Unlike its name, Split blends modern luxuries and ancient history like a master artist at work. Second-largest city of Croatia and parked east of the Adriatic Sea, it combines spellbinding ocean views with medieval charms. Unlike the polished aesthetics of Dubrovnik, Spilt exudes a lived-in vibe that is backed by shabby suburbs and dramatic mountains – it is intimate, it is nostalgic, and it is real.
Topping the list of must-visit sites is the UNESCO acknowledged Diocletian’s Palace, which captures Split’s exuberant and atmospheric personality. Not only do these old walls contain Roman monuments, complementary bars, restaurants and thriving shops pull past and present together. There is too the clean edifice of Cathedral of St Domnius, Klis Fortress and Temple of Jupiter. The ruins of ancient Salona and the collection within the Archaeological Museum prove that history can be retained in various forms, be it crumbling structures in open air or carefully preserved sculptures and mosaics, artefacts and incongruous things.
Yet there is still space for nature amid the dense relics; strike west for the extraordinary Marjan Forest Park. And down by the peninsula is the evergreen Kasjuni Beach, complete with a stylish bar for sunset viewing. Concrete Bacvice beach also proves a popular spot for locals who wish to swim or bask under the sun, whereas small coves of Firule and Ovcice offer more peace and quiet.
Typical of Mediterranean climates, Split experiences little rain except in November. Maximise your time out at sea in the months of May, June and September when the weather remains warm in the day and comfortably cool at night. Winter months do see a drastic drop in temperature, so those sensitive to cold should plan their trip between May and October.