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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Croatia Travels | Budget Edition


Hey, I am finally back on the blog after yet another long time away from writing but as the majority of you will already know Fashion Aid has had to be put to one side until after my Masters here in Amsterdam. I have been receiving so many messages in relation to my Croatia travels last summer so I am finally sitting down to write it all up. Just a side note, Martijn and I had very tight budgets for our trip so despite the fact I do really recommend where we stayed it is VERY VERY basic and most definitely for a tight student budget.

If you have already read my previous post Summer in Slovenia you will know once we finished up in Ljubljana, Slovenia we caught a night train all the way to Split, Croatia. I am not going to paint a perfect picture and tell you this was any way glamorous but it was the cheapest and most convenient way for us to get all the way to Spit. We got one train from Ljubljana to Zagreb and after a stop off in Zagreb, we caught our direct train from Zagreb to Split.



SPLIT


ACCOMMODATION

Once we arrived to Split train station we had about a 10-minute walk to our Airbnb which I must admit I was very unsure about. We had no choice with accommodation as we left it so last minute however like I always say the reviews say A LOT when it comes to Airbnb and thankfully this time they were so right! Our Airbnb which was run by Diana and her son was just perfect for our time in Split. The fact we were working with a very limited budget + we didn't book until we were on our way to Split did mean we were sleeping VERY basic but it was extremely clean and in a safe location. Diana also had lots of local advice which we always find a huge bonus with Airbnb. We spent two full days in Split before heading to the islands and I have to say I was so impressed with the area and how beautiful it was.
For all of those who ask, I have also attached my Airbnb discount link here :)

FOOD & DRINKS

  • Vidilica (Highly recommend for a drink or a spot of lunch with a view of Split)
  • Bistro Toć-Split (Fab spot for dinner and a glass of Croatian wine)
  • FABRIQUE (Drinks & dinner spot)
  • BEACH & BOOZE BAR (Quick lunch/drink at the beach, also a sunbathing spot)
  • TERMINAL F (Casual spot for lunch/dinner before catching the ferry or train)
THE AREA
  • Diocletian's Palace was absolutely incredible, some scenes of Game of Thrones were actually filmed there!
  • We found Bacvice Beach to be CRAZY busy in July! If you are staying in Split for a longer period than us I would highly recommend getting accommodation with a pool. 
  • Walking up Mount Marjan is a must for an incredible view of Split + you can have a drink or lunch at Vidilica.










STARI GRAD, HVAR


NEXT STOP

Once we finished up in Split we took a ferry to Stari Grad, Hvar. We booked the tickets for around €6.50 each that morning from the harbor and the journey was around two hours long. I am the definition of a sun worshiper so sitting on top of the ferry was like being out on a boat trip. Just a little tip, I would recommend going early in the day to get your tickets particularly if you are traveling during peak season.

ACCOMMODATION

We got so lucky with our accommodation in Stari Grad especially for what we paid. We stayed in Guesthouse Wish which was only a five-minute walk from Stari Grad center + the bus to Hvar town. Our host was so nice and always willing to help in any way she could. When we arrived at the harbor she collected us which was all organized when we booked online. Once again we didn't have a budget to splash out but for the amount of time we spent in the accommodation, it was perfect!


FOOD & DRINKS
  • Restaurant Anika (I honestly couldn't recommend this place enough! We ate here multiple times because the food was just incredible)
  • Markos Pizzeria (Really popular pizza spot)
  • Jazz & Wine festival (This festival was on in the center of Stari Grad around the end of July with live music and a fab selection of local wines. I am not sure if it is an annual thing..Keep an eye out if you are there)
THE AREA

We ended up staying on Hvar island for a total of five days which was not planned at all! We just loved how chilled Stari Grad was and that's exactly what we wanted for the last few weeks of the trip. Despite the fact our accommodation was in Stari Grad we did spend a full day in Hvar town which was only a bus ride away. 

The one thing I would say is the nightlife in Hvar town is, of course, a lot more lively! When we were coming to the island it just wasn't an option to stay there as the accommodation left were either awful or not in our budget. Stari Grad in our opinion is still a bit of a hidden gem.







HVAR TOWN


THE AREA

As we were staying in Stari Grad, Hvar we decided to take the bus to Hvar town for the day which was so nice! If you don't stay in Hvar town when visiting the island you should 100% pay the town a visit for the day/night. There was so many fab hotels, luxury beach clubs, etc. There is a big increase in the number of tourists in Hvar town opposed to Stari Grad so it was really nice to be able to relax and take the bus in to explore when we wanted. The Spanish Fortress should be on top of your list if you are paying Hvar town a visit, it is the definition of picturesque.


DRINKS

  • Plava Alga (Such a nice spot to have a drink in the sun overlooking the harbor)
NEXT STOP

Our final stop before heading back home was the island of Vis. We had to take the ferry from Stari Grad to Split and then onto Vis because of the day we were traveling so just be aware not all ferries run on the same timetable. You can check it out with the harbor depending on the day you want to travel and what island you are going to. The ferry is very reasonable so it was no big deal to go back to Split but time wise it does add up so just be aware of that.






VIS


ACCOMMODATION

As much as our Vis accommodation was not glam it was absolutely perfect for our stay. Location wise it couldn't have been any better and our Airbnb host Ana was so helpful throughout our stay. As much as the room was tiny we literally spent zero time there and when we did want to chill we used the upstairs terrace which was really nice! I do know Ana has a number of rooms so I have linked her profile which will show you the options :)


FOOD & DRINKS
  • Karijola Pizzeria (Couldn't recommend this place enough. Delicious fresh pizzas and really cheap but AMAZING local wine)
  • Konoba Magic (The most incredible meal. A real treat located amongst the vineyards....A MUST but more on the expensive side!)
THE AREA

We stayed in Vis for five days to finish off our trip and it was just WOW! Mamma Mia 2 was actually filmed here which I was fascinated about.
  • Another huge plus about our Airbnb was the fact our host Ana also rented scooters on the island. Renting a scooter to explore the island is a must if you have an international drivers license with you! The most incredible thing about renting a scooter is how easy it is to see the whole island, it was so nice to be able to drive around for days surrounded by vineyards and the most insane views.
  • Stiniva beach which was voted the best in Europe is a must! It is off the beaten track so you need to wear comfortable feet wear to get down.
  • We also drove to Smokova beach on the scooter for a swim and to relax in the sun which was so nice!













I hope this helped any of you planning a trip to Croatia. Despite the fact we were on a very limited budget we had the most incredible time exploring as much as possible.
You can also check out the Fashion Aid Instagram to see my Croatia highlights with some clips from the trip :)

Have a fab week!

Éadaoin xo
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