Croatia // Split and the south Dalmatian coast //

Bacvice beach

The main visitor-magnet east of the city centre is Bačvice beach, a few minutes’ walk east of the ferry terminal. This simple crescent of sand and shingle can’t compare with the beaches farther south, but it remains a popular – and crowded – destination for Splićani of all ages. Bačvice is also the spiritual home of picigin, a game only played in and around Split, which works rather like a netless version of volleyball in the sea, involving a lot of acrobatic leaping around as players try to prevent a small ball from hitting the water. Immediately behind the beach is a chic modern three-tier pavilion, resembling a cross between an Art Deco seaside building and a high-tech metal tent. With several cafés and a couple of swanky eating places inside, it’s a popular venue for after-dark drinking and feasting throughout the year. A coastal path leads east from Bačvice past a couple of smaller bays, passing the tennis club where 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević honed his skills. There are plenty more cafés along the way, and the whole stretch is a popular strolling area all year round.

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