Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park
On your way to Split, the first thing I recommend doing is to head to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Being one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia, with UNESCO status, it is a must. The lakes are absolutely stunning and such a fantastic day out.
As soon as you arrive, hop on the transfer bus down through the woodland area. Then follow the trails, across the wooden paths and bridges. It is nature at its best. Keep an eye out for the wildlife along the path’s edge too. As you wander at a leisurely pace, you will be astounded by the most gorgeous lakes- the summer sun creates the most exquisite colours in the water.
It is clear why Plitvice is a area of outstanding natural beauty. You will be so impressed with not only the turquoise lakes, but the picturesque waterfalls too. At every turn, there is a photo opportunity to be had- we didn’t put the camera away all day long.
Not only can you walk around the lakes, you can actually get a ferry across from one side to the other or across the length of the lake too. Going by boat brings you even closer to the lakes and you sail along, you can really notice how clear the water is. Once on the other side, make sure to capture the beautiful view from one of the jetty’s. At this point, don’t forget to stop off at the cafe to refuel.
The lakes were such a fantastic place to visit. Give yourself at least 4 hours to really make the most of your time there. It was a great start to our time in Croatia.
See Historic Split
Old Town Split is such a gem and wonderful to explore. Surrounded by the original city walls, the old town’s narrow streets are a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants, plus you can treat yourself in the small boutiques and tourist shops. These lanes all head to the central areas of the Old Town where you can find People’s Square with the clock tower and City Hall.If you manage to navigate your way around the lanes, check out the art work, local craft stalls, fish market, historic plaques and museums.
Just around the edge of the castle walls, through the north palace gate, you can find a very impressive towering statue of Gregory of Nin, 10th Century croation leader. Make sure you follow tradition and rub his big toe as this can apparently give you some good luck and even make your wishes come true.
Back inside the walls, you have to check out yet another UNESCO Heritage Site- Diocletian Palace. This really shows well preserved Roman Architecture. You can pay to go inside the palace and get an up close view of the beautiful building, originally created by the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement home. We decided to get a birds eye view of the old town by heading up the tower. Once you climb the winding staircase, the views from the top are awesome. Don’t forget your camera!
At night, the whole place has such a fantastic atmosphere. It is a very lively city, with excellent eateries, late night shopping plus some excellent live music.
Swim in the Sea Off Marjan Forest Park
Split has such a wonderful climate and during the summer months temperatures can reach around 35degrees. Thankfully, the water is crystal clear and so warm, which makes swimming in the sea absolutely perfect. After walking along the footpath through Marjan forest, we managed to find some flat rocks to lie on along the waters edge. It was so tranquil and the best place jumping into the sea to cool off.
Strut The Riva At Night
Just outside the castle walls, is a large promenade, full of street side cafes, bars and restaurants on one side and the harbour on the other. The Riva promenade is such a great way to spend the evenings, soaking up the bustling atmosphere. It is very picturesque both in the day and night, and a very lovely part of the city.
Visit The Blue Cave
Whilst in Split, a unique way to spend a day would be to visit the Blue Cave. It would definitely be the highlight of your holiday. Due to a small crack in the cave wall under the water, the sunlight creates a silvery blue glow inside – a real natural phenomena. It is a spectacular sight and one not to be missed.
Take A Speedboat Trip
Make the most of your stay in Split and do a bit of island hopping by speedboat. It is such a great way to explore the area of Dalmatia and thankfully, Split has a large port and harbour so it’s easy to depart from for your island hopping adventure.
There are so many islands surrounding Croatia which makes these fast paced cruise across the sea very exciting – you don’t know where you will head to next. The water was flat, the temperature warm, what more could you want?
You get an hour or two at each location where you can explore what each island has to offer. At one point we arrived at the island of Vis and had a wander round. We found a fantastic church right on Komiza beach. If you can, it is worth going for a swim and enjoying the clear, warm waters. It makes the experience even more worth while.
One of the best parts of the speedboat trip was docking at a secret cove and being able to jump off the boat and snorkel around the sea. It was absolutely fabulous. We still cannot believe how blue and crystal-like the sea is in Croatia. Plus if you’re feeling brave, why not climb up and jump off some of the higher points of the rocks. It really is super exhilarating.
Explore The Beautiful Island of Hvar
One of the prettiest locations in Croatia is the island of Hvar. When you arrive, have a look around the street-side stalls and pick up some local craft-wares. Although it can get very busy, the whole place was immaculate with some very picturesque views too. The medieval town square is a great place for a spot of lunch, to grab an ice cream or just do some people watching.
Once you have explored the town by the water’s edge, head up the steep path, past the stone walls, to the top of the hill. Here you will find a very cool, 13th Century fortress, overlooking the main town square, harbour and the sea. Check out the replica cannons along the castle walls. You can really imagine how the town of Hvar was protected from this height during the medieval period.
The island is very special and it is worth the walk up to the top to appreciate what Hvar really has to offer. The views from here are just beautiful and you won’t be disappointed.