Split is the largest city on the Adriatic coast famous for the Diocletian Palace. While our Villas in Spilt are not quite the Diocletian Palace, you can rest assured of a luxury stay on the Split Riviera.
Split Riviera is in Dalmatia; it extends from Trogir in the north to Dubci in the south and includes different municipalities. The largest city and the administrative center of this sub-region is Split.
The Riviera is a very alluring destination for many travelers from all over the world. Natural beauties, different sceneries, rich historical heritage, different cultural and sports events, diverse culinary heritage, and mild climate are only a few of this riviera's many highlights.
Please take advantage of this diversified area and create your dream vacation with our help. Whether you're looking for a calm holiday destination, an area abundant with great wine producers and diverse gastronomy, an adrenaline activity, or a unique historical site, the Split Riviera offers it all. Look at our destination guide and immerse yourself in the next adventure of your life!
Even though we must mention that Split is the 2nd largest city in Croatia and the largest city in Dalmatia, we would like to highlight something else: the 17 centuries-long history of this city. Considering this, we're forever thankful to the Roman Emperor Diocletian. He was the one who discovered this peace of heaven and built his Palace right here. For 1 700 years, his home has become the Split we know today.
There are many theories on how Split got its name, but one is entirely accurate. Split is named after a very particular flower. Before the Roman Emperor arrived, the Greeks built their settlements in the area, which turned yellow during spring thanks to a unique flower. This flower is nowadays known as "rush broom," but the Greeks used to call it Aspalathos. Over the centuries, the name Aspalathos has changed in many ways. Still, in 1909 the city council decided that no other name but Split would be used.
Split's historical core and Diocletian’s Palace have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979.
You may expect the city of Split to be as delicate as the flower. Still, Split is quite the opposite – full of life, vibrant, noisy, temperamental, unique, appealing, and, as its inhabitants say – the most beautiful place in the world.
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VISIT THE MOST INTERESTING HISTORICAL SITES IN SPLIT AND ON THE RIVIERA
“Ancient monuments are full of wisdom, for they have been filled with what they have seen and heard for hundreds of years!”
― Mehmet Murat Ildan
To discover everything this destination has to offer, there’s no better place to stay in than in our Villas Split.
This one is relatively easy – as the city of Split has developed out of the Palace, take a walk through the center. Feel the ancient stone, and walk through the Diocletian’s cellars towards St. Domnius cathedral and Peristil. Wander around the narrow streets leading you to the Golden Gate – one of the 4 entrances to the Palace. The Palace was built in AD 305.
STATUE OF GREGORY OF NIN
When you pass the Statue, you will see that its toe is much shinier than the rest. Believe it or not, for many years, people have believed that rubbing its big toe brings good luck and is simply a must when in Split and passing by it. The Statue represents a Bishop who introduced the Croatian language into religious services in the 10th century.
Do you remember the toe from the story above? Well, it is the work of the most famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović whose art can be found in Croatia and worldwide. He built the gallery as his home, which he donated to Croatian people in 1952, together with three other 3 of his buildings and 132 works of art.
TEMPLE OF JUPITER
You need a few minutes to visit the temple dedicated to the supreme Roman God, Jupiter. It is relatively small, but it contains significant historical artifacts: coffins with the remains of 2 bishops, a bronze statue of St. John the Baptist on the inside, a sarcophagus, and partially preserved sphinxes in the front. The temple was converted into a baptistery.
ST. DOMNIUS CATHEDRAL
Emperor Diocletian had something completely different in mind with this unique building – he built it as his mausoleum. The building itself is unique and exciting in many ways. Because of the built year, it is Europe's oldest Cathedral, and it is very particular in its shape - round on the inside and octagonal on the outside. Today, the Cathedral is primarily a place of liturgy and enormous historical importance. It is a place where ancient pagan, Christian medieval, and modern heritage creates a vital symbiosis.
