Marjan Hill Split City Soul

If Diocletian palace represents Split city nucleus, Marjan hill that dominates the ancient city stands as a symbol and Split's trademark. No place is so popular and celebrated in Split as this 178 meter high pine forest hill.

What is Sljeme or Maksimir for Zagreb, Central Park for New York or Hyde Park for London, Split has a marvelous Marjan, a natural reserve on peninsula nested on the western side of Split city.

Often called the 'lungs of the city' this green hill is the most popular place to escape from the city busy and chaotic flow of life during the high season in July and August.

It has always been a favorite place for walking, running, jogging, climbing or riding a bike and some extreme activities like rock climbing. I recommend you to take some time to visit this magnificent natural park.

Marjan Hill History

This hill was inhabited already in prehistoric times. Some archaeological finds  (housed in Archaeological Museum in Split) testified, that Greeks had settlements on Marjan around the 2nd century BC.

Until the 15th century, Marjan was covered with dense forests. But the expansion of settlements on the slopes of Marjan, uncontrolled wood cutting and Turkish invasion, devastated the Marjan so that in the 17th century, it became bare craggy hill.

The afforestation of Marjan began with the first pines in 1852 in the area of Jewish cemetery. At the same time, Marjan peninsula was populated with game like rabbits, partridges, roe deer, pheasants and wild Canadian turkeys, with over 250 watering places.

In a recent history many Split inhabitants still remember, the ex Yugoslav flag that flew over the city on the top of highest peak called Telegrin. Finally a new Croatian flag proudly stands on the highest peak of Split hill.

Getting to Marjan Hill

  • Marjan peninsula area: 347 ha, length 3.5 km, width 1.5 km
  • Highest peak: Telegrin (178 m)
  • Marjan Park Day: May 9

Marjan forest park covers a broad area, approximately of the same size as New York's Central Park. There are several ways to reach Marjan forest Park.

It's prohibited to drive through the park but you can park your car only near the Northern Gate. Walking is the best way to enjoy this park of nature.

Your walking tour to Marjan, will probably start from Veli Varos district, originally founded by farmers and fishermen in the late 17th century. Walk slowly  up and up until you get to Cafe Bar Vidilica, the first lookout point with a wonderful view of Split and the nearby islands. 

Cafe Bar Vidilica with a splendid view
Marjan walking path with a splendid view of Split city

While exploring Split attraction, just behind Split National Theater , there is another way to reach Marjan Forest Park, heading up Plinarska ulica (street), cross the Prilaz Vladimira Nazora street, continuing west down Mandalinski Put. Check this way on Google map !

Only in the summer (July and August) you can take a small train in front of Split National Theater from 08 AM to 08 PM; an excellent opportunity for families with kids for only 10 Kuna. 

You can also hop on bus N° 12 from Split Riva promenade near St. Frane (Saint Francis) bus stop to get directly to Bene Marjan beach. See all Split beaches !

All bus lines to Marjan hill:

  • Line N° 12 Sv. Frane-Bene-(Meje)-Sv.Frane
  • Line N° 21  Sv.Frane-Meje-Sv.Frane
  • Bus 21 has a stop at the entrance of Kasjuni beach.
  • Bene beach is the last stop on bus N° 21 line.
  • All info about Split public transport can be found on Promet Split website.

Marjan hiking trail map!

The best way to enjoy this natural oasis in Split is hiking. Below you can try this hill trail map. It will take you two hours and half for this trail of moderate difficulty.

Powered by Wikiloc

Churches on Marjan hill

If you include churches in Varos, Marjan's old neighboring district, Marjan Forest Park used to have over 29 churches. However many of them were burnt and destroyed over the centuries.

Today on Marjan there are six well-preserved churches, which can be visited while walking around Marjan Park.

Sveti Nikola (St.Nicolas) - built in 1219 with the donation of family Splinic Rake and his wife Elizabeth. Renovated on several occasions, last time in 1990.
Church of St Jere (Jerome) - Gothic Renaissance single nave church on the southern slope of Marjan hill.
St. Stjepan (Stephen) church - built on the site of the medieval basilica of 1814.
Our Lady of Seven Sorrows church - It was built in 1362, renovated in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Sveti Jure (St George)church - close to the remains of the temple of the goddess Diana from the Roman times. Built around 1275. Renovated in 1975.
Our Lady of Bethlehem church - Built around 1500, renovated in 1975.
The desert hermitage in the middle of a high cliff above the church of St. Jere (Jerome).

Marjan Hill beaches

Marjan peninsula boasts with a long coastline ,  surrounded by the sea from three sides. This Split area is rich with a variety of beaches, most of them situated on the southern side  and only one on the northern side of Marjan forest park.

Kastelet - pebble beach on the south side, also a popular romantic/lovers place Car access possible.

Jezinac beach - located in Meje, an elite part of Marjan park only 2 miles from the old Split center.

Kayaking Tour from Split: Marjan Peninsula, Ciovo or Hvar Islands

Paddling and sea kayaking around Marjan Hill

4-hour guided sea-kayaking tour around  Marjan peninsula. Perfect tour for beginners who want to enjoy a simple and relaxing adventure. Take this sea kayaking tour around Marjan Hill, enjoy beautiful nature, and discover secluded bays and fantastic beaches.

Bene - a stone beach on the north side of Marjan. Accessible by public transport (car only with a special pass).

Kasjuni - stone and gravel beaches on the south side of Marjan Hill. Car access possible. Dog friendly beach.

Marjan hill - things to visit

Th  southern part of Marjan Park hosts two important cultural institutions; Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments and Mestrovic Gallery.

Marjan's district Meje is proud of some famous residents, first of all of the greatest Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic, who had built the palace where his family lived for over 10 years before they moved to Zagreb.

The palace today is dedicated to the famous sculptor, and it contains the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery, as part of the Museum of Ivan Mestrovic.

Return from here to Split Croatia Home page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.