The Dalmatian Coast region of Croatia has a unique cultural legacy that makes it such a special place today. The long history combines the culture and language of the original Mediterranean and mountain communities, mingled with influences from the Ottomans, Italians, and Croatian people, to make it a destination unlike anywhere else. As Croatia experiences a surge in global tourism, more and more people are discovering the Dalmatian coast and Dubrovnik, making it an increasingly popular destination.
The Dalmatia region is a narrow strip of land in Croatia along the Adriatic Sea, hemmed in by the rugged Dinaric Mountains. Boasting beautiful beaches, tempting little islands, ancient cities, and fascinating history, the Dalmatia region offers visitors a host of unusual sights and experiences. Whether you prefer relaxing in nature, browsing a museum or ancient ruins, or meeting up for a party, it’s all available in Dalmatia.
When you visit, there are a few things you shouldn’t miss:
Split Summer Festival
Begun in 1954, the Split Summer Festival goes from mid-July to mid-August, and celebrates the best in Croatian performing arts. Showcasing music ranging from opera to jazz, theater and ballet performances, film screenings, exhibitions, and performances, the festival takes place at venues throughout the historic center of Split. In recent years, it has expanded to include street theater and outdoor performances as well, so you can take in local culture while also enjoying warm summer nights. The Split Summer Festival is not only a great opportunity to take in classic culture, but to learn more about Croatian culture, and gives visitors a chance to see stunning theaters and historic venues they might otherwise miss.
The beach at Zlatni Rat
Croatia is home to more than 1,000 islands and some of the world’s most pristine beaches. Just an hour-long ferry ride away from Split is the island of Brac. This island hosts the famous Zlatni Rat, consistently ranked one of the best beaches in Europe. The unique shape of the beach, with its deep blue water and golden sand, has become a symbol of tourism in Croatia, although in practice the shape changes often due to tides, wind, and weather. The pure water and reliable Maestral wind attracts flocks of windsurfurs to the beach, but close proximity to an ancient pine grove and the shape of the island mean that visitors can experience their choice of sun or shade, shallow or deep water, wind or shelter. It’s a favorite for swimmers, due to the cool clear water. The island of Brac itself is of interest to visitors, with a centuries of history and archaeology, authentic little villages, and orchards with rare variety of Venetian olives used to make a unique local olive oil. Rent a bike or take the local bus and explore this fascinating island.
No trip to Dalmatia would be complete without hiking or cycling to the top of Marjan Hill. Rising above Split and the sea, this park is of special importance to the inhabitants of the city, and they enjoy it with pride. It’s a place to relax and enjoy the quiet of nature, steps away from the busy city, and take in breathtaking views of the shimmering Adriatic Sea and the city below. It’s a long walk uphill, but with plenty of benches to stop and rest while taking in your surroundings. The park is not only criss-crossed with hiking, walking, and biking trails, but it houses a Jewish cemetery, a small zoo, a romanesque chapel, and other attractions.
With its unique culture, ancient history, rugged terrain, and peaceful nature, there are so many reasons to make the Dalmatian Coast a part of your travel plans. Croatians love this special region and hold fast to their culture and traditions, and visitors soon learn why.
Be sure to check out our photo tour of all the Mediterranean’s hottest destinations for 2018!