Having purged your enemies, secured peace throughout the Empire and fundamentally re-shaped the structure of Roman taxation, politics and society... What does one of history’s greatest Emperors do next? The answer, in the case of Emperor Diocletian, was to retire to his boyhood home on the idyllic Croatian coast. Here, in AD305, the erstwhile autocrat built a vast palace befitting his status and achievements. Roman specialist and former Museum of London Curator, John Shepherd, leads guests ‘underground and overground’ exploring Europe’s most complete Roman palace. We descend below the modern city, and it is incredible to see just how much of the medieval and modern town is supported by Roman foundations – a testament to the genius of Roman engineering – still standing strong after 1700 years!
- Explore the immense palace of Emperor Diocletian — one of the best-preserved Roman palaces anywhere in the empire
- Relax and refresh yourself with plenty of free time, and enjoy the endless advantages of staying in just one hotel throughout our holiday
- Let us treat you to a special tasting of local wines – which have been produced in southern Croatia for over 2500 years
- Historic Churches
- Ancient Greek
- Small Group
- Low Single Supplement
- All Inclusive
- Special Access
We fly from London to Split and then drive to our hotel, located just steps from Diocletian’s Palace.
We acquaint ourselves with Split, tracing the walls and monuments of the immense Palace of Diocletian, interwoven with later medieval houses. Here Diocletian, one of the few emperors to go into real retirement, cultivated his market garden and attempted, not altogether successfully, to avoid being sucked back into the power politics of the Roman world.
We visit the cathedral, where we view Diocletian’s mausoleum. The rags to riches emperor began building this complex in 305 AD.
We continue our exploration of ancient Split, descending underground to view the Roman foundations that still support much of the modern city.
Enjoy a free afternoon: relax or visit the local markets or any of the other local folk and history museums.
Today we take a fast boat to the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Hvar, famous for its fine harbour. The hillsides of the island are covered by pine forests, and this was the site of the Greek colony of Pharos, founded where Stari Grad, the old town now lies. We walk along the seafront to the Franciscan Monastery, home to a fine collection of religious art. We also visit the cathedral and explore the imposing fortress above Hvar town. Hvar was attacked by the Turkish fleet on its way to the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
At Split Archaeological Museum, the wonderful displays give us a glimpse of ordinary Roman life. We set off for Salona, the ruins of a remarkable Roman city, once the capital of Dalmatia. The martyrdom of a number of local people, some in Salona’s amphitheatre, which we will visit, resulted in large churches being built around the sites of their tombs. This includes one well-preserved cemetery and church in a part of the site called Manastirine.
Wine tasting in the evening, in part of the Roman palace used by Diocletian’s bodyguard.
Enjoy a full free day today. A chance to have some more time in lovely Split or simply to relax. Revisit sites in your own time, take a boat trip exploring the many islands that dot the Dalmatian coast, such as Brac, or visit nearby Omis, with its wonderful old mills.
We drive to Trogir, a picturesque Medieval and Renaissance town that is a UNESCO world heritage site. The street plan of the town dates back to the Hellenistic period, showing remarkable continuity in urban planning. Here, Romanesque architecture meets Venetian Renaissance and Baroque fortresses and cathedrals; and we explore the town museum, tiny art gallery and cathedral before making our way back to Split.
We fly home from Split to London.
Today we fly from London to Split and then drive to our hotel, located just steps from Diocletian’s Palace.
We acquaint ourselves with Split, a delightful fusion of ancient and modern, and begin by tracing the walls and monuments of the immense Palace of Diocletian, which is interwoven with later medieval houses. Here, Diocletian, one of the few emperors to go into real retirement, cultivated his market garden and attempted to avoid being sucked back into the power politics of the Roman world. We visit the Cathedral, where we view Diocletian’s mausoleum. The rags to riches emperor began building this complex in AD 305.
Our exploration of ancient Split continues this morning as we descend underground to view the Roman foundations that still support much of the modern city. In the afternoon, we will indulge in some free time to perhaps visit the fantastic local markets, discover the area’s rich folk and history museums, or just unwind as you stroll around the streets that are steeped in enchanting stories.
Today we travel to the spectacular Klis castle. It served as a source of defence in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance. It is now one of the most significant fortifications in the region, it boasts spectacular views of the village of Klis itself, and of the Adriatic. This afternoon we visit the Roman site of Trilj, which has many archaeological findings dating back to the Mesolithic era.
The exhibits at Split Archaeological Museum give us an insight into ordinary Roman life. Then we visit Salona, the ruins of a remarkable Roman city and once Dalmatia’s capital. The martyrdom of a number of local people - some in the amphitheatre, which we visit - resulted in churches being built around their tombs. This includes a church in a part of the site called Manastirine. Tonight we enjoy a wine tasting in part of the Roman palace used by Diocletian’s bodyguard.
Today will be spent entirely at our leisure. There will be the opportunity to spend more time in the wonderful city of Split or you may choose to just simply relax and recharge. Revisit sites in your own time, unwind at our fantastic hotel, maybe take a boat trip exploring the many islands that punctuate the Dalmatian coast - such as Brac - or visit nearby Omis, with its charming old mills.
Our adventures today take us to Trogir, a picturesque medieval and Renaissance town, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we explore the town’s museum, visit a tiny art gallery and marvel at the impressive Venetian cathedral. Once we have finished uncovering the treasures of this area, we return to Split.
Today we say our goodbyes and fly home to London.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
7 nights in an upmarket 4* hotel located within short walking distance of the Roman Palace of Diocletian. The hotel has a beautiful terrace lounge-bar where you will be able to soak up the Dalmatian atmosphere.
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