Split is the heart of the Meditteranean region and a really great town. However, the surroundings are worth to visit too!
Trogir is situated 26 kms from Split. If you are arriving by plane and renting a car, it's worth to visit Trogir first as it's only about 10 kms from the Split airport.
It's a small place, connected to the island Ciovo. Main attractions are St Lovro's Cathedral on Trg Ivana Pavla II, and Cipiko Palace.
There is a lovely Riva nearby where you can also see Kamerlengo Fortress.
Solin is 5 kms to the north of Split. There are said to be a small archaeological museum and the foundations of an amphitheatre here. I loved the scenery and the general atmosphere. Everything seemed so calm and serene in this place.
Klis is about 9 kms from Split. It has the ruins of a fortress (Tvrðava Klis) situated on a hill. There's relly not much to see inside (just great views, of course), so it's enough to climb up and view the place from the outside. However, I would recommend that you walk around this small place and observe the local life. Some of the houses and their "gardens" are so near the edge that I couldn't help wondering... what if some cliffs gave away... One could see that the fires are also pretty frequent in this part as there were many areas covered with burnt trees. Again- if you love nature and splendid views, that's the place to see.
The island of Brac can be reached by a ferry. Jadrolinija takes you to Supetar in just 50 minutes. Many people go to the other side of the island, to see the famous Zlatni Rat near Bol. I would recommend seeing Supetar too. There are many good beaches here as well and everything a tourist needs is at hand. For those who want to travel on their own on this island there are possibilities to rent different vehicles- scooters, bicycles. The prices didn't seem to be the cheapest though.
Omiš, a former pirate town, is located south of Split. River Cetina flows thorough the town. On this river it's possible to go rafting. I did that in 2012 and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and for anyone interested in active holidays, I can recommend Dalmatia rafting -http://www.dalmatiarafting.com/en/index.aspx. To spend several hours on Cetina, on both sides of the river mountains where the film Winnetou was made years ago...That's breathtaking!
Don't forget to visit the Peovica fortress either. Entrance fee is 15 kunas (2 euros) and the view you get from the top is fantastic! Plus...the climb to the top itself is nice. It's good to wear proper footwear as the last stage to the top is a bit tricky. A ladder going straight up through a pretty narrow hole... BUT you can imagine you are a pirate going to check out what is happening on the sea!
A popular place with both the locals and tourists. People go walking, running, cycling there.
On every side of Marjan you can see nice beaches. Some are sunny all the time, some offer more shade, so if you don't want to stay in the sun all the day long, choose a beach from the northern side of Marjan.
Kašjuni is on the southern side of Marjan- a placed liked by local young people, especially at night:) From the beach you can see the caves on top of the hill, Crkva Sv Jere. You should definitely view this from the beach and then go to explore it up the hill... From both destinations there are superb views!
Bene is on the northern side of Marjan. Nice beach for children as it also has a playground nearby. There are also tennis courts and a nice restaurant.
Local people often frequent places which are not titled as "beaches" on the map. Try out some of these if you don't want to be elbow to elbow with other tourists on the more well-known beaches.
On a hill top near the small town of Trilj is the site of a Roman garrison settlement that was called Tilurium. The excavations are still at quite an early stage and I must admit I didn't see much apart from the outline of a dwelling marked out by stones that presumably formed the base of the walls.
In the town of Trilj I found a small museum which had an excellent display of finds from the site and which gave much more information about the settlement and the people who lived there during the Roman occupation. There was a set of handout sheets in English that gave very detailed information about the items on display. The museum has an entrance fee of 10Kuna and for this small amount I felt it was good value for money because the exhibits were set out in a very pleasing manner.
Our guides on the trip also told us how the townsfolk had often found Roman items such as knives and pottery dredged up from the Cetina river bed. The area clearly had a thriving Roman settlement. I'd liked to have had more time to explore the area. At least I saw 2 Hoopoes enjoying the garden of a small house near to the Roman site.
Just a few kilometres upstream from the old Hydro-electric station ( it was built in 1912 which makes it the second oldest in Europe apparently) on the Cetina River is the starting point of the Canyoning trip which turned out to be the highlight of our one week adventure holiday.
We felt very well looked after by our guides who were careful to explain things to us and who accompanied the more vulnerable members of the group at the more hazardous points of our 4 hour exploration of the gorge.
