Warmer Days in Split
Something About Split
When we arrived in Split we were lucky enough to have some daylight left. We decided to explore a little even though we had a long bus ride. After only a few minutes of walking, we fell in love with this historic town.
Honestly, we didn’t know much before coming here, we just knew it was a top place to see in Croatia. Sam has gotten way more “relaxed” when it comes to planning so we thought we’d figure it out once we got here.
By this time in our trip, we had explored a lot of old towns in Croatia (almost too many) but for some reason Split was special.
Our Apartment in the Old Town
We checked in to our Airbnb and were already excited to explore the city. Two things about our accommodation: #1 It was right near a vegetarian restaurant that we ate at that first day (and a few more times) and was delicious with such a unique interior. #2 not so positive, it was also right near the fish market and the whole street SMELLS like fish during the day!
Empty and Grand
On our first day, we were surprised to see the city shockingly empty. During the high season, the same locations in our photos are packed with people. Luckily for us, we had most of the sights to ourselves for the day!
Split is larger than Zadar with many more alleys to explore. We walked around taking note of things we wanted to ask our tour guide about the next day and spent the rest of the time getting lost. Split is absolutely beautiful and as our last destination before our first workaway, we were happy to spend the next few days here!
The next day we got breakfast at a create-your-own acai bowl restaurant and they were DELICIOUS. Then, of course, we took a free tour (would it really be a new place if we didn’t?). We learned all about Diocletian and the Roman Empire.
Our tour guide was named Roko and he had so much energy. This tour was much more lively and exciting than our tour in Zadar. We learned all about the Roman emperor Diocletian and the construction of his palace (which is a large part of Split’s Old Town).
Who was Diocletian?
Diocletian was a Roman emperor for over 20 years, which is very surprising. Many people in his position had “accidental” deaths before lasting even a year as emperor. You know the kind of accidents that come from poisoned food or a knife…
In Split, the most famous site is Diocletian’s Palace. It spans over 200 x 200 meters and was built to be his summer or retirement home. Lucky guy!
Some More History for You
During Diocletian’s rule, Christians were often killed, as this was before the empire accepted Christianity. Eventually, the Roman Empire accepted Christianity, but by then Diocletian had passed. He was put to rest in a mausoleum within the palace walls.
After some time, Christians worked to avenge the deaths of those before them. They turned his resting place into a Christian church, as well as, destroyed most Roman statues around the palace, and worked to erase his name from almost everything they could. Almost erasing him from history.
Interesting Way to Preserve Things
On our tour, we visited the basement of the palace and learned that it looks almost the same as it did in the 4th century! Want to know why? Because for hundreds of years, the basement was used for trash and human waste.
Thankfully, it doesn’t smell like it today and now holds shops with beautiful Croatian made goods like red coral jewelry and lavender pouches.
Now, when reconstructing parts of the palace, like some of the walls in the basement, they must use the same techniques as they did when it was originally constructed.
Back then, to help secure the stone in place, the cement like mixture included egg and donkey hair… but hey it works!
Super weird/unique experience you can have in Split… visiting the world’s largest unique collection of stuffed frogs at Froggyland. Yes, this is a specialty museum of stuffed frogs in different human-like positions (google it for pictures). We did not get to enjoy this treat “sadly” as it was closed during our visit…drats.
Day trip to Omiš
While based in Split, we took a couple of day trips to surrounding areas. The first of these was to the beautiful coastal city of Omiš. Before our trip, we had never heard of it and were actually told about Omiš by a guy we met in Slovenia. Since it was a short bus ride from Split, we decided to go check it out and were so happy we did!
Omiš is a small town about 16 miles away from Split. We took the public bus to get here with no trouble at all. Omiš is not so well known but attracts visitors for the fortresses, river rafting, and even a zipline during the summer.
This little town is STUNNING. The cliffs behind the town make for a beautiful backdrop AND a great hike. We hiked to Starigrad Fortress and had amazing views of the surrounding coastline.
There are two routes up to the fortress, the steep one and the “not steep” one. We decided to go for the “not steep” one and are so grateful we did because it was STEEP so we couldn’t imagine one more intense.
Luckily, we had a beautiful day with blue skies and pretty warm weather. By the end of the hike, we were taking off all of our layers.
The view from the top was absolutely stunning. These mountains or hills, however you want to classify them, look like they are from another planet. The Adriatic Sea really does have a beautiful coastline.
It was a bit windy at the top which cooled us down a bit so we sat at the picnic table in the corner to eat our lunch. Luckily the table was blocked from most of the wind.
Day trip to Solin and Trogir
Another day trip we took from Split was to Solin, also known as Salona. We took the public bus and got dropped off at a stop nearby.
Solin is famous because it sits next to the remains of the Roman capital of Dalmatia (this region of Croatia), Salona.
Salona was the birthplace of Diocletian (mentioned above) and the ruins left at this location map out the whole settlement.
We walked around Salona and saw the ruins of churches, the city walls, the public baths, an ampitheater, and so much more.
We’ve seen and learned a lot about the Roman Empire on this trip, but this place made it all seem new. There was just so much left, it was easy to imagine it built up like it was before.
After Salona, we took a bus and continued our trip to Trogir. Trogir is a small historic town on an island connected by bridges to the mainland and another island called Čiovo. It was a pretty old town with narrow alleys but almost everything was closed (a con of traveling during off-season).
We found an open restaurant and had dinner on the water. There were cats walking around searching for scraps from anyone that would offer.
We watched the sunset before catching our bus back to Split.
Day on the Beach
The weather was so nice in Split. We barely had any rain and even had a day warm enough for the beach! Well, not completely warm enough to get in the water (although this didn’t stop Ty).
We got breakfast at Pandora’s Box and then headed to the beach. It was such a nice relaxing day. Ty decided to brave the cold water and walk in, he went up to his neck. Sam was not so brave but enjoyed the day at the beach anyways.
Farewell to Split
Split blew us away. We really enjoyed wandering through the city and the day trips we were able to take from here. We would definitely recommend coming closer to high season though so you can take advantage of the beaches and proximity to the islands. But, even in November, it was worth the trip.
On to the next adventure
Our next destination is a little different. We will be spending the next month with a family outside of Dubrovnik, volunteering for them and exploring the area. I know this might sound odd to some, but we are ecstatic and can’t wait to share it with you. We’ll explain everything next week!
Until next time,
Sam and Ty