We are completely enamored by the historic cities along the Adriatic Coast. While they are each unique in their architecture and culture, they are – to a degree – similar in their setting: cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways and wide squares…and not a whole lot of green space. Split, Croatia, however, boasts historic lanes and parks. Just steps from Old Town Split, Croatia is Marjan Hill, an expansive nature retreat.
Getting to the platform at the top of Marjan Hill, where the Croatian flag flies above the forest, is the most popular destination for tourists. The views from the hilltop perch are amazing; encompassing islands, mountains and the city below. The platform is the highest point on Marjan Hill at 178 meters. In addition to the views, visitors will find a large white cross.
There are two routes that lead to the Marjan Hill Viewing Platform. The shortest (but perhaps not easiest!) route is a steep staircase located behind the small Church of St. Nicholas (the first church that hikers come to from the cafe/viewpoint entrance). Take the stairs up, turn left at the path that leads to the Marjan Zoo. (We have never visited a Split, Croatia Zoo, but we have seen a donkey grazing in the field next to the zoo.) Turn left and follow that path to the steep stairs that lead right to the top.
There is, however, a less-direct route, that we actually prefer. Instead of taking the stairs, continue walking straight on the main trail through the park, past the St. Nicholas Church all the way to the intersection and parking lot toward the west end of the park (map coordinates). At this main intersection, turn right onto Marjanski Put (the same direction to Marjan Bene Beach). Immediately on your right, there are five stone steps that lead onto the dirt trail. Hop on that trail; it leads through the forest in the center of the peninsula. The path passes lookout points and, eventually, to the platform.
At the informal entrance to Marjan Park at the top of the Varos Neighborhood, there is an outdoor cafe, Vidilica, and a small lookout point. From the platform, the views of the city are stunning. The rising bell tower of the Split Cathedral stands out among the orange rooftops that wrap around the deep teal bay. The rocky mountains that stand behind the city offer the perfect backdrop. This lookout point provides the best views of the city – even if you aren’t interested in hiking in Split, Croatia, make an effort to climb to this viewpoint!