Split is a forgotten gem of ancient Europe. Whilst many Brits are now choosing to holiday in nearby Dubrovnik, Split remains relatively unknown to British tourists.
The scenery of the Dalmatian coast that surrounds Split is some of the most rugged and beautiful in the world. Huge rocky hills rise out of crystal clear seas whilst ancient Roman ruins cling to the cliff faces.
The beautiful Mediterranean climate of Split makes it the perfect choice for that elusive combination of beach holiday and city break. Once you have explored the ancient Roman ruins and palaces, you can retreat to one of the area’s beautiful beaches. The beaches of Split act as a hub for the local communities with plenty of bars and cafés to keep you feeling refreshed in the Croatian sun.
The dining scene in Split combines the laid back Taverna culture of Greece with the bold, simple flavours of Italy.
Look for some great hideaways like the underground cellars where you can sample the bourgeoning local wine scene. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for Konobas, the traditional Croatian bistros, who will chalk up their menus daily, depending on which ingredients are in season.
There are several restaurants overlooking the bay which specialise in fresh seafood from the city’s fish market. These restaurants tend to attract the local ‘yachties’ who moor up out in the harbour, so prices will be towards the higher end of the market.
The centre of Split is dominated by the incredible Diocletian Palace. Built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the palace is actually more akin to a fortified town, filled with sheltered walkways, huge walls and ancient houses. The people of Split have filled the town with shops, bars, galleries and restaurants. As you wind your way through the ancient streets you’ll see the historic jostling with the modern, giving you a unique taste Croatian culture from past and present.
For those who want to get away from the hubbub of the city, there’s no better way than heading up into the Marjan hills. The slopes of this dormant volcano are covered in fragrant pine forests and offer incredible views over the city. It’s a good idea to shell out for an official walking tour starting in the city centre as this will ensure you take the safest and quickest route up into the hills. These walking tours even include a trip to a ‘secret’ beach where you’ll be able to unwind in peaceful seclusion.
If you find yourself with a day to spare, why not take a day trip to Split’s sister city of Dubrovnik? Here you can walk explore the ancient city walls that have recently been used as the location of ‘Kings Landing’ in the popular TV show, Game of Thrones.