As the Palace was constructed and built by the Romans, every part of it was positioned in its place for a reason. The Peristyle was the central square of the Palace at the intersection of 2 main streets and was intended for Emperor Diocletian. When he would appear on the court, his devotees would kneel, kiss his oak, or fall with their entire bodies down to the ground. However, the Roman era has ended, and every further historical period has left its mark on the square. Still, one thing has stayed the same: as it was the central square of the Palace, it is the main square to Splits inhabitants and visitors. Sitting on 1 700 years old stone, soaking up the sun while drinking your favorite coffee - something only Peristil can offer.
As if the Palace itself was not enough to show the status and power of Emperor Diocletian, he had to create a magnificent entrance to his residential area. This area was reserved exclusively for essential visitors and served as a place where the visitors would get ready to meet with the Emperor. The space is of great value to the inhabitants and visitors of Split as here, and the traditional Dalmatian a cappella singing is often performed.
Marmont street is the main street in the Split center, and it has changed its shape many times during history. It is named after Napoleon’s marshal Auguste Marmont, who was responsible for Split's urbanization and infrastructural development. Rumor has it that Napoleon was complaining about all the money the marshal was spending on Split and Dalmatia. Nowadays, Marmont street is full of bars, restaurants, shops, and home to "Alliance Française" – an essential promotor of French-speaking cultures.
The Jewish community has always played an essential role in Splits' everyday life, but one name stands out – Daniel Rodriga. He was a Spanish Jew whose business plan brought great economic success in the 15th century. Even though the Jewish community has been present in Split since its founding, the synagogue was built in the 16th century and is the world’s 2nd oldest Sephardic synagogue still in use.
Not only was Daniel Rodriga a great businessman, but he was also a great contributor to the Jewish community and was the one who made the opening of the Jewish cemetery possible way back in the 15th century. This cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world and contains around 700 tombstones. You would never expect to see the words cemetery and bar in the same sentence. Still, here they are - close to the cemetery, there is a bar that holds the keys to the gate, so if you want to visit the cemetery and see a locked gate, you know where to go.
Back in ancient Roman times, the center of Dalmatia was Salona. The Roman presence is seen in every ruin in the Salona area – forum with temples, theatre, amphitheater, early Cristian church – all built in the 3rd century BC. The whole area represents the most significant archeological park in Croatia. One crucial man we remember from the previous stories was born in Salona, Emperor Diocletian.
For some, the reason for visiting Klis is their interest in history. For some, the fortress was one of Game of Thrones' shooting locations. As you've seen the series, we'll update you on its historical importance. It has a history of more than 2000 years which began with an Illyrian tribe that used the initial parts of the fortress before the Romans took it. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the fort became a seat for some Croatian kings. Visit the fortress, explore it, see the impact of different architectural styles, and enjoy the best possible view of Split and the region.
Sinj is a small town in the Dalmatian hinterland with a rich history, gastronomy, and folklore. The defining point in the history of Sinj was the end of the 17th century when several thousand Ottoman soldiers were outnumbered, and the Sinj soldiers miraculously defended the town. As a reminder of this historical event, from 1716 till the present day, a knight tournament called "Sinjska Alka" takes place for 3 days in a row on the first weekend of August. Besides the game itself, you should visit a museum dedicated to it, a sanctuary of the miraculous Lady of Sinj, and surely eat “arambašići” – a famous dish with its origins in Turkey.
“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”
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MARJAN PARK FOREST
Marjan – peninsula, hill, and park forest – all in one. The area is covered in dense Mediterranean pine forest and surrounded by the sea on 3 sides. It plays a vital role in everyday life of Split's inhabitants. Every time one needs a break from the hectic lifestyle this century has imposed on us all, one takes a walk toward Marjan. One can take a nice, relaxing walk, hike, rent a bike, swim in one of Marjan’s small bays, or enjoy fresh air and serenity.
ACTIVE WAYS OF EXPLORING SPLIT
Learning fun and exciting information, seeing historical sites, and wandering around the streets of Split are great options to get to know the town, but if you're searching for different ways, here are some ideas for you. Biking tours, kayaking tours, ricksha tours, boat tours, and many more. Each tour in Split gives you a different perspective and offers different angles to get to know the town. Choose your favorite activity or try out something new. Whatever you choose, you're surely going to love it!
RIVER CETINA CANYON
Beautiful sceneries in untouched nature, the immense power of the water, diversity of flora and fauna are just some reasons one should explore the canyon and profit from its benefits. For thousands of years, the river Cetina has flown towards the Adriatic Sea and has shaped nature around it. One can only see what the canyon offers if participating in an outdoor adventure: zipline, rafting, canyoning, hiking, river tubing, and rock climbing. Everyone, from beginners to experienced adventurers, can find something for themselves and enjoy all the benefits of this peace of heaven.
Are you interested in experiencing Split from the sea? Sunset cruise around the town? Island hopping with swimming stops? If you're looking for the wow effect of your vacation, then a boat excursion is the right choice. It would be best if you decided what to emphasize and chose one of the boat excursion types.
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
—Henry David Thoreau
One does not say many towns have quite a few beautiful beaches, but luckily for its visitors and inhabitants, Split is one of them. Here's the list of our top picks you can visit while staying at a luxury villa Split.
One of the rare sandy beaches in the whole region, Bačvice beach is the most famous and popular beach, part of the town’s identity. This beach has a very shallow slope and is ideal for families with children and enthusiasts playing "picigin," - a beach game born on this sand. When you see people standing in a circle trying to hit a small ball with their palms, they are the famous "picigin" players. Around the beach, there is an extensive offer of bars and restaurants.
Bay Ovčice is situated just around the corner from the beach Bačvice. This beautiful bay consists of a few smaller beaches and is also very popular among the inhabitants of Split. Despite its popularity, this bay offers more peace for a nice relaxing day at the beach. Since the nearest neighbor of this bay is Bačvice beach, many bars and restaurants complement your day.
Žnjan district is one of the newly developed areas of Split with a vast pebble beach. In the area, you will only see joggers or yoga lovers in the early morning, but as the town wakes up, so is the beach. This beach has many facilities, such as bars, showers, rental sunbeds, umbrellas, and newly built access for the physically challenged.
Trust is, as hard as it is to pronounce the name of this beach, it is easy to fall in love with it. This beautiful beach extends throughout the whole bay underneath Marjan hill. Pebbles, crystally clear sea, and pine trees are the highlights together with the magnificent look from the sea. Swim out, and look at Marjan’s pine forest, rocks, and even a few of Marjan’s churches. On the beach, you can rent sunbeds and enjoy drinks in the beach bar.
One of the oldest beaches in Split, Bene is tucked away in one of the bays to Marjan hill. It is surrounded by a dense pine forest which provides a lot of shade during hot summer days. When you come to this beach and do not see the crystally clear sea as on other beaches, don't be afraid. The sand underneath the sea gives it a brownish color. As traffic is mostly forbidden inside the border of Marjan park forest, we suggest you take a public bus from the town center to reach it.
In addition to the natural beauties and rich historical and cultural heritage, there are many events of different types to give your vacation an exciting twist.
ST. DOMNIUS DAY
If you're visiting Split and the region at the beginning of May, make sure to be in town on May 7. Both the city of Split and its patron saint St. Domnius are celebrated on that day. The whole city is out on the streets, and celebration occurs on every corner. Religious service at the Cathedral, tombola on the main promenade Riva, music performances in different locations in the town, a great offer of food and sweets, and traditional wooden souvenirs are more than enough to plan your arrival to Split.
SPLIT SUMMER FESTIVAL
A one-of-a-kind cultural event that takes place every year from 1954 during July and August. It is a festival with a long tradition of performing arts with different event types, including opera, drama, ballet, and concerts. During the festival, parts of Split and some venues turn into stages so you can experience opera on Peristil square, a show in the garden of Maštrović gallery, and many more.
