Brimming with culture, stunning landscapes and a relaxing atmosphere, a holiday to Split in 2017 is not to be missed. Situated in the heart of sunny Croatia with a spectacular Adriatic coastal location, Split is one of Europe's most picturesque and idyllic towns. Second in size only to Dubrovnik, holidays to Split give you plenty of chances to explore nearby islands, hike up the mountains that serve as the city’s backdrop, and truly enjoy the Dalmatian Coast.
Visitors will enjoy spending their days strolling around the town's ancient ruins or walking in the pretty Marjan Forest Park, before sampling the local bars and restaurants in the evenings.
If you’re planning on island-hopping in the Adriatic, Split will make the perfect base for you. For those who wish to explore the winding coastline close to Split, Trogir will reward you with its historic town walls and harbour, whereas Primosten will offer you all the usual resort attractions, and a bit further north, is the coastal gem, Sibenik, with its maze of medieval streets.
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Split holidays are ideal for culture-lovers, as the town dates back over 1,700 years and is steeped in history. The most iconic and imposing building is the beautiful Diocletian's Palace, which was constructed in 305 AD and is one of the most incredible Roman sites still standing today, aside from the Coliseum in Rome, of course.
Those with restless legs can break a sweat with a hike up to the top of Marjan Hill, a fragrant nature reserve that hugs Split. Meanwhile, those who prefer a gentle stroll can take a wander along the Riva, Split’s pedestrian-friendly promenade, which is bustling with cafés and restaurants to refuel in.
Hvar and Brac, tiny lush, green gems surrounded by turquoise waters, are two of the nearest islands, and are both perfect for day trips while holidaying in Split. There are also ferry connections to the famous city of Dubrovnik, which Lord Byron referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic. In fact, many visitors to Split choose a multi-centred holiday option and include a few days staying in this historical wonder.
Wine and Dine
Like all other Mediterranean areas, Split has a vast array of wondrous dishes to please the palate. Try the local Balkan flavours and dishes like grilled tuna and capers, and freshly-plucked mussels in a savoury tomato sauce. As Split is along the Adriatic, you really cannot miss out on the delectable seafood, ripe from the waters. From family-run eateries to international fine dining along the water, there is a restaurant and café in the area to suit all travel styles. The Riva is a great place to sit back with a coffee and people-watch, and the Bacvice Beach cafés are perfect for refreshing yourself with a cooling drink whilst watching the peaceful coastal scenery.
Of course, no meal is complete with a bit of traditional liquor and wine. Holidays to Split are also great for foodies and those wishing to experience the welcoming hospitality of the Croatian locals. Holidaymakers can enjoy sampling traditional Pelinkovac, a popular alcoholic drink, and janjetina, delicious cooked lamb with spiced Mediterranean herbs.
With plenty of beaches, parks, tours and attractions, all accessible by public transport, Spit makes a great, hassle-free, family holiday.
Families keen for a spot of adventure will be spoilt by the choice of islands to explore and tours to take part in. Not to mention the beautiful Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes with their stunning waterfalls and scenery.
From Split, families can take day trips to the islands of Hvar, Brac, and Solta, or take a short journey to Omis for some rafting. Those wishing to stay local will find a Segway or cycle tour around the town will offer a different view of the area.
Head to the Riva and take the Semi-Submarine, a boat trip that offers the unique opportunity for children to explore underwater, with the boat’s hull acting as an underwater observatory.
Back on dry land, take the bus to Znjan Beach, where trampolines, bouncy castles and paddle boats will keep the children amused while adults relax.
Action and Adventure
If you’re looking for a bit of adventure on your holiday, then Split will have something for you. Whether it’s a speedboat tour, a jet ski safari, extreme canyoning, or snorkelling around the islands of Brac and Solta, there’s guaranteed to be something to get the heart pumping.
The popular Bacvice Beach is a top spot for aquatic activities, especially during the summer. Take a trip to Cetina River to go white water rafting, perfect for thrill-seeking visitors who want a refreshing adventure, or kayak around the peninsula to Hvar for stunning views of the shore. A visit by boat to some of the natural coves and sea caves which the area is famous for, should not be missed.
Stay inland and keep fit with a trek up to the stunning nature reserve on Marjan Hill which looks out over Split, and be sure to keep your camera handy.
Life's a Beach
Surrounded by water, Split is a coastal haven of pebble beaches and clear water. If you’re looking to spend a bit of time soaking up the sun, Split has a mix of popular, lively beaches with bars and activities, and quieter areas, great for relaxing and getting away from it all.
Away from town you may fancy a spot of island-hopping to Brac and Hvar taking time to enjoy the crystal-clear sea, or spend a quiet day on the beach down at Omis, or simply explore the stunning countryside along the coastline.
Some beaches are a short journey from the centre of town but can be easily reached by the town’s public transport or by hiring a bike. Bene Beach, situated beneath Marjan Hill, is easy to get to by bus or the handy tourist train which runs during the summer. Kasjuni Beach can be found on the other side of Marjan Hill and is great for those looking to sunbathe during the day and carry on into the evening with a few drinks at one of the beach bars. The popular Bacvice Beach is more central, offers great facilities and activities, and boasts Blue Flag status.
Split has a vibrant nightlife with modern and traditional bars, impressive restaurants, and regular shows and festivals to keep everyone entertained until late.
As the sun sets, the Riva transforms itself from a cool spot for a relaxing daytime drink to a lively evening hub. The modern bars serve beer, schnapps and cocktails to a young crowd who lap up the art and music shows which are part and parcel of this culturally dynamic part of town. You’ll also find plenty of cafés in many of the town’s squares – take a wander down one of the narrow streets and you’re almost guaranteed to discover one of the town’s friendly little bars. The quaint courtyards and streets are just the spot to sit outside and enjoy a drink with friends or loved ones.
Once the bars in town begin to wind down, head to the beach where the bars and clubs stay open late, especially in the summer months. You’ll find a good selection of DJs and live music, playing a variety of music from dance to rock.
For loved-up couples searching for some fun along the seafront, head to Kasjuni Cove which is quieter than Bacvice Beach and the perfect spot for a picnic nestled between the pine trees and the sea. Hop onboard a ferry to the nearby islands and cruise around on a yacht for a cosy time on the water, or end the day with some blissful sunset sea kayaking.
The late afternoon is a great time to take a leisurely walk along the harbour and through the city, when all the buildings and the sea transform to a lovely shade of gold. The nearby UNESCO town of Trogir is brimming with romantic architecture, from its city walls to the St. Lawrence Cathedral.
Complete the holiday with a wine-tasting tour of Split, trying a few different Croatian wines and cheeses.
A holiday in Split would not be complete without a visit to the impressive waterside Diocletian’s Palace. Once a fantastic Roman palace, you can walk through the marble ruins that are now home to almost 3,000 people and over 200 shops. Located in the palace area is the Cathedral of St. Domnius, originally constructed as a Roman mausoleum. Those with a head for heights can climb the bell tower for excellent views over Split. Also nearby is the small but perfectly formed Temple of Jupiter, guarded by a black sphinx from Egypt.
Learn more about the Dalmatian Coast’s history at the Town Museum, and get to know the local culture more at the Ethnographic Museum, across from the harbour. In the heart of the town centre is where you can find the Archaeological Museum that houses many Roman and early Christian artefacts from the surrounding area. Visit the unusual Gregory of Nin statue and rub the shiny left foot, which is said to bring good luck.
Artsy types and diehard music lovers will also appreciate Split’s annual film and music festivals that take place over the summer months.