Split

A unique historical heritage
A broad and lively Riva (waterfront)
The Diocletian’s Palace

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Split

Linger in a coffee shop and stare out at the blue horizon

With its seafront cafés and ancient alleyways, shouting stallholders and travellers on the move, bustling, exuberant Split is one of Croatia’s and the Mediterranean’s most compelling cities, it’s easy to see this feeling when you step aground from your MSC cruise.

It has a unique historical heritage too, having grown out of the palace built here by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 295AD. The palace remains Split’s central ingredient, having been gradually transformed into a warren of houses, tenements, churches and chapels by the various peoples who came to live here after Diocletian’s successors had departed.

Adapted long ago to serve as Split’s town centre, Diocletian’s Palace is certainly not an archaeological “site”. Although set-piece buildings such as Diocletian’s mausoleum (now the cathedral) and the Temple of Jupiter (now a baptistery) still remain, other aspects of the palace have been tinkered with so much by successive generations that it is no longer recognizable as an ancient Roman structure. Best place to start exploring with an MSC excursion the seaward side of the palace is Split’s broad and lively Riva.

Running along the palace’s southern facade, into which shops, cafés and a warren of tiny flats have been built, the Riva is where a large part of the city’s population congregates day and night to meet friends, catch up on gossip or idle away an hour or two in a café. Nearly everything worth seeing in Split is concentrated in the compact Old Town behind the waterfront Riva, made up in part of the various remains and conversions of Diocletian’s Palace itself, and the medieval additions to the west of it. You can walk across this area in about ten minutes, although it would take a lifetime to explore all its nooks and crannies.

Must see places in Split

  • Medjugorie

    Medjugorie

  • The Diocletian's Palace

    The Diocletian's Palace

  • Tour to Omis

    Tour to Omis

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Croatia

Nature and glamour
Nature and glamour

A Mediterranean cruise to Croatia shows you a country blessed with a wealth of natural riches, boasting almost 2000km of rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, many blanketed in luxuriant vegetation.


An holiday to Croatia offers a lot of urbane glamour too with yacht-filled harbours and cocktail bars aplenty – especially in à-la-mode destinations such as Dubrovnik and Hvar. At the northern end of Croatia’s lengthy stretch of coastline, the peninsula of Istria contains many of the country’s most developed resorts, along with old Venetian towns like Poreč and Rovinj, and the raffish port of Pula, home to some impressive Roman remains. The island-scattered Kvarner Gulf, immediately south of Istria, is presided over by the city of Rijeka, a hard-edged port city with an energetic cultural life.

Beyond the Kvarner Gulf lies Dalmatia, a dramatic, mountain-fringed stretch of coastline studded with islands. Northern Dalmatia’s main city is Zadar, whose busy central alleys are crammed with medieval churches. Croatia’s second city, Split, is southern Dalmatia’s main town, a vibrant and chaotic port with an ancient centre moulded around the palace of the Roman emperor, Diocletian.