Croatia – Split

Split is the biggest town in Dalmatia and one of the oldest. Like other cities in the area it has a long history of  wars and occupation by other nations. The historic city centre is another UNESCO World Heritage Site but outside of the fairly small old centre, the city comprises an urban sprawl of houses and apartments with extensive industrial areas.

The town sits on a peninsula with the main tourist area contained beside the busy harbour with a really nice waterfront aspect and a promenade, Riva, which has apparently seen a lot of investment in recent years. It’s a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by.

The promenade on the seafront at Split provides a great open space with plenty of cafes , ice-cream vendors and restaurants at the rear fronting Diocletian's Palace. greatto stroll or sit and people watch with a drink at one of the many places
The promenade on the seafront at Split provides a great place for people watching. Known as Riva, the promenade provides a large open space but with plenty of stalls selling tourist stuff, ice creams and drinks. To the rear is Diocletian’s Palace with open air cafes and restaurants looking on to Riva at the rear fronting Diocletian’s Palace.

 

Some of the restaurants lining the outside of Diocletian's Palace overlooking Riva
Some of the restaurants lining the outside of Diocletian’s Palace overlooking Riva

 

A different view of the City and Diocletian's Palace with its clock tower and the palm tree line Riva in the foreground
A different view of the City and Diocletian’s Palace with its clock tower and the palm tree lined Riva in the foreground

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The central area facing the Riva is dominated by Diocletian’s Palace which was built as Diocletian’s retirement home around 1700 years ago and is now a warren of buildings which have been extensively added to over the centuries. The Palace is now a  mish-mash of architectural styles and it’s not the prettiest building but some of the ancient features remain with a maze of narrow streets with shops selling tourist tat alongside others selling high end clothing and jewellery leading into squares and courtyards lined with restaurants.

The pictures below are inside and outside of Diocletian’s Palace and the neighbouring streets. Beyond this area there is little of interest to tourists outside of the beaches, water sports etc and Marjan Park.

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Marjan Hill

Overlooking  the city and reached by various pathways from the centre is Marjan Park. This was a highlight for us with some really nice walking up Marjan Hill to give some great views over the town and it’s harbour. The walk to the top is a decent workout but there is a resting point with cafe/restaurant half-way up and those not inclined or unable to walk up can take a taxi or join one of several available  town tours which include Majan in the itinerary. A rather modern crucifix sits on top of the hill and from the summit tracks lead off in all directions down to various points on the coast road that encircles the peninsula. We spent a day walking up the hill taking a random track down the in the direction opposite the town and then walked the coast road for a couple of hours back into town passing some nice beaches en route.

 

Another view of the City from XXjan Hill...
Another view of the City showing the backdrop of mountains – picture taken  from Majan Hill…

 

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With three cruise ships in the harbour we had picked a good day to get out of town
With three cruise ships in the harbour we had picked a good day to get out of town

 

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Split , like all the other towns we visited , is full of churches. There seems to be one on every street even in the narrowest of back streets. This is one we came across near the top of Marjan Hill.
Split, like all the other towns we visited, is full of churches. There seems to be one on every street even in the narrowest of back streets. There are quite a few on Marjan Hill – this is one of them….

 

And here's another church or at least chapel .This is built into the hillside and we came across it whilst walking down a rough and narrow track from the summit of Marjan Hill.
These are walled in hermit caves where monks once lived to protect a nearby church. It beggars belief how they got in and out of this place.

 

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We spent 3 nights here in Split in a small studio flat, Fabio Residence, in the old town.
The apartment was small  but ultra modern and really cleverly and well kitted out. We were impressed.

Travellers with less time (or those who want to tick off as many visits to as many towns as possible in double quick time) could easily see all that Split has to offer in a day or even half a day  if necessary but it would be a shame not to spend at least a night or two here.

We enjoyed our visit but after 3 nights we were ready to move on – to Trogir.

 

 

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