Marjan Panorama

Marjan – green oasis of Split city

Visiting magical Marjan hill is really something you need to experience while in Split. It is known to be the green oasis and the lungs of Split city. A dense Mediterranean pine forest with the highest peak of 178 m offers a stunning view of the city of Split, the islands of Brac, Solta and Ciovo as well as the nearby mountains Mosor and Kozjak.

Table of Contents

Before you see the numerous beauties of Marjan hill, first check the borders of the Marjan Forest Park. The green is actually the territory of Marjan Hill.

Borders of Forest Park Marjan

Borders of Forest Park Marjan, photo credit: Marjan Park Šuma

The map is useful just to get an impression of the localities and facilities on Marjan. No matter if you are on foot or on a bike, prepare yourselves for long distances :-)

Marjan map

Marjan map, source: VIP Holiday Booker, see location here

 

Impressive bird view on the northern side, Telegrin peak and the Cross in the foreground

Impressive bird view on the northern side, Telegrin peak and the Cross in the foreground, source: photo credit: Javna ustanova za upravljanje Park-šumom Marjan

A rich history of Marjan hill

Marjan hill is a peninsula located in the western part of Split city. The oldest evidence of humans is found on the southern slopes of Marjan. In the eighth century, there is the first mention of Marjan hill as Marulianus. In the 13th century, Marjan hill was encircled by a fence and was considered a municipal forest. In 1852 began the first afforestation of Marjan hill with Aleppo pine in the Jewish cemetery.

Old Jewish cemetery

Old Jewish cemetery, source: VIP Holiday Booker, see location here

In 1884 began systematic afforestation of Marjan thanks to the dedication of professor Juraj Kolombatović.

In the 19th century, the first wider trails on the eastern part of Marjan hill were constructed.

In 1903, the Marjan Association built a road from Veli Varoš to Marjan's first peak. In 1905, the Association built a trail to the second peak.   

In 1907, the Association reconstructed the old pathway to the first peak, behind the Jewish cemetery, as stairways.

In 1918, the forest extended over more than 75 hectares.

In 1925, the Natural History Museum was founded. Professor Umberto Girometta was the curator of the Museum.

In 1926 the Marjan Zoo was opened, welcoming 3000 visitors on the very first day.

In 1926, the entire forest of Marjan was encircled with a high wire fence.

In 1953, the Association succeeded in bringing water to its first peak.

In 1954 new huts were built on Bene and on the Saddle (Sedlo), while the Belvedere at the Jewish cemetery got a kiosk–buffet.

Vidilica caffe bar is today located next to the Jewish cemetery

Vidilica Caffe bar is today located next to the Jewish cemetery, source: Wikimedia Commons, author: SchiDD

Thanks to the Association, Marjan is declared an area of Special Protected Nature in 1964.

In 1970, the Marjan forest census records 115 265 trees.

In 1975, the Marjan ZOO is visited by more than 120 000 people.

In 1979, the Marjan tunnel was built for the Mediterranean games. The construction began in 1977.

In 2004 the Association renews a stone house in the Botanical Garden built in 1913.

Marjan Tunnel- built in 1979 for the Mediterranean games

Marjan Tunnel- built in 1979 for the Mediterranean games, source: Split i oko Splita (Facebook), see location here

In 2004 the Croatian Parliament voted for the establishment of the Public Institution for the Management of Marjan Forest Park, and the City of Split became responsible for the management of Marjan Forest Park.

In 2005, the Association restored the Marangunić walkway.

In 2013, a 10-meter-tall white cross was unveiled next to the platform on the highest peak of Marjan hill.

 

The Cross on Marjan was built while the city mayor was Mr. Zeljko Kerum

The Cross on Marjan was built while the city mayor was Mr. Zeljko Kerum, source: VIP Holiday Booker, see location here

Popular Marjan walking paths 

1. Marjan Gates – Bene Beach – Military Zone – Institut – Ramp – Ivan Meštrović Walkway – Kašjuni – Obojena  - Ježinac – Zvončac – Sustipan 

Here are just some suggestions if you want to explore Marjan on foot or on a bike.

