Obviously, there are more than just two day trips that you can do from Split, however. since we were there for a short period I had to choose carefully. We decided that one would be an island trip and the other a city trip.
Blue Cave, Vis & Hvar Island Tour
After doing a lot of research on the best tour companies, we decided to go with Pelican Tours. They seemed reasonably priced and the itinerary looked good (not cluttered) The more islands you visit, the more rushed you'll feel. So, the lesser the better. In our case, we would be visiting Blue Cave, Green Cave, Stiniva Bay, Budikovac, Palmizana and Hvar.
We had a little boat which carried about 15 people (including 2 skippers). I cannot say that the seats were very comfortable. Lets say that, if you're a bit bulky ... you might not fit onto the ones in the middle. Other than that, it was okay. The boat doesn't have a roof, but we were okay with it.
The main reason for booking this trip was because we wanted to visit the Blue Cave. Unfortunately, we couldn't! The tide was high and the boat just wouldn't enter the cave. You can imagine how disappointed we were. By the way, it was a 1.5 hour journey to get to the Blue Cave from Split!
Instead we were taken to a nearby island called Komiza. There's nothing much to do on this island, except for strolling around. Make sure you visit Fisherman's Museum for a view of the island.
The Green Cave wasn't as fancy as the Blue Cave (according to me). There's an opening on the top of the cave with light peeping through. Our boat took us in from one side and got us out from the other. Also, you'll see a bunch of people cliff diving.
If you're a good swimmer, the boat stops near Stiniva Bay (a bit away) and you can either dive into the caves or visit the island. We were on the boat because we didn't know how to swim!
Budikovac was my favourite part of this trip. Before we could get off the boat, our skipper told us that there was only one restaurant and one house on the island, and that we should beware of the grumpy owner! So, we tried to keep out distance. The water on this island was amazing! A tip - walk across to the other side of the island.
We stopped at Palmizana for lunch and wine. We had to pay for lunch, however the wine was complimentary with our tour package. There's a beautiful beach on this island as well, however, it was packed. And obviously, we were full!
The last island we visited was Hvar. Some people prefer to stay in Hvar, other than in Split. But I'm glad we chose to stay in Split ... as Hvar seemed a bit expensive. Hvar is filled with many cafes and restaurants and provides excellent photo opportunities. We got lost in those alleys. It is also popular for its lavender fields, which can be visited during the summer season. If you want to buy lavender, buy it at one of the kiosks located away from where the boat docks.
By 6pm, we were back in Split.
Trogir is located about 45 minutes away from Split. If you've managed to cover most of Split and wanna do a short day trip ... Trogir is is good option. We caught a bus from Split main bus station.
Trogir is a historic town connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. Its charming old town is filled with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, monuments and old churches.
We had lunch at one of the restaurants located on the waterfront. There's a fort here as well. We spent a total of 2 hours in Trogir.
Getting to Split :
Throughout our Croatian journey, we used the bus to get around, and the journey from Zadar to Split was no exception. You do not really have a choice to take a flight because there isn't one, however, the journey takes only 2 hours or so & there's wi-fi onboard (YAY!). We booked our ticket from the Bus Croatia website well in advance. I do think its possible to book it on the spot as well.
Where we stayed :
It was tough deciding where it stay - Split or Hvar, however, Split won. We decided that we'll stay somewhere on the mainland and do day trips to the neighboring islands & cities. We stayed at Apartments Lili's Place which was just a 10 minute walk away from the the centre. We realized how difficult it was to walk only when we started pulling out bags towards our apartment. Split in full of steep slopes, and our apartment was right on top.
We stayed in a studio apartment on the ground floor of a two storey brick building. I couldn't get over how cute the building was! If you want to feel like a local, this is the perfect place. The owner kept fruits, wine and water for us at no extra cost. The bathroom was a bit tiny but it was okay for 3 days. He gave us suggestions about what we could do in and around Split.
What we saw :
The main attractions in Split were within walking distance from our apartment ... so you definitely don't need fa car to get around. There are not many things to see within Split itself, so we did a couple of day trips we well (will let you know more in a separate post).
For starters, we had the closest access to the viewpoint, i.e Marjan Hill. Although it seemed close, the slopes made it a little tough to reach there without panting. Atleast we were free from our bags. Even from the lowest point of the viewpoint, we did manage to get a nice view of Split. If you're more adventurous, you can walk up further.
The rest of the places are within the Old Town ... where we spent most of our time (besides the day trips). The first place we visited was the Peristyle at Diocletian Palace. There's a restaurant right in front of it called "LUXOR". They place cushions on this Roman structure and you can dine there.
Everything here revolves around Diocletian's Palace, which is a 4th century Roman palace. You'll see a lot of Roman ruins in this area. We didn't get into much details about the history of the place.
You can even click a picture with these two Roman soldiers ... just like how we did. They're just outside Luxor.
We also visited the Crypt (chapel of St. Lucia) and the Cathedral of St. Dominius. The crypt is located just below the cathedral and is dedicated to the martyr St Lucia.
The cathedral on the other hand is tiny, however, the interior is quite pretty. You'd have to pay a fee to enter into both these places.
Another thing to check out is the Vestibule at Diocletian;s Palace. In the past, this area was used to enter the residential part of the palace. Now, you will see Capella singers performing.
Just below the palace are the Cellars. I might have totally missed it had I not paid attention. I do not know the history behind this place, however now, there are a number of souvenir shops. I didn't buy anything though, just admired the design.
One thing that no visitor would miss out in Split is the Riva, which is basically a seaside promenade with a number of beautiful restaurants and cafes. My favorite one was "Bobis", one of the local cafes that serves nice hot chocolate and pastries.
Besides the restaurants on the promenade, there's plenty of places to eat within the Old Town & outside. Another place that I'd recommend is "Matoni". Make sure you reserve a table in advance. They're food is amazing!
If you've not booked your island trips, there are a few kiosks on the Riva where you can book them from. You could go around & compare prices.
That's what we did in Split basically for 3 days. Most of the time, we wandered around the Riva & Old Town trying out different restaurants and bars and photographing old buildings.
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