Top five things to do while touring Croatia
1. Stay in Split
Split is a buzzing Croatian coastal city perched on the shimmering turquoise waters of the Adriatic coast, with a backdrop of dramatic mountains. Hang out in the maze-like streets of the old town, with ancient ruins, historic sites, bars, cafes and restaurants at every turn. Book accommodation downtown, away from the austere Soviet-style suburbs. It's well worth taking a side trip to the historic city of Trogir, set within medieval walls on a tiny island. If you want to avoid the summer crowds, travel in the shoulder season.
2. Visit Diocletian's palace
The UNESCO world heritage site is one of the most impressive monuments from Ancient Rome. Built in the 4th century AD for the Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement, the grand marble palace is now the old town of Split, housing shops, apartments, restaurants and bars. It has beautiful churches, a cathedral and monastery. Book a 75-minute walking tour or extend it for a further 45 minutes if you want to cover more ground. Several Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here.
3. Eat at the Makrovega bar for lunch or dinner
Don't miss the splitska cake (dried fruit, nuts and vanilla cream) at the Luka ice-cream cafe.
4. Take a boat from Split Hvar
Hvar is a peaceful island where you can swim off the local dock and beaches. Eat flatbreads topped with local fresh figs, cheeses and ham at Fig cafe and bar. For panoramic views, walk up the hill to the French fort built by Napoleon's troops.
Snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear, blue waters of the nearby Blue Lagoon and eat freshly caught seafood at the local taverna. The boat from Split also stops at the small, beautiful island of Solta.