Fortress of Klis from pixabay.com
Klis is a Medieval fortress that has been renovated recently. In the past due to its position high in the hills over Split, it used to serve as a major source of defense in Dalmatia against the Turks. Actually, it was one of the most significant fortresses in Europe.
Today it offers a great panoramic view of the whole area and Split.
The view from the Klis Fortress
You can also go there for a peaceful family trip and relive the Medieval times. It also provides a bunch of activities for the kids during the weekends. Thus, Klis Uskoks are teaching the kids swordsmanship and archery free of charge. Who were Klis Uskoks in the past? Main fighters against the Turks from this area. Today they are a community of people dedicated to preserving the past and tradition.
How to get to Klis fortress?
From Split, take the old road towards Solin. Pass Solin and continue towards Klis. The road is rather curvy in some parts. The fortress is situated in the center of the settlement and there is a parking next to it.
Photo from Google Maps How to get to Klis Fortress
Klis Fortress has recently re-opened its doors after the Covid-19. two-month lockdown.
Tickets to the fortress are affordable and they are valid for the fortress and the Interpretation Centre (situated near the fortress) where you can learn interesting facts about the area. You can find more details on their official website Klis Fortress.
Main attractions in Klis Fortress
- Oprah Kula (Tower)
- Uskok armory – where you can see the weapons used in the past.
- Providurov stan or Kneževa kuća – the headquarters of the fortress.
- Church of St. Vid.
Finally, Klis fortress is also famous as the Game of Thrones filming location. We have already written about it in one of our previous blogs. Feel free to check it: Game of Thrones filming locations in Croatia.
Klis in Game of Thrones, credit to HBO
In ancient times Salona was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Nowadays you can find the archaeological park therewith Roman ruins. The paths are marked in English, there are numerous sights to be seen there and it is definitively worth a visit.
How to get to Salona?
Salona is situated approximately 20 minutes from Split and you can reach it in two ways.
The first is to go in the direction of Trogir using the main road, then turn right towards Salona and you will park near the Ruins of the Amphitheatre.
The second way is to go towards Solin. Pass the center and do not continue towards Klis but turn left towards Salona and you will get to the other parking which is at the entrance of the Ruins next to the Museum Tusculum.
What is there to see in Salona?
1. The Ruins of the Amphitheatre. This was the place where the Gladiator Games took place.
Salona Amphitheatre by Carole Raddato from Wikimedia.org
2. Necropolis Manastirine - graveyard where St. Domnius was buried. Later his body was moved to the Cathedral in Split.
3. Thermae (Public Baths) and also a large number of private baths as most of the wealthy people had private baths in their homes.
Salona Baths by Pudelek from wikimedia.org
4. City walls - remains of the city's fortifications.
Roman Emperor Diocletian was born in or near Salona. This is why later in his life he decided to retire nearby and he built the Diocletian's Palace.
Diocletian's Palace in the past
During his reign, Christians were prosecuted and thrown to the lions in the Salona Amphitheatre. Still, they secretly met in Salona. Later these places were considered the holy ground and episcopal centers and oracles were built there.
Salona Church by Piotr Bieniecki from wikimedia.org
Finally, you can still see all these places and imagine how they once looked like if you decide to visit Salona.
Vranjaca cave is the protected geomorphological monument of nature near Split.
Entrance to the Vranjaca Cave
How to get to Vranjaca Cave?
The cave is situated near the settlement of Dugopolje. First You leave Split and head towards Sinj. Vranjaca cave is on the way. Turn to Dugopolje, pass the village and it is nearby. The village is called Kotlenice.
Inside the cave, the temperature is around 15 degrees so it is a great place to cool in hot summer months. You will see the beautiful Karst landscape full of stalactites and stalagmites, pillars, and arcades. Also, be prepared for the vivid colors of the cave and shimmering of the crystals.Just check the photo below and you will see what we mean:
Shimmering crystals in Vranjaca Cave
The duration of the visit is approximately one hour. Pathway inside is rather steep but there are steps, fences, and lighting.
Interior of the Vranjaca Cave with lights and fences
Furthermore, there is a great nature and meadows in the surroundings of the cave for a family picnic. Finally, this area is situated at the foot of Mosor mountain, which is a great place for hiking if you like to spend your vacation actively. Thus, Vranjaca cave is used as a starting point for the hiking trail to Vickov stup which is the highest peak of the Mosor Mountain.
Sinj is a small town near Split. It is famous after the Alka Tournament and the Feast of Assumption.
Alka is the knights' tournament which is 300 hundred years old. It is also protected as a UNESCO heritage. It was founded in honor of the Madonna of Sinj, which forced the Turks to flee and it is held on the first Sunday of August each year.
Alkar aims for the Alka during the tournament, photo by PJL from wikimedia.org
The tournament consists of three races. The knight (in Croatian Alkar) on the horse in gallop aims with his spear the small ring called Alka. Alka consists of several parts. Srida (the middle) is the smallest part and it brings the highest number of points to the knight (3 points). The winner is the Alkar who scores the highest number of points from the three races.
Feast of Assumption or as the Croatian say Vela Gospa
Sinj is one of the greatest Marian sanctuaries in Croatia. On the Day of the Assumption of the Madonna on August 15th, pilgrims come to Sinj. Many of them come on foot from Split.
One of the main events of the Feast of Assumption is the procession that goes through the streets of Sinj with the image of the Miraculous Madonna of Sinj. She is the protector of Sinj and it is believed she saved the city from the Turks in the past. The image is carried by the Alkars. There are numerous Holy Masses during the day.
Feast of Assumption in Sinj, Croatia photo by Tourist Board of Sinj from visitsinj.com
Other sights of Sinj
Kamičak Fort and Stari Grad are two fortresses with a view which we definitively recommend visiting. Kamicak fort is situated downtown and Stari Grad is a bit further on the hill. Stari Grad is also famous after mackule – the cannonballs shot when Alkars hit the Alka in the middle.
Kamicak Fort in Sinj, Croatia
Where to eat while on your one day trip from Split?
Regarding restaurants near Sinj, we can recommend you Mustang which is not only a restaurant but an eco-ethno village. It is situated 2km from Sinj on a property of 20.000m2.
Mustang estate near Sinj, photo credit mustang-sinj.net
On Mustang estate you will find horses, meadow, fields for various sports as well as the restaurant. Horse riding on well-educated horses and riding school is also available for those who wish to try it. The kitchen is authentic with homemade meals food and wines.
We hope you liked our lesser-known tourist attractions near Split. In our future blogs, we will present you hidden gems of other parts of Croatia such as Sibenik, Zadar, Dubrovnik. So, stay tuned for more!