My 4 months in Europe have come to an end after a final month in Split, Croatia. I’m thinking about my time there, fresh on the heels of landing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Outside of the summer months, Split appears to be a sleepy little beach town with an interesting mix of Eastern European and Mediterranean vibes; during our first week there, the last week of the season, it came alive along the water with everything from concerts to trapeze artists.
1. It’s great for side trips.
From Split, you can rent a car and see much of the Croatian countryside. I went to the Krka National Park to see waterfalls and other Remotes raved about Plitvice and other Croatian towns along the Adriatic like Trogir, Zagreb, or Dubrovnik. Some friends and I also took a road trip to Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Split’s airport also allowed me easy access to most of Europe, and so I went to Oslo for the inaugural DevOpsDays Oslo. With direct flights to Italy and Germany, you can pretty much get anywhere from Split within a flight or two.
2. The beach and the islands are gorgeous.
Our welcome party was an evening at a beachside restaurant on Split’s peninsula, and it didn’t disappoint. With kayaks and SUPs, and a buffet for dinner, we truly relaxed in our new digs. There truly isn’t a single spot along Split’s beaches where you won’t be stunned by the view. I’m told on a clear day, you can practically see Italy (picturesque Dalmatian islands blocked my view). From Split, there’s a lot of islands to see, too. I visited Hvar & the Blue Cave, and they were a perfect day trip to get out onto the water and swim.
3. You will be eating a lot of pizza. And smoke.
Unsurprisingly, with it’s proximity to Ancona, Italy, you’ll find a lot of Italian food in Split. What’s weird is — some of it was great, like pizza, and some of it was also terrible, like bruschetta (literally white loaf bread with Kraft cheese slices). While you’re taking in how culturally Italian the Dalmatian coast can be, you’ll probably also notice that Split has the 3rd highest number of smokers in the EU. I’ve never had so much smoke, and so many inconsiderate people blowing smoke from literally a meter away directly onto my food and into my face. It’s really stunning, and restaurants don’t even seem to mitigate it a designated smoking section. If you can’t tolerate smoke, don’t eat in public in Split, sadly.
In May 2009, Croatia passed a law banning smoking in all public buildings. However, that was modified four months later to give small bars and cafes the option of allowing or not allowing on-premises smoking. – Frommers