Trogir, a Tourist Destination Transformed Thanks to the Ciovo Bridge

Total Croatia News

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February 29, 2020 – As tourist destinations grapple with more and more tourist traffic, how the new Ciovo bridge returned Trogir to its former glory without the Ciovo traffic. 

The Dalmatian coast is blessed with seemingly endless picturesque stone, walled towns and cities, each one a must-see – Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Primosten, Sibenik and Zadar, to name but a few. But come back in the peak season, and the experience will be somewhat different. As much as I love Omis and all its fascinating history, I have better things to do with my summer than sitting in traffic trying to get there, and Dubrovnik is not an option for me after late May. And until two summers ago, there was another name that I would have included in that list of gorgeous destinations to be avoided in peak season.

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The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir. 

But that all changed in the summer of 2018. 

Just a few minutes from Split Airport, and the ideal welcome and departure overnight stay for a Dalmatian holiday with no airport transfer stress, the old town of Trogir is one of Croatia’s cutest and most compact heritage destinations. Itself a small island, its tourism fate has been inextricably linked to the larger island of Ciovo in recent decades. Tourism in Ciovo has exploded in recent years, and there has been considerable construction of new apartments, with the only access by land across the small Venetian bridge next to Trogir old town.   

The result was tourism chaos, huge queues, and much frustration for those heading to Ciovo and Trogir alike.

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This 1962 photo above is a nice comparison to the more recent one below. The lovely old town of Trogir has not changed that much at all in almost 60 years, while across the water on Ciovo, the tourism expansion has been significant. 

The one thing that certainly did not change, despite decades of talk and promises, was the infrastructure. The only Ciovo bridge access was the small original crossing. If another solution could be found to rid Trogir of the considerable Ciovo through traffic, could we see a return to the Trogir as It Once Was? 

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A new Ciovo bridge was finally announced and, after several false starts, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic opened the new 207 million kuna bridge in July 2018, 85% of which was financed by the EU.  

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You can get an idea of the before and after from these two photos, above and below. 

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The new bridge, which is between Trogir and both Split and its airport, means that all that traffic which used to clog up Trogir in season, does not even come close to the town, heading straight across the new Ciovo bridge, leaving locals and Trogir tourists who want to pop over to Ciovo along the old bridge with a much more pleasant experience. 

Trogir as it once was. 

Trogir Mayor Ante Bilic told TCN not only about the difference the new bridge has made, but what other traffic improvements are in the works: 

The new bridge has completely changed how Trogir functions, especially during the tourist season. It’s going to be 2 years in July since the grand opening, and we’ve almost forgotten how our lives were complicated on a daily basis before the bridge was built. Still, we are very thankful for this important traffic solution which made our lives easier and with more quality, not to mention how much more convenient it is for thousands of tourists visiting Trogir.

I believe the new bridge was also a symbolic beginning of a new era for our town. Trogir, of course, needs more traffic investments and solutions to make it even more seamless. Our partners such as Hrvatske Ceste and Županijske Ceste have some great new plans for us in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the reconstruction of the town’s western entrance, via Seget, which is a priority and then the main Čiovo road, from the old Bridge to Slatine. Maybe the most interesting project is making the old stone bridge a pedestrian area and building a new, small bridge starting from the bus station, that will connect the mainland with the old town peninsula. For sure, we have solved our critical traffic problem with the new Čiovo bridge but we are looking forward to new traffic projects.

Excellent stuff, and exciting times for Trogir, which recently launched its new branding, Trogir, Marked by Masters. 

TCN, in association with the Trogir Tourist Board, will be covering this exciting destination in greater detail throughout 2020, and you can follow the latest on our dedicated TCN Trogir page


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