Escape into Split’s Green Lungs: Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill

by | Nov 10, 2022

There is a lush hill in the centre of Split known as the city’s ‘green lungs’. A hill that sits on a peninsula, carpeted in a dense Mediterranean pine forest, enveloped by glassy Adriatic sea views. It is Marjan hill and the flourishing oasis that breathes life into the bustling old town beneath its grounds.

Marjan is a forest park that looms above Split’s historic centre, with panoramic views of the Dalmatian islands and small suburbs in the distance. It is a foolproof escape from the city buzz, providing serenity in the summertime when tourists swarm the ancient alleyways below it. And it is an absolute must for anyone looking to explore Split beyond its Roman remains. 

Once you decide to delve into the depths of Marjan, it won’t take long to see why Split locals treasure this natural sanctuary. We’re bringing you five reasons why it deserves a spot on your Split itinerary. 

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill

Beat the crowds, enjoy the views 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – Marjan offers a sense of calm no matter the season, though it is especially admired in the summer when floods of tourists cram the compact city centre. 

Just a short walk from the city centre, Marjan rewards its visitors with uninterrupted viewpoints and unlimited space.

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill

Stay active on holiday 

Your holiday should be one of indulgence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t force your legs to work. Marjan allows you to put your holiday mode into full gear, offering trails for those looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll to more strenuous inclines for avid hikers.

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill

Because it is as large as Central Park in New York City, Marjan supports all outdoor activities, from walking and jogging to even cycling around its green dune. And should the sweltering sun hit a bit too strongly during those summer months? Refreshing beaches adorn the park’s perimeter, allowing you to cool off, recharge and continue exploring the park without sweat-drenched skin.

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill
Dive into Marjan’s church history

Just because you’re a stone’s throw away from the Diocletian’s Palace doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter more historic gems. Marjan hill is decorated with twelve small medieval churches and chapels, often stumbled upon when you least expect it. 

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill

Split citizens would flock to the churches on the holy hill long ago to express their faith. Today, this spiritual circle of churches gives us insight into the religious importance of the hill, with some churches dating back to the Late Antiquity – early Christian era!

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill
Uncover Jewish heritage 

But medieval churches are just part of what Marjan has to uncover. For example, did you know that Marjan is also home to a Jewish cemetery founded in 1573? 

Jewish heretage on Marjan hill

The most famous buried here is Daniel Rodrigo, a Venetian Jew of Portuguese descent who actually bought the land for the cemetery. Not only is he known for securing a crucial trading deal between Split and the Venetian Republic, but he is also credited with constructing the Split lazaret. With around 700 graves in total, the last burial was recorded in 1942 before the cemetery was closed and declared a national monument.

Why You Should Explore Marjan Hill
Unwind at Cafe Vidilica

Whether you’re looking to replenish after your Marjan exploration with a drink and a light meal or simply want to sit back and relax while enjoying the impressive views of Split, its harbour, and the stunning Adriatic seascape, there is arguably no better spot than Cafe Teraca Vidilica. The perfect locale to begin or end your day on Marjan, Vidilica is loved among both locals and tourists, and once you make that final step to the top, you’ll love it too.

Marjan is an easy outing you can enjoy during your free time or experience the park as part of the Diocletian’s Palace with Jewish Heritage tour.

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