Dalmatia is a historic region of Croatia, famous for its beautiful nature, breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural and historical heritage and its people. It is majorly a coastal region stretching from Rab island to Bay of Kotor. This narrow belt of the Adriatic Sea could be a perfect holiday destination for you so check out our guide for a Dalmatia round trip.
Zadar is an ancient city, three thousand years old and therefore the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. The rich and dynamic history of this town is the reason why Zadar is full of historical and cultural monuments even today. The symbol of the city is St. Donatus church dating back to the early middle ages. Sea Organ is one of Zadar’s wonders; located on the western end of Riva, it is part of the coast shaped into stairs which descend into the sea. Very clever engineering hides under the surface; the combination of stairs and pipes creates an endless concert of unique sounds, using the energy of the sea and waves. While you are there, enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the world as Hitchcock described it.
Accommodation: Zadar is a touristic city so it will be easy to find an accommodation that suits you best; you can choose between different hotels, hostels, private apartments and campsites.
Food: When you are in Zadar, there are several must-try dishes from that area: Pag Cheese which got an award for the best cheese in the world three times in a row would definitely be the first one. Next, a wide variety of sea dishes such as octopus under peka and grilled squid accompanied by a fine wine produced in the region, such as Badel Korlat, will please any food lover. Places to eat: Konoba Rafaelo, Konoba Skoblar, Konoba Tovar, Restaurant Pet Bunara, Pizzeria Tri Bunara.
Krka Waterfalls and Šibenik
NP Krka is one of the most famous Croatian National Parks, named after the river Krka. The Park covers the area of 110 square kilometers with all 7 waterfalls. This beautiful scenery will blow your mind! Walking over the wooden trails you will get the chance to experience the entire beauty and strength of the water. The trails will take you over the river into the deep lush forest of the park. Besides the natural wonders, there is also a significant number of restored watermills where you can get a sense of culture and tradition. Any time of the year is a good choice to visit, in summer you can swim there but it is also the most crowded period of the year. Ticket price varies depending on the time of the year.
Šibenik is another stone town on the water, located only 20 kilometers from the Park. Discover the old city center and St. James Cathedral, it is a Unesco Heritage Site. Stroll along city promenade and visit at least one of the city fortresses.
Accommodation: You can choose whether to stay overnight in the area of Krka Waterfalls or in the city of Šibenik, there are different types of accommodation, such as private accommodation, camps, hostels and hotels.
Food: As in the whole Dalmatia, Meditteranean cuisine is typical for this area. Skradin risotto, prepared for 8-10 hours with fresh and local ingredients, is the most famous dish. When it comes to wine, Bibich winery is a boutique winery, recognised as a brand offering special and unique wines. Our recommendation would be Riserva R6 or Sangreal Shiraz. Places to eat: Restaurant Pelegrini (Michelin Star Restaurant), Konoba Gorica, Konoba Nostalgija, Konoba Vinko, Restaurant Argola, Tinel.
Get to Krka and Šibenik: There are several departures per day from Zadar to Skradin (one of the Park’s entrances) and you will need approximately an hour to get there. From NP Krka to Šibenik there are also several departures, the ride takes half an hour.
Split is the largest city in Dalmatia and also a historic one, the city has been built around the 1700-year-old Palace of Roman emperor Diocletian. The whole city center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List but Split is not a city-museum; it is a very lively place with a unique spirit. Start the day with the most important sights, Diocletian Palace and the Old Town. An amazing fact about the Palace is that people still live inside so it is the true beating heart of the city. It is completely free to visit, besides the Cathedral or the museums. In between the harbor and the Old town lies Split’s most iconic promenade, Riva, famous for numerous open-air cafes, bars and palm trees. It welcomes you to sit in the sun and enjoy the view, everything here is about taking it slow.
Accommodation: In the city of Split, different accommodation types are at your disposal; choose between hostels, hotels, private rooms and apartments and campsites.
Food: You are still not done with Dalmatian dishes, pick a traditional konoba (tavern) and ask for soparnik – a flat vegetarian pie filled with swiss chard, parsley and garlic, all baked in a fireplace. Continue your meal with pašticada – slow cooked beef stew prepared with extraordinary sauce. Finish the meal with fritule – the most common sweets on the coast, highly addictive. Places to eat: Konoba Varoš, Konoba Lučac, Konoba Nevera, Pizzeria Galija, Articok, Bepa, Mano Artisanal Pizza&Pasta.