Your trip starts on Marjan Gates (Spinut Doors) – the entrance on the northern side.

Marjan Gates or Spinut doors – entrance to Marjan Forest Park

Marjan Gates or Spinut Doors – entrance to Marjan Forest Park, see location here

By walking on the Marin Tartaglia Promenade you will see the charming hidden beaches and Lučica port:

 Lučica port with the restaurant of the same name on the northern side of Marjan

Lučica port with the restaurant of the same name on the northern side of Marjan, see location here

After a kilometer you will reach Bene beach:

Bene entrance, child-friendly zone

Bene entrance, child-friendly zone, see location here

Bene tennis court 

Bene tennis court, see location here

Between Bene and Institute there is a military zone by the sea:

Military zone on northern part of Marjan hill

Military zone on the northern part of Marjan hill, see location here

Ivan Meštrović Walkway begins after a military zone. 

You continue walking another kilometer and more to the Church of Saint George and the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries - the most western tip of Marjan and Split city. The distance from the Marjan Gate to the Institute is approximately 2.9 km.

The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries

The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries photo credit: Javna ustanova za upravljanje Park-šumom Marjan

 The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries – picture taken from the boat

The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries – picture taken from the boat, source: VIP Holiday Booker

Later you continue your walk to the ramp on the southern side of Marjan island which is located 3.3 km from the Marjan Gates:

The ramp – located 3.3 km from the Marjan Gates

The ramp – located 3.3 km from the Marjan Gates, see location here

 

From the ramp the street forks into two paths; one leads to the Ivan Mestrovic Walkway (Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića) and the other one leads uphill to Marangunicevo Walkway which will be more demanding for those on bikes.

If you continue to follow Ivan Mestrovic Walkway you will reach the Church of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows.

A picturesque Kašjuni beach and going south there is a Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences and Villa Dalmacija – a famous wedding venue. Obojena, Kaštelet and Ježinac beach are just further south, as well as Meštrović Gallery. Zvončac park is ideal for children and all sorts of celebrations.

2. Marjan Gates – Bene Beach – Military Zone – Institute – Ramp – Albert Marangunić Walkway – Saddle - Telegrin – ZOO – Vidilica Caffe bar

If you continue to follow the more demanding Marangunicevo Walkway which winds uphill across the south, it will take you to the several churches on the southern side of Marjan.

Marangunicevo Walkway – the longest promenade on Marjan hill

Marangunicevo Walkway – the longest promenade on Marjan hill, see location here

By going uphill, you will meet climbers on Šantine Rocks (Šantine Stine) or Marjan’s Third Peak:

Climbing adventurers located on Šantine Rocks – Marjan’s Third Peak

Climbing adventurers located on Šantine Rocks – Marjan’s Third Peak, see location here

Information about Marjan's peculiarities are located near each attraction

Information about Marjan's peculiarities is located near each attraction, see location here

When you continue going west you will find the Oratory of St. Cyriacus or hermitage, the Church of St. Jerome from the 15th century and Karepić’s Tower just above it, carved in the cliff.

 Southern side of Marjan hill – wonderful green oasis of Split

The southern side of Marjan hill – a wonderful green oasis of Split, photo credit: Lidija Lolic Photography 

You can take a rest on several benches and viewpoints with stunning views on the way. Soon, you will reach a part of the hill called the Saddle (Sedlo).

The Saddle is located in the heart of Marjan at the crossing of Marangunic Walkway and Marjan Road. Here ends Girometta’s Trail and Baba Marta’s Trail begins.

Saddle – the part in the middle of Marjan hill where two roads fork

Saddle – the part in the middle of Marjan hill where two roads fork, see location here

Coming from the south, if you turn left from the Saddle, just climb a demanding but short uphill where a viewpoint with a beautiful view is located:

The view from the observation deck next to the watchtower (Osmatračnica) on Marjan, see location here

Cross on Marjan hill next to the watchtower (Osmatračnica)

Cross on Marjan hill next to the watchtower (Osmatračnica), see location here

Later you can continue to Baba Marta’s House in the middle of the forest.

