Make a day of hiking in Marjan Forest Park. Experience history, feeling-inducing panoramic views and quaint beaches for swimming and soaking up the rays. It’s the ultimate outdoor day trip just minutes from Split center. I asked the girl running the apartment building where I could find hiking and history fixes. She looked surprised “nobody has asked me for those recommendations, I’m usually asked about beaches and drinking”. In other words:
Day 1: The first trip into Marjan I rented a bike for a few hours. I picked my way around the peninsula stopping occasionally to peer into the tide pools. The goal was to find an octopus. The sea came up empty handed but, I did score another Abalone shell! It’s about seven times smaller than my California Abalone but, it’s incredibly iridescent. The entire park takes a leisurely 45-50 minutes to bike so, be sure to stop at all the beaches. Each one has unique features. Don’t forget to bring a lunch.
Where I wanted to be was on the upper terraces, from one of the beaches I spotted caves? Bunkers? Whatever they were my interest was peaked. There was no chance in hell I was hauling my bike up the steep incline so, another day.
Day 2: Bound and determined to explore those caves, I started on foot back up the hill. Marjan Park is terraced so, the summit is a much higher elevation than the peninsula where the beaches are. Switchback paths lead you back down the cliffs. The dense forest at the top of the terrace was shady and offered fantastic views of both Split and nearby islands.
There were a curious amount of rock walls that lined trails and were randomly in the woods. As I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch-land so, walls like this are appealing. I wonder, why?
Finally, I found the path to the ‘caves’. Turns out one is a 16th century church (St. Jerome) and the other is a hermitage built into the rock face. You can imagine my frustration when I realized all of the doors were locked. Ugh.
Upon further research, the churches are rarely open and only used for special Catholic holidays. Don’t be dissuaded. These sites are spectacular and the view is even better!
Bike Rental: 60 Kuna for 6 hours = 9 USD for 6 hours
Pack a picnic!
Remember to bring water, it’s hot in the middle of the day.
Have you visited Marjan?
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate