If your yacht charter holiday begins or ends in Split, you should definitely spend one full-day exploring the city. After breakfast at your hotel, put on good walking shoes and bring swimwear and a beach towel. And you’re ready for a perfect day in Split.
Begin exploring Split with a tour of Diocletian’s Palace. The building of this vast palace, the retirement home of Roman Emperor Diocletian, began in 295 AD. Centuries later, people built houses within the palace walls, so today it is the heart of the old town. You may want to hire a guide to give you a local’s perspective here.
Start at the main land entrance, the imposing Golden Gate. Then walk south to the Pertisil (peristyle), a monumental arcaded piazza, which was the main public gathering space. Here Diocletian would address his soldiers and servants, who were obliged to fall prostrate when they saw him. On the east side of the peristyle stands the Cathedral, originally Diocletian’s mausoleum. The impressive bell-tower was added later – you can climb to the top for a bird’s eye view over the city.
Leave the palace via the Silver Gate, to see the colorful Pazar, Split’s morning open-air market. Stall holders vend local seasonal fruit and vegetables – tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, figs, peaches and melons abound through summer. Then head for the Split City Museum. Based in the Gothic-Renaissance Paplić Palace, it displays furniture and weapons from the period Dalmatia spent under the Venetian Empire.
Afernoon Stroll and a Swim
Leave the old town, following the seafront promenade west, past the ACI marina and continue along the coast. Here you’ll find the Meštrović Gallery set in gardens above the sea. Ivan Meštrović, Croatia’s best-known modern sculptor, built this elegant 1930’s villa as his summer home. Here you can see his sculptures, in bronze, marble and wood, displayed both indoors and out.
Next, do as locals do and take a quick afternoon swim. Obojena pebble beach lies near the gallery, and the sea is crystal clear. Returning towards town, follow a steep flight of steps up to Vidilica, a belvedere affording superb views over the entire city. Here you might stop for coffee at the Vidilica Café. This is the gateway to Marjan, a protected peninsular planted with pinewoods and dotted with old stone churches. A green oasis, criss-crossed by footpaths, locals come here to walk their dogs or jog.
Walk back down to the centre through Varoš, a quaint neighbourhood of winding alleys and centuries-old Dalmatian stone cottages. Then return to your hotel to dress for dinner.
A Perfect Day in Split | Evening Under the Stars
Start the evening with a sunset aperitif on the roof terrace at Paradox wine bar. Their cellars stock the best wines from across Croatia, so speak to the sommelier about your preferences.
Then dine at rustic Konoba Fetivi in Varoš, specializing in traditional Dalmatian seafood. Order octopus salad followed by their renowned grilled tuna steaks. If you have a sweet tooth, round off with a slice of homemade apple strudel with walnuts and raisons.
Close the day with a nightcap at Luxor, back on the ancient Peristil, beautifully floodlit at night. They put cushions on the stone steps so you can sit out Roman-style. There’s often live music and sometimes people get up and dance, making a magical end to a perfect day in Split.