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, 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, source: VIP Holiday Booker, see location here
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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, see location here
After a kilometer you will reach Bene beach:
Bene entrance, child-friendly zone, see location here
Bene tennis court, see location here
Between Bene and Institute there is a military zone by the sea:
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 – 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, 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, 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, see location here
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.
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, 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), 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
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, see location here
„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, see location here
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, see location here
Just admire these views!
Panorama of the southern part of Split from Telegrin Peak
Panorama of the eastern part of Split from Telegrin Peak
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, 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, 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.
The entrance to Vatrogasni put (Fire Road) with a lovely view of Kastela town, see location here
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, photo credit: Javna ustanova za upravljanje Park-šumom Marjan
Prva Voda beach, see location here
Walking along the way you will see 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
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, see location here
Crowded Kašjuni beach in summertime
Nudist Kašjuni beach, at the foot of Marjan, see location here
Beach for dogs next to the Kašjuni beach, see location here
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, see location here
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
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.
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, 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, 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
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, photo credit: Lidija Lolic Photography