Planning a trip to Croatia? We share the best things to do in Dalmatia, so you can plan a trip and see the best the region has to offer.
You are thinking about choosing Dalmatia as your next travel destination and you don’t know where to start? It’s true, it can be overwhelming to plan a visit through a whole region. This will be a practical guide for things that are a “must-see” or “must-do” in Dalmatia.
It is one of the most popular vacation destinations along the entire Adriatic Coast, and it’s for a reason. Dalmatia is one of the most beautiful parts of South-Eastern Europe, and to be sure you understand exactly its layout, we will begin with some geography. Dalmatia starts in the north, from Zadar, and ends in the south, in Dubrovnik.
Whether you wish to swim in the crystal clear sea, walk through ancient cobblestone streets and seafront promenades, climb mountains with the greatest views or see world-renowned attractions, Dalmatia won’t disappoint.
Best things to do in Dalmatia
Listen to the Sea Organ
If you wish to make your way down the coast, starting in Zadar is a good option. It’s one of the cities you shouldn’t miss out on. Zadar is rich in history since the whole center is basically the Old town, located on a peninsula. The entrance to the historic center is through the “Fosa”, from which you can plan your route towards UNESCO-protected attractions, the Kalelarga (the biggest street in the Old town), and beautiful churches.
Try and plan out the tour in a way that you reach the Greeting to the Sun monument for sunset. This means you will enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the world, as Alfred Hitchcock said, with the sea organ softly playing in the background. It is a wonderful moment to share with a huge crowd that gathers there every day.
Visit a National Park
Croatia is famous for many diverse and unique National Parks, so you can’t miss out on visiting one in Dalmatia. Krka National park and its waterfalls are just a short drive from Sibenik, the second city you must visit on your voyage. Walking on wooden footbridges will lead you through forests to many breathtaking waterfalls, the biggest one being Skradinski Buk. The longer you stay, the more refreshed you will leave.
As mentioned, Sibenik is close so make sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Cathedral of St. James.
Don’t skip Split
Split is one of the largest cities in the whole country, but also in the region of Dalmatia. It’s not just the fact it is a big city that is attractive, it’s the fact that it has so much to offer. The romantic Old town has numerous sightseeing opportunities. First things first, take a walk through the complex of Diocletian’s Palace. Climb the Cathedral of Split for a panoramic view, sit on the Riva and have a coffee like a true local would, and eat in amazing restaurants.
Another gem for culture lovers is close by, and it is the port city of Trogir. Romantic squares, medieval churches, and small stone alleys will transport you back in time. It’s also the perfect choice for a beach vacation.
Islands of the Adriatic
In all of the cities you have so much to experience, but a visit to Dalmatia would be pointless without truly getting to know the Adriatic Sea. Croatia is called “the land of a thousand islands”, and most of them are exactly here! Whether you start from Split or any other city on the coast, the deep blue will not disappoint.
The best tours are those with a sailing boat, look through some of them on Sebastus and decide which one is the best fit for you.
The options are endless. Hvar and Brač have many hidden coves and beaches, as well as beautiful landscapes and crystal clear waters. Korčula is the home of Marco Polo, and the island of Vis is where “Mamma Mia” was filmed! Croatia even has a National Park out in the sea, and it is the Kornati, which makes for the best sailing destination.
Enjoy the Makarska Riviera
After all of that exploring of the cities and the islands, you might want to take a few days to just relax and soak in the Mediterranean sun. Makarska Riviera is a 50km long coastline, which beautifully intertwines turquoise sea beaches with high mountains in the immediate hinterland.
To make sure you find true rest here, follow this link and decide which villa will give you the privacy and tranquility you seek.
Of course, Makarska also has a national park close by, and this one comes with a skywalk. Keep your vacation active and take a hike up the Biokovo. Another must-see place is Brela, with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Live like a pirate
Once upon a time, Omis used to be a pirate town. Nowadays, it looks like something out of a travel magazine with numerous stunning beaches on its riviera. The charming old town still holds many medieval castles which take you back to the pirate times. The excitement of Omis doesn’t stop here. The city is located at the mouth of the Cetina River. This allows for many fun outdoor activities, such as zip lines or rafting.
End with a walk on Stradun
Leave the best for last. Dubrovnik is named “the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea” for a reason. The beaches here are spectacular, and the Riviera is full of hidden bays waiting to be found by you. Of course, mentioning Dubrovnik without recommending a visit to the city walls would be shameful. The whole Old town is under UNESCO’s protection, and after a sightseeing tour make sure to take a long walk on the Stradun promenade while you soak in the medieval vibes of this city.
Whether you are interested in island hopping, visiting cities with a rich history, exploring the nature of National Parks, or even visiting pirate towns – Dalmatia has it all. However, it’s the little things that make it worthwhile, like relaxing on those riviera beaches, sounds of the Sea Organ unlike anywhere else, and allowing the blue Adriatic to stir your soul. Let Dalmatia take you on your next adventure!
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What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
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- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.