Split grew up around the vast site of a waterfront residence completed by the Roman emperor in AD305, known as Diocletian’s Palace. The towers, fortifications, vaults and slave quarters here have been turned into a warren of boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and the hubbub within the walls of the palace is like a trip back in time.
The larger, and more famous, city of Dubrovnik is very similar, with the social heart of the city remaining firmly within its impressive fortress walls. The Old Town is a symphony of cream coloured stone churches and cobblestone streets, lined with bustling cafes, restaurants and small shops. Walking Dubrovnik’s city walls is a must. Time it right and avoid the tourist crowds early evening when the temperatures have cooled and the pink light reflecting on the ochre rooftops is at its best.