Braving the Bura: A Guide to Surviving the Extreme Winds in Split

Daniela Rogulj

Everyone in Croatia is in the midst of a so-called “Polar Vortex”: temperatures are greeting us in the minus and snow is not only blanketing the tops of mountains but the islands are finding their fair share as well. Dalmatia is being struck with hurricane-like winds gusting at speeds faster than you can drive and waking up to -3 degrees Celcius in Split this morning was a definite adjustment to the much warmer temperatures experienced last week. Unsure of what to do and where to go, how do we survive the bura in Split?

First things first: the winds today are strong. Apart from hearing them bang aggresively against my balcony door, each glance I get of the sea when I’m brave enough to sneak a peek is a front row seat to the perfect storm.

Unfortunately, the bura winds make it hard to do much of anything, and the icy cold temperatures today are the cake topper to pajamas and hot cups of tea on rotation. The voice of your Croatian grandmother (Baba) talking about “propuh” is also most likely replaying in your head and Baba is probably right, catching something from the cold drafts and strong winds is probably not in your best interest. 

For those of us that don’t have the luxury to stay inside and must brave the bura today, here are some survival tips to help get you through the storm.

Layering: A no-brainer, layer your clothing! Wear three pairs of socks, put long-john’s and tights under your jeans, and hell, even put sweatpants on underneath those but by all means layer! Covering your extremeties is super important as well, and this biting wind is definitely not a friend of your skin. Layer up and you won’t be (as) sorry.

Find shelter: Say you’re already out and a long way from home, the only logical decision to make is to stay inside a cafe or restaurant until the coast is clear, or until you absolutely have to brave the wind again. You’ll notice Split looking like a ghost town today and this weekend, and many restaurants and cafes may even be closed, but you are guaranteed to find a few bars or cafes in the alley ways of Split willing to take you in – don’t be shy!

Stay away from trees: When the winds are this strong, trees are falling down. It’s already begun happening in Split, and although it’s hard to prepare for falling trees, it’s easier to avoid walking by them as much as you can. Also be on the lookout for branches and flying objects – this wind takes no prisoners. 

Stay away from the sea: Okay, another no brainer it seems, but you’ll always find someone that thinks a walk along the beach during 100+km winds is a good idea. Stay away from the sea if you don’t have to be near it, and if you do, be wary of waves! The winds have made the sea aggresively angry, and our once calm and blissful sea has turned into a boater’s worst nightmare. Be smart and stay away. 

Stock up: The grocery stores in Split were filled with people yesterday, and most everyone shopping was preparing to not leave the house until the winds pass. Not a bad idea, stock up on what you can so you can avoid leaving the house unless you absolutely must. 

Find friends: Find friends and watch the storm pass together. There’s a reason you have all that cheese and smoked meat stored away – use it for a storm opportunity. We know that those liters of homemade wine from Baba’s house will also come in handy.

While these are just some tips for beginners, we’re sure many of you seasoned Splićani have your own guide to surviving the bura in the city – what are you tricks?


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment