Salona + Klis – Discover Dalmatia

This medieval fortress is positioned at 360 m above the sea level, on a pass separating the enormous mountains Mosor and Kozjak. As the only passage route from inland towards the coastline, it has served as a major military stronghold since the times of ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae.

Klis fortress actually consists of three separate fortresses, each having its own entrance and capability of functioning independently from each other. The strategic importance of this location cannot be overstated: even its name, “Klis”, is derived from the Latin word “clavis” meaning “key”.

Often described as “the gates of Dalmatia”, Klis was imperative to successful defence of the Dalmatian coastline against its numerous invaders from the East. For centuries, many brave warriors of Klis desperately fought to hold their positions even in the most dire circumstances.

This tour will walk you through the remains of Klis fortress, and guide you through the numerous stories of its long, battle-ridden history. An added bonus to the tour are the majestic views of Split and its surroundings, especially when seen at sunset.

Colonia Martia Iulia Salona was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, which makes it the most important archaeological location in this area. In a times of Civil War, when choosing sides truly did determine one’s destiny, Salona was fortunate enough to pick Caesar’s side.

Salona prosperity peaked during the rule of Emperor Diocletian, when it was given the emperor’s family name „Valeria“. Salona‘s architectural treasures are numerous and include well-preserved ruins of the old city walls, the 5th-century cathedral, the 2nd-century amphitheatre and a remains of the aqueduct which used to supply water do Diocletian’s palace.


Necropolis of Manastirine
Caesarea Gate

3 separate defensive stone walls
Bastions and battle position
Tower Oprah
Church of St Vitus
Attackers and defenders


Salona: 5km/3mi (10min by car)

Klis: 15km/10mi (25min by car)


Salona, once the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, was never rebuilt after the Avars and the Slavs destroyed it in 614.

Klis’ position makes it easily defensible against a large attacking force, but the lack of water sources and food supplies make it an easy target for a prolonged siege.