By the time you are reading this, I would’ve just got back from a 3-week backpacking trip around Europe (or at the time of writing this I’m currently on a coach to my next destination which happens to be Budapest). As I will be visiting many new locations over the upcoming weeks I thought I’d bring you with me on this trip of a lifetime.
Elliott and I departed from London Gatwick on Monday 24th June 2019 and began our journey over to split.
That feeling of walking out of the plane in a hot country is a feeling that can’t be beaten. Especially when the plane is as cold as it was for our journey here.
Once out of the airport it was a case of finding our way to the main city. We had two options; bus or boat. The boat was the quickest and easiest option for us at the time of arrival although was more expensive than the bus would’ve been. As we had a bit of a wait before our boats departure time we made our way to an outdoor bar looking out to the sea. This was a great way to start the trip however I do recommend taking plenty of cash when visiting Croatia as many places, especially those on the outskirts, don’t accept card payment. We took 100 Croatian Kuna which simply wasn’t enough. We spent all of our money in the space of our first 30 minutes in Croatia (just on transport). We were very fortunate that the bar allowed us to pay in euros which we had for later on in our trip allowing us to have a cold refreshing drink and pass the time before our boat departure. Once we made it to the main city we found a cash point and were able to get some extra cash hour but this is just something to bare in mind.
Top Tip: Take plenty of cash when visiting Croatia! Cash points are available within the city however choose this wisley as many of them charge a conversion fee especially if using a UK debit or credit card.
After our boat ride we walked to our hostel (our first ever stay in a hostel 😱). We were sharing a room with 30 others. Although that sounds daunting to date it’s the best hostel we’ve stayed in (this could change by the end of the trip). I may do an entire post on tips and tricks to staying in a hostel for the first time if that is something you all would be interested in!
That evening after checking in and having a moment to relax (which was much needed. Traveling really takes it out of you, something we found as the trip went on) we headed out to the beach for the evening. It was lovely taking a moment looking out towards the clear blue water and having a swim. What a great way to cool off in this heatwave Europe is having at the moment. We stayed here for around 2 hours which was lovely.
Top Tip: Take waterproof shoes/flip flops to the beach when visiting Croatia! The water may be lovely and clear but the sea bed is rocky and painful. We didn’t take our flip flops on this occasion which resulted in us both cutting our feet on the first day.
After a lovely and relaxing start to the trip, we headed back to the hostel stopping by the supermarket to buy something to make dinner and lunch for the following day. We settled on pasta (something that will become a common theme on this trip) as for me as a Gluten Free traveller this is the easiest option which is the most accessible. We took our ingredients back to the hostel ready to cook. We are very used to cooking whilst we are away but we’ve never done this in a shared kitchen before. The kitchen was also rather small with only one hob for the entire hostel to cook their food on. We managed to prepare everything at the table ready to throw into the pan once the hob was free.
Top Tip: It’s definitely worthwhile choosing simple and quick meals to make and batch load them if possible. It will save you so much time waiting around as well as for others.
After dinner, we were exhausted from the travelling that day (it’s shocking how tired travelling makes you!) so we began our bedtime routine and headed to bed. I can’t say for my first hostel experience I slept well. Sharing a room with so many people and with people constantly walking around and coming and going is something that takes a bit of adjusting to.
Our second day was one of my favourite days of the trip. There was an excursion to the Krka National Park that the hostel was offering however after doing our own research we found we could hire a car for less than the tour was charging and also gave us the freedom to arrive and leave when we wanted rather than being restricted by the hours the excursion offered.
We pre-booked our rental car and headed towards Old Town in the morning to look around this historic part of town which conveniently was also by the car rental office.
After spending the morning looking around Old Town and its surrounding area we collected our car at 12 and made our way to the national park. The drive wasn’t too bad, took us just over an hour to get there. We managed to park (although I imagine this would be difficult during peak season) and took the bus down towards the main park. If you haven’t heard of the Krka National Park I urge you to do some research on it as it’s beautiful! There’s so much to see and we wish we had longer. It’s definitely a place I’d like to go back to!
We braved getting into the cold lake water which was refreshing after the hike around the park. The great thing about this park is it’s accessible for everyone! Although it’s down a massive rock face and would have to make the way back up there’s always the option of a ramp which I thought was fantastic. Making everyone able to witness this natural beauty.
We spent about 4 hours exploring the park however could’ve easily spent longer here before having to head back to split to return the car we’d hired.
Once back in split we made our way back towards the hostel again picking up food for the evening. We decided to make wraps as we only wanted something light to eat.
Spontaneously we decided to also head to the beach after packing ready to move onto the next location. This was the perfect way to wind down from our day in preparation for bed bringing us back full circle from the beginning of our trip. Fortunately the beach was only a short walk from our hostel. We stayed there for a couple of hours watching locals playing and swimming in the sea till around midnight when we decided to head back to the hostel ready for the early start we had in the morning to make our way to Zagreb (blog post to follow)!
My favourite things about Split!
- Everything is in walking distance. We didn’t need to use public transport once after arriving in the main city.
- Access to free from food. This is something neither of us expected so early on in the trip. We thought finding food I could eat would become easier as the trip went on (oh how wrong we were).
- The lifestyle, I loved the local’s lifestyle in Split. The thought of being able to walk down to the beach a play/relax with friends till the early hours of the morning does sound dreamy to me and are something I wish I had access to where I live.
- The natural beauty of Split. Something I love when travelling is to experience the natural beauty of a place. Split and the surrounding area was filled with it.
- The tropical vibes. Split seemed extremely tropical with its palm trees, hot weather and relaxed atmosphere making it the perfect location for a relaxing getaway.
Have any of you visited Split in Croatia or are planning on visiting? I would love to know in the comments!