When we arrived in a small airport in Split, we were hardly tired but were anxious enough to find a nice laid back restaurant for a late dinner.
As we rolled our luggage through the cobblestone floors in the Diocletian Palace, we were excited to see people having dinner in alcoves and having drinks on tables along narrow walkways.
The place is hard to describe because it’s not too often I can describe myself in an ancient palace bustling with romance. Needless to say we couldn’t wait to drop off our luggage.
People were out and the palace was alive and kicking and boy that got us excited!
We had no idea what we would find just outside our door.
The Wine -- What We Learned
Croatia is not a wine destination – it’s more of an island destination with great wine. With only a few days recommended to visit in most towns, stay a little longer if you want to learn more about their wines.
There are more wineries to visit along the Dalmatian Coast but you’ll be deciding to visit either the Falls, a winery, or swim off a boat. If there are places you’d like to visit other than wineries, take an extra day or two.
Surprisingly enough, as much as we like wine, we decided to explore the towns we visited than go wine tasting. However, since we drank wine with almost all dishes, I can say their wines are solid. They take great pride in their wines like anywhere else they tout their horns so taking an extra day wine tasting would not be a bad idea.
They have a couple of good wineries that were the same ones consistently recommended on Hvar. There’s not a lot of wineries on the island but the fact that there are, I would visit them.
The Food – The Kinds of Dishes You Enjoy or Not
I know, this is a common way to order (above) in a lot of places around the world, however in Croatia they take great pride in their fish dishes. If you make a face here, you might as well make a face with pasta in Italy.
We loved the clams, the mussels, the whole fish served in a pan and the sardines. If you’re allergic to shellfish or don’t like anything outside fish & chips, you might not get the ambiance here. Don’t like wine? Stick to the swimming and stay for not more than 2 days.
If you like Italian seafood, Croatia should be calling your name. Once owned by the Roman Empire, the food of the Dalmatian Coast is highly influenced by pastas drenched in sauce and loaded with mussels, squid and other types of fish.
Another popular type of cuisine is Mediterranean. They rave about cooking fresh fish in olive oil, lemon and herbs and it’s amazing. I loved how they mixed spinach with potatoes; a common side dish and which I’ll be making myself. (As shown in the photo above served with fresh fish served whole.)
Croatians are hard working during the high season months. However, I often found how a lot of them are not jaded to how tough the business of tourism can be.
After the Bosnian War and Croatia entering the European Union when everyone was old enough to remember, it’s good to know how special the people of Croatia are. There is now peace here and at the end of the day, they are proud to showcase their beautiful history including their food and wines.
I feel fortunate to be able to learn about this slice of paradise and it’s history. With palaces and castles that are centuries old that have been turned over by many countries throughout thousands of years traced back to the Roman Empire, the history shows in their cooking.