Great Discoveries Inland from Split: Trilj

The rich diversity of Dalmatian tourism is perhaps best exemplified by the radius of an hour’s travel from Split. Looking for islands? Brac and Solta are an hour by boat. Perhaps some coastal action? Choose from gems such as Trogir and Omis. Or for something truly different and very much off the beaten path, head inland and discover the Dalmatian hinterland, one of the most fascinating and undiscovered regions in Europe.

The small town of Trilj is a pleasant 50-minute drive from Split and a world away from the bustle of the city. It is one of Dalmatia’s most interesting and lesser known destinations, a place of Roman heritage, adventure sports, impressive fortresses, agro-tourism and great food.

Given its location to the Cetina river, which has played an important role in the town’s history, it is perhaps not surprising that the Romans based themselves there to oversee the movements up and down the nearby river. The archaeological site of Tirulij and the Roman legion camp dating back to the 1st centuryand covers a 12 ha. area, part of which is covered by the village of Gardun.

Like everywhere else in the region, Trilj has endured a turbulent history, and attack and occupation were the norm in Dalmatia throughout the ages. One of the benefits for the modern tourist is the string of impressive fortresses dotted around the region, and the eleven fortresses on the Cetina each have their own individual splendour and legends. If you only have time for a couple, Nutjak and Cacvina are both accessible from Trilj

More interesting for the adventure tourist is the rich choice of activity available. Pit your skills against the mighty Cetina with white water rafting, kayaking or a canoe safari, or try some land-based pursuits such as horse-riding, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, trekking or fishing.

The Trilj Region Museum is an important focal point for the archaeological and ethnographic heritage of the immediate vicinity, and it is engaged in the research, purchase, documenting, preservation and presentation of its finds to the public. The museum includes an interesting lapidary arts museum.

Trilj’s most famous souvenir is an intriguing one, a walnut necklace. Traditionally, a necklace of walnuts was presented to a girl by her suitor. By accepting and wearing it, the young lady officially accepted the love of the donor.

Trilj’s gastronomic delights reflect its location and rich agricultural and eco-ethno potential. That Cetina once again plays a role, with river trout either roasted or fried, often after being covered by corn flour. Other specialities include Koštradina (smoked and dried lamb) and Pulestar (young rooster cooked under a Dutch oven).

For more information, visit the Trilj Tourist Board online.

Four Festivals Not to Miss In Split

Split has a vibrant cultural scene, with plenty of festivals going on throughout the year, from the colourful carnival in the build up to Lent to the biggest New Year’s dance party in Europe with the Silvester Salsa Festival. There is plenty going on throughout the year, and the Split Tourist Board can assist you with the latest events on offer during your visit to the Dalmatian capital. Here are four festivals worth visiting:

Split Summer Festival
This popular festival brings the city alive from mid-July to mid-August, and has been doing so for over 50 years. The city’s charming squares and historical venues are converted into open-air stages with opera, drama, and ballet performances setting the scene for many memorable nights under the stars. 
xSTatic Festival

This hip-hop culture and extreme sports festival runs for a few days in May and adding to the urban vibe, the event is held in funky rundown venues around town. Besides experiencing graffiti art in the making, DJ sessions, and competitions in street basketball, freestyle football, skating, BMX, breakdancing, kiteboarding and after-parties make for an entertaining few days.
Mediterranean Film Festival

This festival in early summer focuses on Mediterranean flicks that are not shown in regular film distribution. Screenings will be held at cult cinemas Zlatna Vrata located within the palace walls and open-air cinema Kino Bačvice by the beach. Aside from hosting this popcorn extravaganza, the festival is spiced up with exhibitions and after parties.
In 2013, the Mediterranean Film Festival is held from June 8-15

Days of Diocletian

For ten days every August, take a journey back 1700 years to the time of Emperor Diocletian’s rule. His former palace gets filled with strollers dressed in togas and aromas of Mediterranean specialties linger in the narrow lanes. Enjoy the highlighted reappearance of the almighty Diocletian himself in full period garb as he addresses his people on the Peristil Square before being ferried away to his sleeping quarters.
For more information on these and tourism in the city, visit the Split Tourist Board online

The 2013 Croatia Boat Show in Split

Split has a proud maritime tradition, and its port has seen plenty of boating traffic during its long and distinguished history.

In recent years, the harbour has played host to what has become an increasingly important international boat show, and this year’s Croatia Boat Show will take place from April 17 – 21 in Split harbour.

