Dalmatia: Best of the Dalmatian Coast & Islands
Dalmatia is a uniquely beautiful region in Croatia and also one of the most popular destinations for a vacation on the Adriatic Sea. The so-called Dalmatian coast runs from Zadar in the north down to Dubrovnik in the south, and is famous for its enchanting beaches, which are just wonderful for an unforgettable beach vacation in Croatia. On top of that, Dalmatia delights with numerous world-renowned attractions, incredibly beautiful islands, picturesque national parks and exciting opportunities for excursions. But where are the most worth visiting places in Dalmatia, what are the absolute best things to do, and which attractions should not be missed on any trip?
In this travel guide you will find all the important information and tips about the region of Dalmatia in Croatia. We show you stunning pictures, the most beautiful attractions along the Dalmatian Coast, and where to find great accommodations for a vacation.
General information about Dalmatia
The vacation destination Dalmatia, often called the “Heart of the Adriatic“, starts north of Zadar and reaches down to the border with Montenegro. This region is also often divided into North, Central Dalmatia and South Dalmatia. Together with Istria and Kvarner Bay, the Dalmatian Coast region is one of the most popular in the country. Dalmatia is most beautiful along the rugged and karst coastline, where dreamlike beaches can be found, and where hidden bays with crystal clear sea invite to unforgettable vacation days. But also the island world is more than spectacular in this region, and so there are almost 1,000 different islands in Dalmatia, one more beautiful than the other.
A special feature in Dalmatia is also the picturesque natural landscape, where mighty mountains, spectacular waterfalls and rivers as well as fascinating gorges invite for exciting outdoor adventures. Last, but not least, it is the beautiful world-famous port cities like Dubrovnik and Split that captivate visitors from all over the world and are even on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Most Amazing Places to Visit in Dalmatia
There is a lot to experience on an itinerary to Dalmatia, as there are beautiful attractions, romantic seaside towns and fascinating natural sites in almost every corner of the region. Here you will find a comprehensive compilation of the most beautiful places and things to do in Dalmatia!
Hvar Island – Stunning Old Town & Pure Island Feeling
Hvar Island is a true pearl in Dalmatia and is often counted among the most beautiful islands in the world. During a trip there are countless impressive sights and places to discover. However, it is above all the breathtaking dream beaches and coastal landscapes that make Hvar so unique in Dalmatia. In addition to beautiful bays, you will find countless opportunities for exciting ventures, excursions and unforgettable activities.
Absolutely enchanting is Hvar town with the famous Spanish Fortress and the charming medieval old town. Worth seeing are also the romantic fishing villages like Jelsa, Stari Grad and Vrboska, which create a real Dalmatian feeling with their rustic and romantic places.
Tip: A really recommendable accommodation on Hvar is the Plage Cachée – Glamping. The only 5 luxury tents are located directly by the sea and are a true place of relaxation and tranquility.
Split – The Imposing UNESCO Old Town
Split is an absolute must-visit in Dalmatia and certainly one of the most famous destinations in this region. Absolutely worth seeing and the best place to see is the romantic old town of Split. You explore numerous interesting attractions while sightseeing, including the impressive Diocletian’s Palace, which is even on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On top of that, the waterfront promenade and the adjacent Marjan Forest Park, a green oasis of Split, where you can enjoy numerous viewpoints and picturesque stretches of coastline, are beautiful.
The stunning beaches also make Split something special in Dalmatia! In the city and in the surrounding area you can find numerous wonderful bathing bays. Perfect if you want to combine sightseeing in Dalmatia with sun, beach and sea.
Tip: The Heritage Hotel Cardo has a fabulous location directly in the complex of the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace. This ingenious hotel has only 5 rooms, each very individually and uniquely decorated!
