10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia (Pt.2)

July 31, 2016

Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia


THE DALMATIAN DIARIES, PART TWO

I can give you two reasons as to why I'm feelin' blue right now and they're both Croatia-related. One: It's all the colour I can see from editing my photos of Split - an endless palate of 'too turquoise to be true' skies and sea (not sure if Desktop wallpaper or...) and two: the non-stop parade of Balkan bliss is pure torture when juxtaposed against the landscape of grey outside my window (remind me to submit the shade to Pantone as 'London Summer'). If I were less noble *cough* and blogged only for my own benefit, then sure, I already have my reasons to return to the Dalmatian coast, but of course I've made it my duty to convince you to make like a Croat and Split! so without further ado, here's part 2 of my Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia...

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASIMINNE YIP USING CANON 6D (50MM 1.4 & 24MM 2.8)


Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia

6/ BEACH, PLEASE
Many visitors treat Split as a port to the other Dalmatian islands, but if it's cool Adriatic waters and Croatian sun you seek there's no need to get on a boat to Hvar a good time. Bacvice beach is a mere 15 minute walk from the Old Town: uphill and then downhill, bizarrely. Take my shortcut - walk along the disused train tracks to avoid the climb and at the end of the line, slip through the open fence to find yourself in the middle of the beach club. Fernando Martinez purr: "Welcome to Grand Theft Auto: Bac-Vice City" optional. Bacvice beach is extremely popular with both locals and tourists (being the only urban and one of the few, if not only, sandy beaches in Split) so snagging a deckchair might be tricky - but if you do, it's a bargain at 50KN a day. Instead, make the sea your sofa: bob along the refreshingly cold waters in your giant watermelon float and snap the scenes (locals playing Picigin and semi-submerged tan line humblebrags) with your water-and-idiot proof Olympus Tough Stylus.



Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia





DON'T FEEL THE BURN:
Load up on the SPF50 because leather looks good in your wardrobe, not on your face. 
"Hand luggage only..." is no excuse: find out how I 'carry on' all my sun and skincare essentials.


Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
COAST TO COAST: MEANDER ALONG THE BEACH STRIP DOWN TO THE PROMENADE, MAKING YOUR WAY UP TO PROKURATIVE (TRG REPUBLIKE - REPUBLIC SQUARE

Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
Bokeria Kitchen & Wine in Diocletian's Palace
The Blond Croat (BC) awaits his meal in traditional Tavern Matejuska... 
Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
Romantic ambience at Bajamonti in Prokurative (Republic Square)
Rakia or rajika - Croatian for "IT BURNS"
Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia
The never-ending Uje Oil Bar namesake platter: not for herbivores nor the lactose intolerant.
7/ MAGICAL MEATS-TERY TOUR
Croatian cuisine is a lot like that mixed-race buff ting everyone has a crush on: at once ambiguously exotic, yet somehow familiar, packed into a sweet multicultural package. Therein lies the appeal; there's bound to be something most people find attractive, be it the strong Italian influence in that Croat favourite - pasta, some of the sweetest seafood this side of the Mediterranean, or the distinctly Spanish style of sliced meats and tapas. Then there's rakija - collectively; a fruit brandy popular in the Balkans, in Croatia; a potent liquer made from...well, almost anything. Those crazy Croats will make rakija out of watermelon, pine (heck I bet they could make rakija out of truffles), and more commonly grape skins. Dalmatian dining deserves a whole post on its own, so keep your eyes peeled - I'll be blogging about which Split restaurants to seek.

8/COOL CROATS 
I may be collectively viewing a nation through tourist-tinted Dior sunglasses but hand on heart, I've not met a single Splicani who was anything but courteous and patient - all of which is refreshing for this angry Londoner (STAND ON THE RIGHT OF THE TUBE ESCALATOR YOU HEATHENS) and especially commendable given that in Summer their city is saturated with tourists, many of which are probably infuriatingly annoying. The worst local opinion of the droves I've heard is my taxi driver saying, "Yes, it's crazy, but at least it's not as bad as Spain..." Then he nodded along to I Took A Pill in Ibiza.
9/#TURNUP 
So you think you can dance? The droves of electro fans who flock to Split for Ultra Europe don't seem to care. This year's edition - Destination Ultra - Croatia Music Week - was an epic 7 day bender starting at Split, before moving on to Brač, Hvar, and Vis. Throw in Yacht Week and you've got a seaside town crackling with festive electricity that even non-EDM fans can appreciate. I arrived in Split after Ultra had moved on to the next island but the city was still very much staying up past its bedtime. BC and I sought out InBox: a small, outdoor harbour front nightclub that's so-bad-it's good. Sure, it was the meeting point for The League of Extraordinarily Drunk and Obnoxious Gentlemen (and women) with ambassadors from as far as Australia and USA, but I managed to spot a Squirtle so it's all good. We returned to InBox in the daytime (left) and it's actually a very pleasant day-drinking spot with views of the harbour and Old Town. Plus, we got drinks on the house and free wifi = more Pokemon Go, so...win.
Ten Reasons Why You Should Visit Split, Croatia


10/ HOT, CHEAP, AND EASY 
Calm down, I'm not talking about people (although one shot of Rakija later and I was batting eyelashes at BC like a stray speck of mascara got stuck to my contact lens). All I'm saying that given how accessible Croatia is thanks to its prime position in the Mediterranean it'd be a crime for anyone in Europe to not visit Split and see for themselves why this ancient city is such a vibrant mix of cultures - be it of its history, gastronomical influences, and the international crowd it attracts. Croatia may have opted to keep their currency but its European Union membership makes its especially easy for Brits to make it a spontaneous travel destination...at least for now, so make the most of it while you can. 
Summer is high-season, but with a bit of planning you can get flights from London to Split for £45. Most of the luxury hotels are a little way from the city centre, but nobody in their right mind would pass up the chance to stay in an ancient Roman emperor's former palace. If you don't fancy an Airbnb there's Hotel Vestibul Palace, a highly exclusive boutique property with just seven contemporary-styled rooms and suites. 
What are you waiting for? Go on, SPLIT!  
Coming attractions: 5 Restaurants to Try in Split, Croatia  


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