SPLIT is Croatia’s second biggest city and has a diverse and fascinating cultural history. There are many interesting historical sites to explore during your stay.
The first 'port of call' must be Diocletian’s Palace. The ruins of the palace are not just an historical site but an integral, living part of the city with numerous working businesses within the actual palace walls.
The Mestrovic Gallery is a short bus ride outside of town and is housed in a palatial estate overlooking the sea. It is the beautiful former home of Croatia's foremost artist and political activist, Ivan Mestrovic, providing an amazing retrospective of his art and political activism.
The Archaeological Museum is a must for lovers of history.The permanent collections include displays of glassware, jewellery, coins and everyday artifacts. The atrium contains tombstones, sarcophagi, mosaic floors and early Christian monuments; of particular interest is the superb mosaic of Orpheus and the sarcophagus showing the legend of Hippolytus and Phaedra.
Restaurant Recommendations: Split
Restoran Boban Tel. +385 98 205 575 www.restaurant-boban.com
Elegance is the word at this established restaurant. The kitchen serves up traditional Croatian fare including an abundance of fresh seafood and delicately roasted meats. Look out for dishes that include delectable Istrian truffles—yummy and decadent.
Adriatic Graso Tel. +385 21 398 560 www.adriatic-graso.com
Owned by the father of one of Croatia’s most famous pop stars, Adriatic Grašo is the hip dining spot in Split, attracting famous athletes, politicians, and singers alike. Star-power aside, this restaurant offers the opportunity to dine on the freshest seafood while enjoying breathtaking views of the Adriatic. Whether you eat out on the terrace or inside next to the wall made up entirely of floor-to-ceiling windows, you are sure to have a delicious and languorous meal, fueled by the slow-food movement and wonderful Croatian wines.
Kadena Tel +385 21 389 400 www.restorankadena.com
TROGIR, perched on a small island just off the Croatian coastline, is a stunning town of incredible architectural interest and beauty . The Greeks of Issa first settled in Trogir in 380BC, when they founded the fortified town of Tragyrion, known as the Island of Goats. Protected by the Byzantine fleet in the Middle Ages, it was attacked and destroyed by the Saracens in 1123 and abandoned by the few surviving inhabitants. Trogir was later revived and first under the kings of Hungary, then from 1420 under Venetian rule it became an artistic and cultural center. Trogir was awarded a listed status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Most of the old city is encircled by an ancient wall with two gates.
Trogir is now joined to the mainland by a bridge, and another links it to the island of Ciovo. In the heart of the old town is the St Lawrence Cathedral, which features an elaborate doorway, built and designed by the celebrated 13th century architect and sculptor Radovan. Trogir is the center and home of the Kornati National Park.
Restaurant Recommendation: Trogir
Kamerlengo, Tel: +385 21 884 772 www.kamerlengo.hr
BRAC with its vineyards, olive groves and pine forests is very Meditteranean in feel and look. For the best and safest natural harbour, head towards Milna. If you are looking for a nice sandy or pebbly beach to relax on, Pasika, Osibova, Lucice, Maslinova are all good anchorages, quite close to the harbour. The famous Golden Horn is also to be found here on Brac, try to arrive early before the tourist boats! Both The Golden Horn & Paklinski Islands are known as nudist beaches.
HVAR is one of the most popular and better known islands in the Dalmatian Group. The town of Hvar is both beautiful and quaint and hosts an array of fantastic restaurants, hotels, spas and clubs. Laden with art treasures, hosting a mild climate, good beaches and fields of lavender, Hvar is one of the treasures of the Adriatic.
From an archaeological perspective, Hvar is a very interesting destination to explore. Home to one of the finest collections of the ancient amphorae in Croatia, The Fortica Hydroarcheological Collection and The Hanibal Lucic Benedictine Art Collection – which is a collection of paintings, icons and other artifacts and objects of everyday use from the convent treasury. The Franciscan Art Collection is housed at the Franciscan Monastery. The Treasury of the Hvar Cathedral, The Bishop`s Museum, The Oldest Community Theatre (1612), The Renaissance Cathedral with its original tower and the unfinished palace of the poet Petar Hekrorovic with its ponds and arcades and early Christian baptistery.
The Island of BISEVO is famous for its Blue Cave (Modra Spilja) with entrances both above and below sea level. The ideal time to visit the cave is between 11am – 12pm when the rays of the sun pass through the underwater opening to light up the interior in an unearthly blue glow. This cave easily matches the Blue Grotto in Capri and it is considerably larger.
VIS is famous for its fishermen and seafarers. With very few tourists and incredible natural beauty, Vis is the perfect destination to get away from it all.
Restaurant Recommendation: Vis
Restoran Val + 385 21 711 763
On a palm-shaded terrace overlooking the bay, enjoy a meal of fresh grilled fish.
The island of KORCULA is well known for its traditional Knight's dance, commemorating the Turkish assaults on the island. The island is covered in dense forests of alepo pine, cypress and oak trees, making it a place of wild and natural beauty. Surrounded by strong 13th century walls built by the Venetians after 1420, the town of Korcula is perched on a peninsula. Narrow streets branching off the main road are designed to lessen the impact of the prevailing boaara wind.
Restaurant Recommendation: Korcula
Kanavelic – specializing in fresh fish and seafood +385 20 711 800
MLJET is the greenest of the Dalmation islands. Anchor in the bay of Polace and visit the beautiful and internationally renowned lakes of Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero. Mljet National Park and the salt lakes are a unique geological and oceanographic phenomenon of worldwide importance. They originated approximately 10,000 years ago and were at one time, freshwater lakes. Some indiginous Dalmatian plants can only be found on the rocky coast of the island. Mljet is a rare example of the lush, green forests that once covered the Meditteranean coastline. The 12th century Benedictine Monastery of St. Mary is on Big Lake.
DUBROVNIK is probably the most well known and most visited destination on the Dalmatian coast. It's on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most beautiful of all Mediterranean cities. Its high stone city walls and the beauty of its ancient city centre have for many years attracted the likes of artists, historians, scientists and travellers.
The central point of the city is Luza Square. In and around the square are many of the cities main historical attractions. Nearby is Sponza Palace, which houses the Dubrovnik Republic Archives and Orlando's Column from the 15th century, in the centre of the square. On the southern side of the square is the church of St. Blaise, patron saint of the city, the City Hall dating from the 19th century, The National Theatre, Rector's Palace (15th century), Bishop's Palace and the grand facade of the Baroque Cathedral (17th century) is on the western side of M. Drzic Square.
The BAY OF CAVTAT is the closest point to Dubrovnik airport and it’s also where you would clear customs between Croatia and Montenegro. Often referred to as the St Tropez of Croatia, it is a very picturesque destination.
KOTOR is another of the area's UNESCO World Heritage sites. Rich in culture and one of the best preserved natural and historical heritage sights in the Mediterranean, the Bay of Kotor is amazing to behold so be sure to be on deck as you enter or exit - it’s a magnificent spectacle.
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