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Split Packages

Discover Eastern Europe’s magic and charm!
Visit this town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast known for its beaches.
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Split

Split, a town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, is known for its beaches and the fortress like complex at its center, Diocletian’s Palace, erected by the Roman emperor in the 4th century. Once home to thousands, its sprawling remains include more than 200 buildings. Within its white stone walls and under its courtyards are a cathedral and numerous shops, bars, cafes, hotels and houses.

Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman Emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.

Split is great for nightlife, especially in spring and summer. The palace walls are generally throbbing with loud music on Friday and Saturday nights, and you can spend the night wandering the maze-like streets, discovering new places. After the palace bars go quiet at 1am (as people live within the palace walls), the beaches to the east have open-air bars and clubs that stay open till the wee hours. Split is big enough to have an interesting dining scene which isn't limited to the cookie-cutter konobas (taverns) and pizzerias that are the norm in Dalmatia. Some upmarket places have embraced modern European trends, and there's even a dedicated vegetarian restaurant. Dozens of restaurants are clustered around the Riva, Diocletian's Palace and the area directly to its west. Central Split is filled with stores catering to the tourist market and cashed-up locals. Marmontova is the main shopping strip, with the biggest names, but you'll find some interesting local boutiques scattered around Diocletian's Palace.

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 of 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 life has been humming along for thousands of years. To top it off, Split has a unique setting. It’s 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 you could argue that it's all the better for that.


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