Introduction

If you’re looking to hunker down in safety, you can’t do much better than having the mountains behind you and the sea in front. At least that’s what the Dalmatian nobility thought when faced with the threat of Ottoman invasion in the 15th and 16th centuries. One after the other, rich families from Split headed to the 20km stretch of coast between Trogir and Split to build their sturdy mansions, until a total of 17 castles and towers were built, some with fortified villages attached. The Turks never reached them and many of the castles remain today.

Kaštela is now a municipality in its own right, incorporating seven separate little harbour towns, each named after a castle, which together form the second-largest settlement in Split-Dalmatia County. Running from Split to Trogir, they are Kaštel Sućurac, Kaštel Gomilica, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Novi and Kaštel Štafilić.