Baba Marta’s House (Marta Katunarić- Šore), see location here

Baba Marta’s House (Marta Katunarić- Šore), see location here

Coming back from the Saddle and choosing to follow the southern side of Marjan which is the Albert Marangunic Walkway you will encounter the Botanic garden, viewpoints, and after a while reach the Church of Saint Nicholas.

Macadam road of Marangunicevo Walkway on the southern side of Marjan hill

Macadam road of Marangunicevo Walkway on the southern side of Marjan hill, see location here

„Oh Marjan, lonely mountain!“ („Oj Marjane samotna planino!“)

„Oh Marjan, lonely mountain!“ ❤️  („Oj Marjane samotna planino!“), see location here

A minute away from the Church of Saint Nicholas, there is a Vidilica Caffe bar with a beautiful view of Split city. Behind Vidilica, there is the Jewish Cemetery from 1573.

You can take a picture from an attractive viewpoint and later enjoy in Vidilica Caffe bar of a famous Hajduk football player, Mr. Ivica Surjak.

Vidilica caffe bar in summer

Vidilica Caffe bar in summer, see location here

 View from Vidilica

View from Vidilica photo credit: Lidija Lolic Photography

From Saddle if you decide to follow Marjan Road (Marjanski put) on the northern side, after 1 km you will reach Telegrin - the largest peak of Marjan and a viewpoint with the Croatian flag and a big Cross. The name Telegrin comes from the Latin word peregrinus which means pilgrim.

Telegrin Peak, 178 m long and the highest point of Marjan hill

Telegrin Peak, 178 m long and the highest point of Marjan hill, see location here

Just admire these views!

Panorama of southern part of Split from Telegrin Peak

Panorama of the southern part of Split from Telegrin Peak

Panorama of eastern part of Split from Telegrin Peak

Panorama of the eastern part of Split from Telegrin Peak

Poljud Stadium seen from Telegrin Peak, nothern part of the city

Poljud Stadium seen from Telegrin Peak, the northern part of the city 

Later, you can explore Girometta's Trail and reach the monument erected in his honor. The monument is located in the same place where professor Umberto Girometta passed away on April 27, 1939.

Girometta's Trail info map, located near the Flag and the Cross on top of Marjan hill

Girometta's Trail info map, located near the Flag and the Cross on top of Marjan hill, see location here

More south from Telegrin Peak when you turn right to Kolombatovicevo Walkway there is a Natural History Museum and ZOO with domestic animals.

  Stairs (Skalinada) below Telegrin that leads to the ZOO

Stairs (Skalinada) below Telegrin that leads to the ZOO, see location here

3. Fire Road – Bene Recreational Zone – Marjan Gates

For an extra long walk or ride, I recommend turning to follow Marjan Road and then turning left to a macadam winding road called Vatrogasni put or Fire Road. After a while, the Fire Road connects to Marin Tartaglia Walkway and you exit to the main Nothern promenade that soon will take you to Bene recreational center.

Entrance to Vatrogasni put (Fire Road) with a lovely view of Kastela town

The entrance to Vatrogasni put (Fire Road) with a lovely view of Kastela town, see location here

4. Skalinada

If you are more fit and ready to do some serious cardio, then Skalinada is the route for you! The sports manifestation is held each year on Easter Monday.

The route begins on Trumbiceva street near Bokamorra pizzeria continues uphill above Vidilica Caffe bar and leads to Telegrin Peak.

The length of the trail is 1320 m, there are a total of 819 steps on the trail, the start is 1 meter above sea level, and the finish line is 178 m above sea level.

Watch your heart so it does not go „into the red“!

 

Stairs leading to Telegrin Peak, source: VIP Holiday Booker

Beaches on the foot of Marjan hill

Going from the north to the Marjan Gates towards the southern parts of Marjan you will encounter several numerous fantastic beaches located at the foot of Marjan hill.