We started off by squeezing into wetsuits and helmets. Our footwear was checked and old pairs of sneakers were available for those inadequately booted up. After a 15minute walk and scramble down the side of the gorge - the path was narrow and in places you had to hold on to ropes - we were ready to start.
The gorge itself is very dramatic with steep cliffs on either side of the narrow river. There are numerous rocks to clamber over and many rapids. We were all told to float down the fast flowing stretches facing forward but always with feet first. Presumably if we hit a rock our bending knees would help to prevent major clashes. With our wetsuits on we were all quite bouyant and fortunately no one in the party suffered any injuries.
There are two major waterfalls which we had to skirt around. The first involved following a narrow tunnel and path cut through the cliff face which served as an overflow channel at times of flood. The second involved the group detouring down steep paths and using ropes to hold onto whilst slowly finding footholds on the path to descend. I certainly never felt at any risk and the numerous guides were usually nearby. In fact it all added to the excitement.
I think everyone really enjoyed the experience including those members of the group who were at first a little anxious about the activity. Pity I didn't see any birds of particular interest but I did find a dead male Stag Beetle which was really exciting.
Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the experience but if you visit the website below you will find some images of other groups enjoying themselves in the gorge. The main photo has been taken from a different website at:
We had a free day and the whole group chose to spend it on the beach. It was quite welcome after the busy days we'd spent on the river previously. Our coach dropped us at the small resort of Baško Voda which is located at the northern end of the Makarska Riviera.
To be honest I'm not a 'beach type of person' and one day a week is plenty for me. Luckily I had taken my mask and snorkel so I was able to go off for a long swim of fish watching. Actually there were not very many fish but I found a few other animals of interest - the long black sea cucumbers, a few sea urchins and a crab.
The beach has small pebbles and it was reasonably comfortable. We did hire a beach umbrella (20Kuna) but there wasn't room for a sun bed on the 2square metres we had managed to find for ourselves. The beach was very busy - this was August - and I can't say it was very pleasant. Anyway for one day I was able to cope with all of the close proximity to near-naked humanity. I think my photos will give you the appropriate impression.
Behind the beach was a string of bars and restaurants. We were not very hungry or thirsty but the one we tried - we needed to use their toilet facilities - was fine and not overly expensive.
Car parking on the beachfront was possible and further along were a number of activities suitable for children including a banana boat ride.
For almost 300 years now the people of the town of Sinj have celebrated their successful victory over the marauding Ottomans in the seige of their town. They claim their success is due to the prayers and homage they made to the Madonna whose 15th century image is located in the local church. Through this dutiful honouring during the invasion of 1715 the townspeople found strength and courage to fend off the invaders. Later a celebratory tournament was held and in 2015 it will be the 300th anniversary of the first event. It is known as the Alka Tournament of Sinj and is now recognised as a UNESCO heritage occasion.
Honourable men from Sinj are invited to train and perform in a competition to lance a small target whilst riding at full charge on a trusty horse. There are 4 sections to the target each with points attached. The winner of the tournament is the lancer with the highest score after three charges.
The event is highly popular and recognised nationally. The Croatian TV service were covering it live. We found a space at one end which was great for seeing the riders prepare themselves but we couldn't see much of the actual lancing which was about 200 metres down the track. If the maximum three points were scored a cannon was fired. We only heard it go off a few times. Clearly it is a very skilful technique the lancers must perfect in order to score any points at all. The horses charge down the track at full speed.
You can see from the photos that it is a colourful occasion with the riders dressed in traditional clothing. There were marching bands in full dress too. Afterwards in the town square there was a very festive mood and I daresay much celebratory consumption of alcohol.
Each year the one day event is held on a Sunday close to 12th August. There is staged seating but undoubtedly you would need to be there early in order to bag a good seat near the target. We just stood by the barriers and didn't have to pay anything. Our visit to the Alka of Sinj made an excellent start to our week in Croatia.
Our group of 24 was split into 3 rafts each with an experienced guide and paddler who would shout out commands to us as we tackled the fast flowing stretches of the river. Expect to get wet and wear a minimum of clothing. The rafting company provides life jackets and a helmet. If you want to wear sunglasses use some thread to prevent them getting washed away when you go down the rapids.
Only a few of the team had any previous rafting experience but it didn't matter. The river in August is a Grade 2/3 and although it was good fun I don't think we ever felt seriously endangered. There was, after all, a ten year old in our boat. The one rapid that was dangerous we were told to walk around using the footpath. The paddler steered the raft down that set of rapids alone. We didn't see any of them tipping in nor did any of the rafts ever flip at any point so it was quite safe really.
