Updated: Jul 14, 2019
The excitement of a vacation starts the moment you know your are going to Croatia especially Split. It’s as if Cabo, Seattle and Newport Beach, wined, dined, got intimate and conceived a rare and unique baby. With pristine beaches, aqua blue transparent water, this small town packs a huge punch when it comes to beautiful scenery. There are mountains surrounding this petite city and beautiful forests combined. Split sits below these mountains and forests and combined with many small peninsulas each with it's own pattern. The language sounds a bit odd and like mumbling at first, but once you are there, you won’t feel intimidated by. It is mandatory that Croatians learn either English or German during the first grade.
Guess what most of them choose? You guessed it. English. As with any place you venture to, you will pick up a few words here and there. Dobar dan for good day for starters. Yes, sounds like doberman, and one Hog did say that to a few people at the local coffee bar once they got to know him. It was so funny to them that one of the waiters would say it whenever they saw the Hogzs and all appreciated his playful banter. There is a very small gap in communication in Split if you’re American. Pretty easy to communicate. If all else fails, there's always Google Translate or apps such as Speak & Translate .
GETTING TO SPLIT
Flying directly in isn’t hard at all. Just book a direct flight on a major airline Split bound. However, traveling with your pet(s) from Florence Italy is going to require some real planning. Flying with dogs requires more headache. A boat requires dogs staying in a vehicle while being transported. So, how do you move your little fur babies if you don’t have a car and aren’t willing to go through the hassle of shipping them again through air transport? The struggle is real people. Thank goodness there are companies out there who will transfer you and your pets safely across the border. A strong recommendation, to be on the safe side, is to make sure your pups have their pet passports (it’s actually mandatory if they are staying in Europe for an extended period of time and if you are city hopping in Italy and or traveling to other European countries . Check out the section on international pet travel Arriving to Split from Florence Italy is a 12 hour drive.
The Hogz hired Silver Star Transfers in Croatia for the job at hand (found on Instagram - marketing is very important for your company). Thanks to the owner, Fabbo, who was extremely professional in making sure the driver Miro arrived promptly and picked up everyone with one dog in particular riding shotgun, Coco. It was a pleasant ride with stops along the way for bladders big and small. Miro was very nice to the dogs. He loved playing with them in between stops. Silver Star Transfers also has plenty of excursions to offer after arriving in Split as well. Contact the Hogz for a direct access to contacting the owner or you can simply book direct on https://www.silverstar-transfers.com/ .
Crossing the Slovenian and Croatian borders were a sight to see. Who knew that the little Slovenian country was so green and extremely quiet and clean? Who also neglected to mention that Croatia at the border going into Split resembles Seattle? Well, it was certainly a real visual treat to see the coast! Curvy roads and the sparkling Adriatic Sea are at your leisure majestic view.
WHERE TO STAY
Croatians are very proud people. They do their best to maintain clean streets and modern living environments. You can’t really tell by looking at the buildings on the outskirts of the main center with it’s pale communist looking apartment buildings, but you can sure become confused when you step in some of the Air BNB’s. Modern sleek and very clean. The Hogz fell in love with their Air BNB in Pujanke and the hosts. They were extremely accommodating. Bringing breakfast every morning and helping with requests and suggestions to make living in Split a little easier. This Hollywood like, air conditioned apartment was perfect. About a forty five minute walk to the center of town and a 20 minute walk to other beaches, but a great way to get your exercise in. Contact the Hogz if you would like to rent this gem of a place as well.
The Hogz often felt exhausted from daily walks to town in the heat and stumbled upon a hot new way of transportation without breaking the UBER piggy bank. The electric moped scooter which is sidewalk legal so you don’t have to worry about registration. Though, it’s not really suitable for two adults, the Hogz made it work, but later decided to get another kind of transportation, the e-cycle. You’ll enjoy an electric powered ride without feeling deprived of the benefit of walking and exploring. No one is really aware of this little gadget yet, so, the Hogz smell business opportunity. Purchased from E-Drive in Split, the two owners Dan and Victor were great.
When the Hogz returned to get the second bike, they ended up befriending the the two, having coffee with them and shooting the breeze. They invited the Hogz to try out the new water toys that they will be renting at the beach very soon. Want to have the hook up with this soon to be rental place? Contact the Travel Hogz, or better yet, subscribe and stay in the loop. The Hogz are always making connections. These scooters are also for rent in the summer so stay tuned!
The Hogz loved the moped scooter and e-bike so much that they even suggested to the Air BNB hosts to look into it. Fellow readers....you may want to start inquiring about it to make commuting very easy for you not only for vacation, but for zipping around your local city. Renting them on vacation is becoming a thing. Buying one at a great price is in the making!
