You have heard the phrase a thousand times over, “time passes in a blur…” Very true. Except when you are waiting for a delayed flight in a busy airport departure lounge. It is even worse when the flight is canceled altogether. As someone who has been caught in such situations a dozen times in the past, I have made it my duty to discover fun things to do in various cities around the world if my flight is delayed or cancelled. Of all the destinations I have covered this far, none has provided as much choice and variety of activities to do as Split in Croatia.
I hereby share some of the best distractions for airline passengers facing prospects of delayed flights in the bustling city. As you can see, the suggestions are varied enough to offer options to travelers delayed for short to lengthy periods of time as the case may be.
Here are suggestions of what to do if you are in Split airport (SPU) and:
Your flight is delayed for 2 hours or less…
If you have about a couple of hours to spend waiting for your delayed flight, you do not have to spend that time twiddling fingers or browsing through a boring magazine in the lounge. Owing to its scenic location and very busy nature of business, Split Airport is known the world over as a perfect place to go airplane spotting.
The seaside promenade on the historic city of Trogir offers the best view of planes landing and taking off as it lies just below the glide path to the airport’s Runway 05. But if you do not have enough time to go all the way to Trogir (the old city is on an island just off the airport itself), opt for a strategic location just outside the airport as the runways are very close to the airport boundaries. You will be surprised at the number of tourists and locals enjoying the same fascination.
Your flight is delayed for 3 to 6 hours…
For a lengthier delay stretching for up to six hours, you have a wide selection of attractions in and around the city. I would highly recommend a visit to the Diocletian’s Palace in the historic sector of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was built at the height of the Roman Empire and is amazingly preserved to the present day. You will be enthralled by the hulking height of the palace’s four gates: the Golden Gate (Porta Aurea in Latin, or Zlatna vrata in Croatian), the Silver Gate (Porta Argenta in Latin, or Srebrna vrata in Croatian), Iron Gate (Porta Ferrea in Latin, or eljezna vrata in Croatian) and Bronze Gate (Porta Aenea in Latin, or Mjedena vrata in Croatian.
Your flight is delayed for 7 to 12 hours…
For travelers whose flights have been delayed for up to 12 hours, I would recommend going for something other than mere sightseeing. Of the various recommendations I could make, none make as much sense as going for a snorkeling adventure of the coastal waters of Split. The PADI diving center is a licensed snorkeling club and even if you have zero experience in the pastime, you will soon be having a wild time of it under the guidance of expert snorkelers who know how to make the experience a fun filled outing.
Your flight is cancelled or delayed by over 12 hours…
The news that your flight has been cancelled or delayed for longer than 12 hours may feel like a vicious kick in the tummy but you should not let it dampen your spirit. I was once caught up in similar circumstance at this very airport and I forgot the inconvenience of it all by opting to go for a sailing experience around the amazing Dalmatian coastline. After all, it is not for nothing that Croatia is known as a sailing paradise.
There are many boat charter agencies within a 10-20 minutes’ taxi drive from the airport. From there you will be able to charter a vessel of your choice and set off for an all day long sailing adventure. The one important thing you should keep in mind is getting familiar with the Croatian sailing guidelines with important numbers and danger signals which will keep you safe while on board.
The Dalmatian coastline has well over a thousand islands and islets each with its own story and landscape. We hope this tips will help you get the most out of a delayed or cancelled flight and you will use this opportunity to see more of the beauty Split has to offer.
About the author: Romeo Demes is a passionate writer and blogger from Croatia. He lived more than half of his life in the beautiful Dubrovnik. He travels a lot and has seen many amazing places, but you know how they say – no place feels like home.