Biking through Split

Onderwerpen in dit artikel

Split is located on a small peninsula in the Adriatic. Because of its location, Split has become one of Croatia's most important port cities. In 2022, the city had 221,456 inhabitants. Ferries depart from Split to the various islands off the coast. The city exudes history and was founded in the third century AD. Around 300 AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian ordered the construction of a palace. The construction of Diocletian's Palace is considered the birth of Split. Still today, this impressive palace, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, forms the heart of the city in the historical centre.
Courtyard of Diocletian's Palace where you can have a coffee and soak up history.

May is the perfect time to travel towards the Balkans. You are less affected by hordes of tourists and it is also much more pleasant in terms of temperature. If you are lucky, you can even swim in the sea. There is nothing nicer than a pleasant cool down in the sea in the heart of Dalmatia! This time I visit Split with my sister, Croatia’s second largest city after Zagreb.

On the first day, we decide to explore the city. Not unknown territory for me, as I have been here a few times. Should you come for the first time, you can visit Diocletian’s palace. We skip this, but decide to have coffee in the central square Peristil. Live music often takes place here in the evening, definitely recommended, and from here you can get lost endlessly in the narrow streets and alleys. It’s great fun to explore the city by bike. Install the app Next Bike, you will find bike points all over the city and there are also electric bikes for rent. Useful if you go just outside the city, such as to Fort Klis and thus encounter a lot of hills.

On a bike, you discover a city fastest
Many courtyards with familiar earth colours on buildings.

Fort Klis

Fort Klis is a must-see, known from the Games of Thrones. About 12 km from Split in a small village of Klis, you will find this breathtaking fortress. The makers of the series Game of Thrones must have thought so too, as a number of scenes in the streets of Meereen were filmed here. I set out with a group of locals and expats to picnic together once atop the hill. If you prefer to do this under guidance, as it’s a hefty climb up (there & back 30 km), you can also book an organised trip. Luckily, we had electric bikes. A reasonably good level of fitness is required. Once at the top, you have fantastic views and it is well worth the climb!

View from Fort Klis
How to reach Klis?

By local bus: You can travel to the fort on bus line 22 from Split. Tickets can be bought on the bus. The bus stop in front of the fortress is the last bus stop on the route. Check the timetable here. There is another bus on this route, bus line 34, but this bus runs less frequently. View the timetable here.

By car: From Split, follow the main road to Solin. Turn right at the crossroads at Solin and keep heading north until past the tunnel in Klis. Take the second road to the left and follow the road to the top of the mountain.

By shuttle bus: A practical and cheap option is the special shuttle bus to the fortress. This bus takes you directly to the fortress for only €3. Buy tickets online, for more information check here.

Rent a bike via Next Bike App, preferably an electric one.

A favourite is Uje oil bar with Dalmatian comfort food.

Best places to eat

After the bike ride, it was time for a well-deserved drink at café bar Tennis. Favourite restaurants for eating are Pandora Greenbox (plant based) Matejuska (local food) Fig (international kitchen & delicious cocktails), Sug (local & international) and Uje oil bar (Dalmatian specialties). 

Delicious plant-based dishes at Pandora Greenbox restaurant

Sun, sea and beach

When you think of Croatia, you immediately see the clear Adriatic sea and beaches. No worries 🙂 I have tested a few for you. What I can recommend is to start cycling at Baćviće beach and go down the entire coastline. That way, you can see what appeals to you and cycle further until you’ve spotted your favourite beach!

Bacvice; the most famous and touristic beach. The advantage is that the water is not so deep, allowing you to play ‘picigin‘, and ideal for families with small children. In the sea, there are no pebbles, but sand. A nice beach close to the city, but also often crowded.

Firule;after Bacvice, this is the next beach you come across. You do lie on concrete blocks next to the sea. Not the prettiest beach, but clean and clear water.

Trstenik; perfect for couples and people who want peace and layback vibe. And a plus is that the Radisson Blu Resort is located nearby.

Znjan; one of my favourite beaches, less crowded, more locals here and fine beach bars. No sand, but a pebble beach.

When I just arrived in Split, I wondered if there are also beaches on the side of the Marjan hill. There certainly are. Jezinac beach is a bit smaller and here you will also find more locals. Besides, it is a quiet beach, a nice touch is that there is a park directly behind the beach. There is also plenty of space to park your car.

Beach Firule

Finally, one last tip, visit the cinema in Bacvice in summer. Beautiful view, right next to the beach and plenty of great films! As Croats say, “uzivaj” or enjoy!

Bačvice Open Air Cinema, opened in 1956, is a unique cinema surrounded by Bacvice forest and sea.