Split, Hvar, Brač, Croatia
Arriving in Split was quite a change from the two previous towns we had been staying at (Rovinj and Zadar). Split definitely was more tourist heavy and the shops and numerous vendors catering towards tourists was more evident. Just hopping off the bus and seeing the piles of backpacker backpacks being unloaded was also a big sign that Split is a popular destination. We actually went during the end of the season, so I can’t even imagine how crowded it would be during peak season!
While in Split, we had our first visitors join us on our trip – my older sister, Keanna and her friend, Avinash. Minh and I had a whole list of stuff for Keanna to bring us, so when she arrived it was like Christmas morning going through her luggage. Sisters are great, aren’t they? 🙂
Split is another coastal town that’s the second largest city in Croatia and home of Diocletian’s palace.
Diocletian’s palace and the town of Split are also home to various filming locations for Game of Thrones!
We went at the end of September and it was about 95 degrees, so it was unbearably hot to do much between the hours of 11AM-6PM. While visiting the sites we had to take plenty of juice and shade breaks!
During one of our numerous shade breaks, Minh tried to sneak in to one of the tour groups
Since Split is a coastal town, we also made sure to eat plenty of seafood!
Our next stop was to the island of Hvar (pronounced like “Far”). It’s a short hour catamaran boat ride away from Split that has a more small-town feel to it. Another place that is also catered heavily to tourists, but is beautiful and relaxing nonetheless.
While in Hvar we decided to try to visit a beach, but we then realized the bus to the beach we wanted to go to would take another hour to arrive. After some discussion, we figured, why not rent a car so we can explore more of the island since we have such a short amount of time?
Minh and I wander through town to find a car to rent, and we end up getting this sweet ride!
It seems to be the owner’s actual car that he rents out to tourists. Sure, we’ll take it!
We end up driving throughout the island and finding a really cute, secluded beach.
While driving to the beach, we saw signs for Tomić winery, so we stopped by to see if we could participate in a wine tasting. Usually their wine tastings are by appointment only, but lucky for us, we happened to show up right as a bus load of people just entered for their tour, so the winery allowed us to go in for a tasting. We basically got to taste whatever was leftover from the tour’s tasting, which ended up being 6 different wines!
A must visit for Keanna and Avinash during our time in Split was to visit the island of Brač (pronounced like “Bratch”). It’s another small island about a 30 minute catamaran boat ride away. The problem with going to Brač, however, is that there’s only one boat that goes there in the morning at 7AM, and one return boat at around 6PM (mainly for people who work on the island). The only other ways to get to the island are through private water taxi or private tours, which is much more expensive.
Just our luck, however, that it was raining and cloudy all day. The famous Zlatni Rat beach was practically empty when we were there, but was still very beautiful even if the sun wasn’t out.
Because of the rain, we had limited options on what to do, thus our day at Brac was a very very relaxing day on the island. We, of course, managed to visit another winery, Stina Winery.
By the time our boat arrived to take us back to Split, we had major island fever and couldn’t wait to get back! Once we got back to Hvar, we were craving burgers and fries, as we were getting tired of eating seafood and Dalmation food at each meal. It ended up being a pretty bad meal, as the burger patty was made out of Cevapi meat, and Keanna and Avinash’s “Chili Fries” were actually just potato wedges with paprika on top. Lol.
The Dalmation coast of Croatia has some breathtakingly beautiful beaches and was a great route to work our way down towards our last stop (and most popular) in Croatia – Dubrovnik.