Cruise Port Atlas | Split, Croatia Day Trips | Attractions

Split, Croatia Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Split: Voyages of Discovery, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Diocletian's Palace, St. Domnius Cathedral, Jupiter Temple, Split Archaeological Museum, Split Science Museum and Zoo, Ivan Mestrovic Gallery, Historic Trogir, St. Lawrence Cathedral, Dukes Palace, Kamerlengo Castle, Salona Greek and Roman Ruins, Hvar (city), Stari Grad, Stari Grad Plain, Bacvice Beach, Kasjuni Beach, Bene Beach, Zlatni Rat Beach, Blue Cave, Mostar, Mostar Bridge, Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque, Muslibegovic House, Cetina River, Cetina Canyon, rafting

Diocletian's Palace and other Split Attractions

Port to Diocletian's Palace and Riva Promenade - 1 KM, 3 minutes, 13 minute walk
Port to Archaeological Museum - 3 KM, 8 minutes
Port to Zoo / Science Museum / Marjan Park - 4 KM, 11 minutes
Port to Mstrovic Gallery - 6 KM, 12 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Diocletian was a poor Dalmatian who rose through the ranks of the military and eventually became Emperor. Though renowned as a reformer, he was also a persecutor of the growing Christian sect. Unlike most powerful rulers, he gave up his power and went back home. The palace we see today is but a small portion of his original retirement home. Besides the walls, the most famous original section is known as the peristyle (courtyard), bordered by the Cathedral which was originally Diocletian's mausoleum and a Roman temple that was probably dedicated to Jupiter. UNESCO not only recognized the Roman ruins but also buildings from several subsequent eras, including Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance. The beautiful Bell Tower is a favorite photo spot for tourists. There are also scenic squares and rich palaces within the walls that Diocletian built.

Outside the city walls you will find the important Split Archaeological Museum which preserves artifacts from the pre-historic to the Middle Ages. The largest and most visited park in the city is on Marjan Hill, offering great views and nice walks. Within the park is the city's Science Museum and Zoo. Just south of the park is the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery, dedicated to the city's most famous 20th century artist and considered by many to be one of the finest sculptors of the modern era. Several of his sculptures are featured as monuments in different parts of the city.

                 

   

Photo of Diocletian's Palace by Rialfver, Photo of City Center by Ballota

Historic Trogir

Port to Trogir - 29 KM, 33 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site accessible from the port at Split is Trogir, an ancient walled city first established by the Greeks and inhabited continuously since then. Though little remains of the Greek and Roman eras, the street layout has remained essentially the same. The buildings, including the cathedral, of subsequent eras offer fine examples of period architecture from Romanesque to Baroque. The Cathedral of St. Lawrence was begun around the turn of the 13th century but was not completed for nearly 400 years, resulting in a building with elements of the entire construction period. As power over the city passed from one empire to another, each added to the city's fortifications making it an impressive enclave. Besides the Cathedral, the other most popular tourist attraction is the Kamerlengo Castle, built by the Venetians in the 15th century. The Duke's Palace and several other smaller palaces attract visitors, along with 10 smaller churches from the 13th century. Like Diocletian's Palace, Trogir is a place where you can easily imagine yourself drifting back in time.

           

   

Photo of St. Lawrence Cathedal Entrance by Prof saxx, Photo of Trogir by SelfQ

Salona Historic Site

Port to Salona - 8 KM, 12 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

For those seeking Greek and Roman ruins, Salon is a must; however, what remains does not compare to other sites such as Diocletian's Palace and the Arena at Pula. Originally settled by Illyrian Greeks during the Roman era, Salona became the capital of the Dalmatian region and developed into a major city. The remains of the amphitheater are the most impressive ruin, but you can also see low walls where the baths, the forum, and the Roman walls once stood. There are also pieces of the aqueduct and remains from early Christian churches. It was destroyed by invading Slavs in the 6th and 7th centuries.

     

   

Photo of Salona Amphitheater ruins by Pudelek

Hvar Island

Port to Hvar - 43 KM, 90 minutes by ferry
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Hvar, a small scenic port on an island with the same name, is considered one of the gems of the Adriatic. Ferries and tenders enter the small harbor which ends at the city square. The city square is surrounded by St. Stephens Cathedral and Bell Tower, the Arsenal (now a theater), the Bishop's Palace, and the remains of the Governor's Palace. There are several other Renaissance palaces adjacent to the square. The Cathedral is a Renaissance era building matched with a Romanesque style Bell Tower. Above the town are two fortresses. The older is called the Spanish Fortress and is open to the public, offering amazing views of the port. The other important port on the island is Stari Grad (it means Old City) which predates Hvar. Nearby is the Stari Grad Plain, an unusual UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fertile farmland has been tilled since the time of the Greek colonists who built walls and cisterns to ensure a regular supply of water.

           

   

Photo of Hvar's Spanish Fortress by Marbax2, Photo of Hvar from the fortress by chensiyuan

Cetina River and Canyon

Port to Zadvarje (Rafting location) - 54 KM, 51 minutes
Port to Omis - 25 KM, 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The Cetina River is an important source of water and hydroelectric power in Croatia and offers significant recreational opportunities in a beautiful setting. Rafting is a popular activity in various parts of the river and canyon. The rapids are rated 2 to 3 (on a 6 point scale), so even inexperienced rafters will be able to enjoy the ride. Geologically, the river passes through a karst region with springs and underground water sources providing much of the flow.

           

   

Photo of Cetina Canyon by Nikolaj Potanin

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Port to Mostar - 90 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

A few tours are offered to Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the drive is 90 minutes through rugged and scenic country. Mostar is a city with a mixed cultural history which includes many Christian Croatians, a roughly equal number of Islamic Bosnians, and a small number of Serbs - most of whom have left since the wars of the early 1990s. Mostar is named for the famous bridge over the Neretva River, built in the 16th century during Ottoman rule. The city's mosque is from the same era. Other popular tourist sites are the Hammam (Turkish Bath) and the 19th century Muslibegovic House.

     

   

Photo of Mostar by Ramirez HUN

Beaches and Water Activities

Port to Bacvice Beach - 1.3 KM, 4 minutes, 13 minute walk
Port to Kasjuni Beach - 7.5 KM, 15 minutes
Port to Bene Beach - 10 KM, 17 minutes
Port to Zlatni Rat Beach (Brac Island) - 52 KM, 1 hour 55 minutes by ferry and taxi
Link to Full-Page Google Map

If you plan to spend the day on the beach, you can find one that suits your taste by either a short walk from the berth or a short taxi ride. Nearest the port is Bacvice Beach with a blue flag (for quality), sand, and a young crowd that gets there early. On the south side of the Marjan Park is Kasjuni Beach, which has a gravel shore but a quieter atmosphere than Bacvice. A beach that will appeal to young and old is on the north side of Marjan at Bene, with nice facilities and a shallow swimming area. That said, perhaps the nicest way to experience the water and beaches is to take a boat tour that includes various beaches and other water activities. One of the most popular is a tour that goes to the Blue Cave on the islet of Bisevo and then proceeds to one of the many quiet coves or beaches along the shores of the nearby large and small islands. The most famous of these beaches is certainly Zlatni Rat on the island of Brac.

           

   

Photo of Zlatni Rat Beach by Zuffe

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible