Dalmatia Travel Tips and Tricks: Discover the gem of the Mediterranean
The best locations, activities, restaurants and much more.
Wonder what you can do while staying in Dalmatia, the heart of the Croatian coastline? We’re bringing you our best advice and tips so that your journey can be as unforgettable as possible!
Table of Contents
- 1 Dalmatia Travel Tips and Tricks: Discover the gem of the Mediterranean
- 1.1 Travel by old road and explore the Dalmatian coast
- 1.2 Cities to visit
- 1.3 Must-see islands
- 1.4 Discover the beauty of Dalmatian nature
- 1.5 Outdoor activities
- 1.6 Localities you shouldn’t miss
- 1.7 Museum of Sinj’s Alka
- 1.8 The best restaurants- spoil your tastebuds
- 1.9 Nightlife – nights you won’t forget
Travel by old road and explore the Dalmatian coast
The Adriatic highway is a 1006-kilometer road that connects the whole coastline of Croatia, starting from Trieste to Dubrovnik. Built after World War II, the highway greatly helped the economical and touristic improvement of the Adriatic, making it now well connected to the continental part of Croatia. So, if you want to explore nature and local villages and cities, the Adriatic highway is just the route for you. Plus, it cuts off the cost of the main highway!
Cities to visit
Located in the northwest of Dalmatia, Zadar is its second city with around 80 000 inhabitants. Inhabited since the Stone Age, Zadar has a rich history and culture, most of it coming from the Romans and Byzantine eras. The most famous location in the city is the Sea organ, built in 2005. They’re built so that the sea waves create sound by movement, creating beautiful organ-like music all day long.
Don’t forget to try Maraschino, the original cherry liquor produced in Zadar.
Locations to visit: St. Donat church, Sea organ, Kalelarga street, an archeological museum of Zadar, St. Stošija church, National Park Kornati (boat tour around the islands), and Nature Park Telašćica (salt lake on one of the Kornati Islands)
Šibenik is one of the oldest native cities in Croatia, with its records dating from the 11th century. It has a handful of history behind it, so don’t forget to visit the city’s museum. Its most famous monument is St. Jakov’s cathedral, designed and built by Juraj Dalmatinac and famous for the 71 stone sculptures of human heads on it.
Locations to visit: St. Jakov’s cathedral, St. Nicolas, St. John, St. Mihovil and Barone fortresses, museum of Šibenik city, and city’s Hall
Split is Dalmatia’s capital and the second biggest city in Croatia. Located in central Dalmatia, it’s also the biggest port and the best location to start your journey. Most of its culture comes from Romans, although there is evidence of Greek culture on Split’s territory. You’ll notice that the city is crazy about football, especially Hajduk, Split’s biggest football club.
Locations to visit: Diocletian’s palace- Peristil, Vestibul, St. Duje belfry and cathedral, Marjan forest, Sustipan, Bačvice Beach, Poljud (HNK Hajduk’s stadium, open on the matchdays), archeological museum, ethnographic museum, park Đardin and Croatian National Theatre in Split
Once an independent republic, Dubrovnik is a city full of history and heritage. It’s the most popular tourist destination in Dalmatia, so expect a lot of good offers and activities there. A must-see is the city’s walls and Stradun, the main street in the Old Town.
Locations to visit: Stradun Street, City walls, Lokrum Island, culture and history museum, Dubrovnik’s aquarium and nautical institute, Dubrovnik Summer Games, film festival Libertas, music festivals, etc.
Dalmatia’s biggest and highest island, Brač is located right across Split. Many of its traditions are preserved until today, like the art of olive oil and wine production, together with picking olives and grapes from the fields. Vidova Gora has a stunning view of Hvar and the Zlatni Rat, Dalmatia’s world-known symbol.
Locations to visit: Vidova Gora, Lovrečina (sand beach near Postira), Olive oil museum in Škrip (the oldest village on the island), Blaca desert, Zlatni Rat beach in Bol, Kopačina tavern, Dragon’s cave
Hvar is the sunniest island in the world, so there is no question it should be on your travel list. With many great beaches and cultural landmarks, Hvar surely won’t disappoint you. We’ve covered everything you need to know about this beautiful island on our “Hvar complete travel guide” blog .
Locations to visit: Fortica fortress, The public theatre in Stari Grad, Paklinski Islands, Petar Hektorović’s villa
The island of Vis is located 45 kilometers from the land. There are a few caves on and around the Vis island, and the most famous one is the Blue cave on Biševo island. Just how beautiful it is is proven by the fact that “Mamma mia” was filmed on it!
Locations to visit: Green, Blue, and Queen’s cave, Tito’s cave (dedicated to Yugoslavia’s president), Biševo island
Just a couple of hundred meters west of Brač is Šolta, a beautiful and peaceful island ideal for family vacations. With numerous beaches and a turquoise sea, Šolta will truly wake up a hedonist in you. There is a miniature island called Mrduja, located right between Brač and Šolta, where a game called “Pulling Mrduja” is organized annually. From each side, competitors surround the island with a rope and then pull it towards themselves as a sign of rivalry between them.
Locations to visit: Gradac, the remains of villae rusticae in Rogač, the Marchi family castle in Maslinica
An island located in southwest Dalmatia. Korčula is the home to the famous explorer Marco Polo. With many hidden coves and beaches, Korčula also offers many cultural manifestations like The knight summer games, Fishermen nights, and music festivals all summer long.
