We only spent a day exploring Split and had a brief few hours in Zadar. When you compare these two to the likes of the city of Dubrovnik, the island of Hvar or Brac, you cannot really consider them a holiday destination itself. Nevertheless, these two Croatian coastline’s cities deserve a short stop-by and here’s why…
Riva – Split
This is part of the city’s waterfront, where a lot of restaurants and bars with tables and huge umbrellas are located. Stalls by the water offer all kinds of boat tours and we definitely recommend taking part in one (more about that in a future post on our blog). Bars and restaurants are a typical tourist trap with inflated prices and average food. We didn’t have time to look for and eat in a proper restaurant where locals escape the crowds, so we settled for one of the ones on the promenade. I can’t remember what the price of the meal was, but it certainly wasn’t cheap …or very tasty for that matter.
Diocletian Palace – Split
A long time ago, this may have been a palace, but these days it is more a part of the old town rather than anything else– no entry fees, no closed gates; instead, plenty of charming, narrow alleys, restaurants, tiny souvenir shops and small art galleries. This is a perfect place to simply walk around and get lost. Within walls of The Palace, there are several other points of interest.
Cathedral of Saint Domnius – within Diocletian Palace
It is still a place of worship and Sunday mass, but for its nice (not great) views of the surrounding area, I believe the bell tower will appeal to travellers the most (just like it did to us). You may also visit the underground chambers and a separate room (The Treasury) filled with Christian artefacts. A real gem for history fans, but don’t expect thrilling entertainment. Entrance to The Cathedral, The Baptistery and The Crypt is 25 KUNA. Entrance to The Cathedral, The Baptistery, The Crypt and The Treasury is 45 KUNA.
Temple of Jupiter – within Diocletian Palace
To an average traveller, this is an optional attraction. Unless you are on a quest, a real history fan or simply happen to be around, I will recommend popping in for a moment; otherwise, you may skip it. Simply put, it’s not going to be the most memorable attraction. This is a free attraction.
Peristyle – within Diocletian Palace
A square located in front of the entrance to the Cathedral complex. As I mentioned before, the narrow streets of Diocletian Palace are a perfect place to simply get lost. If that’s true, the Peristyle square is a perfect place to find yourself… drinking a coffee and people watching. You will also have an opportunity to take a picture with a real (Croatian, dressed like a) Roman soldier. This is a free attraction.
Vestibule – within Diocletian Palace
This structure isn’t spectacular, but a nice addition to the palace as a whole. It also makes for a cool photo opportunity. This is a free attraction.
Jordan Beach Bar – Split
Not much of a beach at this beach bar, but a decent atmosphere, pretty good view and a nice place to swim. I don’t quite remember how we found this spot and what made us go there in the first place, but if you want to relax, this is a really cool local’s hangout. There is a free parking nearby, drinks available at the bar and sweet water pool in addition to the seafront one.
The sunset – Zadar
Not “a sunset”, but “the sunset” and yes it’s one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen. Well worth travelling to, even for that brief moment of watching the light turning into the dark. The palette of colours, the audience (hundreds if not thousands of people) and the sounds of the sea, make it for an unforgettable experience. To save yourself some time (and gasoline) searching for a parking spot, arrive early – we did pay for parking, but most didn’t seem to bother. It’s hard to say if you can get away without paying.
After the sunset, the old town will make for a pleasant walk around. There are souvenir shops and restaurants on every corner and you may even come across a lost child – yes, we happen to see a boy of 4-6 years old running around, screaming in search for his mum. It’s quite funny when you think about it, but at the time, it wasn’t at all! We did eat in one of the restaurants within the old town, but we paid in cash and I can’t remember the price we paid.
Our next stop was Plitvice Lakes and you can read all about it next Sunday on our blog.
Make sure you don’t miss it!
