You know all about Paris and London, Berlin and Prague. But throughout Europe there are a host of smaller cities where food, culture and historic sites reign supreme, but crowds don’t.
Sprawling from the ruins of a Roman palace on the sea, Split is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site overflowing with restaurants, wine bars and ancient sites. The largest city on the Adriatic, Split has been ruled by everyone from the Venetians to the French. Explore the city’s history with a walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace. Built between the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., this former retirement home of the emperor Diocletian now houses the restaurants and shops of Split’s Old Town. The Palace Judita Heritage Hotel is one of the few hotels in the city walls. Grab a sidewalk table at Wine & Cheese Bar Paradox to learn about Croatia’s local vintners (fun fact: Zinfandel wine comes from the nearby village of Kastela), then enjoy local seafood and people-watching at No Stress, an aptly named outdoor restaurant near a main square. For a walk on Split’s natural side, take a guided hike through Marjan Hill, a nearby forest and park called “the lungs of Split”. Then cool off with a dip in the Adriatic at Bene Beach. Feeling more adventurous? The nearby Cetina river, with its waterfalls, rapids and subterranean tunnels, is a perfect playground for canyoners and climbers.
January 8, 2017