What to see in Split and the surrounding islands (Hvar and Solta)

Who I am
Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

What to see in Split: the places not to be missed

The first thing to see a Split is certainly his Old Town, unique and fascinating, having developed from the palace built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in 295 AD The various inhabitants who occupied it in the following centuries have transformed it into an evocative maze of houses, churches and chapels and currently it is one of the very few examples of inhabited archaeological sites in the world! Inside the walls that delimited the building today live at least 2000 people. Walking in the paved and shiny alleys of the historic center is truly suggestive, the ancient Roman and medieval structures have been converted into the most important monuments of the city. There Cathedral of San Doimo for example it was the Mausoleum of Diocletian and it preserves a beautiful Romanesque pulpit inside; I recommend you also get on bell tower (6 floors on foot alas) to have the view of the port and the whole city from above that it deserves.



What was once the peristyle (the central courtyard of the palace) has now become the symbolic heart of Split, a beautiful square always crowded with bar tables, acrobats and people out and about. Among the things to see in Split there is also the so-called "Cryptoportico" (large portico) above the bronze door, and it is really funny to see the clothes hanging on the windows of palaces that were once the emperor's rooms. 

Il Old Town it also extends beyond the palace, but it is not huge and can be easily reached on foot in a short time. From late afternoon onwards all the streets of the center and squares are filled with people, Split is a very lively city, it is full of bars, restaurants and clubs, and you will find people around until late at night. 



To see Split it will take you just over half a day (at least the city center), so why not go for a swim? I went to the Bacvice beach, to the south, just behind the harbor bay. You can easily walk there from the center, the part with the sand is small, but you can stop (as many Croatians do) on the concrete wall. Obviously it can't compete with the beaches further south along the coast or the islands, but for a refreshment and a drink by the sea it's just fine!

What to see around Split

The island of Solta: a pearl frequented by locals

On the advice of the tourist office, the first trip near Split was on theisland of Solta, a sleepy and discreet island much frequented mainly by local tourism. Once you arrive at the port (it takes less than 1 hour by ferry from the port of Split - to find the timetables look on this website) we took a bus right out front to get there Stomorska beach. Behind the beach there is a small village with a couple of bars and a few restaurants. Paths start both to the right and to the left of the beach that reach other beautiful bathing spots; the coast is rocky but there are small concrete platforms with ladders. We chose one of these points following the path on the left and the water was truly incredible! Super transparent and an intense blue that has little to envy to our Sardinia. If you are looking for a little more movement you can instead follow the path that starts to the right of the beach and reach theAfrica (a sort of establishment / lounge bar with sunbeds); shortly after there is the restaurant where we ate excellent grilled fish overlooking the sea for two lire (which should be called Call). A perfect trip for a day at the beach away from mass tourism. 



Hvar: one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia

Hvar is one of the most famous and most beautiful islands in Croatia and it is absolutely one of the things to see near Split! Dominated by the Republic of Venice, it still retains beautiful vestiges of this period, such as the imposing one arsenal (later transformed into a theater) and the citadel overlooking the town of Hvar. The town where you arrive by ferry from Split (also in this case it takes just over 1 hour) is really very beautiful, get lost in the so-called "groda ”, the maze of alleys that rise from the cathedral square (full of shops, restaurants and bars) and in the streets that follow the coastal paths to reach the beaches of the city to the left and right of the port. Above the groda the uphill path to reach the citadel and it is absolutely worth doing: the view from the citadel is unbeatable! Maybe avoid doing it at lunchtime (like myself) so as not to collapse under the sun!

After visiting the town (with 2h you get by), we went for a swim in theislet of Jerolimin which can be reached with a few minutes by boat from the small port of Hvar. Jerlomin is part of the archipelago of isole Hell, 11 marvelous islands covered with woods located one step away from Hvar. Here too .. paradise! An islet that you can walk around with a beautiful sea and a pine forest perfect for relaxing in the shade (there is also a famous naturist beach here).


Having more time is definitely worth spending at least a week in Hvar, there are several towns to visit and many bays and islets to enjoy the sea. Unlike other islands then, in the town of Hvar there is also a decent nightlife that attracts many young people, which can be bad or good .. depending on the holiday you are looking for; in any case there is everything for all tastes, the important thing is to choose well where to base to visit it. 


PS I advise you to buy the ferry ticket both outward and return at least one day in advance, in order to avoid running out of tickets .. Hvar is very popular. Find the timetables on this site. 

Other very beautiful and very busy islands that may be worth visiting having more days are Brac (with the famous postcard beach of Bol) e Korcula

Where to sleep in Split

  • Boutique Hostel Posteya - hostel near the sea : if you are traveling low-budget, this boutique hostel is the perfect choice! It has 4-6-8 bed dorms, all spotless and super-equipped (they'll even give you towels!). The common areas are also very beautiful, especially the terrace. The hostel is located a few steps from the sea and a 20 'walk from the center of Split.
  • Art Room Split - apartment in the historic center : if you want to sleep in the historic center instead, this is a beautiful apartment with a refined and modern decor that is located a few steps from the Diocletian's Palace.

How to reach Split from the airport

From the Split airport (located 20 km north) there is a bus that takes you to the port of Split, right in the center, in front of the ferry piers to the islands. Allow around 1 hour of travel or a little less.

Croatia is very well organized, if you go to the tourist offices in Split and the islands they give you all the information on ferry timetables, where to buy tickets and what to see. The islands also have well indicated (and punctual) boat and bus timetables.

Health insurance is recommended

Being in Europe, as Spanish citizens we have the right to health care, but there are specific conditions and ceilings. My advice is to still take a classic medical-luggage insurance that can cover you during the trip, even for Covid-19. I am very happy with many insurance companies, a site that compares the policies of different companies and proposes the most convenient policy for that particular trip. To do this you will have to enter the data relating to your trip and they will send you an email with the best proposal that you can then buy directly online (!!!). All travel insurances also cover medical assistance in the event of a coronavirus infection, including testing if necessary. There is also coverage for the extension of the stay in the hotel due to the quarantine. Likewise, the trip cancellation guarantee includes coverage for illness or death of the traveler or a family member due to COVID-19.

 

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