Occupying a prime stretch of Dalmatian coastline, Split is the second largest city in Croatia. It’s a cut above your average seaside spot – the town centre still occupies the sprawling Roman remains of Diocletian’s Palace – and it’s a big draw for everyone from the yachting fraternity to cultural travellers. The number of swish hotels in town tells its own story, too – today’s Split is somewhere where you can eat, drink and sleep very well indeed.
As well as being an established destination in its own right, Split is also a hub for holidaymakers heading out to some of Croatia’s 1,000-plus islands. Brač, Vis and the very glamorous Hvar are the main draws, with regular ferry or catamaran services out to all three. If you have the time and the inclination, it’s even possible to island-hop all the way down to the walled city of Dubrovnik.
Having a 1,700-year-old palace as the framework for a city centre is a pretty unique state of affairs, and the remnants of the once-grand residence are fascinating in their own right. To see the UNESCO-listed city at arguably its most memorable, try to come along during the Summer Festival (July-August), although you can get a good feel for its one-off character at any time of year. The palace has four main gates.
Sands of Split
As well as having enough bars and restaurants to waylay you for days, the city has several popular beaches. A short break to Split from Glasgow Airport is a fine way to make the most of them. The best known is Bačvice, which is around 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of town – it’s no stranger to late-night parties over the summer period – while close by is the smaller beach of Ovcice.