Get to Split: There are numerous departures from Šibenik to Split, the ticket price is around 8€ and the ride usually takes 1.5 hours.
Brač island is the longest island in Central Dalmatia and only a 50-minute ferry ride from Split. It is a wonderful place to visit, providing an authentic island life experience. Brač really can offer a lot: quiet and peaceful coastal towns, remarkable beaches, hiking trails and delicious homemade food. Zlatni Rat or the Golden Horn Beach is the most popular beach in the region with its small white pebbles and pine trees. Also, don’t miss out on small hidden beaches on the island that offer crystal clear sea, light breeze and peaceful atmosphere.
Accommodation: Brač island offers different types of accommodation, such as private rooms and apartments, camping sites, hostels and hotels.
Food: Typical food and wine are a must-try while you are there; Brač is famous for olive oil, there is even Olive Oil Museum on the island. Lamb on a spit is probably the favourite dish of most locals, so give it a try. Vitalac is an ancient dish of lamb’s offal roasted on a spit, it might sound bizarre, but it is tasty. Stina, a brand of wine from Brač, makes wines from authentic sorts – pošip, plavac mali and opol. Places to eat: Konoba Dalmatino, Konoba Kopačina, Konoba Moby Dick, Nauta Restaurant, Mali Raj Restaurant.
The island of Hvar, often named as the queen of all the Dalmatian islands, is considered to be one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world. All the world-famous celebrities are coming here to see it. This sunniest island in the country with as many as 2843 hours of sun per year will please everyone’s wishes; there are cultural attractions and famous nightlife in cosmopolitan Hvar town, sandy beaches in Jelsa, boat trips to Pakleni Islands and peaceful bays near Sućuraj. Fields of lavender, vineyards and ancient olive trees are a must-see. While you are here, you have to experience the nightlife it offers. Hvar town has become the top destination for young people. The most known club is certainly Carpe Diem but also Venerada, where even Prince Harry used to party.
Accommodation: Hvar is a very popular destination so make sure you book your accommodation before everything gets sold-out. Find the right place for you among all hotels, hostels, private accommodation and campsites.
Food: While you are on the island, seafood is something you have to try. Shrimps na buzaru, shrimps prepared in a mixture of olive oil, parsley, garlic and white wine, sometimes with tomato sauce, taste delicious. Octopus salad consists of boiled octopus, chopped onion, parsley, olive oil and vinegar and it makes a great light lunch or a tasty starter. Prč white wine is typical to the island of Hvar, as well as Bogdanuša wine. Places to eat: Zori Restaurant, Antika, Luviji, Konoba Menego, Lungo Mare, Dalmatino, Mizarola.
Get to Hvar: There are several boat transportation from Bol or Milna to Hvar island if you are traveling from early April to late October. Otherwise, you will have to go back to Split and take a ferry to Hvar island.
As George Bernard Shaw wisely said, those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik. Probably the most popular place on the list, this stunning city with remarkable Old Town is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dubrovnik used to be a rival to Venice when it came to power and wealth. Today it is famous for Old Town and surrounding city walls. City walls date back to the 13th century and a walk along them is the thing that every visitor should do. Attractions to pay a visit to are Stradun, Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace. The cable car ride will take you up to the Srđ Hill where you can enjoy the most amazing view of the town.
Accommodation: Make sure you find the accommodation in advance, otherwise, you may not get the dates you want or the prices will be too high. Choose between various hotels, hostels, private units and campsites.
Food: Typical Dalmatian dish is gregada, a fish stew cooked with white wine, onions, garlic, parsley, salted anchovies and potatoes. For everyone with a sweet tooth, try rožata, the most popular dessert usually compared to creme brulee. Places to eat: Pizzeria Mirakul, Konoba Dalmatino, Porat Restaurant, Restaurant Orsan, D’Vino Wine Bar.
Get to Dubrovnik: If you are taking your journey between June and September, you can take the ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik when traveling between April and October. Otherwise, you will have to go back to Split and take a bus to Dubrovnik.