This past September was our second visit to Croatia, and we have now spent a cumulative total of five weeks in this beautiful Balkan country on the sea. We have driven the length of nearly the entire country, and of all the towns and cities we visited, Split is easily our favorite. Split is certainly not the most cultural city in Croatia, nor is it the city with the most museums or things to do; however, there’s just something about the sea that makes me feel a calm sense of place. Split is one of the places in Europe we could easily see ourselves living for several months to just relax and live like a local. With a relatively quiet old town, a super walkable path along the marina, one of the best swimming spots along the coast, and a vast park for activities, these are some of the many reasons Split is our favorite city in Croatia.
In this post I’ll detail 4 easy day trips from Split and our favorite places to eat in Split.
First of all, where is Split? Split is located right around the center of the country, just three hours North of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea. (Find out why we weren’t crazy about Dubrovnik in this post: Dubrovnik Has Become One of Europe’s Most Expensive Countries.)
We lived just a few blocks away from a beautiful pebbly beach where we would go for a swim every morning, followed by an iced espresso on the deck and a good book to read. It was the epitome of living the good life.
The sunsets from our balcony were epic.
One of our favorite things to do in Split, was spend time in the beautiful Marjan Park, where you can do everything from take a leisurely walk, to bicycling, to swimming in the beautiful beaches. Our favorite was Bene Beach on the North side of the park. This is more of a local spot and therefore less crowded.
4 EASY DAY TRIPS FROM SPLIT
- Krka Lakes National Park – 1 hour North from Split by car
- Trogir – 35 minutes from Split by car
- Zadar – 2 hours North of Split by car
- Plitvice Lakes National Park – 2 hours North of Split by car
KRKA LAKES NATIONAL PARK
As of 2020, swimming is no longer allowed at Krka. Between Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka, people used to come to Krka for swimming, but sadly this is no longer the case. However, it is a positive for nature to keep the area pristine.
There’s a lovely path along the lakes, or the option to take a boat. We visited during the tail end of the busy season towards the end of September, and the price was still very high to get in (400 kuna, or $67 USD for two of us.)
Trogir is the easiest day trip from Split, just half an hour by car around the bay. It’s a lovely quiet little town to walk next to the marina and enjoy seafood at one of the many restaurants.
This lesser-known historic port on the Dalmatian Coast, seems to be skipped over by many tourists, which is all the more reason you should pay a visit!
Here are just a few reasons you should visit Zadar on your next trip to Croatia:
- Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was reputedly drawn to the city and claimed it to have the best sunsets in the world
- There’s a giant solar-powered public dance floor!
- There’s a giant sea organ that sings mysterious and captivating notes based on the strength of the wind and the waves
- You can literally dive and swim right off the main pedestrian foot path
Zadar has been occupied by many rulers, including the Romans, Slavs, Turks, Austrians, Italians, Germans and Serbians. To this day in the main part of the city square, you can walk over a glass floor looking over ancient Roman ruins below.
PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK
This is the longest day trip from Split, at three hours each way, so you’ll want to plan ahead and leave early. We actually did Plitvice Lakes in its own separate journey and spent two nights in the area, which was actually too much. One day is plenty, though if you enjoy hiking, you could spend two days at the park, which is much larger than its smaller sister, Krka. For more information, check out my blog post: A Comprehensive Guide To Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park.
WHERE TO EAT IN SPLIT
The word Konoba in Croatian means “restaurant”, and there are plenty of tasty options in Split, including vegan and vegetarian – a relatively new movement that has caught on in Croatia, which now caters to all kinds of visitors. Of course, the number one food that you want to try here, is fish, of which they have many different types of “classes”.
In downtown Split, Noor is a sexy and stylish place for craft cocktails. Fig Split is a delicious place for breakfast, and the entire staff speaks Spanish. Bistro Ciba was our favorite place for a tasty lunch or dinner, as they serve only what is local and fresh in season, so their menu changes daily.
With so many places to visit and live in the world, Sasha and I usually agree that in order for us to want to come back to the same place, we really have to love it. I am happy to say that Split is one of those places that we would return to time and time again, mostly for the beautiful sea and nature.
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