Trogir is the stuff of fairy tales and one of the most enchanting towns on the Adriatic coast. It was founded in the 3rd century b.c. by the Greeks of Issa (Vis), occupied by the Romans, and a survivor of invading Slavs in the 7th century. Trogir prospered and eventually became part of Venice’s portfolio, where it remained until Austria took over in 1797. Today, Trogir’s old town, with its preserved medieval stone buildings, remains picture-perfect. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Trogir’s historic center is the source of the area’s greatest treasures. Almost all houses and structures in the old town are emblazoned with stonework that hints at the past by depicting a coat of arms or some other family symbol over the doorways or windows, some of which are more than 700 years old. Ambling through the town’s narrow streets or promenading along the waterfront is almost like walking back in time. At night, the Riva comes alive with vendors selling everything from candy by the kilo to lavender oil by the liter. There is also street entertainment in the forms of fire-baton twirlers, mimes, and impromptu singing groups. On the mainland, the city market stays open until midnight to give visitors one more chance to buy something before they leave.

Trogir’s historic center is actually on an islet on part of Kaštela Bay that flows between the mainland and the island of Ĉiovo. Ĉiovo was a settlement in prehistoric times, a place of political exile in Roman times, a pariah in the Middle Ages when it served as a leper colony, and home now to a cluster of communities best described as suburbs. Ĉiovo is connected to Trogir by a bridge, with half-a-dozen settlements made up of closely packed summer houses, pensions, and permanent residences in various stages of construction scattered along the shoreline and in the hills.

Trogir is just 16km (10 miles) from Split and the region’s airport actually is closer to Trogir than it is to Split.