From Split to Dubrovnik
My 5 days in Croatia were (obviously) spent on great food, swimming in the bright blue sea and haunting for Game of Thrones filming sites. In a few words, my favourite holiday routine. Croatia is a hilly country, with lush green forests and lovely beaches, and there is obviously and abundance of things to do. If however you have limited time like me, and you want to squeeze as much sightseeing as possible while also enjoying the good weather, then Spit, Dubrovnik and the beaches in between are a great option. It’s fairly easy and very enjoyable to go from Split to Croatia by car and I highly recommend this road trip. The landscape is amazing and you can stop and take a dip at any of the pebbly beaches along the way.
I landed in Split and after a very smooth ride with the local bus I arrived at Split city centre. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much as Dubrovnik usually takes all the glory. How pleasantly surprised was I? Split is very laid back and although it does feel touristy it is not as hectic as Dubrovnik and it has definitely a more authentic atmosphere. The city has been gradually built within the ancient ruins of the Diocletian summer villa. Said ruins are ever present and can be marvelled while simultaneously enjoying a cup of coffee or some fresh fish in the city’s many konobas; as restaurants are called.
After a day in Split I rented a car and drove to Dubrovnik. An hour drive later I was on my way for the first dip in Brela beach. All the beaches in the Split - Dubrovnik coastline are pebbly but very clean and enjoyable. The best thing to do is follow your instinct and just stop wherever you see an opening A good indication that there is a beach below you is the few parked cars appearing out of nowhere on the highway. Brela is organised with some umbrellas and a cute restaurant-cafe but it was fairly quiet in late May, which is what I was going for. The closest you get to Dubrovnik the more options there are and the busiest the beaches become.
Late in the afternoon among an amazingly pink sunset I arrived in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is the mother of castle cities and one of the most recognisable due to its feature in Game of Thrones. It is also really really pretty. The best time to walk around is very early in the morning or close to the sunset when the colours are at their most impressive.
Where to sleep
Splurge in Brown Beach house in the nearby Trogir
Or enjoy the rustic charm of Villa Split Heritage hotel
Splurge in Villa Dubrovnik
For a more affordable option this Airbnb right outside of the Dubrovnik castle walls enjoys a breathtaking view and come with a very convenient parking space
Where to eat
I am urging you to pay a visit to Konoba Fetivi and order fresh fish or the ink risotto or some fried shrimps. Basically everything in this restaurant is super fresh and yummy. Hear it from me, I’m Greek and grew up eating fresh fish.
Another great option is Villa Spiza, famous for the ever changing menu and the great zucchini pasta. Head early as the queues can be long and some of the dishes may run out
For breakfast, brunch or nice drinks in the evening head to Bokeria kitchen & wine bar. The granola there is phenomenal
I was not impressed with the food in Dubrovnik but that’s fine. I guess it is not one of the places you go to find great food.
Zuzori is a nice restaurant specialised in Mediterranean food
If you head outside the city fortification Taberna Otto is a good option too.
Where to swim
Every nook and cranny in the huge Croatian coast line has a nice little beach or cove. For a popular and organised beach head to Brela
Velica Duba is a bright green Pebbly cove in the Maraska Riviera stretch.
Find my personalised Google map with all the useful info here