Croatia – Split or No Split ?

Split or no Split; that’s the question.

We were pondering whether we should go straight from Plitvice lakes to Hvar Island or whether we should half the car journey and spend one night in Split. As my Father-In-Law was travelling with us, we finally decided we would stop one night at Split so as to make the trip less strenuous.

Split with a population of 200,000 is Croatia’s second largest city. Home to Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO  World Heritage Site, Split offers a wealth of museums and Roman ruins with a  dramatic mountain backdrop, and a large promenade facing a vast expanse of the blue sea.

We arrived Split on 7 May, which happened to be the high point of the Saint Domiuus Festival (Sudamja) of Split. It seemed that the whole town has come out to greet us. They were all out on the Riva (the seaside promenade), celebrating their festival.

This festival, which is also the Day of the City commemorating the martyrdom of saint Domnius, has been celebrated for hundreds of years. Thousands of residents are on the Riva taking part a big  celebration with street festivals, music, and religious observances. The streets were filled with festive Croatians.

The promenade was turned into a big playground for the open-air bazaar.  There are all kinds of stalls selling traditional household products,  hand-crafted artwork, embroidery, musical instruments, toys and snacks. People  enjoyed their day with the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, singing, dancing  and laughing. Nowhere in Croatia have we detected any traces of the civil wars from 1991 to 1995. The Croatians we met and talked to seemed very happy with their lives. In a way, we find them sweet too. On this day, they were jovial.

We returned to the Riva after having the best seafood dinner we ever have in our whole trip.  The whole town was ablaze. The outdoor concert has already started and thousands of people jammed the promenade.

Split, is well-known for their  musical tradition and passion. On that night, it seemed that the whole town was singing and enjoying the musical performances and concerts.  We could feel every bit of it.   The festival was drawn to a spectacular close with  a colorful display of fireworks above the waterfront.

While heading back to the hotel, we were happy that we have made the decision to stop at Split.

33 thoughts on “Croatia – Split or No Split ?

  1. I loved seeing Split during that festival. When I was there it was freezing cold and felt pretty abandoned, nice to know that incredible palace gets to host some parties!
    (If you want to encounter more memory of the civil wars there, head to Sarajevo or Mostar in Bosnia.)

    • Understand that the festival last for a couple of weeks but 7 May is the high point. We were really fortunate to be there at the right time. The concerts that night were televised. We did pass through Bosnia on the way to Dubrovnik. Thanks very much for commenting! Regards, Michael

  2. I have always wanted to go to Croatia although I never really knew much about it but after seeing your photos I’m pretty sure I would like it 🙂 hopefully one day I can get there, thanks for sharing!

    • It is a pleasure for sharing those photos. Stay tuned for more about Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. Hope that you will be able to make it to Croatia one day. Thanks for commenting! Regards, Michael

  3. I visited Dubrovnik long before the wars, and always wanted to see more of Croatia. Wonderful to be there at a time of celebration and that last photo is alive for me. Looking forward to Hvar. Did you manage Korcula too?

    • Hi Joe, we were fortunate to be at Split during the festival. We didn’t manage Korcula. Hvar is very delightful; we thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Regards, Michael

    • Hi, Thanks for the nomination. I have decided not to pursue or receive any nomination during my retirement. As such, I have already turned down several nominations. Knowing that my posts are read throughout many parts of the world is already my biggest reward. With regret, I have to decline the nomination. I thank you for visiting my blog and the kind and supportive comments. Regards, Michael

    • Hi, Croatia, in partcular both Hvar and Split could be quite hot by now. Maybe, this is a blessing in disguise, you may want to go at an other time during Autumn or Spring. Regards, Michael

  4. I visited Split once very briefly when I was deployed to Bosnia. Secritary of Transportation Brown had just parished in a plane crash and I was part of the air crew that flew the army generals down for a conferance. Despite the unfortunate reason I was down there for those two days I still found it beautiful.

    • Hi Bill, I have never seen a harbor as clam or sea as blue as in Split. It is realy a beautiful place although many tourists just stop by as a transporatation hub. You must be preoccupied in your previous trip but still found it beautiful. Thanks for visiting my site! Michael

  5. Croatia is on my wish list to visit. Thanks for all your articles and beautiful photos, including the Plitvice Lakes National Park. I might ask you more questions later. Thank you for sharing!

    • Yes, Anita, we enjoyed our stay very much as it was a festive time in Split. We were glad to have done that. Thank you for the kind comment 🙂

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