The medieval-themed town of Trogir is a pearl on the Dalmatian coast, only 27 km away from the metropolis of Split. The city and the small holiday resorts on the Riviera are a popular holiday and excursion destination. Unlike neighboring Split, it is more comfortable and not so crowded.
Trogir owes its special charm and flair to the Romans. They separated the old city center from the mainland by a canal.
When you cross the bridge to the old town today, you embark on a journey through the exciting history of the city which is over 2000 years old.
Narrow, romantic streets lead you to the historic buildings and squares framed by a dreamlike promenade. In 1997, UNESCO declared the entire old town complex a World Heritage Site.
The attractive city beaches of Medena and Pantan, the beautiful beaches and bays of the offshore island of Ciovo and the neighboring towns, combined with exciting sports and leisure opportunities, contribute to unforgettable holidays by the sea.
In the evening, the restaurants and taverns in the historic ambience of the old town and on the lively promenade will tempt you with traditional Mediterranean cuisine and excellent wines.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to end the evening quietly afterwards or want to explore the city’s nightlife, the options are as varied and unique as the city itself.
The local population lives mainly on the mainland and on the island of Ciovo, just cross the bridge from the old part of Trogir.
In fact, the best beaches of Trogir are concentrated on the island of Ciovo. Many tourists prefer to overnight here and visit the old town for sightseeing.
It is best to walk through Trogir’s old parts early in the morning or late in the evening. Early in the morning the city streets are completely empty which allows you spend a few quite moments taking in Trogir’s historic architecture.
In the daytime you can use the services of a guide who will not only show the most interesting sights, but also tell a lot of interesting things.
Walking the streets of Trogir, immersed in the history of the Middle Ages. Despite the fact that sightseeing takes no more than 3 hours, emotions will last for years to come. In addition to historical and architectural attractions, there are many souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants.
If you do not overnight in Trogir, then try coming here on a boat cruise. Cruising on the Adriatic Sea will be a memorable trip full of picturesque landscapes of Croatia.
From Split to Trogir by sea takes only 1 hour and 10 minutes, and the cost of a round-trip ticket is about 70 kunas.
What to See in Trogir
Trogir is a perfect destination for all history and art lovers. The old town is like a “museum island” with a concentration of lot of cultural and historical sights spread in it.
Lining up around the John Paul II square are the most important buildings of Trogir such as the Cathedral of St. Lawrence (Sveti Lovre), the Bell Tower of St. Sebastian, the City Loggia, the Church of St. Barbara and the Cipiko Palace.
The square is, so to speak, the cultural center of Trogir.
Other than the monuments there is the promenade which is no more than 450 meters long. Even so, it is not uncommon to find small ferries or sailboats moored to the shore unloading groups of tourists.
One might think that with so little space and so many people milling about, it must be difficult to find some calm.
However, in Trogir there are many alleys and small courtyards, so it is possible to get lost without feeling the overwhelm of the masses, which tend to concentrate along the promenade, the restaurants and the main monuments.
In any case, if you are sightseeing in Trogir, do not become obsessed with the places to visit otherwise it might take hours to go through.
And do not forget to enjoy a good walk, take a dip by the sea or a have refreshing ice cream in a hidden terrace.
The medieval center of Trogir can be seen in less than two hours, but one could spend an entire summer there enjoying the breeze, the sea and those precious little corners where stone and wood are the protagonists.
1. St. Lawrence Cathedral (Sveti Lovre)
The cathedral is located on John Paul II Square and in some sense dominates the city. It can be seen from practically anywhere in Trogir.
Its construction began around 1200, but it was not completed until 1589, which is why it mixes both Romanesque and Gothic styles, and even Renaissance or Baroque.
There are at least three good reasons to visit Sveti Lovre:
- the Romanesque portal on the western face (built in 1240), the work of master Radovan
- the Chapel of John Orsini inside it, and
- the 47-meter tower, with a mixture of 3 architectural styles on its 3 floors (you can climb it)
1.1 Cathedral Portal
When visiting St. Lawrence Cathedral, the first thing that catches the eye is the Romanesque portal by Master Radovan.
“The best of his craft” – as art connoisseurs described him today and as the sculptor described himself in 1240 – worked with a student to form two stone lions that appear to be guarding the entrance to the cathedral.
Above it are portraits of Adam and Eve, and images of saints line the pictorial representation of a typical Croatian medieval calendar year, which is divided into months.
Radovan completed the merging of clerical and secular elements with hunting and nature scenes and mythical creatures on the inner columns.
Above it, subordinating everything else, is enthroned – as befits a cathedral – a relief of the birth of Christ.
1.2 The Chapel of John Orsini
It is difficult not to think of worldly things in the Sveti Lorvo when surrounded by so much evidence of material beauty.
There is the choir, an octagonal pulpit, the hand-made columns between the three naves of the interior, numerous pictures, several statues and in the sacristy also a small exhibition room with reliquary vessels, embroidery and precious goldsmith objects.
