Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cruising to Split, Croatia

Last week I wrote about one of my favorite European cruise ports, Dubrovnik, Croatia.  This week I’ll continue with another Croatian port of call, Split. Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and a wonderful port of call on a European cruise!

Here’s some suggestions on what to do in port:

Diocletian’s Palace is a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman structures. It was built as an imperial city-palace and a sea fortress but today it’s a city within a city! The ancient fortress has become the old town of Split, with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don't miss, the underground basement, the St Domnius Cathedral, the Bell tower, as well as Jupiter's temple.   *Special note: Diocletian's Palace was used as a location for filming the fourth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Stroll along the palm tree studded harborside Riva promenade. There are bars, shops and market stalls.  It's lovely to just sit in one of the bars having a drink and looking at some of the stunning boats or walking around the many cobbled streets.

Marjan Hill, a hill that is completely surrounded by the city and the sea, is a great place to visit as a
break from a busy cruise itinerary. There are lots of hiking trails and cycling routes going through the thick Mediterranean pine forest. There are also a few beaches at the foot of the hill. It takes only a 5 minute from Riva Promenade to the stairway that winds up the streets to Marjan Hill and another 5 minutes to climb to the first viewpoint. This is also where the main hiking trail starts from. At the top of the stairs there is an observation platform with great views of the Old Town and the harbor, as well as a café. You can also visit the Church of St. Nicholas built in 1291, the Church of St. Jerome built in the second half of the 15th century and the Hermitage Caves, all on Marjan Hill.

Interested in great Croatian wine? Putalj Winery offers wine tasting and wine tour programs. The tour includes a stop at in the vineyards where guests learn about the history of the winery and then are treated to a  sample. The tour then heads to the actual winery where there is more tastings of the wine, cheese, and fresh prosciutto!!

I hope you enjoy your European cruise and the port of Split as much as I did!

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