the fresh, organic vegetables available. It's right in the center, just ask anyone "where is Bokeria" and you'll be sent through the city maze and land upon a real gem! Be sure to make a reservation, It's the most popular spot in Split. (+385-21) 35 55 77) Ask for Luka, tell him your friends from Los Angeles sent you...the other Luca (Norton)

A large chandelier hangs from a chain in the middle of the room and extends over two floors. You'll have the choice of Mediterranean meals and the menu is decided based on the season and the fresh, organic vegetables available. It's right in the center, just ask anyone "where is Bokeria" and you'll be sent through the city maze and land upon a real gem! Be sure to make a reservation, It's the most popular spot in Split. (+385-21) 35 55 77) Ask for Luka, tell him your friends from Los Angeles sent you...the other Luca (Norton)

 

One of our favorite activities when traveling is renting a boat. We love cruising along, making stops along the way, and of course jumping in. What makes this city so charming is not just it's beaches and rocky coves of nearby islands, but it's the breathtaking tranquil blue sea. 

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

You can see all the way to the bottom, it's the same temperature as the South of France, so it's a bit chilly and it feels perfect the minute you take the plunge. 

Don't forget to bring your own goggles or purchase some. You're swimming in the salty sea, besides it's exciting to see every little creature under the sea. Vitamin A Swimwear  / Cressi Goggles (click on links below for shopping)

 Restaurant - DVOR  overlooking the sea. A popular game called Picigin - It's a traditional ball game from Split, that is played on the beach. It's an amateur sport played in shallow water consisting of players keeping a tiny ball from touching the water, and you must wear a Speedo.

DVOR - Another popular restaurant on the water, located outside of the village. It's about a 25-minute walk or a 5-minute taxi ride. We decided to stay in the village for our meals, but it's worth the walk to relax on the patio and observe in the guys playing Picigin.

DVOR - Another popular restaurant on the water, located outside of the village. It's about a 25-minute walk or a 5-minute taxi ride. We decided to stay in the village for our meals, but it's worth the walk to relax on the patio and observe in the guys playing Picigin.

 Outside Patio at DVOR while watching a game of Picigin (and they get CRAZY playing this game) it's so fun to watch.

 Outside Patio at DVOR while watching a game of Picigin (and they get CRAZY playing this game) it's so fun to watch.

As you're strolling around town and the sun is setting you can hear music and singing everywhere you go. Split comes alive at night, the sun sets around 9 pm. and it's a late crowd as most European towns are.

Expertly baked breads and wraps.

Expertly baked breads and wraps.

Caught a great moment with a local nun walking by the statue Grgur Ninski - a  medieval Croatian bishop of Nin who strongly opposed the Pope and official circles of the Church. He introduced the national language in the religious services after the Great Assembly in 926, according to traditional Croatian history. Until that time, services were held only in Latin (being under the jurisdiction of Roman influences before the Great Schism), not being understandable to a majority of the population. Not only was this important for Croatian language and culture, but it also made Christianity stronger within the Croation kingdom.

Waking up for a morning run and finding this along the way was an inspiration to swing by on my way back. The berries, peaches, and the plums were incredible!  The market is only a minute walk past the hotel.  Nike / Alo 

Seven days a week you'll find fresh food, fruit, flowers and yes...

Sardines!  I ate sardines almost every day in Croatia. The fish was "fresh off the boat"  I do believe the fish here was the best I've ever had. 

Make sure to exchange your money before you go. Croatian money is called kuna, 20 kuna is about $3 -50 kuna -$7.40 100 kuna is about $15. Take plenty of cash, not all places take credit cards. Almost everyone speaks English and they're lovely people.

Next stop is Hvar. The hotel takes you to the Ferry, it's about a 5 minute golf cart ride - Buy your ferry tickets the day before because it sells out.

Riding the ferries from island to island is simple and enjoyable, it's a scenic route the entire way along the sea.

Map of Split. No wonder the Roman Emperor Diocletian chose this spot in Croatia to build his lavish retirement palace in AD295. 

We departed Rome on Vueling Airlines, a quick 2-hour flight, easy baggage claim and the hotel is there to greet you. It's about a 45-minute drive into Split, with a nice scenic route.

We stayed at the CORNARO HOTEL, very clean, with a helpful staff. They have wi-fi, and you will need your adapters for charging. There are several hotels to choose from, The Cornaro was a 2 minute walk into the village.

If you decide to take a vacation to Croatia and you have any questions, send me an e-mail I'd love to help if I can. Our stay was for two days and we were on the go and experience a lot in a short amount of time. I think having three days might give you a little more time for sightseeing in the village, the museums, and having another night for dinner, but you won't want to miss the other two islands, so it all depends on what you enjoy doing. We spent three nights in Hvar and two in Dubrovnik.  I look forward to returning one day. Split is so charming and It was truly some of the best food I've ever had. If you've traveld to Croatia let me know what your favorite place was.   Next stop...Hvar! 

                                        Fun Fact: The neck tie was invented in Croatia

         Since achieving their independence in 1992, the people of Croatia have built a democratic society based on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and a free market economy. Elton Gallegly