So after spending 3 days in Dubrovnik, we took a 4 hour bus ride over to Split.
We had booked our apartment through Airbnb and we had arranged to meet our host Marin to come collect us from the bus station (his offer!) back to one of his many cute little apartments along the promenade. The location of the apartment could not be faulted, it was right by the promenade, within walking distance to all the Split attractions. The furthest thing away was the port, but we weren’t going on a boat anywhere, so not an issue and would still have only been a 20-30 minute walk at a push. The only downside to the apartment was the 3 flights of stairs to get there, but the apartment itself was very clean and quiet, perfect to relax in after exploring what Split has to offer. We even arranged for an airport transfer for our flight home and he himself took us there. He runs a fair few B&Bs around Split and bends over backwards for his visitors when he can. Also helps keep his costs down! It really added a personal and friendly touch to our stay in Split and would definitely recommend using Airbnb for future trips.
We hadn’t really planned much ahead for our time in Split, apart from our trip on the last day to Krka National Park, but more on that later.
Our first day we pretty much exploring by ourselves what Split had to offer.
We came across the Bell Tower first so decided to climb it, had to be done really. I’m not fussed about heights usually, but climbing this sure made my feet a tad wobbly, especially with the shaking metal frame and the howling winds! It was worth it for the view though and once I’d stopped shaking so much, pulled out my camera for a few quick snaps!
Next was the Cathedral, which we couldn’t take photos in (although this didn’t stop most) followed by the Crypt underneath. The crypt was pretty small and there was a man praying in there, so again, didn’t feel it would be right to take photos, especially considering I would definitely have needed the flash on..!
Across from the Cathedral of St Dominus and the Bell Tower is The Temple of Jupiter (named after the father of Diocletian). He was highly worshipped until the Roman Empire came under Christian rule and when Diocletian’s mausoleum became a cathedral, the temple was converted into a baptistery housing a huge 12th-century baptismal font large enough to immerse someone. The Temple of Jupiter is now considered to be one of the best-preserved Roman temples still left standing.
I found the temple itself to be pretty small and had a pretty creepy interior, but once we found out more about it and its history on our walking tour it seemed less creepy, but still. It was the face tiles in the ceiling staring down at you and the statue of St John the Baptiste which seemed to be looking at you wherever you stood in there. Eeek!
Our second day in split consisted of doing a 90 minute walking tour with Lucia, a very knowledgeable and humorous guide and generally spoke with real passion about the history of Split. You can see from the photos that different styles of architecture were used in different ages. The Romans having the more neater architecture and design as opposed to the middle ages seen with flat brick slabs and concrete filler as opposed to solid limestone rock. We were taught that a lot of the buildings date back to 305ad (which I thought was pretty darn impressive) and all due to the materials used to make them. A lot of them do have signs of renovation and you can see that from the different styles used through the ages.
At the end of the tour we asked about Croatian delicacy (besides seafood) and was told to try the Lamb Pašticada(?).
I was pretty hesitant about trying it out at first as I’m not the biggest meat eater, but was pleasantly surprised by how succulent it was, literally so tender it just came undone in your mouth and the juice with it just complimented it really well and was served with fresh gnocchi. Nom nom indeed! The most lamb I’ve ever eaten.
Well they were pretty spectacular alright! It had rained heavily two days prior and this had a massive knock on so much so that a lot of the bridges and walkways around the park had to be closed off due to safety and also meant that we couldn’t go swimming either. Poop! The photos however will showcase why we weren’t allowed to… pretty good chance we would have got swept away!
The tour we booked also included a stop off at the small town of Sibenik. Here we explored the Cathedral, checked out the monastery garden and had a well earned cider by the seafront. A perfect end to an awesome day out.
We couldn’t do the day trip over to the island of Hvar either due to weather, but we didn’t let this put a downer on our trip and pretty much get everything else we could have anyway.
Word of advice, don’t go in October! Just a little out of season – it was still warm mind, but just a tad wet and windy at times with a few thunderstorms thrown in! September would have been slightly better but we weren’t to know when booking it in the first place. Lesson learnt! However, if you’re like me and can’t handle the heat either, then best to avoid June – August too as temperatures have reached up to mid-forties this summer!
Have you ever been to Split? What did you think of it?
Or if there’s anything you’d like to ask about Split itself, let me know in the comments below!
Till next time!