Dalmatia is a historical-geographic and tourism region of the Adriatic area; it consists of the insular and coastal part and the sub-Mediterranean inland (Dalmatinska zagora) and encompasses nearly all Adriatic islands except for those in the Kvarner region . Dalmatia has, for a long time, been famous in the tourism world for its clean sea, abundance of sun, numerous islands and islets, natural beauty, and particularly for its cultural monumental heritage and the cultural events (Passion heritage, games of knighthood, folk songs, folklore, and festivals).
Important cultural and monumental heritage include: World Monumental Heritage Sites (UNESCO) – Trogir, Split, Šibenik, and Dubrovnik; monumental wholes-Solin (ancient and early Christian complex), Korcula, Hvar, Ston; Diocletian’s Palace; cathedrals in Zadar, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik; archaeological sites – Bribir, Biskupija, the surroundings of Zadar, early Croatian churches from Nin to Dubrovnik.
The most famous natural heritage: National parks – Paklenica, Kornati, Krka, Mljet; nature parks – Telascica, the Dalmatian part of Velebit, Biokovo; waterfalls – Roški waterfall and Skradinski waterfall on the Krka River, the canyons of Zrmanja, Krka and Cetina (protected landscapes); the beach Zlatni rat at Bol on the island of Brac and the Crveno and Modro Lakes near Imotski (geo-morphological natural monuments); the Neretva River delta (biotypic values).
The Adriatic Sea , as the most beautiful bay of the Mediterranean Sea , gently splashes upon the shores of Dalmatia and its thousand islands, islets, and cliffs. The transparency of the Adriatic Sea is greatest around the outermost Dalmatian islands, where it reaches 56 meters in depth. The depth of the sea on the outer side of the Dalmatian islands is up to 200 meters and the greatest depth of 1400 meters was recorded in the southern basin. The Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea is rocky and slab-like. It has many bays and coves, sandy and gravel beaches and therefore, is suitable for relaxation, bathing, sun tanning, sailing, water sports, and various kinds of fishing. The largest rivers in Dalmatia are the Neretva, Cetina, Krka, and Zrmanja. These rivers are suitable for canoeing and rafting, and since they flow through rocky areas, they present true oases. Their riverbeds are of exceptional natural beauty.
Dalmatia – Zadar
This part of Croatia offers a special blend of atmospheres: Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes National Parks are located in the area, as are many unspoiled islands and islets and the town of Zadar with its old town core and rich cultural heritage. The old part of the town on the peninsula is an important monument of Croatian urban planning and as such, Zadar is among the most significant of Croatian towns. The peninsula of Zadar , the present day town center, is full of the remains of cultures that followed one after another throughout the centuries, each leaving its own mark. The islands off of the coast of Zadar give the town its vitality and seafood. It is worth sailing around this archipelago all the way to the remote Silba, via Olib and Molat to the closer islands of Sestrunj, Ugljan, Veli and Mali Iz, Dugi otok and Pašman. Whoever sailed along these tracks stayed longer than planned, enchanted by the lovely little settlements, the charming islets, and the melancholic half-deserted fishing villages. Rafting on the Zrmanja, the green river combined with the steep cliffs of the canyon, the thrilling rapids, and the “great waterfall” 13 meters in height, is breathtaking…The season begins as early as March.
Dalmatia – Šibenik
The view from the sea towards the town of Šibenik is striking: the entrance into the channel of St. Anna and the passage through the castle of St. Nicholas . Walking down Gradina, the oldest part of Šibenik, one can still feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, and walking further towards other parts of town it is easy to notice just how the town grew and how the building styles changed.
