After our adventures in Venice, the Dolomites, Reutte, and Verona, we made our way to Croatia. We first traveled to Split, the 2nd largest city in Croatia after Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Split has approximately 300,000 people living in its urban area. On Monday August 12, we flew from Venice to Split and our Airbnb host picked us up at the Split airport. Since we landed so early, our Airbnb wasn’t quite ready to check in, so we dropped off our luggage with our hosts and explored Split. We loved the location of our Airbnb, it was close to the heart of the city center of Split and our host was extremely responsive and accommodating before and during our stay.
Monday August 12
After landing in Split and dropping off our luggage at our Airbnb, we walked around the city and Diocletian’s palace, the main attraction in Split. Diocletian’s palace was built for the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, which today forms about half the old town of Split and is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Before visiting Split, I knew we wanted to see Diocletian’s palace, but what I didn’t realize is that the palace ruins lie in the heart of Split. As you walk around the city center of Split, you are walking through the ruins of Diocletian’s palace.
We paid to tour the basement cellars of Diocletian’s palace, which I highly recommend. The cellars once held up the private apartments of Emperor Diocletian and represent one of the best preserved ancient complexes of its kind in the world. The cellars are also used in Game of Thrones filming. The palace doubles as the former slave city of Meereen and it was the setting for numerous scenes with Daenerys, including when Daenerys kept two of her dragons in the cellars.
Klis Fortress, is a medieval fortress about a 15 minute drive from the city center of Split. We didn’t have time to visit, but was also used in filming Game of Thrones as the city of Meereen. We drove by the Klis Fortress on our way in town and out of town.
Tuesday August 13
On Tuesday we spent the entire day on Ilirio’s Three Cave Boat Tour, which is a MUST DO. This tour came highly recommended from multiple friends of mine and remained one of the highlights of our entire 5 week trip. It’s an 8 hour boat tour in the Adriatic Sea. The highlights of the boat tour included 3 caves: the Blue Grotto (one of the wonders of the Adriatic coast), the Monk Seal Cave, and the Green cave on the island of Vis. Throughout the day we stopped at various islands, small towns and explored hidden sites. We ended at Hvar, a picturesque resort town. If we had more time I would have loved to spend more time in Hvar. I can’t say enough good things about this cave tour. If you are planning a trip to Split, definitely take this tour.
Wednesday August 14
Since we loved Ilirio’s Three Cave Boat Tour so much the next day we booked another boat tour. Our Airbnb host helped us book a half day beach tour. We went to 3 different beaches and ended in Trogir as our last stop. We did love exploring the town of Trogir, but didn’t love this tour as much as the cave boat tour. But, if you wanted to just relax by various beaches this would be a great tour for you. You can book any of these beach boat tours at the Split harbor.
Thursday August 15
We were debating on seeing either Plitvice Lakes National Park or the Krka Waterfalls National Park during our time in Split. Both national parks are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. We ended up deciding on visiting Krka Waterfalls because they are closer to Split (about an hour away) while Plitvice Lakes National Park is about 2.5 hours away. Plus, you can swim in Krka Waterfalls, but you can’t swim at Plitvice Lakes National Park. We also booked our trip through our Airbnb host. Krka Waterfalls National Park was definitely beautiful, but it was so crowded it was slightly miserable. We walked around the park but didn’t even go swimming because there were so many people there it was overwhelming and not very fun. After touring the park, we went back to the mainland (you need to take a ferry to get to the park) and went to a local beach. If you tour the waterfalls during peak season be warned it will be extremely crowded.
Friday August 16
On Friday we checked out of our Airbnb and had a private driver pick us up and drive us to Dubrovnik. We had the best day on Friday driving along the Dalmatian coast, which I’ll recap next!
- Airbnb – We loved our Airbnb, but there are plenty of other Airbnb’s and hotels depending on your budget.
Things to Do
- Diocletian’s Palace
- Klis Fortress
- Ilirio’s Three Cave Boat Tour
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Krka Waterfalls National Park
Places to Eat
We ate at and loved all the places below and so would definitely recommend. We ate at Ciri Biri Bela twice we loved it so much. Ciri Biri Bela was also super close to our Airbnb.