Split is the second largest city in Croatia after Zagreb, the capital, and has been the most important city on the Adriatic coast of Dalmatia since the Roman period. The city’s importance received a boost in the third century AD when the retiring Roman emperor Diocletian chose it as the site of his magnificent palace, much of which survives today. Modern Split is a vibrant commercial and tourist centre, with several good museums (including, of course, the Palace of Diocletian), a famous woodland park, excellent transport links by ferry, road and air to many of the Croatian islands and international destinations and good facilities for cruising yachts. It is also one of the biggest yacht chartering bases in Croatia. Visiting yachts have the option of berthing on the noisy quay in the main harbour or in the marinas of Marina Split, also in the main harbour, Marina Zenta a mile E or Marina Spinut and Marina Poljud on the N side of the peninsula on which the city sits. The latter three marinas are operated by a number of yacht clubs, but visitors are welcomed if space is available. Alternatively, there is the large Marina Kastela halfway between Split and the historic town of Trogir.
- British Admiralty
Diurnal winds along the coast are mostly moderate during the summer months, predominantly from NW and rarely exceeding force 4/5. At night, katabatic winds off the mountains are a feature of some of the harbours along the NE Adriatic coast. During early spring and (especially) autumn conditions can be more unsettled, occasionally accompanied by violent thunderstorms - luckily of short duration - with winds of 30-35 knots or more and vicious, steep seas. In the winter the sudden, violent N wind off the mountains, the bora, is much to be feared, especially along the Velebitski channel. It tends to blow less strongly S of Zadar.
Equally prevalent in winter - although not uncommon in summer - is the scirocco, a S/SE wind that blows up from North Africa, usually in advance of a depression moving E across the Mediterranean. Unlike the bora, the scirocco only occasionally exceeds gale force, but is still a phenomenon to be wary of, especially if on a lee coast.
For sources of weather forecasting, see Croatia.
Also see World Cruiser's Nets.
There are no hazards in the approach to Split, although the coast on either side of the main harbour has a number of isolated rocks and should not be approached too closely. The city is easily identified from some distance off by a tall, disused lighthouse just E of the harbour entrance and the buildings of the city behind. Ferries enter and leave the harbour at speed and caution is needed on the final approach.
Submit details about facilities for checking in - location of immigration & customs, etc.
Visiting yachts have several options for berthing in Split. It is possible to go alongside or stern/bows to the quay of the main harbour in the vicinity of the Palace of Diocletian or the similar quay SE of the harbour office if there is space. Depths here are, however, only 2.3 metres and any swell makes the position very uncomfortable. The quays are also very noisy with constant traffic and general city clamour. Shelter on the quays is poor in any southerly winds and probably untenable in strong to gale force winds. Anchoring in the NW part of the main harbour, which used to be an option, is no longer allowed. Finally, a visiting yacht can seek a berth in one of the marinas, Marina Split on the W side of the main harbour, Marina Zenta a mile E or Marina Spinut and Marina Poljud on the N side of the peninsula on which the city sits. Halfway between Split and Trogir is also the large marina of Marina Kastela, which can usually accommodate visiting yachts. During peak summer periods, however, it is advisable to arrive early if expecting a berth at any of the marinas, especially at weekends, when the ACI-owned Marina Split and Marina Kastela are filled with charter yachts on handover.
Marinas & Yacht Clubs
Yacht Repairs and Services
See entry for Marina Kastela.
Fuel, Water, & Electricity
Fuel station in the main harbour, NE of Marina Split. Water and electricity in all the marinas.
Things to do Ashore
The touristic highlight of a visit to Split is the enormous fortified palace built on the bay at the end of the 3rd century AD for the retiring Roman emperor Diocletian. The walled complex covers a total area of 31,000 square metres and is entered by one of four gates in the centre of each wall. On can stroll through the cavernous cellars (the only intact part of the former imperial palace) and visit the unusual octagonal cathedral of St Domnius (formerly Diocletian’s domed mausoleum), which still retains most of its original columns and roof. Ironically, after the former emperor’s demise his remains were unceremoniously ejected by the Christian communities he had so diligently persecuted and his final resting place converted into a place of rest for a number of Christian martyrs, including St Domnius. Also worth a visit is the former temple of Jupiter, still with its original barrel-vaulted roof and a later 10th century baptismal font. Museums include the Archaeological Museum, with excavated finds from the nearby ancient town of Salona, the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, with mostly mediaeval exhibits, and an Ethnographic Museum, largely filled with old photos, costumes and other memorabilia. Perhaps the most notable museum in Split, however, is the Mestrovic Gallery in the former residence of Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s foremost modern sculptor. The house and a neighbouring Kastelet (fortress), are filled with several of his finest sculptures as well as a magnificent series of wood reliefs depicting the life of Christ. The gallery is to the west of Split harbour and it is possible to continue from here up to the extensive and scenic forest park of Marjan Hill, a favourite of former Yugoslav president Tito.
Grocery & Supply Stores
Several supermarkets in the city. Local markets also.
- Good choice of restaurants along the waterfront.
- Restaurant Adriatico was good in 2004.
From internet cafes.
Motorbike & Car Rentals
Several rental outlets in the city.
Bins in the Marina Split.
- Buses and trains to Zagreb
- Ferries to Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Ancona (Italy)
- International flights from Split airport (20 kms)
Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
For other useful websites, see Croatia.
References & Publications
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Date of member's last visit to Split and this page's details validated:
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