The stylistic changes are also reflected on the most significant building in Šibenik, the cathedral of St. Jacob, erected in the fifteenth century and listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Register. It is an architectural masterpiece of the synthesis of the Gothic and Renaissance architecture accomplished by Juraj Dalmatinac, and completed by Nikola Firentinac. However, the spirit of Šibenik is not only materialized in the buildings, one should also hear it in the a capella singing groups and taste it in one of the precious sorts of wine from the local vineyards that have been grown for centuries by the diligent hands of labourers. Croatia Sibenik picture
Dalmatia – Split
Split , the second largest city in Croatia is the heart of central Dalmatia and the most important transportation hub. The visitor should definitely visit Diocletian’s Palace, made of white stone, one of the most impressive Roman monuments of all. It is also listed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage together with the town of Trogir , worth a day trip, near Split . However, the road from Trogir to Split passes through Kaštela, a group of seven towns that sprang up from the castles built here during the 15 th and 16 th centuries by the secular and religious feudal lords of Trogir and Split in order to protect their lands from the Turks.
Split expanded out of the defensive walls of the royal palace at the beginning of the New Era and it expanded on all sides, turning into a modern city at the foot of the mountain Marjan. However, like the majority of the Adriatic towns, Split is attached to its water territory and its islands and although each one of them is a separate entity, most central Dalmatian islands naturally gravitate towards Split
The Cetina River , a gem among mountain rivers, offers an unforgettable adventure of 3-4 hours of rafting through the canyon whose cliffs surround the rapids rushing into the embrace of the Adriatic Sea .
Canoeing – take a ride on a canoe on the still flow of the clear Cetina River , accompanied by bird songs.
Take a break at “Grapske mlinice”, 600 year old mills that offer a pleasant ecological and ethnic experience…A trip that will long remain in your memory.
Dalmatia- Dubrovnik, King of the Mediterranean
When the coat of arms with the picture of St. Vlaho (St. Blaise), the patron saint of the town, first saw the light of the day in the 14 th century, together with the flag that reads “Libertas”, liberty became the main motto of Dubrovnik . The winding streets, small shops, and open-air cafes of the breathtakingly beautiful old part of the town are the main characteristics of Dubrovnik. Many of the buildings were included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Register and are hence under special protection. The town is at its most exciting during the time of the Dubrovnik Summer Games, held from the 10 th to 25 th of August every year since 1950. In this period, the entire city, with its picturesque squares and churches, unique acoustics and beautiful palaces, becomes a cultural stage. Dubrovnik was truly built to man’s measure, a measure in which every one could find enough space for themselves in the community, preserving the fundamental town slogan for centuries, about caring for the public good by setting aside the private good. Therefore, Dubrovnik is a true prototype of a town-community, a town that has, in contrast to the literary utopian dreams, to a large extent achieved the ideal of a type of urban democracy. Its walls and fancy fountains, the Rector’s Palace and the Sponza Palace , the Franciscan and the Dominican monasteries, the pharmacy from the 14 th century, and the bronze statues – the “greens” that still sound the bell of transience on the town clock, all bear witness to this today. Dubrovnik still lives a rich cultural life, especially in the summer, when the Summer Theatre and Musical Festival takes place, and the international Art Workshop Lazareti is also active in town.
Dubrovnik however, is also its surroundings, the romantic Lokrum and the towns of the Dubrovnik County , Cavtat that rose from the ashes of Epidaurum and Konavle with its miniature settlements, picturesque costumes and customs. Dubrovnik is also Prevlaka all the way to the cape of Oštro , the most southern continental point of the Croatian Adriatic. All this limited space used to be a part of the universe of which Dubrovnik was the capital, but which was also the town’s measure.
Dubrovnik is also a town of sailing culture, trade, and urban design, a culture that even on the island of Palagruza , a lonely islet in the middle of the Adriatic Sea and truly the most southern point of Croatia, left its mark throughout the centuries.
Several tens of kilometers away – another drastic change of landscape occurs in the estuary of the Neretva River . Everything becomes serene and flat, there is no mountain-sea drama, only a uniform flow of the river in the peaceful delta covered in reeds, where the silence is occasionally broken by the flapping of the wings of local birds, while the shallow “trupe”, boats of the local type made for centuries in the valley of the river and which are still an important factor of life around the Neretva River, gently glide along the surface.