Above all, the monument in the chapel of Blessed John Orsini with its saints, angels and sarcophagus impresses with its most beautiful Renaissance style, even more than five hundred years after its creation.
No wonder there are more art lovers than believers here most days.
1.3 The Tower
At the end of your visit to St. Laurentius Church, we recommend the view from the church tower.
You can reach the “roof terrace” of the cathedral via a worn stone staircase, which gives you a foretaste of the panorama to be expected.
In the tower itself, a very narrow metal staircase awaits you, which looks as if it had been developed as shock therapy for fear of heights.
But the view over the original Trogir and far beyond rewards the heart palpitations on the ascent!
The staircase that leads to the observation deck is very steep and narrow. It’s quite difficult to climb, but the view from above is worth the effort.
2. Kamerlengo Fortress (Kula Kamerlengo)
On the southwestern tip of the city island, the chunky fortress of Kamerlengo defies the sea, the wind and, most importantly, potential attackers. It was built and expanded between the 13th and 15th centuries.
The Genoese official, called “Camerarius”, after whom the bulwark is named, had built a naval base in Trogir and thus brought the city not only additional security but also a good economic boom, since he also took care of the prince’s financial affairs.
Since he was loyal to him, the fortress was built in such a way that it could exist as an autonomous city even if there was a rebellion among the people outside its walls.
The fortress was able to withstand the longest siege, thanks to this the Italians were able to stay in Trogir for a long time.
Inside, the Venetian military crew lived in sparse and functional rooms, which today provide the rustic, romantic backdrop for cinema, Theater and concert evenings.
For a small fee, Kamerlengo can be visited daily from 9 a.m.
You can enter the fortress territory only on the bridge thrown across the moat.
2.1 Choosing between St. Laurence Cathedral and Karmalengo
If you are constrained for time or for any reason would like to choose between visiting the Kamerlengo and the cathedral, then we recommend the cathedral.
For the same money you will get to see the interior of the cathedral and climb to the observation platform of the bell tower.
3. St. Mark’s Tower (Sveti Marko)
In the northwest of the city of Trogir stands Sveti Marko.
The Venetians did not build here because of the beautiful sea view and the practical location close to the city, but to secure the city against invaders.
The tower, also called “Fortress of St. Mark”, is still very well preserved and offers a beautiful view over the bay today as it did then.
4. Cipiko Palace (Palaca Cipiko)
Chipico Palace is an old building in the Gothic style, which was built in the 15th century for the aristocratic family of the same name on the foundations of several Romanesque houses.
One of the most interesting features of the building is the carved Venetian-style window by Alesi.
At the main entrance there is a wooden statue of a rooster, which was captured from a Turkish ship by one of the members of the Chipiko family in the middle of the 15th century during a naval battle.
5. Clock Tower (Gradskog sata or Crkva Sveti Sebastijana)
The tower clock next to the town loggia was built in honor of St. Sebastian, who according to folklore saved the town of Trogir from the devastating consequences of a plague.
Below the clock tower are the ruins of the Sveti Marija chapel.
6. Marmont’s Monument (Glorijet marsala Marmontu)
Between the Kamerlengo Fortress and St. Mark’s Gate there is a round pavilion that contrasts with the blocky architecture of the defenses.
Dainty and classical, almost fragile in appearance, the Gloriette was built in honor of the French administrator of Dalmatia, Marshal Marmont, and was built by the French.
7. John Paul II Square (Trg Ivana Pavla II)
The historically and culturally most important buildings of Trogir flank this square in the center of the old town.
To the east you can see the Romanesque facade of the town hall from the 15th century.
To the south is the city loggia from the same period. It served as a court in the late Middle Ages, which is why the relief “Justice” was also attached to the outer facade.
In this context, the chains on the wall that bound the condemned and delivered them defenseless to the angry populace seem even more macabre.
To the west, Cipiko Palace is divided into two parts by a street, which, according to Gothic and Renaissance lovers, only doubles its beauty.
And to the north towers the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, as if its architecture were designed to remind the rich, rulers and judges every time they look out the window,
8. Benedictine Monastery of St. Nicholas (Benediktinski samostan)
The Benedictine monastery is located directly on the promenade. It was founded in 1064 and later, in the 16th century, it was fundamentally expanded.
The monastery has a magnificent interior, which was completely changed to the Baroque style in the 18th century.
Of the many works of art that are kept here, the most notable are those by Antonio Zanci, Paolo Veneziano and Nicola Grassi, as well as the 13th-century Madonna and Child.
9. Church of St. Peter (Crkva sv. Petra)
Church of St. Peter is a small Gothic church that was once part of the Benedictine monastery.
The building is believed to have been built in the 14th century.
The church has a simple façade and a rich interior with works by Molinari and Lazzarini, and sculptures from the 17th century.
