In April 2019 I visited Split and the island of Vis, Croatia. This is about Split:
First day in Split (4-4-19)
After a good and quiet night I wake up early in the morning. The quietness surprises me, because i am staying in the middle of the city centre, close to Split’s most famous Diocletian Palace. My accommodation, Denis Rooms, is in a nice and clean building, very good located and friendly staff. Denis and Gordana run this place, they are very kind and welcoming. They have seven rooms for rent, very affordable.
I make a short early morning city stroll, along nice and cosy streets, enjoying the quietness at this time of the day. I am making my way towards the harbour to find a good coffee. Once I am at the main promenade, Riva, i decide to continue walking towards ACI Marina, the sailing boat port. Very soon I approach a bar/restaurant called Basta. A modern looking venue right at the sea, with the advantage of having the morning sun right in front. A very enjoyable place with nice views over Split and good Italian coffee. This place looks and feels good. Even the waiter tells me that this is the best place in town for him to work. From my chair I watch the Island Ferries come, wait or go. Split is logistically an ideal and interesting hub.
But Split is not only just a hub. I am also here to discover the beauty of Split itself. And for that reason i have a meeting with Duje, from the Split Tourist Office. Duje is a very hospitable guy, who tells me a lot about Split, and who’s able to answer all my questions quickly and clearly. After the meeting he introduces me to Vjeran Mlacic, who is a private tour-guide in Split. Vjeran is virtually created for this job. With huge enthusiasm, and with eye for me as the receiver, he tells me everything about Split and the inseparably Diocletian palace. He has even arranged free tickets to visit the cellars of the palace.
What’s so unique about Diocletian’s palace is the fact that it is still inhabited by about 3000 people. Tourists and residents go hand in hand here. And that’s exactly how it feels. Vjeran obviously loves his city and that’s very understandable to me. The tour through the palace also includes a stop in the necktie shop (the necktie originates from croatia), where you can see an original roman water drain. And we visit the shop of a silver craftsman, who makes amazing jewelry (filigransplit.wordpress.com). After an hour and a half of intensive and enjoyable listening i thank Vjeran for his hospitality, expertise and kindness. I have lunch at the recommended pizzeria Maslina, centrally located but a bit hidden, with a nice atmosphere and good and affordable food.
With new energy (a 32 cm spicy pizza and a small Croatian beer) I continue my Split discovery towards Marjan Hill. This park-forest is a an area of significant natural and cultural value, close to the old city of Split. It’s a green area with rich flora and it offers nice walking, beautiful panoramic viewpoints, a rock-climbing area, little churches and chapels, nice bays and beaches. I am very surprised by this area. It is so close to the city center but it feels so unspoiled and remote. A beautiful and enjoyable area to spend some hours walking around (and swimming, but not in April for me). Back in the city center I look back on a beautiful day in Split.
Second day in Split (5-4-19)
Duje (from the Split Tourist Board) recommended two off-the-beaten-tourist-tracks activities. One was the in October 2018 opened Museum of Scenses, which i visit this morning. This Museum is situated in a modern shopping mall called City Center. You can get there by taking bus nr. 18 in about 30 minutes from the city. The museum of senses has different attractions, like optical illusions, funny mirrors, plasma balls, vortex and an upside down room. And a bed of nails to lie on! Fun place to spent an hour.
On the way back i got off the bus at the university for the second recommendation, the Split 3 Area. An area filled with mostly communist style high-rise concrete buildings. In a way it fascinates me a lot. Especially with the blue sky above and the sunlight on the streets the area almost looks attractive. I am walking from the university straight south in the directions of the sea. Despite of the unusual and concrete setting it feels very cosy, with modern bars and shops on either site. It is friday and the streets are lively filled with students and residents.
After leaving the Split 3 area it’s another 10 minutes walk to the sea at Trstenik Beach. The sea here looks nice with this sunny weather. The place offers beautiful view towards the mountains at Omis as well as the islands of Brac and Solta. Trstenik beach is about 2,5 kms walking form the center of Split. After a coffee i continue walking towards Split, along the sea. Not much later I pass a very nice beach bar called Ovcice, which immediately attracts me. What a nice and beautiful place! People from all ages, tourists and families are here to enjoy the setting and the views. Here I order just an Eco juice, but it takes me a while to leave this place. So nice here!
Back in Split I enjoy the liveliness around the Riva Harbour and Dioclations palace, before i get back to my accommodation to refresh and get some dinner. Looking back at another nice day in Split. I am convinced: Split is a very nice place to spend at least a day or two!
Next episode: The beautiful island of Vis