Sinj is famous for its annual Sinjska alka (usually the first weekend of August), a medieval joust that celebrates the townsfolk’s victory over the Ottomans – contestants, clad in eighteenth-century costume, gallop down a steeply sloping street at the southern end of town and attempt to thread their lances through a ring dangled from a rope. First recorded in 1715, the Alka is one of the few remaining examples of the contests that once took place in all the Adriatic towns, and its survival in Sinj is seen as a powerful symbol of regional identity. Membership of the Alkarsko Društvo, the association of riders allowed to take part in the Alka, is still seen as a badge of knightly prowess in a part of the country where traditional patriarchal values still rule. It remains an authentic expression of living folklore, involving all the surrounding villages and taking up a whole riotous day of colour and procession. Tickets for the main spectator stand are hard to get hold of (costing from 80Kn to 150Kn, they usually go on sale in travel agents in Split and Makarska a few weeks before the contest), but the atmosphere is worth savouring whether you get a grandstand view or not.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Coastlines don’t come much more idyllic than Croatia’s 2000km of ruggedly beautiful Adriatic shore. Along this magnificent stretch are ancient Roman remains…

03 Jul 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

With its mountainous coastal backdrop, scattering of tawny islands and giddyingly translucent waters, the Croatian Adriatic offers one of the most compelling se…

13 Jun 2017 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right