Situated between majestic mountains and a clear sea, Split is one of Croatia’s must-visit cities. Ancient ruins, cathedrals, museums and a thriving Riviera give this old town an alluring appeal, that fuses the best of the medieval and modern worlds.
Split’s enchanting ambience and breathtaking sights are so picturesque, many of its public spaces were chosen as filming locations for the popular HBO medieval fantasy epic, Game of Thrones.
But despite everything that’s going for it, not many people know or have heard about this historic European city. Just ask the person sitting next to you if they have been to or know about the city of Split. Chances are, you’ll get an answer in the negative. But we are digressing.
Here are 5 reasons why Split in Croatia should be your next vacation destination.
1. The city centre is a haven for history buffs and fans of ancient architecture.
Many of Europe’s most iconic historical sites are found in Croatia and the ancient town of Split is home to one of the most spectacular of them all — Diocletian’s Palace
Built by Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th century AD, the palace is one of the world’s best preserved remains of a Roman-made palace. It combines the best features of a luxurious villa with the trappings of a military camp, with its imposing gates and watchtowers, while underground sections of the palace feature intricate stonework.
The structure is so massive, it occupies roughly half of the old town and the city centre. Come to think of it, this ancient remnant is actually more of a fortress than a palace.
2. Quick and easy access to the beach
Croatia has no shortage of beaches, and the city of Split is no different.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Old Town is Bacvice, a beach that features crystal-clear waters. Its accessibility makes it very popular with locals and visitors. Many go there to relax, swim, and people watch. Sun-kissed beach bums troop to Bacvice to play a traditional beach game called picigin. The game involves a group of players bouncing a small ball around, using just the palm of the hand. The goal is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible.
If a crowded beach is not your cup of tea, there are a number of quiet beaches around Split, like Kasjuni that features a relaxing backdrop of pine trees. The beach is perfect for a semi-private getaway.
3. Split’s turquoise blue sea is peppered with small islands
Exploring Split’s seascape is one of the most exhilarating activities you can do while there. Be sure to set aside one day for an island-hopping activity in Croatia’s Dalmatian coast.
While there are countless islands you can visit, the ones that you shouldn’t miss include Brač island and its white pebbled beach. Equally interesting is neighbouring Hvar island, that has retained its Old Town charm.
Away from all the crowd and the party noise are the islands of Vis and Korčula, which is known for its medieval towers and walls lining its harbour.
4. The view from Marjan Hill is breathtaking
For many travelers, a vacation to any destination would not be complete without the Instagram-worthy panoramic photo of the place.
Marjan, a 178-meter hill, offers an unhampered view of the entire city of Split, the nearby mountains of Mosor and Kozjak, and its surrounding islands. It is the perfect place for that Facebook selfie you’ve been meaning to take.
Accessible from the western end of the Riva promenade, Marjan Hill is also a popular trail for joggers because of the scenic forest that surrounds it. So remember to pack your running shoes, if you’re the sporty type.
The best time to go there is just before sunset. The trip will be worth it, I promise!
5. Relax or party at the bustling Riviera
Riva, Split’s seafront promenade, is a bustling part of town. People flock there to stroll, chat or simply relax over cappuccino with friends and locals.
The Riva’s contrasting fusion of modern amenities and historical structures seamlessly meshes the town’s historic past with its modern living. Cafés and restaurants line the long promenade, making it the best venue to chill, dine or for a night out with friends over drinks.
Riva is where the city life of Split comes alive, it is the site for many of its cultural and entertainment events, and is the best place to be if you’re looking to experience the local culture.
Ready to explore the historic European city of Split? Check out these exciting tours and activities from Travezl.com.
By: Brendelyn Balaga