Split and Surrounding Area
We arranged most of our rooms throughout Croatia using hostelbookers.com. Most rooms are “apartments” with a bedroom, bath, and small kitchen. In October, we found rooms for two people ranging from €30 to €60 per night. Since we were visiting a couple islands too, we decided to rent cars for the day as needed. We arrived at the Split airport from Munich, Germany. The Split airport is tiny, and after the plane landed on the only runway, it turned around right on the runway and taxied in to the very small terminal building (there is construction going on at the airport to enlarge the terminal).
We had prearranged a car rental (EconomyCarRentals.com) at the airport, met the agent at the terminal and picked up our car and drove west to Trogir, just a few kilometers from the airport. Trogir is a historic Venetian town on a small island, right next to the mainland and our room was in the middle of the town. Our host met us at the car park close to the island and walked us over a wooden bridge to our room. Trogir is beautiful, and can be toured on foot in a few hours (or less). Most of the historic town centers we visited in Croatia are closed to autos, making a walking tour much more enjoyable.
The next day we drove to Salona, close to Split, to see the Roman city ruins. Although there are signs on the roads directing traffic to the ruins, they are still a bit difficult to find. The necropolis just outside the city ruins has many large tombs, and the city ruins are interesting too. Unfortunately, a busy highway and some industrial buildings nearby detract a bit from the site.
From Salona, we drove into Split, a fairly large city. Our room, the most expensive of the trip, was €60. It was a large apartment with a washing machine, and about 10 minutes’ walk from the old city center. We loved Split. The old city is built in and around Diocletian’s Palace. From the west side of the old city there is a park on a hill that provides a great overlook of the city. It’s well worth the hike.
The old city is so densely built that it’s hard to get a perspective on the layout of the buildings. Some Roman buildings (Diocletian’s tomb-now a cathedral, and Temple of Jupiter) remain among the medieval buildings, and in some cases the walls of the Palace and structures are incorporated into the medieval buildings. Below the Peristyle (courtyard) is the basement of the Palace—part of which has been turned into shops. The rest of the Peristyle is open to visitors for a fee, well worth the cost (about $4). Climbing the stairs of the bell tower by the Peristyle provides a great view of the Palace and old city and puts it all into perspective.
Split is a major port, with ferry lines going to numerous locations (including Italy) and cruise ships passing through.