Split, Croatia

Sunset from Split's Riva, Croatia

Before leaving Hvar the previous night, we went for a final walk around the beautiful town. We took in the midnight views of the island, before heading back to pack our bags. Split was our last Croatian destination, further up on the country’s mainland along the Dalmatian Coast. It’s famous for its beaches and historic fortress complex, the iconic Diocletian’s Palace. It’s pretty easy to reach from Hvar by ferry. The views were pretty as we pulled into Split port.

Arriving into Split harbour

Diocletian’s Palace, Split

Luckily, we were staying in an apartment pretty close to Split’s port. The city itself isn’t too big, so we dropped off our suitcases and set off in search of the famous Diocletian’s Palace. Considered to be some of the most imposing Roman ruins in the world, it’s Split’s main attraction. We went on a little tour of the palace complex, and came across some beautiful buildings including an incredibly ornate church.

Church of Diocletian's Palace, Splt

Diocletian’s Palace was erected by the Roman emperor all the way back in the fourth century. Believe it or not, it was once home to thousands of people, with remains consisting of over two hundred buildings. Within the imposing white walls of the fortress, you’ll find courtyards, a cathedral and a plethora of shops, bars, restaurants, and houses. We walked around the maze of buildings we discovered.

Jo in Diocletian's Palace, Split
Exploring Diocletian's Palace, Split
Diocletian's Palace, Split
Diocletian's Palace, Split
Courtyard of the Diocletian's Palace, Split

Climbing the Bell Tower

For a few Croatian kuna, you can climb up the famous bell tower. I warn you now – climbing the tower is scarier than it looks. It’s very narrow and the flights of stairs never seem to end. Make sure you wear the right shoes and not flip-flops like we did. Also watch out for the bells ringing, they scared the life out of us when they started as we reached the top. As you can see, however, the views are pretty spectacular across Split and beyond.

Bell Tower, Split
Views from Diocletian's Palace, Croatia
Views from Split's Bell Tower
Views from the Diocletian's Palace Bell Tower
Views from the Bell Tower, Split
Girls on top of the Bell Tower, Diocletian's Palace

An Evening in Split, Croatia

Miraculously surviving the Bell Tower, we found this gorgeous little spot for food. It’s called Portas Pizzeria, and is right in the Diocletian’s Palace, surrounded by pretty ivy.

Portas Pizzeria, Split

We gorged on gnocchi and tasty seafood pizza. With such an Italian influence on their food, Croatian cuisine is just divine with an abundance of fresh seafood, pizza, and pasta. During our time in the country, we also gained a slight obsession with these amazing lemon beers.

Lemon beers in Split, Croatia

Wandering back to the apartment through the Palace, we passed adorable candlelit restaurants in the ancient building.

Restaurant in Diocletian's Palace, Split
Restaurant in Diocletian's Palace, Split

We meandered through the ancient streets before booking ourselves on to a trip to Krka National Park to see its famous waterfalls the next day. Later that evening, we stumbled across a beautiful old wine bar, The Diocletian’s Wine House. We stopped in for a couple of glasses and to reflect on everything we’d seen that day.

Diocletian's Wine House

There’s a pretty vibrant nightlife in Split. It’s not uncommon to pass crowds of rowdy pub crawlers in a juxtaposition of the ancient palace. When in Rome, I suppose. We wandered along Split’s seafront, palm fringed promenade, or the Riva. It’s lined with bars and restaurants, so we popped in for a few drinks and made some friends. As Split’s so walkable, most people walk along tot he sandy beach of Bačvice and its nearby bars, which we did. We were pretty astounded to see people smoking inside the clubs. Eventually, we rolled into our central apartment’s bed, ready for a busy day.

Split's beaches

Krka National Park, Croatia

The next day, we set off on our organized tour to Krka National Park. Named after the Krka River, the park is around 10 kilometres from the Croatian city of Sibenik. The most iconic attraction is the area of green waterfalls, including Skradinski Buk falls, which you’re able to swim in. We booked on to the scenic 1.5 hour bus ride to the park. Unfortunately for us, the weather took a turn for the worse and it showered for some of our visit.

Girls at Krka National Park, Croatia

We walked around the park to explore different angles of the falls. Apologies for the grainy photos here. In typical fashion, my ‘waterproof’ camera died the first time I took it into the sea when we arrived in Dubrovnik. As a result, we had to settle for a disposable camera, but you get the gist. The only downside to arriving as part of a tour is the hordes of tourists who also turn up. This meant the falls were pretty crowded, but it didn’t stop us from jumping in for a swim.

Laura at Krka National Park, Croatia
Jo in Krka National Park, Croatia
Skradinski Buk falls, Krka National Park
Laura in Krka National Park, near Split
Girls at Krka National Park, Split
Girls at Krka National Park, Split
Girls at Krka National Park, near Split

Visiting Krka was truly a bucket list moment. I felt so lucky to be swimming in these amazing, picturesque waterfalls that you see so often on Instagram. I recommend it a hundred times over.

An Evening on Split’s Riva

When we arrived back to Split from Krka National Park, we made the most of the last Croatian rays we’d catch for a while. We sat along Split’s Riva, sunbathing and enjoying the sun slowly begin to set.

Split's Riva, Croatia
Sunset on Split's Riva, Croatia
Sunset from Split's Riva, Croatia

With the sun setting, we hit a restaurant on the Riva for tasty seafood pasta. For afters, we bought gelatos along the promenade and enjoyed them while strolling along the riviera back to our apartment. Croatia, it’s been a true pleasure! Rome, let’s see what you have to offer.

Split's Riva, Croatia
Split by night

Have you visited Split or Krka National Park? What are your top tips for this pretty area of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia?

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Laura
Laura

I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

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Leave a comment

  1. November 13, 2016 / 11:46 am

    There has been so much news about Croatia and the coast of Dalmatia recently and its making us want to go too!

    • whatlauradoesnext
      Author
      November 13, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      I can’t recommend it enough! I’d go before it gets too overcrowded (it’s getting more and more popular each year), and before it gets expensive – luckily it’s still pretty reasonably priced to travel there. Let me know if you decide to go!

  2. November 14, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    Fantastic post! What month were you there – seems like summer since you actually swam at Krka. I was in Venice-Slovenia-Croatia-Bosnia 2 weeks ago and the season was much different. Beautiful spots though – Zagreb, Krka, Split, Dubrovnik, and Plitvice Lakes. Check out our blog when you have time: http://www.topochinesvino.com.

    • whatlauradoesnext
      Author
      November 14, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you so much – I hope you enjoyed reading it 🙂 We were there at the end of July through to early August. Sounds like you had a great trip too! Did you love Croatia as much as we did? Thanks, I’ll definitely take a look!

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