Time To Split
Where, When & Why
Staying in Split, Croatia at Kalebic Apartments // June 2017 // My best friend's wedding
One of my best friends married her best-best friend in Croatia this year. Richella is pure sunshine and there wasn't a single reason in the whole wide world I could ever miss her big day - plus any excuse to hang out and explore her new-ish neighbourhood of Split, Croatia. I went for three nights & four days, slept very little, drank as much as I saw (aka, a lot). Great times.
The Island of Solta is as beautiful as the boat ride over. Go to Martinis Marchi Hotel on the marina for sundowners and unrivaled R&R.
Pumparela Gelateria in Old Town Split. Try the strawberry.
Lounge around Joe's Beach Bar because those boys know how to make a mean Aperol Spritz.
Krka National Park is a must. Seriously. Vegan or vegetarian? Pack lunch.
Trogir is good for killing an hour or so before your flight, after a walk around Old Town I thoroughly recommend a bubbly refresher on the marina.
Bar the bar and duty free, Split Airport departures is sparse and over capacity. Be fed, watered and stocked with activities before you go through security.
Split & Solta
Either flying out the morning of the wedding was a stupid idea driven by my want to do it all, or going to see Haim at Islington Assembly Hall then getting home at midnight only to have a 2am alarm mocking me was. Regardless, my whistle stop tour of Croatia began as it continued: in a whirlwind.
Managing about an hour of sleep on the two and half hour Easyjet flight was nothing short of a miracle but before I knew it I'd been scooped up at arrivals and whisked to Chella's place in Split - the modern and centrally located Kalebic Apartments.
A quick power nap later, and we were all aboard the party boat to Solta for Chella & Ivo's wedding at the stunning Martinis Marchi. Located on the marina, this 18th century castle is now a hotel boasting beautiful vistas across the Adriatic Sea where laid back beach vibes are order of the day. And thank goodness, because docking at 6am after a fairly horrendous boat journey back to the mainland the memories of chiller times certainly helped my sea legs.
I had penciled in a full day trip to Hvar and the Blue Caves which unsurprisingly didn't happen seeing as the excursion departed at 8.30am - I did mention we docked at 6am, right?. I'm not usually one to allow lack of sleep or a sizable hangover slow me down but this was a different ball game. Once I regained equilibrium and any concept of space and time, I took myself out to explore Split.
Getting down to the city centre from Kalebic Apartments is a breeze even sleep deprived sporting an Everest sized hangover, and most conveniently Diocletian's Palace is on the way. Built at the turn of the fourth century AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the palace makes up about half the area of what is classed as the Old Town. A labyrinth of alleyways peppered with quaint galleries, souvenir shops and gelaterias whose rainbow arrays catch the eye and tempt the taste buds.
Pumparela Gelateria drew me in hook, link and sinker. I thoroughly enjoyed their homemade strawberry gelato at the foot of the cathedral before venturing inside for a better look.
My default when I don't really know a place, and doing any actual planning went out the window, is to get outside and walk. So this time I might have been enjoying the sunshine, seaside, and getting lost in my thoughts a little too much I ended up walking a little too far from the Riva towards Park Suma Marjan. However, this paid off massively when I stu,mbled upon Joe's Beach Bar.
Making the decision to hydrate with their delicious and refreshing Aperol spritz whilst resting my bones on the seaside sunbeds was by far one of the best decisions of my life and a good chunk of time was wiled away beneath the cabana. Free wifi, cloudless skies and more than reasonable prices for the primo location (think £2.50 beers, glass of wine at £5) sorted my head out right.
Split has Uber so thankfully the threat of the trek back to town was alleviated. Being dropped in Old Town as opposed to all the way home meant Strukli and a wander through Split's mostly pretty back streets.
Day Tripping to Krka National Park
Krka is stunning. If you're visiting Split I implore you to include this natural beauty on your itinerary. To make the most of my time I booked a trip with South Tours, our guide Tony was second to none taking the time to expand on every area we visited with his top notch inside knowledge beyond enriched our stops in coastal Primosten, ancient Sibinek, and an oddly bizarre natural spring ahead of arriving at Krka.
Tony's favourite cafe in Krka certainly have an interesting take on vegetarian food but lunch of tomatoes and french fries made me appreciate life's simple pleasures: basic condiments.
The park itself is worth every Kuna of the €55 trip price, and if you're lucky as you meander along breathtakingly clear waterways and tangles of trees guiding visitors to the waterfall you may spot one of the 221 species of birds living in the park.
Being able to enter the water is one of the key differentials between Krka and Plitvice Lakes. Be warned, the water is goddam cold and there is nothing graceful about how you enter it. Fun though.
From blue skies without a cloud in sight to an apocalyptic thunder storm, the weather changed on a dime - I truly felt for the person who'd left the top of their convertible down. Drenched through to the bone Tony turned up the heating and whisked us homeward via my drop-off in Trogir.
Trogir is a relatively compact old marina town, delightful to kill a couple of hours but you don't need a full day there. After walking along the cobbles I sat my tired legs down at Restaurant Riva where chirpy waiters delivered Aperol Spritzes and the circle of life - aka, margarita pizza for one. Heaven.
To save me about half my taxi fair, Tony had offered to collect me from Trogir and drop me at the airport in plenty of time to catch my flight. I was more than happy to accept because he was brilliant and truly made the final day of my whistle stop visit unforgettable.
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