Croatia’s 2nd largest city is simply unforgettable. First, there’s the natural beauty of the mountains, beaches, and turquoise waters. Then, there is a unique historic centre, which combines the remnants of ancient cultures with trendy restaurants, shops, cafes, and buzzing nightlife. It is also a great base for a spot of island hopping, as Hvar and others are within easy reach.
It is easy to spot the city of Split from seaward. The tall, disused lighthouse at Pomorac, to the E of the entrance, is a good landmark to guide you until you can see the entrance itself. The approach is safe apart from isolated rocks close to the shore on both sides of the entrance. Look out for some unlit buoys S of the E breakwater. Care is needed as ferries and other vessels enter and leave the harbour. There are typically several ships anchored outside the harbour.
Where to Anchor
The best berth is at the ACI marina, in the SW of the harbour. It can accommodate craft up to 60m. Tie up as directed by marina staff. Pick-up lines are available. The marina can accommodate vessels of up to 60m. The ACI marina is flanked by two yacht club marinas, the Mornar Sailing Club to the W, and Labud in the centre. The ACI Marina, in particular, gets crowded at weekends, so arrive early if you want to be sure of claiming a berth.
Alternatively, tie up alongside the public quay SE of the harbour office, staying clear of the ferry berths, or moor bow/stern to the quay S of Diocletian’s palace. No charge is made for mooring here, but it is a very busy public area. It is possible to anchor in the NW part of the harbour. The bottom is mud, and there is good holding.
The harbour is exposed to winds and swell from the S and SW. Swells can also be caused by strong gusts from the N and NW. However, the marina offers good shelter
As you would expect, all facilities are available here. Water – from the marina or a standpipe on the public quays. Petrol and diesel are available on the NW quayside, near the marina (4m depth). Typically, expect long queues. Take care to avoid inshore rocks on each side of the fuel station.
Paraffin can be purchased from hardware shops. Gas bottles can be refilled at the INA-Plin depot at Kastel Sucurac or you can arrange refills via the marina. Other facilities available include toilets, showers, a restaurant, a currency exchange office, ATM, WiFi, and laundry facilities, including a coin-operated launderette at Sperun, N-side of the harbour.
There is a huge range of shops in Split, including the daily fish and vegetable market. Other facilities such as banks, ATMs, medical centres, pharmacies, and tourist information can be found in the town.
There’s a 10-ton crane and a 45-ton slipway at the marina. Several chandlers are located around the harbour. Repairs to engines, and electrical/electronic installations can be carried out, and you can pick up any spare parts you need. Croatian charts can be purchased at the harbour office. Sailmakers and other repair facilities can be found in the building near the Labud yacht club pontoons
History and Culture
The history of Split dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks, who named the settlement Aspalathos. It grew in importance when the Roman Emperor Diocletian built the opulent palace/fortress which became a magnet for subsequent emperors. Later, the area was occupied by Slavs, Avars, Venetians, Turks, and others, all of whom have left their mark on the culture of Split and make it the incredible historical treasure trove it is today.
Places of Interest
The ruins of this massive 4th-century fortress, built as the retirement home for Emperor Diocletian, form about half of the centre of the old town. It’s a unique archaeological treasure that is well worth exploring, perhaps with a guided walking tour to help you get the most out of the experience. It’s extra cool that today bars, restaurants, and shops are integrated into the complex, so there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy watching the world go by.
Ivan Mestrovic Gallery
This small museum, which features works by the great 20th-century Croatian sculptor displayed in a beautiful natural environment, is well worth the trip outside town.
Game of Thrones Museum
Did you realize that series 4, 5 & 6 of GOT were filmed in the mediaeval centre of Split? Fans of the series will love this museum, which is packed with great mannequins and the throne from the series.
Beautiful, remote-feeling beach near the Marjan Forest Park. It is mainly pebbles, with crystal clear waters, which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. There are some nice bars nearby, or just bring a coolbox packed with goodies, throw some towels on the ground – and enjoy the perfect beach day!
This is a rocky beach backed by woods – there is not much, but it is great for swimming and snorkelling. You can rent sunbeds, as well as kayaks and small pedal boats (it’s great for kids), and there is a bar and restaurant. It’s really pretty and less crowded than many of the other beaches around the city.
Where to Eat
Whether you are wanting to sample traditional Dalmatian cuisine, or are ready to indulge your cravings for sushi or burritos, you will be spoiled for choice as there are more than 500 restaurants and cafes to choose from in Split, to suit every taste and budget. Vegans and vegetarians are particularly well-catered for, with restaurants such as Fig, Marta’s Veggie Fusion, and Pandora’s GreenBox serving fresh and original feasts.
Places to Stay
With over 1400 options to choose from, from the 5* luxury of the aptly- named Hotel Posh, to the hundreds of cheap and cheerful pensiones and B&Bs, it all depends on your budget, and how you plan to spend your time in Split.
One thing that you will find, whichever option you go for, is the friendly welcome and efficient service that this region is known for.
Things to Do
Cathedral of Saint Domnius
Make the effort to climb to the top of the 7th-century bell tower and you’ll be rewarded with an unsurpassed view over the rooftops of Split and to the sea and mountains beyond.
This beautiful natural park is perfect for an afternoon walk or bike ride. It’s a great change of pace from the bustling city.