Meet Split: Dalmatian spot for great food and adventure

03 May 2016 / By Alex Dragas
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Split panorama as viewed from Marjan Hill

Split panorama as viewed from Marjan Hill

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By Goky Brkic

Split is among Croatia’s finest destinations when it comes to food, landmarks, adventures, and having an active, well-rounded holiday.

The symbol of Split is the Diocletian’s Palace. Finished in the beginning of the 4th century AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian had it build as his retirement mansion. Over the centuries the rest of the city developed around the Palace, even after the Romans left the area. Today, some parts of the palace are still standing, making it a major tourist attraction, but the site is interesting in historic and archeological terms as well. In fact, UNESCO included it on its World Heritage List. Other notable landmarks include the Cathedral of St. Domnius, Split’s patron saint, and the statue of Gregory of Nin, a medieval Dalmatian bishop.

Inside the Palace (before restoration)

Inside the Palace (before restoration)

The city is a great destination for an active holiday. Sure, a lot of people come to enjoy its sun, beaches and the beautiful Adriatic Sea, but there are plenty of options if you want an adrenaline-packed holiday. You can engage in various watersports at virtually any beach (but you’ll have the widest choice at the central, Bačvice beach) such as sea kayaking, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, waterskiing or even big game fishing.

A view of Bacvice beach from the sea

A view of Bacvice beach from the sea

Head to the city’s central park, Marjan Hill, if you wish to spend some time among the greenery. Known for its hiking and cycling paths and trails, it’s a great way to spend an active afternoon. Of course, since the most popular sports in Croatia are football (the locals are crazy about football and the Split-based club Hajduk), basketball, tennis and volleyball, you’ll find plenty of courts throughout the city.

Split fish market (source: themaritimeexplorer.ca)

Split fish market (source: themaritimeexplorer.ca)

...and green market

…and green market

Dalmatian cuisine was strongly influenced by other Mediterranean gastronomies, such as Italian or Greek. Based on seafood, herbs, and usually not very spicy, there are dozens of restaurants in Split which serve traditional Dalmatian delicacies. For example, local authentic dishes include oysters, cob, sardines (grilled sardines are especially popular), tuna, octopus and octopus salad, various kinds of risotto (cuttlefish or even cheese risotto). They are usually served with baked potato or cooked vegetables. The local winemaking tradition is also strong, especially in the villages around Split, and there are many wines you should definitely try.

Dalmatian prosciutto with caprese salad

Dalmatian prosciutto with caprese salad

Black risotto with octopus (source: chasingthedonkey.com)

Black risotto with octopus (source: chasingthedonkey.com)

Split’s location makes it a great starting point for exploring the rest of Dalmatia, especially the neighboring islands such as Brač or Hvar. Both are among the most populated Croatian islands, notable tourist resorts, but a lot quieter than Split. Featuring their own cultural landmarks, manifestations and folklore, they’ll charm you with their old-fashioned Mediterranean atmosphere.

Near Split: the gorgeous Hvar island

Near Split: the gorgeous Hvar island

Historical towns such as Omiš or Trogir are in the vicinity as well, and both have an old city core hundreds of years old. The Krka National park, considered to be among the best national parks in the country, is just two hours away by car – so, as you can see, a holiday in Split can turn into a real adventure.

The city is easily reachable from abroad or from any other location in Croatia; it has an international airport some twenty kilometers outside the city (there are bus lines and airport transfers to take the passengers to the center) and there are plenty of lines from various European cities, especially in the summer. If you’re coming from some other Croatian city, such as Zagreb or Rijeka, the best way to reach Split is by bus, as there are several lines every day. In Dalmatia, it can really be said that all roads lead to Split. Come and see why is that so.

Goky_Brkic

Author bio:

Goky Brkic is an avid traveler and wanderer who loves discovering new travel destinations, meeting new people, tasting foreign delicacies and having great adventures on the road. Beside traveling, his other big passion is technology. A loving husband and father of one child.

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Alex Dragas

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