If you are holidaying in Croatia visiting Trogir and/or Sibenik is a very doable option from Split.
They are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites (in Šibenik its the cathedral that is listed) and are well worth visiting if you have the time in your Croatian itinerary. In fact Trogir was named the best city-island in the world by National Geographic in 2015. Both towns are far less crowded than the major Croatian tourist destinations of Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice lakes, Krka National Park etc.
If you are wondering how to travel to the towns there is more information at the end of the post about how to travel from Split to Trogir and Split to Sibenik.
THINGS TO KNOW WHEN VISITING TROGIR AND SIBENIK
THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING TROGIR
Trogir is only 30 kms from Split and although it is possible to catch a bus* from Split to Trogir we visited as an add on to a tour of the old town of Split. The tour included transport to Trogir where we were briefly shown around before being left to explore for an hour or so before returning to Split. We spent about 2 hours in Trogir but it was enough to get a sense of the place. and see the main sights.
(* The majority of buses travelling to Sibenik and Zadar pass through Trogir.)
HISTORY OF TROGIR
Trogir is a historic town which has been added to and developed throughout many centuries. There are examples of buildings built in the Classic, Romanesque, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. These reflect the various rulers of Trogir during the Hellenistic, Roman and Venetian periods.
Trogir was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and is (to quote UNESCO ) “a remarkable example of urban continuity.” It is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe.
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE IN TROGIR?
The first thing you will notice is that Trogir is built on a small islet located between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo. The islet is only 500m long and 250 m wide.
To access Trogir walk across the bridge which will lead you into the town through the north gate (built around 1656) Look up and you will see a statue of the patron saint of Trogir – bishop John.
It takes about 30 minutes to walk around Trogir. Stop and admire the beautiful buildings and architecture as you stroll around. Although Trogir is only small it is easy to get lost in the narrow alleyways – we did! The architecture of all the buildings in Trogir is stunning with so many beautiful balconies, squares, palaces and alleyways.
The main buildings to look for when you are strolling the town are – the 13th century Cathedral of St Lawrence with its very impressive Portal of Radovan, the City loggia, the Karmerlengo fortress and St Marko fort, the Cipiko Palace, and the Waterfront Promenade.
The Cathedral of St Lawrence took over 4 hundred years to build. Enter through the Radovan Portal which was completed in 1240. It depicts scenes from the bible and is flanked on either side by 2 lions representing power and strength.
TIP – When you visit the Cathedral of St Lawrence climb up to the belfry and enjoy beautiful views of the rooftops of Trogir.
When you exit the St Lawrence Cathedral walk over to the stunning Cipiko Palace with it beautiful balconies and gothic ornaments. Another main feature of the main square in Trogir is the city loggia or porch. Check out the emblems of the different noble families of Trogir on the walls of the loggia.
Part of the original walls remain on the coastal side of the town as well as 2 towers which were built by the Venetians in the 13th century – the Fortress Karmerlengo and St Marko fort – to protect the harbour.
To access the waterfront promenade exit the town through the doorway in the middle of the two towers. Enjoy some refreshments when you reach the port and promenade. We stopped for an ice cream and sat admiring the boats moored in the harbour.
THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING ŠIBENIK
We visited Šibenik at the end of day trip to KrKa National Park. It was literally a quick stop at the end of the tour to look at the Cathedral of St James as this is the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although we couldn’t actually see inside the the Cathedral as someone was getting married that day we did have a good look at it from the outside.
The Cathedral is special because over the 105 years it took to be built 3 different architects were involved and the result is a building which is a blend of Gothic and Renaissance forms.
The Cathedral is built entirely of stone. No mortar at all. It is basically like a giant lego construction held together by well cut blocks!
It also has a very impressive portal apparently built to compete with the Portal of Radovan in Trogir.
Check out the rather interesting frieze around the Cathedral. It consists of 71 faces of men, women and children who lives in Sibenik.
TIPS WHEN VISITING TROGIR AND ŠIBENIK
We added our visits to Trogir and Sibenik onto the end of other excursions but this isn’t a budget friendly option. If you are on a budget and are considering one tour I would suggest visiting Trogir.
Alternatively if you prefer to visit independently it is easy travel from Split to either town quite easily by bus – Sibenik is 88 kms from Split while Trogir is a mere 30 kms away.
Click this link for information about the bus from Split to Sibenik. The bus takes approximately 1 1/2 hours along the coastal road and costs 48 Kuna (price correct 2019)
To travel from Split to Trogir by bus click this link. This trip takes 30 minutes.
TROGIR AND SIBENIK – UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
As mentioned previously they are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Pin for later – Visiting Trogir and Sibenik
RECOMMENDED READING ABOUT TROGIR AND SIBENIK
READ MORE ABOUT CROATIA
Tracy has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)
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