DAYS OF DIOCLETIAN
The celebration day of our town in May was only possible because of Emperor Diocletian. Since he's the one who gave us the Palace and the city at the end, he deserves this fun festival which always takes place in August. The organizers gather famous citizens of Split who play the Emperor and his entourage and take a walk around the town to greet the citizens just like the real Diocletian and his entourage would. The Emperor's legacy is celebrated throughout the city with Roman dinner, music, gladiators, and citizens dressed in togas.
SPLIT FILM FESTIVAL
The split film festival is an international festival of new films and the oldest international film and media manifestation in Croatia. Since its 1st edition in 1996, the festival has promoted new, creative, experimental works of all lengths, styles, and genres. The festival takes place every year in mid-September, and you can expect to see some Croatian and world premieres.
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL
You've undoubtedly heard about Ultra Music Festival by now, and yes, it is the one that takes place in Split every summer. Ultra-Europe made its debut in 2013. It takes place regularly every July in Split with a closing party on Hvar Island. It is a multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival that brings visitors from all over the world. Ultra-Europe is part of the Ultra Music Expansion, which now spreads to over 20 countries.
This Knight tournament is worth seeing! It is held in Sinj every 1st weekend in August from 1715 as a memory of the Croatian victory against the Ottoman army. Alka is the name of the target used in the tournament, which hangs on the rope in the middle of the racetrack. The contestant, Alkar, rides his horse and tries to hit the center, or at least the side, a ring of the target. He gets between 1 and 3 points for the hit, depending on the ring he hit. The whole town of Sinja and the surrounding area live for this weekend, so if you miss the race, you need at least to see the procession of the contestants through the town and experience the atmosphere.
OLDEST CATHEDRAL IN THE WORLD
The Cathedral of St. Domnius is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the world which is in use in its original structure. It was built in AD 305 as the Palace and consecrated in the 7th century.
PLACE WHERE THE LAST ROMAN EMPEROR WAS KILLED
We know by now your first association with the Roman Emperors is Diocletian. Still, something did happen to another Roman Emperor here in Split. The last legal Emperor of the Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos was killed by his own more solid on the street of the Palace, which nowadays holds his name.
IMMENSELY IMPORTANT FOOTBALL CLUB
A football club called Hajduk is a crucial part of Split's identity. Founded in 1911 by Split's students in Prague, Czech Republic, this club has been more than just sports from day one. It is one of the most potent symbols of the town, and no matter if the club wins or loses, it will live forever, as so many city murals say.
HAJDUK FAN CLUB
Supporting the beloved football club is a way of life, but supporters of Hajduk are much more. The fan club was founded in 1950 and is very active. The supporters are always the first to respond when others need help by actively participating in all charity actions.
SPORTING CAPITAL OF CROATIA
Split is a very sporty town, and many famous sports were born and raised in this town. Some of them are Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanišević, Toni Kukoč, and Dino Rađa, basketball players admitted to the Hall of Fame, and more than 70 Olympic medal winners. Split is the sporting capital of Croatia, and the best way to show that is their engraved names on the newly built West Coast, which extends from the Split's main promenade Riva.
The coffee ritual is truly important in Croatia. Still, Split has lifted the ritual to the level of a lifestyle. Having coffee doesn't only mean enjoying the cup of liquid gold but also spending time with family or friends, chilling under the Mediterranean sun, and simply enjoying life. Sit in one of the bars, order your coffee, relax, and observe how it's done. An essential part of this ritual is arguing with your friends at the end to pay the bill. In Split, everyone is grabbing their wallets and wants to do it.
Yes, sunglasses. Here in Split, sunglasses are mandatory, and they don't only offer protection from the sun, but they're also another lifestyle. We in Split do not only wear them on a sunny day, but we also wear them regardless of the weather. People in the rest of the country always say there's no doubt where a person with sunglasses on a grey, cloudy day comes from – it must be from Split.
Walking on the main promenade and the main street in the city center, you might sometimes feel a slightly unpleasant smell. Don't be afraid; it is not garbage or anything similar - it is Sulphur. The Palace was built on top of natural, hot Sulphur springs, which also exist now. The fish market is situated on the main street, and where’s fish, usually there are also flies. Our fish market has no flies as the Sulphur is chasing them away.
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