Hallo y’all! I’m back to let you know about another amazing island in Croatia – Brac. We left Hvar in the morning and took the ferry to Brac, going to Bol town. One way ticket was 70 KUNA each (summer time) and the journey is around 40 minutes.
Our accommodation was half an hour walking from one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Zlatni Rat. We stayed at Villa Mila, a lovely place with a really friendly owner; a lady who cannot speak much English but yet can make your stay very comfortable. Our two nights at one bedroom apartment was €158
Since we were planning our trip to Croatia’s islands, we had in mind renting a quad to go around. We didn’t manage to do it in Hvar, so we couldn’t miss it in Brac. You can find many tours that will include a quad, but usually not choosing your own destination. At the entrance to the main promenade in Bol you will see a parking with scooters, bikes and quads to rent. This agency lets you rent without buying a tour, but the quad rental has some restrictions. They will give you a map to show where you can’t go with it – basically anywhere that is unpaved. You can get a quad for €13 per day, but we paid a little more than that as we had it overnight.
Well, after having transportation in place we went for lunch right next to the parking lot in a Pizza bar facing the sea. We paid 297 KUNAS for two small pizzas and non-alcoholic beverage.
You guys may have noticed that we pretty much chase sunsets wherever we go and it was no different in Brac. When we got our quad we drove to Vidova Gora, the highest point on the Adriatic Islands with a view to the Zlatni Rat beach. The ride takes around 1 hour, but if you are going by car it’s 40 minutes. It was real fun going there by quad, although our buttchicks were awfully painful the next morning.
On the mountain there is a sort of observation tower. We didn’t go up as it seemed closed, but when we were leaving, a couple was going up there, so I think it’s worth researching about it!
There is free parking about 10 minutes’ walk from the top of the mountain from where, on one side you can see the shape of Zlatni beach and from the other an amazing sunset between trees – sunset may be seen from slightly different angle depending on the time of the year.
Back to the city in a really adventures way – it was pitch dark, by the time we reached the serpentine to Bol. We went for dinner; in the very long promenade you can find restaurants, bars, cafes for all tastes and budgets. We choose Vendetta by Vagabundo, it’s fancy and expensive if you consider that you are in Bol, but coming from UK, £11 for a meal doesn’t sound that bad. You can check their menu here
The next morning we woke up very early to watch the sunrise from the well-known Golden Cape or as I’ve said before Zlatni Rat beach. Although it looks like a lovely sandy beach from all the pictures on the internet, it’s actually a pebble one. Still pretty! In the morning you can’t see the blue ocean if the sun isn’t shining, but having this beach just to yourself pays the price.
After a power charging sunrise we head to our first stop on the “quadventure” – Lovrecina. This is a sandy beach one hour by quad from the Bol town. With few stops at viewpoints, we reached our destination. To get on this beach you will need to come down through a very narrow and steep road. The water is very shallow and you need to walk quite a bit to be able to swim. Because we got here early it wasn’t so crowded, but around 11am it started to be a little chaotic as the sand stretch is not that wide and there is no proper parking lot.
On our way back, we went for lunch at Konoba Kopacina, an amazing restaurant recommended by the lady who rent us the quad. If you have time, eat in there. It’s money well spent! We paid 199 KUNAS for 2 meals and beverage.
Konoba Kopacina: https://www.facebook.com/kopacinakonoba/
All the way back to Bol, we went to see the Monastery, it was closed, but we enjoyed a little beach nearby called Martinica.
Our last stop was the Murvica Beach, 15 minutes’ ride from Bol town. You should park on the road and go down by foot (10 minutes); there is a restaurant in there with a very privileged view.
On our last night in Brac, we had dinner on the main square. There was a festival going on where you could try different types of food and enjoy music outdoors.
Most of the beaches I talked about in this post are pebble beaches; make sure you have the appropriate shoes for that.
Travelling by quad cost us around 40 KUNAS on gasoline
If there is anything in particular you would like to know about in Brac, send us a message and I will get back to you.