Marjan Forest Park covers the westernmost tip of Split Peninsula. It is a green oasis, which has been cherished by the citizens of Split for generations and is considered the ‘lungs of the city.’ It covers a vast area, the size of New York’s Central Park and offers a myriad of activities and sites. There are countless paths what wend through the forests and along the coast, revealing a well-tendered landscape, jagged beaches, vista points, ancient chapels, and even a zoo.
You can take an easy stroll or a jog to the peak of Marjan hill, Telegrin, marked by the Croatian flag at 178m above sea level offering breathtaking views over Split and the Adriatic horizon. Alternatively, conduct your Marjan discovery on bike, which you can rent from the Northern Entrance to the park (a.k.a. Marjanska Vrata) for 15KN per hour; there are plenty paved roads and off-road routes to chose from.
Other than endless greenery, some hot spots to discover include:
Sustipan: A peninsula that closes off the city harbor to the west is an old cemetery nestled on a cliff face. It is a popular rock climbing spot for if you have the gear.
Sv. Jere Church: This magnificent little church was constructed into the rock face in 1500; a Croatian version of the Petra of Jordan if you will.
Vidilica Café: Found at the summit of a flight of stairs from taken from the Varoš neighborhood, here you can sip your coffee while taking in the best city panoramas.
The Zoo: Probably one of the smallest animal havens in the world but a great visit for kids.
Kašjuni Beach: Located on the southern foothills of the Marjan, this no-frills beach provides a quiet city getaway in pristine nature. A short walk takes you to Split’s only dog friendly spot dogs. This beach is also a nudist beach.
Bene Beach: Located along the northern shores of this pine-dotted peninsula, this jagged beach is a popular recreational destination with tennis courts, football, playgrounds, and a restaurant.
Getting to Marjan
It is prohibited to drive through Marjan Forest Park but you can park by the Northern Gate (a.k.a. Marjanska Vrata). Get to the Northen Gate on foot by heading up Plinarska Ulica directly behind the National Theatre of Split, cross Prilaz Vladimira Nazora Ulica and continue west down Mandalinski Put.
You can also get to Marjan from the city by climbing the stairs to Vidilica from the Varoš neighborhood west of Riva.
Alternatively, you can access from the southern side by passing through the Marjan tunnel to the Meje neighborhood and turn right at the t-junction and continue west along Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića until a ramp stops you from driving further. Park nearby and walk the rest of the way.
You can also hop on bus 12 from Riva and get off at the last stop, directly by Bene beach. Alternatively, take a little choo choo train that departs every hour in front of the National Theatre of Split in the summer from 8am to 8pm; a real popular mode of transport for the kids for just 10kn.