DuVine Apres Velo – SplitBike tour guru
As a major hub along the Dalmatian Coast, Split, Croatia, is an exciting city with beautiful beaches and an historic Roman palace. Along with a bike tour in Croatia, experiencing this city will lift your spirits as you can engage yourself in the diverse aspects that the city has to offer.
There is a reason the Roman emperor in the 3rd and 4th century, Diocletian, made his retirement home here and succeeding Roman officials came here to vacation. The coastal mountains reach to the sky next to the blue of the Adriatic Sea, creating a striking setting. Today, the western portion of Split is a completely wooded mountain park above the beaches. An incredibly enjoyable walk along the pathways in the higher areas of the park offers an incredible view of the Adriatic and city below.
Diocletian wasn't content staying in any old bungalow during his retirement, though. Diocletian Palace, now a UNESCO heritage site, is the historic center of the city. Simply walking around the palace will be enough to experience it, but you can pay to see the remains of the basement as well. In terms of overall preservation, it is one of the best kept Roman palaces in the world. Shops and businesses line the marble streets that surround the palace, giving you plenty of opportunities to take some time to sit and enjoy this marvelous historic structure.
On your walk through make sure to recognize Peristil square, the main square of the palace with beautiful Roman architecture. In the square is one of two original Egyptian sphinxes. Diocletion brought the sphinxes here to adorn his palace. The second of the two is located in front of St. John's church.
The Cathedral of St. Duje is another building from the 4th century, built originally as a mausoleum for Diocletian. The Roman temple and Catholic church combine with a bell tower, which offers a great view of the city and islands just off the coast, to form the oldest cathedral in the world.
Marjan, a hill in the western portion of the city, offers a release from the rest of the city. With trails ideal for hiking or biking, you can make the trek to the top of the hill and get a gorgeous view of the city. Residential construction is forbidden on Marjan, so the purity of the hill has and will remain intact.
Another relaxing activity which immerses you in the culture of the city is sunbathing on the beach at Bacvice. While the beach can sometimes be very crowded, it is placed right in the heart of a local hangout area. Rather than being filled with tourists, the beach will be teeming with Split natives. With a number of great cafes nearby, this is a great chance to immerse yourself among the locals.
A combination of beautiful views and opportunities for total relaxation mixed with magnificent historical monuments makes Split a great place to visit before a bike tour in Croatia.
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