As many of you know, Lou and I loved our trip to the Balkans and have been talking about it with anyone who will listen. We started in Croatia and bounced around by bus from city to city. If you're thinking of staying in Croatia for a bit, Split is a nice place to settle! There's some really lovely places within driving distance. Best part: visiting them won't break the bank.
I read absolutely nothing about this city before visiting last May, and so I was surprised by how much I liked it! There were hardly any tourists around when we visited, partially because it was still the shoulder season in Croatia and partially because (I think) this place is a hidden gem. Many years ago, it was one of the biggest cities in Croatia, but now things have slowed down a bit in Sibenik. Lou and I wandered the tiny side streets and found lots of friendly cats! You can see most of the interesting things in a few hours, so it's a nice option for a day trip!
For any GoT fans out there, some scenes were filmed near the Cathedral of St. James (which is pretty impressive and entirely made of stone!). There may be other spots around town where they filmed as well.
We also visited St. Michael's Fortress, the Garden of St. Lawrence Monastery, and a small shrine dedicated (I think?) to the Virgin Mary. We randomly stumbled across the latter while walking and that's where we found the adorable cats!
To show you how charming the center of town is, I'll let the photos speak for themselves:
Krka National Park
I was very excited to get to national park (of course)! Some people on Instagram asked me if it was easy to get to Krka and what the parking situation was like. Lou and I took a tour of Sibenik, Krka NP and Skradin via Pelican Tours in Split (link here), so we rode in a van with other travelers to and from the park. But! You can definitely manage the drive on your own if that's your preference! It's a little over an hour from Split, so if you'd rather not drive all the way to Plitvice Lakes, this is a solid alternative! From what I could see, there is pretty good parking available as well. Ticket to enter the park was 90 kuna, but I'm not sure if there's an extra charge for parking.
As you can see, the falls are absolutely beautiful! Take some time to hike around the park. Some trails we walked lead to some very nice viewpoints. Someone asked me if one of my shots was taken with a drone -- it was taken with an outdated iPhone! But having a good view makes all the difference when taking a picture. There's a spot near the trail head where you can stand under a mini waterfall and get nice and wet!
I had read online that you could swim near the falls, and I was very excited for this part of our trip. But, alas, they did not let us swim out very far at all! There was a cranky guy with a whistle who would wave us back if we tried swimming more than 10 feet from the shore. I'd just wait until he walked away and then swim out again! Recently, a traveler from Singapore swam out too far, jumped from the rocks and died, so they've been taking more precautions. But, someone told me that later in the summer, they're more lenient about letting people swim out farther. We visited in late May, so maybe it was just bad timing?
Nevertheless, this place is definitely a must-see if you're staying near Split! We couldn't stop talking about it all the way back to Split!
We came to Omiš after a long day of traveling to (and then accidentally getting stranded overnight in) Hvar. We were both dead tired and just looking to wander around and grab a bite to eat. I LOVED it here, and ever since I visited, I've been obsessed. Omiš is a waterside town situated right near the Cetina canyon. The two things I have trouble deciding between are mountains and beaches, but here you get a little of both!
To get to Omiš from Split, just hop the number 60 bus that leaves from the bus terminal Sukoisan. Buses leave every half an hour on Saturdays! Again, be on time for the bus and just ask if you're not sure which one to get on. A ticket for a two way trip was about 33 kuna (less than $6).
I noticed that not many bloggers have written about Omiš, besides the fact that there are good places to zipline there. We planned to go ziplining, but Lou wasn't feeling up to it, so we took our time walking around town instead. For those wondering, ziplining would have cost us 400 kuna, or $67. I've ziplined before in Ecuador, so I was more than happy to save this money for later. Besides, ziplining isn't all Omiš has to offer! We paid a visit to the nearby fortress, Mirabella Fortress, and it was one of my favorite hikes from the whole trip! The view gets more lovely the higher you climb! Entrance to the fortress is about 20 kuna (less than $4). If you'd rather sit by the beach than hike, Beach Ruskamen is a nice, not-crowded spot to soak up some sun (and there were no nudists!). If you have no agenda, just wander around town! There's lots to see.
Hope this post makes you want to visit Croatia! We had a blast here, and I'm sure you would too :)
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