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Published: July 24th 2017
We have just come back from a fabulous, chilled out holiday in Split, Croatia. We caught an easyjet flight from Geneva direct to Split, caught the Airport shuttle bus, very easy and well organised. We stayed in this cute little apartment we found on booking.com he also advertises on Air B & B. Our host was fantastic, making sure we knew where the beaches were, how to get into town, supermarkets, fish markets, police and hospitals (assuring us the last 2 we wouldn't need). The location was perfect, we were a 5 minute walk from Bacvice beach and a 5 minute walk from the Roman old town, Diocletian's palace.
We decided not to go to Dubrovnik, which is highly recommended and didn't do any boat trips to neighbouring islands. We just chilled! Slept in, walked to the beach, hung out, swam, played in the sand, ate ice cream, hung out in the Roman old town, it was lovely!
The closest beach was called Bacvice Beach
. It was a sandy beach, with a shallow bay and a cement promenade around it. We learnt pretty quickly sitting on the beach meant very sandy, damp towels and actually sitting on the concrete wasn't
too bad. The kids loved this beach the most, the combination of sand to dig in, shallow water to play in and the occasional small waves to jump over. Murray and I found this beach a little crowded. A lot of older locals were collecting water bottles, they recycle them for money. Great initiative as it meant the beaches were cleaner than expected. Although it was a little intimidating having our water bottles taken before we were ready to part with them. There seemed to be a local game where older men in their speedos would stand in a circle in the shallows hitting a tennis shaped ball to each other, diving for the ball often meant a face plant into the shallow water. Quite entertaining and great to see people out and about and active. Still can't get over how little Europeans wear on the beach, as usual us kiwis had the most beach wear on whilst swimming.
If you walk around to the east of Bacvice beach along the promenade there are some nice restaurants and some more bays. Because of the concrete promenade you can jump into the water and it is already deep, much like
a salty swimming pool, ladders are often enough to get in and out. We did some wharf dives from there and also did the Aqua park which I have huge bruises from. An inflatable challenge course, which looked like a fun, floaty bouncy castle from the shore. Problem is if you fall in, you have to get back onto it, which seemed much harder than we thought!
We really loved Pizzeria Karaka for dinner which was along the promenade, nice variety of food to keep everyone happy.
Continuing around the point there are some rocky beaches which didn't appeal and a place you could rent jet skis and paddle boats with slides on them. I fear most water, although I am a confident swimmer. Something to do with boggie boarding in New Zealand as a kid and being called out of the water as a basking shark was going up and down the beach in the waves we were just in, yikes!! I am trying desperately not to pass my fear onto the kids. I've worked hard with them being confident in the Geneva Lake near where we live. I still do freak out a little in the
lake. The ocean, however, is still another story. We did the paddle boat, Murray, Charlotte and Hayley confidently swimming off the boat and sliding into the water. Emma cried the ENTIRE first trip and I peddled and tried to keep Emma calm. We bribed her with ice cream to do the trip the next day in calmer seas. She managed to jump off the back of the boat, and only when mummy ventured in on the slide did she decide to do it. I was so scared!! Cue fast/calm swimming to get back into the boat. Very proud of all my girls overcoming their own fears and for me too. Murray of course, was thrilled and is now in full swing planning a sailing trip down the line, we were waiting for them all to be comfortable in the open water.
The next sandy beach continuing along the east was Murray and mine favourite, it is called Firule beach
. Much cleaner and smaller with some shade, sand, shallow water and deeper water with a wharf you can jump off. This is where Emma jumped off first and then managed without her trusty life jacket, she can swim but uses
it to feel more confident in open water. A nice variety of things for the family to do at this beach, snorkeling, jumping off the wharf, swimming, playing in the sand and chilling on the beach.
Continuing on around the bays is the Marina, and then a longish walk for little legs to the 'best' beach called Trstenik beach
. It was beautiful, although looked a little fake, little stones, clear water and fairly deep. It was beautiful, but we never managed to convince those tiny legs to go again.
We really loved the old town
and went every night. The bustling little streets filled with restaurants, Roman castle ruins, buskers and random roman statues, pillars or churches etc. We quickly learnt the best ice cream place (see photo). This ice cream was so good, and eventually the lady behind the counter remembered the chocolate girls. We also had dinner at Mediterraneo and it did not disappoint. Great food!
All in all, travelling with children aged 6, 8 10 is much easier, easily bribed with ice cream and able to walk a bit more that our pre-Europe days. A fabulous holiday destination we hope to go back to.
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