Sunny Central Dalmatia is an ideal place not only for a holiday, but also… simply for life! There is everything you need to be happy here – lots of sun, calm and crystal clear sea, beautiful beaches, mountains and wild nature, as well as charming towns, the spirit of history and a diverse culture. What interesting places in Central Dalmatia are worth visiting? We give you a hint!
Central Dalmatia: map, geography, history
In the Balkans, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, there is charming Dalmatia – a historical land inhabited in ancient times by the Illyrian Dalmatian tribe. Colonized by the Greeks, conquered by the Romans, incorporated by Emperor Justinian the Great into Byzantium, and then settled by Slavs and Croats. The land, for centuries torn from the hands of the great powers – Venice, Turkey, Austria-Hungary and Italy, returned to the Croatians only after the collapse of Yugoslavia.
Today, a significant part of Dalmatia belongs to Croatia, the rest to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The entire region is divided into three parts (Northern, Central and Southern Dalmatia). Central Dalmatia is the area south of Zadar and Nin, stretching through the cities of Trogir and Split, the islands of Brač, Hvar and Vis, up to the mouth of the Neretva River in the Adriatic Sea.
The capital of this region is the city of Split, other important centers are Trogir, Omiš and Brela. In Central Dalmatia there is also the famous Makarska Riviera and the Biokovo mountain areas. Central Dalmatia attracts tourists – it tempts with golden beaches, the calm Adriatic Sea and the beauty of wild nature. It is a paradise for lovers of water sports and active outdoor recreation, but also for those looking for blissful relaxation!
The attractions of Central Dalmatia begin with beautiful beaches!
Central Dalmatia is famous for its beautiful beaches – pebble and sandy, each of which delights with its charm and opportunities for relaxation, including very active ones. There are thousands of beaches, and many of them have been awarded the so-called blue flag for cleanliness and high tourist values. The most popular tourist destination is, of course, the Makarska Riviera, which is 53 km long.
- Punta Rata Beach – one of the most beautiful pebble beaches in the world (e.g. in the Forbes ranking, right next to Copacabana or St. Tropez). It is located on a pine forested cape (under protection) in the town of Brela on the Makarska Riviera. There is the so-called Brela Stone – a rock immersed in water from which pine trees proudly grow!
- Zlatni Rat Beach (“Golden Horn”) – a horn-shaped pebble beach located on the island of Brač – its “naked”, treeless section, 158 m long, goes directly into the sea. The beach changes its shape depending on the waves and wind direction (which blows quite strongly here, which surfers definitely like!). One of the biggest attractions in Central Dalmatia. While on the island of Brač, it is also worth visiting Lovrecina (a beach with red sand) and organizing a holiday on the nearby charming island of Hvar.
- Stiniva Beach – a beach on the island of Vis, hidden by high rocks jutting out into the sea. Always at least half shaded. It is a pebble beach. It takes some determination to get there. A wild and steep hiking path leads to it. The effort is rewarded with beautiful views and crystal clear sea water! The entrance to the water is shallow, which allows for safe bathing.
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Central Dalmatia is a region of Croatia for water sports enthusiasts
Attractions in Central Dalmatia can be found at every step. Many of them are hidden by islands and islets scattered along the Adriatic coast, such as Biševo with its Blue Grotto. Therefore, Croatia is definitely worth visiting by sailing – especially since Central Dalmatia is full of bays, ports and marinas where you can launch and moor a yacht or boat, or rent equipment. However, this type of relaxation is not reserved only for sea enthusiasts, because tourist cruises are organized from almost every point on the Central Dalmatian coast.
Central Dalmatia is also a perfect place for diving enthusiasts – the local sea depths hide, among others, reefs, systems of underwater caves and corridors, sunken wrecks (such as the ship “Teti” near the island of Vis), various species of flora and fauna (you can even come across dolphins, if you are very lucky, of course).
Excellent places for diving include the island of Brač and the cape Ptičji rat, which is located between the slopes of the Biokovo Mountains, and from its underwater caves flow… underwater rivers!
Central Dalmatia for family holidays, for those who love wildlife
Central Dalmatia is not only beautiful beaches and transparent sea, not only water sports, sailing and diving. It is also a delightful, often wild nature that is worth exploring during hiking or cycling trips.
- Zagora – a coastal strip, separated from the sea by mountain ranges, famous for agritourism. Worth visiting include: Red Lake, Gubavica waterfalls or Vranjača cave. The inhabitants of this region are extremely hospitable, you can taste real Croatian cuisine here!
- Biokovo Mountains – with the highest peak: Mount St. George (Sveti Jure) with a height of 1,762 m above sea level. There are several hiking trails here (including from Makarska) of easy or medium difficulty (very well marked). Trekking is full of amazing views, and you can relax in shelters. The Biokovo Nature Park was established in this area.
Central Dalmatia for those looking for the spirit of history – the cities of Trogir, Split and Omiš
Central Dalmatia (Croatia as a whole) has a very interesting and intriguing history, written by many cultures that have developed here since ancient times. This historical and cultural spirit is most easily found in the cities and towns that make up the entire Central Dalmatia. Where to go?
- Split. In ancient times, Greeks settled in the area of today’s Split (which is currently the second most populous Croatian city), and Emperor Diocletian built his residence there. And this palace of Emperor Diocletian is one of the greatest attractions worth seeing. The monument (as well as the entire historical center of the city) was included on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List. It is also worth taking a walk along the Riva promenade and visiting the Cathedral of St. Duje.
- Trogir. An exceptionally located Croatian town with an old town… on an island connected to the mainland by a bridge. There are charming narrow streets, an abundance of palaces, churches, cafes and restaurants where you can eat the best fresh fish and seafood. The greatest monument of Trogir is the Cathedral of St. Wawrzyniec from the 13th century. The city also hosts numerous important cultural festivals (including music). From Trogir, via a drawbridge, you can also go to the charming and quiet islet of Čiovo.
- Omiš. One of the most beautifully situated Croatian cities, tightly wrapped in the Mosor mountain range. There is a spectacular path leading to one of its peaks (where there are the remains of pirate strongholds), starting in the old town. The Cetina River flows through the center of the city, flowing into the Adriatic Sea. And to top it all off, beautiful beaches!
There are so many interesting places in Central Dalmatia that it is impossible to include them all even on the longest list! It is definitely one of those lands that captivates in many aspects – tourist, natural, historical and cultural. When planning a holiday here, you can take advantage of the offers of travel agencies (e.g. travel agencies with so-called last minute offers), but you can also organize the whole thing yourself.
What attractions in Central Dalmatia are worth visiting?
It is definitely worth relaxing on the Makarska Riviera, taking advantage of the most beautiful Croatian beaches (including Punta Rata, Zlatni Rat, Stiniva), and visiting the islands of Brač and Vis. You cannot miss the charming towns – Split, Trogir and Omiš with numerous monuments. It is worth visiting Zagora and going on a trip to the Biokovo Mountains.
What are interesting places in Central Dalmatia for diving?
These are definitely the islands of Brač and Vis. It is worth visiting the Ptičji rat cape, located between the slopes of the Biokovo mountains. When diving here, you can see, for example, underwater rivers flowing from underwater caves. The depths delight with the diversity of life!
Where to go to the mountains in Central Dalmatia?
In Central Dalmatia, it is worth going to the Biokovo Mountains, e.g. to their highest peak, Mount St. George (1762 m above sea level). Many trails lead from Makarska, there are plenty of viewpoints and several shelters.