Mediterranean as it once was
Mediterranean as it once was
When people think about Dalmatia, first thing that comes to their mind are charming islands, beautiful bays, sandy and pebble beaches, emerald green, clean sea, preserved nature, vineyards, olive orchards and impressive mountains. I know, it seems like a lot. But that is Dalmatia, there is no sentence long enough to summarize all treasure that this part of country has to offer. Dalmatia is a region in Croatia, situated on the eastern coast of Adriatic Sea. It has rich history and over the centuries it was settled by many ancient civilizations and each and every one of them left trace on Dalmatian architecture, history and culture. Because of this, Dalmatia is really exceptional region worth visiting.
The region is only 50 kilometers wide and 350 kilometers long and it stretches from the town of Zadar in the north to the city of Dubrovnik in the south. Though it may seem that this area is too small for it to be significant or interesting, do not be fooled because once you witness everything that Dalmatia has to offer and lay your eyes on this region’s exquisite nature and culture, you will be amazed and you will definitely come back to experience all of this again.
Dalmatia is divided into northern, central and southern Dalmatia, but whole region has in common Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, authentic stone houses and paved roads as well as numerous historical monuments. Also, wherever the roads lead you in this region, you can always count on rich gastronomy offer and wide range of activities, whether they are related to the sea or nearby rivers and mountains.
North Dalmatia stretches from the island of Pag on the north to the town of Primošten on the south. This part of Dalmatia is holidaymaker’s paradise where you can experience charming towns full of history, sun-kissed islands, mountains, national parks and Mediterranean cuisine. It is also worth mentioning that three of the eight Croatian’s national parks are situated in North Dalmatia: National parks Paklenica, Kornati and Krka.
Island of Pag is currently extremely popular among visitors because of Novalja beach situated in the north of the island. This resort is considered to be one of country’s biggest party destinations where you can enjoy many open-air clubs and music festivals. If you seek different, more peaceful kind of holiday, you can visit center of the island where you can learn more about tradition and history of this place. You can taste Pag’s famous cheese made from sheep’s milk or see their famous and unique lace made from thin thread.
City of Zadar is definitely one of the most beautiful Dalmatian cities. The biggest part of its charm lies in the fact that the city combines tradition and history with modern trends. Zadar has rich culture and past so the history lovers can be sure that they will enjoy visiting this stunning city. The most interesting part of the town is Old Town placed on the peninsula where you can get full touristic experience. The first thing you should visit is Church of Saint Donatus, the most famous medieval basilica located in the center of the city next to the Forum, the biggest forum on the eastern Adriatic coast. There are many other churches worth visiting, like St Chrysogonus’ Church, St Mary’s Church, Church of Our Lady of Health and so on. If you are more of a modern art lover, you shouldn’t miss a walk alongside the city waterfront where you can see Sea Organ, the world’s first musical pipe organs played by the sea, and Greeting to the Sun made by architect Nikola Bašić. There you can relax and enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the world according to Alfred Hitchock.
City of Šibenik is charming little city with narrow paved streets leading to beautiful squares. Although this city is not as popular among tourists as other Dalmatian cities like Split or Dubrovnik, it is always full of visitors enjoying beauties and rich history of the city. If the road leads you to Šibenik, be sure to visit city’s cathedral – St James’ cathedral built during Renaissance. Today, this impressive monument is listed by Unesco World Heritage. You should also visit churches of St Fran and St Barbara and many other town churches, fortresses and town squares.
During summer, city of Šibenik is bursting with life and during that time you can enjoy various events like The International Children’s Festival, Dalmatian Chanson evenings or The International Medieval fair.
If you are in the area, don’t forget to visit Croatian national parks. Krka National Park is located 10 kilometers from Šibenik and it is named after the Krka River. The main attraction are beautiful waterfalls, Skradinski Buk falls being the most famous of them all. The Kornati National Park is usually mentioned as ‘nautical paradise with 89 unforgettable islands, islets and reefs’. It doesn’t get better than this.
