Standout beaches, heaps of history and a vibrant seafront city make Split one of Croatia’s most popular holiday destinations.
The coastline around Split is home to some of Croatia’s most dramatic scenery. Rocky mountains and pine-clad hills tumble down towards pebbled coves and crystal-clear waters. The 73km Krka River runs through the vibrant lime greens and turquoises that paint the Krka National Park. An hour’s drive from Split, the expanse is a great day out with its gorgeous cascading waterfall and fabulous array brown trout, ospreys, golden eagles and bats.
Some of the best beaches in Croatia can be found along the region’s shores. The soft white shingle along the Makarska Riviera is the most popular stretch, and there are plenty of tucked-away coves waiting to be discovered on the nearby islands.
Split gives you the perfect balance of historic treasures and cosmopolitan modern life. It’s Croatia’s second-largest city after Zagreb and is teeming with seafront restaurants, ancient alleyways, bustling markets and historic sites.
For city beaches, Split’s Bacvice Beach is your best bet. Dugi Rat Beach in Brela is a strong contender for Croatia’s most beautiful stretch of shore. Uvala Dubovica Beach on the island of Hvar is a family-friendly spot that also attracts the international yacht set.
History is every corner in old town Split, centred around the ancient palace built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 295 AD. You’ll find more Roman ruins in Salona, just outside of town, and the Renaissance town of Trogir is also well worth a visit, with its striking cathedral and picturesque main square.
A spot of island hopping is a must if you have the time. Brac is the closest – Supetar on its northern shore is a former fishing village with pretty pebble beaches, while Bol is a top windsurfing spot. Hvar island is a famous celebrity haunt but is popular with families, too.
With the Adriatic Sea on the doorstep, it’s no surprise that fresh seafood is one of the region’s strongest suits. The fried squid and seafood stews are particularly scrummy. For meat-lovers, the pašticada is a must-try – it’s made from hearty chunks of beef stewed with prunes.
Red coral is readily available along the Croatian coast, and you can buy beautiful coral jewellery at stalls and shops all over the region. If food’s your thing, make a beeline for Split’s daily market, where you can snap up everything from olive oil to local brandy at bargain prices.
Nights out in Split usually start in the stylish bars in the old town. Some of these are coffee shops by day but crank up the music after dark. From about midnight onwards the crowds drift towards Bacvice with its waterfront nightclubs and buzzing beach parties.
The Split region runs along the middle stretch of Croatia’s south-east coast, with Bosnia & Herzegovina on one side and the Adriatic Sea on the other. Its main urban hub is the city of Split, about a 5-hour drive south of the country’s capital, Zagreb.
Time differenceGMT +1 hour
Beeraround 15 kuna a bottle
3 course mealfrom around 100 kuna