Five Great Reasons to Visit Sinj from Split

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(Photo by Sinj Tourist Board)

An American couple recently posted on the Expats in Split Facebook page asking for recommendations for a day trip from Split, including a visit to a restaurant for a good meal. Having just returned from a fabulous day out with the Sinj Tourist Board, I recommended they check out the historic town about 30 minutes north of Split by car, stopping in for lunch at Ispod Ure in the centre. There were other great suggestions for days out, and I thought nothing more of it. A couple of days later, I received the following email:

Dear Paul

I hope you are well today! I actually went with your recommendation to drop into Sinj today. We rented our a car for our apartment move, so we wanted to take advantage of the wheels and check out something great outside Split. Sinj was just as charming as you said, and we loved Ispod Ure. Had the whole place to ourselves. The meat was FABULOUS, as was the stuffed cabbage. Thank you again for the recommendation. 

The fact is, Sinj IS fabulous, and almost totally undiscovered. Here are five great reasons why you should check out Sinj on your next visit to Split.

1. Alka

Sinj’s most famous event is the annual knights’ tournament, the Alka, which takes place every August. It is a legacy of the commemoration of the famous victory over the vastly superior Ottomoan forces in 1715, and is one of the more colourful and individual cultural events in Europe. Check out the video above for a short overview of the event itself. 

Lesser known – and certainly lesser attended – are the preparations for the main Alka event, and the very helpful Sinj Tourist Board (more about them in a moment) provided the following information about the 2013 Alka:

For this year the dates are:

Bara  02.08.2013. at 17.00
Čoja  03.08.2013. at 17.00
Alka  04.08.2013. at 16.30

They are practicing from the middle of the July at the Alka course every day, except Saturday and Sunday. 

(Photo by Branko Čović)

Seats during practice in July are not so busy.
Regarding people who attend Bara & Čoja, mainly local people, so there is plenty of opportunity to experience the tradition apart from the main event, where it is very difficult to find tickets.
Entrance for Bara and Čoja are free of charge, to catch a seat it is necessary to come 30 minutes before the start.

2. Heritage

I have written a couple of articles in the last couple of days about Sinj – one for the official blog for the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board and one for Google News. This town is very rich in heritage, from its fortresses and 1715 legacy, to its Franciscan monastery and the infamous Madonna, to its claim to be the region which is the birthplace of football in Europe. With the right information, there is so much to discover in Sinj.

3. The food

(Photo by Secret Dalmatia)

On my visit to Sinj, we went for lunch at Ispod Ure, where we were treated to a fabulous selection of local specialities, including some outstanding local prsut, Sinj’s signature arambasic (stuffed cabbage with three types of chopped meat) and some of the best meat and potatoes I have had in Dalmatia. As if the food were not enough,the setting – in the back room of Ispod Ure restaurant – is absolutely stunning. Dripping in Dalmatian tradition and Alka culture, it is worth coming to Sinj for a glass of wine here alone. 

4. Activies, activities and… yes, you guessed it, activities.

Photo by Sinj Tourist Board

Imagine a town with almost no tourists, just a short drive from the city of Split, with its own historic culture, fabulous architecture and endless activities. Feeling adventurous? Why not take advantage of the Sinj airfield for a little paragliding? A horse lover? From the famous hippodrome to the organised riding holidays, there is plenty of choice. Ready to take on the mighty Cetina river? Canoe safaris and white water rafting are just some of your options. An Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis, hiking and climbing – Sinj has a staggering amount of outdoor potential, as is the perfect base for an active family holiday. 

5. The Sinj Tourist Board – they are fantastic

How do I know all this? This is perhaps one of the best reasons to visit Sinj at all. It has one of the most progressive, dynamic and forward-thining tourist boards I have seen in Croatia. Great website, active Facebook page, superb guide booklet to the town, helpful signs recently erected around town. Start your Sinj tour in their office to get the best out of your trip.

To reach Sinj, take the road to the motorway and simply keep going. There are regular buses, and you can find times here (you are strongly advised to check with the bus website in the article to check the latest times). Or visit the helpful Sinj Tourist Board for any questions. 



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