Beach Prva Voda is the nearest to the Marjan Gates and the easiest to access.

Lucica and Prva voda beach on the north of Marjan

Lucica and Prva Voda beach on the north of Marjan, photo credit: Javna ustanova za upravljanje Park-šumom Marjan

Prva voda beach

Prva Voda beach, see location here

Walking along the way you will see Lubinski Porat beach:

Lubinski Porat beach

Lubinski Porat beach, see location here

Just a short stroll away there is the well-known Bene beach ideal for kids and full of facilities:

Bene beach in summer, author: Dusko Novakovic, see location here

300 m away from Bene beach there is a beach for the disabled, you can see the location here.

After you pass the military zone, you will reach the Institute and find a small beach and many other romantic and secluded beaches.

Beach near the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, the most western tip of Marjan hill called Punta Marjana

Beach near the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, the most western tip of Marjan hill called Punta Marjana

 

Houses near the Institute, with perfect hidden small beaches in front 

Between Institute and Kašjuni beach, there are many secluded beaches that nudists adore.

2 km from the Institute there is a protected Kašjuni beach.

Kašjuni beach, located 4.7 km from Marjan Gates

Kašjuni beach, located 4.7 km from Marjan Gates, see location here

Crowded Kašjuni /kaschiuni/ beach in summertime

Crowded Kašjuni beach in summertime

Nudist Kašjuni beach, at the foot of Marjan

Nudist Kašjuni beach, at the foot of Marjan, see location here

Beach for dogs next to the Kašjuni beach

Beach for dogs next to the Kašjuni beach, see location here 

 Obojena, Kaštelet and Ježinac beaches – favorite summer beach for many locals and tourists

Obojena, Kaštelet and Ježinac beaches – favorite summer beaches for many locals and tourists, see location here

 You can find peace on the southern cliffs of Marjan – perfect if you have a boat

You can find peace on the southern cliffs of Marjan – perfect if you have a boat, see location here

Southern waters of Marjan - favorite stop for various day trips

Southern waters of Marjan - a favorite stop for various day trips 

Here is a short video of a boat ride where you can see Villa Dalmatia on the southern side of Marjan, which is a popular wedding venue for locals and tourists:

Villa Dalmatia - from the sea, see location here

Marjan with kids - Children's town, Botanical garden and ZOO

The children's town is located on a plateau near Bene recreational center, at the intersection of several hiking routes. It is one of the most interesting places on Marjan if you are spending time with kids.

Children's town on the northern side of Marjan

Children's town on the northern side of Marjan 

The Botanical Garden was founded in 1951 on the southern slopes of Marjan. Numerous plants from tropical and subtropical regions were planted here. In the northern part of the garden, there was autochthonous Mediterranean flora. It was a pedagogical institution but also a promoter of plant cultivation and care. In the 60s of the last century, the Botanical Garden successfully collaborated with numerous botanical institutions around the world.

Botanic garden – bird view

Botanic garden – bird view photo credit: Marjan Park Šuma

The remodeled Botanical Garden will be primarily intended to educate visitors about nature, and the biodiversity of the botanical world, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean area. One of the aims is to increase visitors' awareness of the need to preserve natural heritage.

Botanical garden on Marjan

Botanical garden on Marjan, source: VIP Holiday Booker

Marjan ZOO once had an enviable number of different animal species. Nowadays, you can see domestic animals like donkeys, rabbits, turtles, chickens, turkeys, horses, cows, sheep and goats.

Marjan ZOO – entrance

Marjan ZOO – entrance, see location here

If you are lucky enough you will see the animals going for a daily walk.

ZOO staff is taking donkeys for a regular walk

ZOO staff is taking donkeys for a regular walk  

Train – ideal for a quick sightseeing with children, operates from Riva main promenade

Train – ideal for quick sightseeing with children, operates from Riva - the main promenade 

In the next sequel, I will write about the historic sights on Marjan. History lovers - stay tuned!

A perfect romantic getaway

A perfect romantic getaway, photo credit: Lidija Lolic Photography

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