WHAT TO DO
Once in Split, find the main town center where rich, jag dropping wonders tingle your senses. We suggest getting lost and making your way through all of the sites old combined with a modern touch. Ladies, and gents if you are up to it, shopping won’t go unnoticed. There is Guess Italian retail stores with styles not available in America. This is a great opportunity to look and feel unique. The best portion of your adventure through town is Diocletian’s Palace. Not much of a history lesson here, but you can see shops under the castle where you can stroll through for nick nicks and Dalmatian hand crafted item.
Believe it or not, Split is quite the modern little town. A few short miles from the town center is a place to find solitude and refuge from the heat on a hot day. The Mall. The Mall of Split has some of the most Americanized and Italian shops as well as the downtown area. Feeling like you need a taste of home? There’s a McDonald’s among other fast foodie hubs where you can sit and enjoy grand views of the Split mountains and even an movie theater with all the block buster movies in English! For $5.00 you can enjoy a great movie and for $7 more dollars you can enjoy popcorn candy.
There is plenty to do if you are a real Doer. Submarine tours, seadoo tours, boat dinner and lunch cruises, bike rentals, charter tours you name it it’s there. Towards the south end of Split there is a large park next to the water where people go to swim in secluded areas and there are some beach areas with restaurants readily available. Be sure to carry cash in KUNA because places where you would think they take credit cards do not. Stay tuned for more adventures to several islands and National parks.
THE FOOD IN CROATIA - MMMM MMMM GOOD
If you think there is a specific kind of recipe that Croatians whip up and eat, there probably are a few. For the most part, they eat what Italians eat. Pasta, pizza, lasagna, prosciutto, cheese and so on. Fish and other seafood are definitely on the menu as well. Do they like wine you may ask? No! They LOVE wine! FRESH describes all of their food and drinks. The Italians eat fresh but most of the people in Split have their own gardens where they grow their own fruits and vegetables. Everything is light, fresh and organic. No preservatives or hormones in this town either! The food is loaded with flavor and the craving for more.
All of the restaurants along the boardwalk have a very romantic and exotic vibe. Try them all if you can. If you want a little less traffic head further down away from the heavily touristy area.
Want a unforgettable view while taking in the view of paradise? Basta is along the water front past the main center. A very relaxing and enjoyable place to go. The Travel Hogz made Basta their Starbucks for daily coffee stops. No need to learn an macchiato is an espresso or a large is a tall here in Split. A Caffe Latte is actually a normal size and macchiato’s are in a regular sized coffee cup.
Gourmet Basta coffee bar is where the exotic yachts accessorize your view of the beautiful blue sea and the food and wine makes you swoon. Another great place to go is a bit further down from Basta, is De Mar. Awesome coffee and great food! Great staff and turns out, the Air BNB host is a host/manager there. Coffee….comped. The Hogz are so grateful for coffee and the kindness behind a free cup! They love to compensate kind gestures. Bokeria is a very nice place to enjoy great food a romantic setting. Located in the middle of all of the ancient buildings, it's a modern gem in a historical setting.
PETS IN SPLIT
You can rest assure that Fido is welcomed in Split. However, dogs are not welcomed inside restaurants as in Florence. Even some patios won’t allow dogs. It depends on other customers and the owner of the establishment. If someone is allergic or afraid of dogs then you’ll probably have to find another place to go. Overall, it’s not a problem. One thing you should know is that Dogs are not allowed on beaches probably for health reasons.There is a beach totally dedicated to dogs and their owners. Yes your pooch can swim with you and other fellow canines in peace at Duilovo Dog Beach. Duilovo Beach is located about 10 minutes via scooter from the main town center. All you have to do is follow the coastline and you are there in no time.
Driving around in Split seems fairly easy and safe unlike Florence where you could be murdered while walking along the sidewalk. Croatian streets are quite normal and well organized. Florence could learn a thing or two. The only pitfall with Croatia is if you are a heavy internet user their speeds are not very good at all. As an executive or business owner trying to get work done, you’ll probably have to refrain from pulling your hair out from slow internet speeds.
Now that’s where the Croatians could learn from Florentines. Be prepared to use your phone’s hotspot for the most part. T Mobile HR offers an unlimited data prepaid SIM card (weekly renewal) with a hotspot. Croatians are basically very kind and speak very good English. The weather is usually beautiful with scattered tropical storms here and there but nothing major. The wind will often pick up and it tends to get a little chilly after 5pm in June. Enjoy this small town with it’s rock beaches and great waterfront.
Believe it or not, Split is quite the modern little town. A few short miles from the town center is a place to find solitude and refuge from the heat on a hot day. The Mall. The Mall of Split has some of the most Americanized and Italian shops as well as the downtown area.
Feeling like you need a taste of home? There’s a McDonald’s among other fast foodie hubs where you can sit and enjoy grand views of the Split mountains and even an movie theater with all the blockbuster movies in English! For $5.00 you can enjoy a great movie and for $7 more dollars you can enjoy popcorn candy & treats! Now isn't that a treat?!!y & treats! Now isn't that a treat??!y & treats! Now isn't that a treat!?!y & treats! Now isn't that a treat!