The river is lovely and we enjoyed watching the dense, lush vegetation drift past. There were huge numbers of dragon and damselflies with some beautiful butterflies flitting past. Sadly there were relatively few birds seen apart from Swallows.
We had about 3 stops along the route - all for swimming. The last of which had the added excitement of high rocks from which we could leap off.
At the end of the trip we finished at a shady spot with a number of restaurants and pizza bars. We also purchased the photos taken by a professional photographer including the images featured on this page. The photographer is SLAP and can be contacted at email@example.com
It was a very enjoyable experience which set the tone for the rest of our week. I cannot say about the charges because the activity was included within the cost of the entire holiday. On a subsequent day in Omiš we saw several agencies selling rafting excursions so it would not be essential to arrange this only if you are in a big group. You could probably book places on a rafting trip independently.
I would like to share with you all the beautiful areas of Kastela, located between Split and Trogir and just a stones throw from Split Airport. The area which is no so well know as a tourist attraction but is a real pearl...
The following link is to my Facebook page which you do not need facebook to be able to look at. It is just to click and you are in. If you find it interesting please click "I like" - would be nice:) There is not any ads and no payments. I just have fallen in love with this area and the beautiful local people. Any questions I would be happy to answer.
Happy New Year to all of you
Car parking, park on the main land and pay a much reduced fee compared to the street parking in the old town which is likely to be full anyway. The bus station is next to these car parks, both less than 10 minutes walk into the heart of Trogir.
Tucepi is one of the resorts south of Makarska on the Riviera. We found this to be a pleasant place, not overly crowded like others such as Brela. Tucepi has a small marina area and promenades either side with the beach as you see here. The restaurants were all on the sea front with a selection similar to other seaside resorts.
Trogir is only a small island and is connected by road bridge to Ciovo island. In search of a beach we drove to Okrug Gornji only to find it packed with no parking spot. We returned to this small man made beach closer to Trogir where we had some relaxation and a swim. There was a small cafe where you could but drinks and snacks as well. Car parking was limited here so we really grabbed a spot whenever we could.
There are lots of things written about Trogir and I found this a pleasant old town. There are a few things to see but the most popular and i feel important is the cathedral. There is an entrance fee (8kuna i think) that includes the a trip to the top of the bell tower if you so desire. The cathedral is only small and the whole visit including the bell tower, and recovery, will take about 1hr. The most spectacular part of the cathedral is this front door facade. BeeTed commented. "the different representations of both biblical figures and Christian merchants is intricate and dramatic.
It must be the most talked about beach in Croatia. We arrived at about 3pm on a day at the height of the summer season. It will not get much busier than this. There was still adequate car parking, albeit a 10 minute walk away down through the pine groves. There were a few stalls selling drinks and snacks on the beach as well as changing rooms and showers. The beach itself is of the Dalmatian shingle that is not so bad on the feet.
Shade can be sought in the pine groves and many people set there towels down here.
I really liked this beach, in fact I'd say it was definitely the best we experienced in the region. It was busy but there was much more space than on other beaches so it was not over crowded like in many of the other resorts.
We dedicated one day to Brac island and took the car ferry from Split to Supetar. We toured by car to see the harbour town of Milna and a couple of other places before heading for the prize of Zlatni Rat at Bol. I knew that I had to make the pilgrimage to this beach. I'm not sure we got the most out of this day. The beach was great fun, busy as expected but not too full, there was still plenty of space for everyone. In the end the stress involved of crossing the island back to the ferry for a reasonable time was a little too much and the things we saw at anywhere other than Bol were not particularly worthwhile. A better bet for us would have been to take one of the local tour operators day trips to Bol where we could have spent a more relaxing time without the car. However, the Zlatni Rat beach became much less busy from around 4pm onwards as the day trippers beagn to leave the beach. I expect by 7 or 8 o'clock this would have a really different feel about it.
Skradin is a small town and the gateway to the Krka National Park. We parked here before setting off by boat to the park. On the way back we decided to take spend the evening here. It is a leisurely place, much more relaxed than the resorts on the coast that we had experienced. There are a few restaurants and we had a great dinner on the quayside with some excellent fresh water fish on sale. I would not have come across this town if it were not for the national park and we spent a pleasant evening here. The marina had some fancy boats in to come and see me which you can see in the background.
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