Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the largest city on the Adriatic coast. The Roman Emperor Diocletian very sensibly chose this attractive spot in Croatia to build his lavish retirement palace in AD295.
To him, it must have seemed an ideal spot: in the very heart of Dalmatia, in the bay of Aspalathos and well protected by the islands of the Split Archipelago. With the shelter of high mountains behind, Split was a natural fortress for the Roman Emperor. Impressively, his palace still remains at the heart of the old town of Split, surveying the clear waters of the Adriatic. What were once corridors are now streets; courtyards are piazzas, and the original walls and buildings have been transformed and have become part of the everyday life of the city in a charmingly higgledy-piggledy fashion. The layout of the old palace can now be seen by taking a trip underground and stepping back in time to visit the subterranean remains.
The old town will be a highlight of your holiday in Split. It is a mix of quirky buildings from all eras, and is an atmospheric place to wander during the day, and while away the evenings, exploring its shops and enjoying its bars and restaurants. Ironically, the Cathedral rose from the magnificent mausoleum of Diocletian, the last Pagan Roman Emperor, and is dedicated to a Christian martyred by him. It is no surprise that this unique place at the very heart of Split has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The lively promenade is a real delight, especially at night, when many locals and tourists gather over a drink, enjoy a promenade or have a bite to eat. It has a real holiday feel, a wonderful place to enjoy the balmy summer evenings with your friends and family.
A little outside the old town, is the beachfront area which allows you to enjoy swimming in the sea and soaking up the sun, combining a city break with a beach holiday in Split. If you fancy island hopping, many of our luxury small ship cruises start or end in Split, and it makes a great base from which to explore the area. Head up the coast from Split to enjoy a two-centre holiday combined with a stay in Trogir, Zadar or Sibenik. Alternatively take a ferry to the delightful island of Brac. The choice is yours!