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Croatia’s second-largest city, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split has been humming along for thousands of years.
To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic and help divert attention from the dozens of shabby high-rise apartment blocks that fill its suburbs. It’s this thoroughly lived-in aspect of Split that means it will never be a fantasy land like Dubrovnik, but perhaps it’s all the better for that.
Split, 2nd largest city in Croatia and the capital of the Croatian Dalmatian coast with a population of 250.000 for the last decade is experiencing a tourist renaissance. Guests from all over the world are flocking to this Mediterranean jewel situated under Marjan hill surrounded and protected by the islands of Brac, Hvar and Solta.
Inhabited from Roman times at the spot where Roman emperor Diocletian had a retirement palace built for himself and his family, through eras of Croatian Kings and centuries of Venetian and Austrian reign. Each of these civilizations has left something unique to Split which makes it a must-visit spot today.
Thanks to the new addition of the coastal highway built in 2013, Split has become more easily accessible from Mostar and therefore a desirable destination for a day trip.
We start our tour by picking you up at your hotel at 8.00 AM and drive up thru Herzegovina until we reach border with Croatia. After passing border, we turn onto the highway and after a 1 hour drive, we reach the heights above Split and stop underneath Klis fortress – standing on a limestone vertical ridge overlooking the town of Split.
Klis fortress bravely defied Ottoman Turks for many years until it finally fell, but its sacrifice and valor remain evident even to this day. (Its appearance and story is so strong that it got the producers of HBO series Game of Thrones to use it as a film set).
Following the stop at Klis, we descend down to Old town of Split and its promenade, where a LOCAL LICENSED guide will take you on a PRIVATE time travel tour of Split (and its 1700 years of rich history) visiting all major sights (Diocletian’s Palace, Peristil, St. Duje’s Cathedral, The temple of all Gods, Split’s famous promenade, fish market…)
After the tour , you will have some free time to explore the city on your own, absorb the views, have a bite in one of the numerous small restaurants in the Old Town center or just let yourself be lost in space/time maze of the narrow streets of Split’s Old Town.
From Split we drive back to the highway, and with one or more stops to stretch or have coffee, we return to Mostar.
Klis is a small village located around a famous mountain fortress (“Kliška tvrđava”) only 9 km from the town of Split (and just a few km more from our camp site), and it’s a must see one day trip destination. If not for its rich history, famous fortress from Game of Thrones scenery, you should visit Klis for its breathtaking view of Split and islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis. Throughout the history Klis played a significant role due to its position (at the altitude of 360m) which made it easy to guard the access to Split, Salona and surrounding areas.
The Klis Fortress is one of the most important medieval fortresses in Dalmatian history. It was originally built as a small stronghold (by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae) that became a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings. Finally it was developed as large fortress that was as a great source of defense during wars with the Ottomans. Klis Fortress guarded the frontier, and during two thousand year long history it was lost and re-conquered several times.
Departure from Split is flexible depending on the wishes of the group, for earlier or later departures from Split it is necessary to agree in advance with the guide