Dubrovnik – The Famous Pearl of the Adriatic Sea
Probably the most famous city in Dalmatia is definitely Dubrovnik! This breathtaking coastal metropolis is located in the south of Croatia and inspires with an incredibly beautiful UNESCO old town. The special feature is the mighty city wall, which encircles the city center and can be visited via a walk. But a sightseeing tour through the car-free medieval center is also wonderful. A real must-see is the long promenade Stradun, where you feel transported back in time and marvel at the numerous historical attractions.
But the region is also wonderful for a longer beach vacation on the Dalmatian Coast, because the beaches in Dubrovnik are absolutely spectacular. Along the Riviera are enchanting numerous bays and other charming resorts where you can spend unforgettable vacations.
Makarska – Fantastic Beaches & Impressive Mountains
Makarska is guaranteed one of the best places for a trip to Dalmatia. Many refer to the Makarska Riviera as the most beautiful coastline on the Dalmatian Adriatic. On a length of 50 kilometers, you’ll find some of the country’s most absolutely stunning beaches, where brilliant turquoise sea colors and the high mountains in the background conjure up an almost surreal backdrop. Probably the most famous attraction on the coast is the dream beach Punta Rata in Brela, which adorns the postcards of Dalmatia and on top of that is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Absolutely worth seeing are also the picturesque old town of Makarska and the mighty Biokovo mountains, a national park with skywalk and numerous hiking routes. For a Dalmatian vacation on the Riviera you will also find numerous beautiful coastal resorts such as Brela, Baska Voda, Podgora and Tucepi.
Tip: Along the Riviera there are really great accommodations for your vacations. Here you can find the most beautiful hotels in Makarska and the best resorts.
Zadar – The Coastal Pearl in Northern Dalmatia
The port city of Zadar is the second largest city in Dalmatia, and on top of that, the region with its numerous beaches is a real vacation paradise on the Dalmatian coast. Really famous is the historical old town, whose history goes back about 3,000 years, and which is considered the cultural hotspot of Croatia. In the city center there are numerous interesting places, some of which date back to ancient times. One of the most famous attractions, and unique in Dalmatia, is the sea organ, which produces music due to the movement of the waves.
The offshore Zadar archipelago is also world famous, where many of the most beautiful islands of Croatia are located, and which is also very suitable for boat trips. A real insider tip is the enchanting island Dugi Otok, which is still considered really idyllic.
Island Brac – Dream Beaches & Charming Towns
Brac Island is the largest island in Dalmatia and on top of that one of the most beautiful destinations for a beach vacation in Croatia. The vacation island is best known for the Zlatni Rat Beach, the so-called Golden Horn, a gigantic dream beach that graces the postcards of Croatia. Thanks to its spectacular crescent shape that juts 500 meters into the azure sea, it has become one of the ultimate landmarks for a vacation in Dalmatia. Visitors from all over the world come to admire this beautiful natural sight and spend their vacations there.
However, Brac Island has much more to offer! Charming small coastal towns like Bol, Sutivan and Postira, exude Dalmatian charm, and the numerous dream beaches of the island inspire vacationers from all over the world. Spectacular is also the mountain Vidova Gora, the highest mountain of all Croatian islands.
Tip: The Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa is a great accommodation in direct beach proximity to the Golden Horn. The complex with the huge pool is also fantastic!
Trogir – UNESCO Old Town & Stunning Beaches
The port city of Trogir as well as the surrounding area with Ciovo Island is a real highlight in Croatia. It is located in central Dalmatia and inspires with probably one of the most beautiful old towns in the country. The history of this UNESCO World Heritage city goes back to the 3rd century BC, and so you feel truly transported back in time during a sightseeing tour. Strolling through the small stone alleys, you will discover breathtaking medieval churches and romantic squares with charming restaurants. Especially beautiful is the picturesque waterfront with the Kamerlengo fortress and the numerous imposing luxury yachts in the sea.
Trogir is also perfect for a beach vacation in Dalmatia. There are numerous pretty resorts in the surrounding area, and the popular vacation island of Ciovo is also connected to the port city via a bridge.