Central Dalmatia is mostly known for its beautiful beaches and charming islands. The most interesting city of Central Dalmatia is definitely the city of Split where you can fully experience life of Dalmatian people. City of Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and it stands out thanks to its rich history, exquisite culture and fine gastronomy. City of Split is well-known for Diocletian’s Palace, one of the world’s most beautiful Roman monuments, listed by Unesco World Heritage. Drink coffee at Riva, Split’s seafront promenade, one of Europe’s finest or go visit Grgur Ninski and rub his shiny big toe which guarantees you return to Split. In the evening, you can visit one of the many restaurants, cafes and nightclubs where you will have good time.
For the last few years, Split is also known worldwide for Festival Ultra Europe, the only event that kind in Europe. It is most international festival brand in the world, thanks to performances of some of the most talented DJs from all around the world. This amazing festival is combination of the most advanced production and the world’s best performance of electronic music.
Second most-visited city in Central Dalmatia is the city of Makarska that will leave you breathless. Beautiful beaches, rich tourist offer and pleasant climate are enough to please everyone, even the most demanding ones. There is also island of Hvar, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic coast and the island with the sunniest hours per year. You can visit many other charming islands like Vis, Brač, Korčula, Šolta and Lastovo. This part of Dalmatia is home of the most famous Croatian beaches like beach Zlatni Rat on the island of Brač, Bačvice in city of Split and Punta Rata in Brela.
Thought this part of country has something to offer visitors throughout the year, this area particularly comes to life during summer when you can enjoy various programs, music festivals and concerts, poetry evenings… There really is something for everybody and you should not miss the opportunity to come!
South Dalmatia is a part of region that is mostly famous for the city of Dubrovnik, but there is so much more to see and experience in this area. This region is famous for its good vine and tasty oranges, as well as olive oil.
City of Dubrovnik is often called The Pearl of the Adriatic. This city attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its preserved stone walls, unique architecture, rich culture and beautiful, crystal clear sea. The most attractive part of the city is Old city where you can experience unforgettable atmosphere, busy streets, incredible ancient walls and local noise.
Words cannot describe everything worth seeing in Dubrovnik, but we will mention the most important sights of city like City Cathedral, the Sponza Palace, the Rector’s Palace and many others renaissance monuments.
Culture lovers can visit various museums and galleries where you can enjoy exhibits of art, whether you like historic or contemporary art. If you are tired from walking and sightseeing, there are numerous restaurants that offer Mediterranean cuisine and there you can sit, relax and taste local specialties. In the night, you can enjoy musical and theater performances on the town squares.
If everything that we mention until now is not enough to persuade you to come to this vivid city, I will also say that city of Dubrovnik is main filming location for famous King’s Landing, a fictional city in popular HBO show Game Of Thrones, stronghold of the Lannister family. Because of this, there are several Game of Thrones Tours in Dubrovnik. Game of Thrones Walking Tour of Dubrovnik is 3 hour long tour during which you can climb the city walls, visit Lovrijenac Fortress and locations where the bloody battles took place or follow the footsteps of Ayra Stark.
Near city of Dubrovnik there is also Cavtat, fishing town during winter, popular holiday resort with numerous hotels during summer. Cavtat is situated on the peninsula of Rat and it is popular among tourists because of its rich cultural and historical heritage and ideal location. This place is suitable for everyone because you can choose whether you want to spend active holiday or you just want to take long walks by the sea and relax on the beach enjoying the sun.
Just about an hour and a half drive from Dubrovnik you can find Pelješac Peninsula where time stands still. There is untouched nature, huge rocks, small hills and charming village’s gardens where you can experience life as it once was. This place is ideal for people who just want to escape busy modern life and take a pause to enjoy peace and silence. If you need supplies or you just want to go out for a coffee or diner, you can always visit town of Orebić where you can find various shops, cafes and restaurants. Pelješac Peninsula is mostly known for its exquisite red wines that are just to die for so be sure to tasty some while you are there.
Everything we mention earlier is just a small part of beautiful phenomenon called Dalmatia. The charming and vivid cities full of culture and history, beautiful coast with numerous colorful islands, tasty and healthy cuisine with local specialties like wines, fish dishes, olive oil and herbs together offer unique experience that will leave you breathless. You just need to buy a ticket. What are you waiting for?