Split Culture

Hajduk

If you like culture, especially the culture of sports, then Split is the place for you. Athletics brings the entire region together and is especially praised when it is futbol season! Hajduk is the name of the team and you cannot walk around the city without seeing graffiti, flags and shirts sporting this symbol of Split. They play games at Poljud stadium right outside the old city and if you are in the area during the season- you must go to a game!  The fans go crazy and the team is proud to represent such a great region. One thing is for sure, this region produces some of the greatest athletes in the country.

Hvar

People that have visited Hvar will argue that it is one of the best places in Croatia. Just a two-hour ferry ride from Split, it is also a must see if you are exploring the islands by sailboat or yacht.  This is where Beyonce and Prince Harry park their yachts for the fine dining and nightlife the island has during the season.  By far one of the most picturesque islands in the Adriatic, I went immediately to Hvar town to rent a moped.  If you want to experience the island life by bike, I would definitely recommend this if you are traveling alone.  I first rode up the main road to the fortress that overlooks the entire old town.  Then venturing out of the city, I rode to Milna where I went to visit the oldest and only remaining distillery on the island for making grappa. Grappa is a strong liqueur that is made from wine grapes.  Made using heated barrels made from a wood burning fire, the alcohol that is extracted is some of the strongest alcohol I have tasted.  I was so hot after visiting the distillery that I decided to cool off in the clear blue sea.  I went snorkeling and a friend of mine let me do some spear fishing.  The water is so clear, refreshing and not very cold!

Brac

Brac is the closest island to be reached from the city of Split. To get to Brac I drove onto the car ferry and rode it for 45 minutes. Croatia has the ferry system down to a science and is extremely consistent.  Make sure you always have your ticket bought and follow the signs carefully in order to get into the right boarding line.  Once I arrived to the island, I went immediately to Klesarska Skola, the stone masonry school on the island. The stone that is found here is recognized worldwide, even in the United States. It is said that the limestone from this island was used in Washington D.C.’s White House as well as the famed cathedral in Sibenik. It’s quality and whiteness has made stone a symbol of the city. Other than the stone, the beaches of Brac are some of the best in Croatia, particularly Bol Beach, and its unique horn shape.  If you want to get the best view of this beach, I suggest you drive up to Vidova Gora lookout point which is the highest point on the island. The number one thing that drives people to this beach is the fantastic wind speeds. Some of the world’s best wind surfers and kite surfers make this a stop on their trip through Croatia. I went to give the wind surfing a try at Zoo Station with my buddy Toni Bulic. He owns the beachside bar and rentals shop and will make sure you are taken care of. I have to warn you that if the winds are strong, it may be a challenge getting on and off the board, but if you need any help there will be an instructor to guide you through it.  If the thrilling sports is not your way of having fun, grab a cold beverage and soak in the sun on the beautiful beach looking out onto other islands.  After a day on the beach, make sure you don’t leave the island without trying the famous roasted lamb.  Some like to eat baby lambs that cook over the fire for up to 8 hours. If you do want to try this delicacy, you must call the restaurant in the morning or day before to allow them time to prepare it.  I was not the biggest fan of this baby lamb, but everyone else argued it was the best, so eat at your own risk!  I did however thoroughly enjoy the regular (or fully grown) roasted lamb, another specialty of the island.  Brac is a great day trip and it is close enough to take the ferry back in the evening and sleep in your hotel in Split.