Split Harbour

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Planning to sail in the central cruising area of Dalmatia? Hvar, Vis, Korcula or Kornati are on the agenda? Yes - then the likelihood is you will travel by Split, or close to it. Whether to pick up your charter boat from ACI Split (or one of the other Split Marinas) or just passing through the airport or sea port on the way to another destination (Kremik or Sibenik for example) then you should take the time to stop and look at the areas biggest and most engaging city.

Split offers so much more than just good travel links, having everything that any tourist or visitor could hope to find in a European city and all of it available in the compact centre of the town. The city’s extant history goes back to the creation of a retirement palace on what is now the Riva waterfront, by the Roman emperor Diocletian in 305 AD. Much of this impressive building, more a small city in itself, survives in the core of the medieval street pattern that is so popular with tourists and shoppers alike.

Defined by its tall walls and towers the area is a World Heritage Site and its attractions include the city’s octagonal cathedral at its centre, occupying what was once Diocletian’s mausoleum and the famous catacombs that are the site of a large tourist market but can also be toured for a small fee. Wandering the medieval streets that sit within the former Roman palace and spill out of it to the west, is a pleasure in itself with their fantastic architecture and sculpture, but also a way to see many of the city’s famous bars, ice-cream parlours, cake-shops and restaurants.

Split Riva

The Riva 2008, with cafes in front of Diocletian’s palace

Split is the perfect blend of history and culture but also restaurants, cafes and shops. It has something to suite every taste and every wallet from fast-food to haute cuisine and is the major shopping centre on the Dalmatian coast with high-street favourites along with designer boutiques and the local traders of the very extensive market on the south side of the palace.

For those arriving by yacht there are three main options for mooring right in the centre of the town. The first, largest and most obvious is the ACI marina on the north side of the bay, in the shadow of the large wooded headland and ridge that makes up the Marijan Park. While this facility is a busy one, particularly on the weekend, the staff will try hard to find you a space. The walk from the marina to the centre of the city takes around 20 minutes and leads you around the northern shore of the bay. If you want more direct access, without the walk there is also a 5 minute water-bus service that runs for much of the day and late into the evening from the marina to the harbour wall at the Riva. If the marina is not to your taste then there is an area in the bay where you can drop an anchor, or finally you can moor alongside the harbour wall in an area at the southern end of the Riva but north of the area used by the many local, regional and international ferries.

Split Riva and Harbour

Split’s busy harbour with local , national and international transport links

Split has all of the services you would expect to find as a yachts-person visiting a busy port. Repairs, maintenance and several chandlers are all available either in the marina area of just a few minutes walk from it. There is also a fuel berth, just outside the entrance to the ACI marina. This, like so many of the area’s fuel stations, serves both cars and boats, and can be very busy on a Friday evening and Saturday morning when charterers join the informal queuing system to fill up their tanks before retuning their boats.