Tip: The XII Century Heritage Hotel is a fine boutique hotel in a prime location on the picturesque waterfront. Here you will enjoy a quite extraordinary ambience!
Krka National Park – Spectacular Waterfalls & Nature Spots
The Krka National Park is definitely one of the most beautiful national parks in Dalmatia. Only a short distance from the coastal metropolis of Sibenik, near the small harbor town of Skradin, this natural wonder attracts visitors from all over the world. Especially beautiful are the numerous spectacular waterfalls, but also the many hiking trails and viewpoints in the park. Wooden footbridges lead through a fascinating river landscape, where you can marvel at the intact nature and the dreamlike scenery. A real highlight is also the large waterfall Skradinski Buk, which invites in warm weather even for a swim.
There are many other natural treasures in the national park that are a little off the beaten track, so it is worth staying longer in Skradin. Amazing tours from the major resorts on the coast to Krk National Park can also be found online at GetYourGuide.
Sibenik – The Romantic UNESCO Medieval Town
Sibenik is a real pearl on the Dalmatian Coast and on top of that it is one of the most worth seeing cities in the region. During a trip you will experience an old town like a picture book, you will enjoy an indescribably beautiful historical ambience and walk through a labyrinth of winding stone alleys. Absolutely worth seeing and a real highlight in Dalmatia is the imposing Cathedral of St. James, which is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But also the numerous fortresses that tower over the city are an attraction in itself!
In addition, there are stunning beaches in Sibenik and the surrounding area. Perfect for an unforgettable vacation by the sea or if you simply want to combine a city trip with beach-time.
Tip: The popular resort Amadria Park is located a little south of the city center. Here you will enjoy really beautiful beaches and great hotels like the dreamlike Amadria Park Jure Hotel with pool, water park and beach club.
Korcula Island – The Green Island Pearl in Dalmatia
Korcula Island is a breathtaking vacation destination in Dalmatia. On the approximately 48 kilometers long so-called “green island” beautiful nature with fascinating landscapes awaits you. Wonderful beaches, fabulous wines and romantic villages make this island a true vacation paradise. A real visitor magnet is the world famous old town of Korcula, which is often called “Little Dubrovnik” and attracts with numerous sights. An insider tip is the small resort of Lumbarda, where one of the best wines of the island is produced, and where you can find beautiful sandy beaches.
Tip: A really recommendable hotel is the ECO Aparthotel Dreamers’s Club. Here, the extremely quiet location and the romantic, playful furnishings of the apartments will delight you.
Kornati National Park – The “Crowns” of the Dalmatian Adriatic Sea
The Kornati islands are a true natural paradise in Dalmatia! It is the densest group of islands in the Mediterranean and the national park of the same name includes 89 islands and islets. During an excursion by boat you can experience the Dalmatian islands from one of their most beautiful sides. Shaped like small droplets, the barren Kornati islands are lined up close together and form an almost kitschy backdrop with the deep blue sea. On a boat tour you can marvel at the breathtaking landscapes, bathe on beautiful beaches, enjoy breathtaking viewpoints, and experience a fascinating underwater world while diving.
Tip: A wonderful experience are boat tours to the Kornati Islands, which are offered from the resorts of Zadar, Murter and Sibenik. On GetYourGuide you will find an excellent overview.
Omis – The Pirate Town in Dalmatia
Omis is a real insider tip for travelling to Dalmatia. The former pirate town is located in sunny central Dalmatia and enchants with a riviera, as beautiful and unique as from the travel magazine. The special feature is the location directly at the mouth of the Cetina River, which is the place to be for outdoor activities such as rafting and zipline. Probably the most beautiful sights are the charming old town and the medieval castles of Omis, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Along the coast there are many stunningly beautiful bathing bays and make Omis a guarantee for unforgettable days in Dalmatia.
Tip: The Hotel Plaža Duće is one of the best hotels in Omis. The location on the sandy beach, the spa and the pool, but also the good breakfast are ingenious!
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