With panoramic views over the whole city, as well as neighbouring islands and surrounding mountains, Marjan is beloved by residents and tourists, offering a tranquil escape from the bustle of the busy city. Occupying a space the size of Central Park in New York, it’s known as the ‘lungs of the city’ and is now a nature reserve. Throughout its history, from its early beginnings as parkland for the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s hilltop palace, Marjan has been protected by Split’s authorities and building has thankfully been restricted.
Getting to Marjan
Driving through the forest park itself is prohibited, so the best way to get around is on foot. There are several paths and tracks that you can take from the Old Town of Split, which is just a few kilometres to the west of our Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Split. The preferred itinerary takes you through the historic Veli Varoš quarter and climbs up a stone stairway to Café Vidilica at the top. The café's terrace is the perfect place to stop for a breather on the way to or from Marjan, looking out over the spectacular port. Be aware that refreshments on Marjan are limited; other than Café Vidilica and a couple of small bars at the peninsula's beaches, there are few options, so it's worth bringing your own drinks and snacks if you're planning on venturing further towards the summit.
Alternatively, driving along the southern coast of the Marjan peninsula is possible up to a point. Some bus services also run along this route and this is a convenient option if you're heading to one of the peninsula's beaches. The main walking path meets the road near Kašjuni beach, where continuing a little further will bring you to unspoilt Bene beach. If you're short on time or don't fancy the walk to Marjan's summit, both Bene and Kašjuni offer beautiful uninterrupted views across to nearby Čiovo island.
Climbing to the summit
The best vantage point is undoubtedly Marjan's summit. At 178 metres, Telegrin is the peninsula's highest point and can be reached in about twenty minutes from Café Vidilica. It's an easy climb up concrete paths, but in the summer months it might be worth planning for an early morning or late afternoon ascent to avoid the hottest part of the day. The views from Telegrin are magnificent; the islands of Čiovo, Šolta, Hvar and Brač can all be easily seen, and when visibility is particularly good it's possible to see as far as Vis.
Churches with a view
Although Marjan's natural beauty is the main draw, there are also two churches particularly worth visiting. The first, the Church of St. Nicholas, is situated a short distance from Vidilica on the path to the summit. Appropriately dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen and sailors, the chapel's stone terrace is an excellent spot to stop and take in the sight of the Split archipelago. Carry on a little further past Telegrin to see the 15th century hermitage of St. Jere and its accompanying series of dwellings, formed from caves in the cliff face.