Locations to visit: Marco Polo museum, All Saints, and Mihovil’s churches in which cultural heritage collections can be found
Discover the beauty of Dalmatian nature
Overall, Croatia has eight National parks of nature, many Nature arks, and two Strict reserves (closed to the public). Dalmatia is home to three National parks- Mljet, Krka, and Kornati islands. If you’re coming from the north, make sure to visit Plitvice lakes as they are the symbol of the beauty of Croatian nature. Here are some of our highlights of nature in Dalmatia:
National Park Krka
National Park Krka is located near Šibenik, around one hour from Split. The whole park includes seven waterfalls which are a part of the Krka River. The prices vary from 50kn to 200kn, with free tickets for children under the age of seven.
Located near Imotski, Blue Lake is one of the most beautiful karst lakes in Croatia. With an average depth of 90 meters, the lake rarely dries up, but when it does, traditional football matches are held there.
National Park Mljet Island
Mljet is an island near Dubrovnik, with a north-west part of it being a National park since 1960. There are two lakes inside the island itself, which makes Mljet a true phenomenon of nature. The island is also called “The Green Island” due to its great vegetation and biodiversity. Ticket prices vary from 40kn to 150kn, and there is a possibility of boat rent to show you around the islands from the other perspective.
Ziplining is a great way to incorporate adrenalin into your trip. With a length of 2100 meters, expect lots of fun and excitement on the way! While in Omiš, make sure to visit the Mirabella fortress and a sand beach Duće.
Rafting on the Cetina River
Cetina is Dalmatia’s longest river, with a spring in Vrlika and a confluence in Omiš. The last few kilometers of Cetina are a great location for rafting, which is organized by a few different companies. Enjoy the view while rowing down the river and take a swim if you’re daring enough!
Localities you shouldn’t miss
The greatest antique monument in Dalmatia, Diocletian’s palace is an extraordinary Roman heritage built around 300 AD. Palace is reachable through four doors, on each side of the world, with the north, golden ones being the most famous. Inside a palace, you can find Peristil, once a place of emperor’s appearance to the public, the emperor’s mausoleum, which was transformed into St. Dujam cathedral after the takeover of Christianity, Vestibul- the entrance of emperor’s suites. You can climb the belltower for the prices of 50kn to 80kn, depending on what you want to see together with the only place in Split where “Sveti Duje” is not visible!
Blaca Desert is not a real desert, but rather an eremitorium – an accommodation in the middle of nothing. It was once a famous Glagolitic desert and later on an observatory, built in the 16th century. It served as a shelter from the Turks to the Glagolitic and was home to the Miličevići priests throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In honor of the astrologer and a priest Nikola Miličević, two newly discovered asteroids were named “Nikola Miličević” and “Brač”. Today, it is a museum of their history and truly a beautiful landmark.
The skywalk on the Biokovo mountain is the first sky promenade in Croatia. Biokovo mountain is a Nature park with a peak of 1762 meters. The skywalk itself is located around 1200 meters in height and offers a breathtaking view of the Adriatic sea and the nature below. Due to the road work, the whole park is closed up until June of 2022.
Museum of Sinj’s Alka
Sinjska Alka is a Croatian knight’s game. It is held every year on Sunday in the first third of August in Sinj, on the anniversary of the victory over the Turkish invaders on August 14, 1715. On that day, 700 Croatian soldiers from Sinj managed to repel the onslaught of the army of Turkish serasker Mehmed-pasha Čelić. The museum is built on a principle of self-learning and with a high standard setup, making it one of the best museums in Croatia. It works Tuesday to Sunday from 8 AM to 4 PM and the ticket price is 10kn for youngsters, 30kn for kids in school, 50kn for adults, or 100kn for the whole family. The auto guide is charged 10kn, and a private guide on English is 200kn.
The best restaurants- spoil your tastebuds
Here are some of the best rated restaurants and pizzerias in Dalmatia.
Restaurants in Split
Bokeria Kitchen & Wine Bar, Domaldova Ulica 8
Tortuga Grill & Pub, Bačvice bb
Plan B Pub, Ulica Slobode 16A
Pizzeria Bokamorra, Trumbićeva obala 16
Pizzeria Skipper, Sustipanski put 2
Restaurants in Zadar
Konoba Rafaelo, Obala kneza Trpimira 50
Mamma Mia Zadar, Put Dikla 54
Butler Gourmet & Cocktails Garden, Obala kralja Tomislava 1
Slatka Tajna, Ulica Miroslava Krleže 3A
Restaurants in Dubrovnik
Konoba Dubrava, Bosanka
Pantarul, Ulica Kralja Tomislava 1
Oriental Fusion Cusine Trinity, Ulica Mata Vodopića 2°
Taverna Loggia, Ulica Nikole Tesle 8
Restaurants on Brač
Vinotoka, Ulica Ignjata Joba 6, Supetar
Konoba Kopačina, Donji Humac 7, Donji Humac
Pumparela , Ulica Bolskih Pomoraca 16, Bol
Restaurants on Hvar
Mediterraneo Dine & Wine, Ulica Brace Bibić 13, Hvar
Konoba Vrisnik, Vrisnik 5, Jelsa
Antika: Restaurant- Wine Bar- Cocktails , Ulica Duolnjo Kola 34, Stari Grad
Gariful – Riva 21, 21450, Hvar