Magical Split

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Romantic old alleys and squares, small restaurants and boutiques, azure blue sea and age-old Roman buildings are nowhere as varied in the world as in Split. The second largest city in Croatia is a city to fall in love with, both for city, culture and beach lovers.

With the morning sun on my face and in nice summer clothes I wander through the beautiful alleys in the old center of Split for the first time. The sand-colored Mediterranean houses with old colored wooden shutters in front of the windows immediately give me a holiday feeling. With a smile on my face I think: "there is a great atmosphere in this city!"

Split is the largest city in Croatia after Zagreb and has around 200,000 inhabitants. The smell of coffee attracts my attention while walking. This is not strange, because the Croats are happy to go "na kavu" (for coffee). It is weekend and the cafes in Split are full. I land on the boulevard "Riva" among the tall lush palm trees, I smell the salty sea air and look out over the sun-drenched Adriatic sea: what a perfect start to my day!

The retired emperor

A friendly Croatian waiter starts telling me in a very original way about the great pride of their city. He asks me: “Imagine, you have conquered most of Europe and now want to retire. Where would you build your palace to relax? ”Exactly. The Roman Emperor Diocletian could choose from many places, but he chose this special place with a view of the Adriatic Sea. His huge palace protected the entire old city center, which now consists of nice bars, shops and markets. In the middle you will find an impressive monumental square surrounded by marble columns. Here Diocletian held his public appearances. Above the palace stands the stately, octagonal mausoleum of Diocletian. I climb this elegant clock tower on the recommendation of the waiter and am surprised by a dazzling view of the old city. I understand that the Roman emperor chose this magical place and I fall completely silent.

Natural beauty

The next day I go to the Marjan Park, west of the city, on a peninsula of about 3.5 km long. You reach the park via a long staircase that ends at a beautiful viewpoint over the city. In the street in front of the park you will find all kinds of authentic small bistros. The prices are lower than in the historic center. I sit down on a small terrace where I order a bruchetta and start the walk with a satisfied stomach. Park Marjan smells of fresh pine needles. I walk through small paths in the shade of the pine trees. On several occasions I look out over the sea and the surrounding islands with their rocky slopes on which pines, cypresses, exotic agave and yellow flowering broom grow. At the end of my walk I return to the city again.

The beaches of Split

All around Split are beautiful beaches with crystal clear, azure blue water. Most beaches have a pebble beach so it is nice to wear something on your feet. With my gaze at the sea and a cocktail in my hand, I forget for a moment that I am in a bustling city.

I enjoy everything, what is the name of my new love? Split.

Beaches I have visited:
1. Kašuni Beach 
Pebble beach on the south side of the Marjan mountain. Rent a wonderfully large beach bed and enjoy the sun while the sea softly whispers in your ear.
2. Kaštelet beach 
Kaštelet is located in the bay of Kašuni. Kaštelet is also a pebble beach with crystal clear water. You go here if you like a quieter beach. There is only one bar on the beach.
3. Bačvice Beach
Bačvice is the most famous beach in Split, close to the center. You can rent sunbeds here and there are many restaurants. The locals like to come here and play "picigin", a ball game where you stand deep in the sea and you have to keep the ball in the air with your hands.
4. Ovice beach
Ovice beach is next to Bačvice and is slightly quieter. There are no beds, but there is a children's playground. A quiet place to go if you have children.

Where to stay

In my search for a sustainable / eco friendly place to stay I came across a B&B called Eco B&B Old Town Beach. It is located only 500 meter (1640 ft) from from the center of Split. You are also very close to the beach and I reached it in less than 5 minutes. The B&B is super clean and very modern.

I felt super safe in the area and loved that it had a park across from it. The owner kept good communication and welcomed me with a free bottle of wine. I ended up drinking the wine in the nice outdoor seating area. I highly recommend the Eco B&B Old Town Beach.

Best time to visit

Split has a Mediterranean climate. There is not much rain, however November is the wettest month. The best travel time to Split in Croatia is from May til October and the best months are May, June and September. The summer is wonderfully hot with warm summer evenings and it is even nice to swim at night. In winter it is a little warmer than in the rest of Croatia and the temperature may drop at night to just around the freezing point. Click here for more climate information in Split.

This article was last updated on October 15, 2022.