It is a chance for all sectors of the boating industry to come together, and there are plenty of smart yachts for the visiting public to enjoy during the event. The fair necessitates some temporary uprooting of regular ferry and catamaran berths, and regular travellers to the islands may find themselves arriving at a different part of the harbour.

For more information about the Croatia Boat Show, visit the official website, or check out the video below for more details.

Day Trips from Split: 5 Things Not to Miss on the Island of Brac

Given its size, proximity and regular ferry schedule to Supetar, Brac is arguably the most accessible island for a day trip from Split, and the pleasant one-hour ferry transfer should be seen as part of the experience. It is an island of culture, tradition, beaches, beauty and adventure, with plenty to entice the visitor from the mainland. Here are five highlights, all of which can be enoyed on a day trip from Split:
1. Zlatni Rat beach, Bol
  
Arguably the most famous beach in all Croatia, Zlatni Rat (or Golden Horn) is one of the top attractions in Dalmatia. Situated on the edge of the tourist town of Bol on the southern shores of Brac, the shifting tides move the beach left and right, and it is popular family resort, as well as the base for activity sports such as wind surfing. There is a daily catamaran from Split to Jelsa via Bol at 16:00 (16:30 on a Friday), or the beach can be reached by ferry to Supetar and onward bus connection. 
2. Blaca Monastery
 
One of the most impressive complexes in Dalmatia and testament to the determination and dedication of the monks of the  16th century, Blaca monastery is well worth the hike, both for the incredible views and the sense of achievement of human endeavour. Founded in 1551 following more Ottoman attacks, Blaca was also an agricultural community, producing wine, honey and other local specialities.
In addition to the orginal construction, there is also a world-famous observatory, museum and library. 
3. Dragon’s Cave
Another fascinating insight into centuries-old monastic life is located close to the village of Murvica, about 7km from Bol. Zmajeva spilja (the Dragon’s Cave) takes its name from the relief of a dragon in it, and its main purpose was a a temple and home to the Glagolitic priests from the 16th century on.
The cave is some 20m long and divided into four halls, including the Chapel of our Lady in the first hall.  There are several carvings into the mountainside, including Madonn, the moon and dragons, which scientists have attempted to explain. A common theory is that they are linked to parts of Slavic mythology and Christian iconography.
A visit to Dragon’s Cave is possible only with a guide.
4. Dol with Vitalac
A rare treat! Found only on Brac and one more village on Crete, vitalac takes lamb’ s offal (liver, heart, lungs) skewered and wrapped. After turning on live coals, the sticks are wrapped in lamb’s intestines and then turned for another hour. Vitalac is then cut and eaten while the diners wait for the whole lamb to be baked. Wine and drinks included.
The journey begins from Split harbor and continues across the hills of Brac Island to tiny Skrip village where guests get introduced to history of the island and its traditions. Next stop is picturesque and wonderfully preserved Dol village where our cooking class takes place. The cooking class of vitalac also combines the lamb cooking traditions of Brac island.

The program is offered from Split area in May, June and September.
 5. Brac stone and the Pucisca stone masonry school
Brac stone is famous throughout the world, with its most famous location being part of the White House in Washington. It is also to be found in other public buildings around the world, such as Liverpool Cathedral in the UK.
Stone masonry is a highly skilled art, and one much prized in Dalmatia, where construction from stone is an essential part of the culture. The Pucisca stone masonry school is an important centre of learning and craftsmanship of this very important art form. 
For more information on transfers and organised tours to these destinations, contact the tourist boards on Brac:
http://www.postira.hr/
http://www.supetar.hr/
http://www.bol.hr/
http://www.touristboard-selca.com/
http://www.otok-brac.info/tzo-sutivan/

The Season is Coming: Jadrolinija Summer Ferry Schedule 2013

The first seasonal flights have landed and the first cruise ships have docked, and the important Easter holiday is almost upon us.

For the most part, however, tourists visiting Central Dalmatia will be looking to arrive in the summer months, and the Dalmatian islands will be the destination for many. As such, the Jadrolinija ferry times are an important part of the holiday planning.

The summer Jadrolinija ferry, which comes into effect from June 1 – September 30, is now available. For the most comprehensive overview, visit the official Jadrolinija website. For a more simple overview for transfers from the mainland to the islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis, Solta, Korcula, Veli and Mali Otok, click on the links below:

Ferries and catamarans from Split and Makarska to the island of Brac

Ferries and catamarans from Split to the island of Hvar

Ferries from Split to the island of Solta

Ferries and catamarans from Split to the island of Vis

Ferries and catamarans to the island of Korcula

Ferries from Split to Trogir, Mali and Veli Drvenik