Activities in Split
Discover the captivating coastal city of Split, where the historic Diocletian's Palace seamlessly blends with a vibrant modern beach culture.
Originally envisioned by the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement haven, the palace remains a testament to its timeless grandeur. Today, Split has evolved into Croatia’s second-largest city, renowned for its breathtaking beauty and rich history. Marvel at the impeccably preserved Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases remarkable Roman architecture. Explore the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world, the awe-inspiring St. Domnius Cathedral, or venture to one of the city’s picturesque beaches, where you can indulge in sun-soaked relaxation.
Join Dalmatia Outdoors to unlock the wonders of Split and embark on a curated experience that showcases the city’s historical significance and vibrant atmosphere. Our expert guides will lead you through the enchanting streets, sharing captivating stories and insights into Split’s fascinating past. Whether you prefer cultural exploration, serene beach outings, or indulging in the city’s renowned nightlife, our tailored itineraries ensure an unforgettable holiday experience in Croatia. Experience the allure of Split, where ancient history harmonizes with modern beach vibes, and let Dalmatia Outdoors be your gateway to discovering the true essence of this remarkable city.
Explore Activities in Split
The Story of Split
The city of Split, located on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, traces its origins back to the 4th century AD when it was established as a palace for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Diocletian, originally known as Diocles, rose from humble beginnings and achieved the position of emperor through historical accounts that vary in their details.
Diocletian’s decision to construct a retirement palace near his hometown led to the development of what is now known as Split. During the construction phase, Diocletian focused on political and tax reforms, prosecution of Christians, the establishment of a water supply system, and military engagements. After ruling as emperor for a period, Diocletian became the first emperor to voluntarily abdicate the throne.
Upon his abdication in 305 AD, the palace remained unfinished, and ongoing construction work is believed to have taken place during Diocletian’s residence. The architectural concepts and builders responsible for the palace’s construction remain largely unknown. Despite entreaties for his return to resolve political turmoil, Diocletian chose a quieter life focused on growing cabbage, with remnants of his personal garden visible in Split.
Diocletian spent his final years in the palace gardens, finding solace in tending to his cabbage. Historical accounts differ regarding his death, with some suggesting he succumbed to illness and stress caused by political turmoil, while others propose he died content, having distanced himself from the empire’s troubles.
The city of Split still bears traces of Diocletian’s architectural legacy, with the exception of statues depicting Diocletian himself, which were destroyed by Christians in retaliation for his persecution of their faith. Notably, the palace’s mausoleum was repurposed into a cathedral and now serves as the final resting place of Saint Domnius, the patron saint of Split.
Following the decline of the Roman Empire, the palace transformed into a fortified town and witnessed the occupancy of various peoples, including the Croats and Venetians. Throughout the medieval period, Split flourished as a vital center of trade and culture.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Split came under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War I, the city became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later known as Yugoslavia. Subsequent political transformations within Yugoslavia, including the rise and fall of communism, brought turmoil to the region.
After Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Split became an integral part of the newly formed independent state. Today, Split is renowned as a prominent tourist destination and a thriving economic center, celebrated for its rich historical heritage, stunning architectural landmarks, and picturesque beaches.
Split, Croatia is known for its rich gastronomy that combines traditional Mediterranean ingredients and flavors with a modern twist. Seafood is a staple of Split’s cuisine, with popular dishes including grilled sardines, octopus salad, and seafood stew. The region’s olive groves provide high-quality olive oil that is used in cooking, as well as in dips like ajvar and pastes like tapenade. Fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant, are also commonly used in dishes.
Burek, a savory pastry filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables, is a popular street food. Pasticada, a slow-cooked beef dish, and peka, a hearty stew cooked in a bell-shaped iron pot, are traditional meat dishes. For dessert, try fritule, small fried doughnuts often flavored with lemon or raisins, and rozata, a creamy custard-based dessert.
Wine is an important part of Split’s gastronomy, with local vineyards producing high-quality red and white wines. Croatia’s famous liqueur, Maraschino, is also produced in Split and is a popular after-dinner drink.
Visitors to Split can sample its diverse and delicious cuisine at traditional taverns, gourmet restaurants, and street food stalls. Whether it’s savoring the fresh flavors of seafood or indulging in sweet treats, Split’s gastronomy is a treat for the senses.
Split, Croatia is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes that offer a variety of activities for visitors. The city is located on the central Dalmatian coast and is surrounded by mountains and islands, making it an ideal location for nature lovers.
One of the most famous natural attractions in the area is Marjan Hill, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. The hill is also home to a dense forest with trails for hiking and cycling, as well as several beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
The nearby islands of Brač, Hvar, and Šolta are popular destinations for those who enjoy water sports activities such as sailing, kayaking, and diving. The islands are known for their clear waters and diverse marine life, including colorful coral reefs and various species of fish.
Inland, the Biokovo Nature Park covers a large area of the mountainous region behind Split and offers stunning views of the coast and the islands. The park is a popular destination for hiking, with trails leading to the top of the mountain and several mountain huts providing shelter and refreshments.
Overall, Split and its surrounding areas offer a diverse range of natural landscapes, from the sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of the coast to the lush forests and mountainous interiors. Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventurer, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region of Croatia.