Split is an outstandingly successful fusion of ancient history with a modern way of life and is ideally situated to explore the islands of Brac and Hvar, as well as the quaint Medieval town of Trogir, further up to Zadar, Krka and Kornati National Parks and the stunning coastline of the Makarska Riviera.
We often recommend Split or Trogir features in the itinerary for guests wishing to take a two centre Croatia holiday. There is plenty here for at least a 3 day break.
Split is now becoming as popular as Dubrovnik in terms of those seeking an authentic experience as part of their Croatia holiday. Word has spread about the fact that Split has a rich cultural history with plenty to explore.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Emperor Diocletian built his retirement summer palace in Split (and was actually the only Roman Emperor to live to see his retirement!). It is within these walls that the town may now be found. It’s well worth taking a guided tour of the Palace – the local historians can really illustrate the Roman way of life; many of the Palace’s nooks and crannies could be missed by those not ‘in the know’.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Split has plenty of lively bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as a fabulous promenade overlooking the marina. What better place to sit with a drink and watch some of the most amazing yachts berth and depart. There are often open air concerts and events taking place on the Promenade.
Within approximately an hour and half on the ferry from the port of Split is the stunning island of Brac with the famous Golden Horn (Zlatni Rat) beach.
As well as some wonderful beaches and sunsets, Brac is also worthwhile exploring inland too. Wild rosemary and sage grow with abandon by the roadside – on a hot day – the perfume is amazing. For this reason we do recommend Brac as ideal for walkers, ramblers and hikers.
Olive trees and vineyards can also be found – we recommend sampling both ! We think hiring a bike for the day is an excellent way to explore the hinterland.
On Brac, you will notice the buildings are all built with bright white stone, mined locally. This stone was shipped all the way to the USA to build the White House. A little earlier than this, it was also used to build Diocletians’ Palace, which forms the cornerstone of modern day Split. Visit Supetar and enjoy a great mix of history and holiday. Bol has a fabulous little harbour ideal to take a day trip to neighbouring Hvar. While on holiday on Brac make sure you visit Vidova Gora, the highest point on the island – on a clear day, the views are outstanding and you can see as far away as the island of Hvar. You will need a car to get there unless you are a super fit walker but its worth it !
The island of Hvar is famed for its nightlife. It’s trendy, sophisticated small resort town (also called Hvar) manages to combine its nightlife with its endemic Venetian culture. The main part of the town is a cobbled square which has entertainment in the summer months. Beyoncé and Prince Harry are the most recent celebrities to have partied the night away here
Turning left from the square you are faced with a horseshoe shaped bay – many huge yachts berth here so there is always something to look at and something going on.
Hvar is also particularly famous for its lavender – its easy to get carried away in the souvenir shops with lavender oil and other products on offer.
There’s a local saying that if it snows on Hvar, you get to stay for free ! But given that’s very unlikely, we suggest you pack the suntan oil.
From Hvar, there are many day trips (including rather a long one to Dubrovnik.) Your hotel will be best placed to advise on this for you. Many of the hotels also have their own sailing vessels and will be pleased to assist.
About half an hour from Split itself is Omis, a quaint old town which has a feel of the South of France to it. here is where the famous Cetina river, ideal for white water rafting or kayaking, comes down to meet the sea. Dramatic mountain scenery abuts the sea. making it the ideal choice for a Croatian activity holiday.