10. Dominican Monastery (Sveti Dominik)
In the 14th century, the Sobota family built their tomb near the city beach. Niccolo Fiorentino designed the Renaissance building that is now used as the church of the Dominican monastery.
But it is far from always devout here. Right next door is the nightclub of the same name, which attracts just as many visitors as the church it is named after.
Only the audience here is usually much younger, consumes cocktails instead of altar wine and after a party here, it is guaranteed that they will not make it to church on time the next day.
11. Embankment, promenade along the sea
What makes Trogir stand out and different from many other tourist cities in Croatia is its promenade along the sea for walking.
Absolutely barrier-free environment, wide pedestrian promenade without cars, with free access to the sea.
It is a pleasure to walk here or to go out for dinner in the evening.
12. Trogir Farmers Market and Fish Market
In addition to the abundance of seafood, The Croatians are proud of their natural farm products like cheeses, sausages, olive oil and more.
There are fish markets in every city where you can buy a variety of freshly caught fish like king prawns and tuna.
For fruit and vegetables, the grocery farmers’ market is located across the street from the fish market.
The fish market is open from 6:00 to 12:00 and the food market is from 8:00 to 15:00.
13. Beaches in Trogir
The best beaches of Trogir lie in the vicinity of the town. Pantan beach is great for families with small children whereas the Okrug beach has a huge number of beach bars.
Whatever you style is, you will find a suitable beach to enjoy the Mediterranean sea in Trogir.
13.1 Copacabana (aka Okrug) beach on Island of Chiova
Located 5 km from Trogi old town, the 2 km long beach of Copacabana is considered the best in the Trogir Riviera.
It resembles Brazilian beaches with its carefree and fun atmosphere.
Families with children especially prefer the Copacabana beach which is covered with white pebbles in Okrug Gornji on the island of Čiovo . Parasols and loungers can be rented on the beach.
One can snorkel, water ski and jet ski in the crystal clear sea and the little swimmers can have fun in the aqua park.
The trendiest beach bars and a few nice restaurants keep this beach lively throughout the night.
13.2 Kava Beach
The Kava beach is located on the extreme east end of the island of Ciovo, in a beautiful bay near the old fishing village of Slatine.
It is located about 12 km from the old town of Trogir.
The beach is one of the real natural beauties of the region, almost undisturbed by any houses, hotels or other buildings.
To reach this beach you have to drive through Slatine, further 4 km partly on gravel and sometimes rough road.
It’s good to take drinks and sandwiches with you if you want to stay longer, as there is no beach cafe or shop here.
13.3 Medena Beach
Medena beach is located along small settlements of Seget Riviera, a small area on the south side of Trogir, about 4 km from the old town.
This is a well-formed 3 km long pebbly beach surrounded by old pine forests and the opportunity for various sports activities such as tennis, football & basketball, beach volleyball and water skiing, water slides, etc.
The Medena Beach belongs to the area of Hotel Medena with 650 beds and 200 apartments.
To reach the beach, take the Medena Hotel bus from Trogir bus station, or take a 30-minute walk along the “Lungomare” (seaside promenade) from Seget village to Medena.
13.4 Pantan Beach
This beautiful beach is located 1.5 km east of the center of Trogir and at the mouth of the Pantan River.
It is a 500 meter long shell, sand and pebble beach with nice shade from pine trees to the east of the beach.
To reach the beach, from Trogir bus station, take bus no. 37 towards Split and get off at the 2nd stop, walk another 200 meters and then turn right at the sign to the beach. Directly at the sea you will also find the well-known beach cafe “Moskito” with cold drinks, ice cream and light cuisine.
The area around the mouth of the Pantan River is a nature reserve, north of the beach is the restored Pantan Mill.
How to get from Split to Trogir
Trogir is located in close proximity to Split airport (approximately 3-5 km). From the airport you can get to the city by bus 37 or taxi.
Typically, buses depart every 30 minutes.
Tickets can also be purchased here. It costs around 20 kunas to get from airport to Trogir.
If you are driving from the north (Sibenik) there are 3 options:
- go along the coast (not advisable, unless you are not in a hurry),
- take the E65 motorway (fast, although there is a long detour to Trogir), and
- the D58 road that goes inside. This has two lanes, is not excessively busy, and is almost as fast as going on the highway and with very good views in the final kilometers.
If you are coming from the south, it is normal to visit Split and then continue along the coastal road for about 30 minutes, but if you are not visiting Split, it is faster to continue on the E65 to the Trogir exit.
Trogir from Afar
There are cities that have as much charm from the inside as from the outside. Trogir is one of those places that deserves to be seen from a distance.
One way to do this is if you drive to Trogir from Sibenik on the D58, an inland road that descends sinuously towards the sea in its last kilometers.
Although it is a narrow road, there are plenty of improvised viewpoints from which you have a magnificent perspective of the city, the huge Island of Čiovo, the Adriatic Sea and even Split, 30 km to the south.